Manhattanhenge returned to New York City this week. After a last-minute cloud over New Jersey led to a disappointing sunset on Tuesday, Wednesday night delivered the Instagram-baiting phenomenon that New Yorkers go bonkers for.
Phone-wielding passersby flocked into the streets as the sun “kissed the grid,” temporarily gumming up traffic while they relished in the majesty of the universe (or just watched it through their phones and posted images of it to social media).
The event, which only occurs four days a year, happens when the path of the sunset directly aligns with the grid of Manhattan. Because the grid is not laid out in a perfect north-south alignment, Manhattanhenge arrives for a couple of days in both May and July. In cities that have a north-south grid (like, say, Chicago), the "henge" effect comes on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. But it's hard to compare any other city’s henge to New York’s—ours occurs during the warmer months of the year, and the canyons created by the city’s skyscrapers make for a truly special view.
If you happened to miss your chance to see Manhattanhenge this week, don't fret. You’ll have another chance to see it on July 12 and 13. And between now and those dates, the sunset will still have a sort of Manhattanhenge effect, meaning that the sun will still be at least partially visible down the grid.
Check out some photos of Wednesday night’s “henge” below.