Many folk travel great distances to see the sunrise at Stonehenge but the more urban minded, slugabeds and night owls might like to make their way to Manhattan to witness the sun setting in alignment with the city’s skyscrapers. Twice a year in May and July, for two nights, the Sun appears to sit perfectly between the skyscraper corridors; illuminating both the north and south sides of the streets. There's also the winter version, but that's at sunrise and is less popular viewing. It’s hardly surprising that such a spectacular sight has photographers reaching for their SLRs as New York-based photographer Emon Hassan explains;
"You'll see photographers on both sides, lined up, just waiting. In one area, I could go in the middle of the street and get the shot. Photographers risk their lives to get the perfect shot”.
Unlike Stonehenge, the solar show at Manhattanhenge (as it’s known) is not the result of deliberate design. In fact, similar phenomena also occur in other cities with skyscrapers and long straight streets including Chicago and Toronto. In Chicago, Chicagohenge occurs when the setting sun lines up with the grid system on September 25 and March 20. In Toronto, the setting sun lines up with the east-west streets on October 25 and February 16, this is known locally as, go on guess…. Torontohenge!
If you’re ever lucky enough to witness Manhattanhenge you might like to celebrate the celestial show by sipping a suitable beverage such as Sundowner or Manhattan. Cheers!