Saturday, May 30, 2009

Manhattanhenge, Wow (Update)

Twice a year the setting sun is aligned with the grid of the streets of Manhattan. It is called Manhattenhenge. So I read a little about it and figure the family should have dinner somewhere in Murry Hill and then we could walk over to the end of 42nd St at about 7:30.

In the photo to the right are the New York Times Photographers that took some of the pictures.

We do that. But I did not realized what a perfect spot that is. Tudor City Place is a short street that goes over 42nd St just west of the UN. (That is the United Nations in the picture) It is already full of photographers, families, Sun Worshipers, and cops, lots and lots of cops. I look at 42nd St and see a gazillion cops. I did not give the cops much thought, the UN is around the courner, maybe cops like to hang out by the UN. We have a half an hour to kill and the Sun is still up. So we let the kids go to the playground.

Just at the moment I think we should go over to look at the sunset, the cop are clearing the bridge. Why? Because the President of the United States is about to drive under it.

How many things can be going on at once. First, I live in a city so big, that the day it does not block the Sun is a big deal. And on that day The President and his wife are here to see Rejoice! Joe Turner's Come Back at the Belesco Theater just a few blocks from where we are standing.

So, the President took some other route to get to the show and the cops let us back on the bridge. When the Sun moved into the canyon I pooped my son onto my shoulders and he took this picture.

For about 10 seconds you could look directly at the Sun and see it move across and down. (Well the earth moves, but it does not look that way.) There was no doubt as to the exact moment the Sun set. There was spontaneous applause.

The even funnier thing is that I would have totally forgotten about this if it were not for a Facebook entry from my my cousin in California.

Here is a big bunch of pictures. Some also taken by my daughter on my shoulders.


  1. President coming over the bridge, sun perfectly aligned with the streets.... Can't wait to see the next piece of magic in Manhattan. Great post and pictures, Michael.

  2. I love the whole concept of Manhattanhenge. Thanks so much for the reminder!

    actually the occurrence happens again a little later this year. I hope to catch it then.


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