Named in honor of the British prehistoric monument Stonehenge, the event is truly a sight to behold. The sun sinks gracefully between New York’s buildings, the city is awash in pink and gold light, and thousands play photographer for Instagram.
However, as our local authority on the phenomenon, the American Museum of Natural History, points out, there’s more to this event than being a perfect photo op. Noting the unlikelihood of a perfect alignment of the sun and any city grid, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson describes Manhattanhenge as a “unique urban phenomenon in the world, if not the universe.”
Manhattanhenge happens twice a year, in May and July. If you missed the first one, you still have a chance to catch Manhattanhenge on July 12, 2018 (8.20pm) and July 13, 2018 (8.21pm).
The museum recommends positioning yourself on Manhattan’s East Side along cross streets such as 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th for the clearest views of the event. Arrive at least 30 minutes before sunset to claim your place before the crowds descend.