Posted in New York

As you may know, Manhattanhenge is NYC’s sunset event that happens twice a year, before and after the summer solstice. Because the Manhattan “street grid” is not exactly a north-west grid, and because it’s on a slant, the sunset aligns perfectly with it on dates before and after the longest day of the year.

It is one of my favorite days to be taking photos in NYC. In more recent years, I started photographing the people taking photos of this event, because if it’s hazy, you don’t see the giant ball of sun go down at the horizon. The thrill is in the excitement of everyone who’s gathering and taking up the entire street with smartphones and photographic equipment.

Come with me on a photo tour to see Manhattanhenge from three locations: 42nd & 2nd Ave., 42nd & 7th Ave., and 57th & 6th Ave. I shot these photos over three different years, as Manhattanhenge is a different experience, every time.

And, as you know and as I know, not all of Midtown Manhattan’s streets were created equally: some are wider than others, like the main streets of 34th, 42nd and 57th. These larger streets with two-way traffic are the BEST ones for seeing a Manhattanhenge sunset. First, let’s visit 42nd St. & 2nd Ave.

Starting pretty early, the crowds start growing. By sunset hour, the crowds of onlookers (tourists and locals alike) is pretty outrageous! Word got out that this “entertainment” is one of the coolest free things to do in NYC.

Is that sun setting yet? Are we getting a ‘henge photo? At this point, the sky was hazy, and we didn’t really see a big fiery sun ball of light, but we can always try next time.

If you didn’t know what was going on, you’d think everyone was entranced by the light and the sunset. This is Manhattanhenge! The fact that it happens twice in the summer makes this one of the best times of year to visit NYC.

Next we head to the Theater District, to 42nd Street, where the excitement is real and the crowds are big.

Last, we check out 57th and 6th Ave. 57th Street is a big thoroughfare in Midtown right below Central Park. Behold my tip here, though: 57th Street has a bit of a hill in the middle, and you don’t want that to block your view of Manhattanhenge.

Pssst, here is a secret: you’ll find one of these photos in our Half Half Travel downloadable wallpapers.

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