Tomorrow evening in New York City, you can witness a twice-a-year phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge, when the sunset perfectly aligns with the city’s grid and makes the streets glow. Manhattan already has one of the most photogenic skylines in the world, as demonstrated by this postcard-perfect shot by Flickr user James Adamson. His shot of the Empire State Building (still lit in holiday colors) in early January, when the winter evening light shows a different kind of beauty than the summer sunset, a little colder but just as magical.
We’ve covered Manhattanhenge on Gadling occasionally over the years, and each time it never fails to amaze us. The concept, in case you’re unfamiliar, plays off the juxtaposition of the sun setting across the east-west streets of Manhattan. On only a few days out of the year the sun sets exactly between rows of skyscrapers, resulting in long beams of sunlight tumbling across the city and reflecting off of buildings. It’s quite a site to behold.
If you happen to be in New York City late this spring be sure to keep an eye out for the phenomenon, it should happen over the days of May 30th and 31st and July 11th and 12th. It also might help to have Kings of Convenience’s version of Manhattan Skyline on the radio.
Not surprisingly, the same phenomenon happens in Chicago on their orthogonal streets as well, though they don’t have the same elevation dropoff (and subsequent visual effect) that the Hudson River allows in New York.
Dates for Chicagohenge haven’t yet been distributed on the web — if anyone has them off hand feel free to post in the comments and we’ll update this post.