MANHATTANHENGE. This article in the Economist reports on the celebration of Manhattanhenge at sunset on July 11. “Manhattanhenge” refers to the phenomenon that two times a year, on May 28 and July 11, “….the sun perfectly aligns with Manhattan’s streets and skyscrapers, just as it does with the standing stones of Stonehenge.” The alignment works in the parts of Manhattan which are part of the grid. The dates of Manhattanhenge are about three weeks before and after the summer solstice because the Manhattan grid is on a slant from true north and south. The Economist reports on people celebrating Manhattanhenge by stepping into the street with cameras when the traffic lights change.

Manhattanhenge is a recent holiday, and I have not been in Manhattan to experience it on May 28 or July 11. However, I have experienced some beautiful visual effects on other dates when the setting sun glances at a slight angle on the windows of buildings aligned on the north side of East/West streets. The Economist says there are henges in other cities, including Toronto, Montreal, Chicago and Baltimore.

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