Manhattan is photogenic 24-7-365, of course, but on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings this week, it will be spectacularly so. At 8:13 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, and 8:12 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, behold Manhattanhenge, when the setting sun aligns with Manhattan’s east-west numbered streets, flooding the concrete and steel corridors with golden light. Take to the streets (as far east in Manhattan as possible — and at these pre-game spots for drinks and bites) to ooh and aah with fellow New Yorkers. And snap some sweet selfies!
Where’s the best place to catch the phenomenon? We asked Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, who just happens to be the person responsible for pinpointing Manhattanhenge’s exact times and days. She says: “It’s best to be on the grid of Manhattan to see the event. It is all about the angle. If you go off the grid by even a degree, you will be out of alignment. I recommend a wide street; 14th, 23rd, 42nd, 72nd, and 79th are all winners. You can watch from beyond the grid, in Brooklyn, for instance, as long as you can see all the way across Manhattan to New Jersey.”
If you miss it this week, you have another chance in July, when Manhattanhenge returns on the 12th and 13th.
Want more info on this astral event? Join Faherty at the Hayden Planetarium on July 11 to learn about the history and astronomy of what she calls the sun’s “grid kiss.”
Wednesday, May 29, 8:13 p.m. (half sun on the grid)
Thursday, May 30, 8:12 p.m. (full sun on the grid)
Manhattanhenge Lecture at Hayden Planetarium Space Theater
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West (at West 79th Street)
Thursday, July 11, 7 p.m.