Manhattanhenge showed up over the New York skyline this past Friday — if only partially through the clouds.
A few dozen people gathered at 42nd Street on the Grand Central overpass to witness this nature-meets-urban phenomenon that happens twice a year when the sun aligns between the buildings on Manhattan’s west side — shining all the way through to the East River as it goes down. People also watched from 14th, 23rd, 34th, 57th and 72nd streets.
Thursday night’s crowds went home disappointed because of complete cloud cover. On Friday, people endured rain coming down at 7:45 p.m. and speculation about whether the sun would even appear — as scheduled at 8:18 p.m. — in that perfect position.
Strangers shared umbrellas and discussions about whether the rain would stop and the sun would make an appearance, referring to their various smartphone weather apps. A ten-year-old willed the biggest cloud to move. Then, at 8:10 p.m., a bit of orange peeked through, eliciting a collective “wow” from those gathered.
The next occurrence of this phenomenon is scheduled for July 11 — where you watch depends on which buildings in Manhattan you prefer. If you like the Empire State Building, go to 34th street and 1st avenue and prepare to jump into the middle of the street when the light is red to get the best shots. If you like the Chrysler Building or Times Square, go to 42nd over the Tudor bridge, which will be the most crowded. On 72nd street, you can find the best view of the full sun, since the street dips down toward the Hudson River.
As an homage to Stonehenge, the term Manahattanhenge was coined by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planitarium.
More Manhattanhenge photos and video are on the next page.