Manhattanhenge has become one of the most celebrated events in New York City, when the sun lines up exactly with the Manhattan street grid. It happens twice a year, off the equinox, due to the angle of the Manhattan grid (28.9 degrees east of due north), offering incredible sunsets that fully illuminate the cross-streets.
This phenomenon has been nicknamed “Manhattanhenge” for its similarity to Stonehenge — but this moniker would imply a sense of mystery over the physical remnants and functionalities of a bygone civilization. Rather, this bi-annual occurrence is unique to Manhattan because of a fortuitous street plan and flat topography that, in concurrence, provide clear, straight views to the horizon.
There are some classic locations to watch Manhattanhenge, but it can get pretty crowded. Here, we offer both the off-the-beaten-path and tried and true places. Tonight’s (July 12th) rendition of the Full Sun version of Manhattanhenge will be at 8:20 PM, and tomorrow’s half sun (July 13th) will be at 8:21 PM.
1. FDR Four Freedoms Park
Photo by Josie Adkins courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park
Make it an experience to head to FDR Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island tonight from 5 to 9 PM where you can stay in the park after hours and participate in tonight’s special event which will feature musicians Atomic Funk Project. There will also be a photo competition run by Archtober and judged by architectural Instagram account, @field_condition, a photo booth, and other fun pop-up activities.
You can also check out the first-ever photo exhibition at Four Feedoms Park, Capture Your Freedom and learn about the history of Four Freedoms Park, designed by master architect Louis Kahn and built posthumously more than 40 years after Kahn died.