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Mark Your iCal for NYC's 'Manhattanhenge' Phenomenon

May 23, 2014 at 4:18 PM | by | ()

There are two times every year when one can take the the most spectacular photos of the Manhattan skyline, dramatic and backlit. It's called Manhattanhenge, a portmanteau made from the combination of Manhattan + Stonehenge, the latter also a place famous for solstice action. The first of those times occurs next week, over a span of three evenings, May 28-30. Clear out those memory cards and charge up your camera!

During Manhattanhenge, the setting sun perfectly lines up with the grid of the city's east-west streets, creating a canyon of searing lights down every midtown street. Photographers who wish to capture this phenomenon typically stake out the west end of of wide 42nd Street, and even head over the East River to Long Island City to capture the whole of the skyline.

The phenomenon has only been a "thing" since around 2002 and it gains in popularity every year; indeed the "#manhattanhenge" tag on Instagram boasts over 8,000 images.

Manhattanhenge 2014:
May 28, 29, 30
July 11, 12, 13

Other cities also experience this phenomenon at different times throughout the year. Montreal typically has their own "Montrealhenge" in mid-July, Chicago in late September, and Toronto in late October.

[Photos: Instagram (see embeds)]

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