If you’re wondering what all the annual celestial New York chatter is about, and you’ve been asking yourself: what exactly is Manhattanhenge, you’ve definitely come to the right place.
The name Manhattanhenge (sometimes called “Manhattan Solstice”) is a cultural wink to the famous and mysterious Stonehenge in England. The term was first coined by New York astrophysicist, Neil DeGrasse Tyson — who visited Stonehenge as a teenager and never forgot the awe and curiosity it inspired.
There’s no need to travel to Europe to see the ancient Stonehenge site — a place and time in history where the sky was used as a clock, a calendar, and even as GPS — when New Yorkers have their very own modern version of the same breathtaking visual.
Here’s why: our city streets and skyscrapers are aligned so perfectly that twice a year — around the time of the winter and summer solstice — we, too, can observe this phenomenon via the layout of our grid, right here in downtown Manhattan.
So, if you’d like to check out Manhattanhenge 2019 for yourself, we’ve gathered all the details you’ll need to assure your best viewing experience.
When to See Manhattanhenge?
- On May 29, 2019, at exactly 8:13 PM, you can view a half sun phenomenon. This means half the sun will rise above the landscape with half-hidden securely below.
- On May 30, 2019, at 8:12 PM, you can view a full, spectacular, visual with the entire sun nestling comfortably above the landscape.
If you miss it in May, or want to see it again, don’t worry, you’ll have 2 more chances in July.
- On July 11, 2019 at 8:20 PM, you’ll see the full sun settle perfectly on the landscape.
- On July 12, 2019 at 8:21 PM, you’ll see a clear image of the half sun cradled securely within the city grid.
Where to See Manhattanhenge?
You can view Manhattanhenge from multiple sites that capture the west-northwest horizon. However, the Manhattanhenge best view is enhanced by the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, at 34th and 42nd Streets.
Seeing Manhattanhenge from Above
If you’d prefer a different angle and want to see the phenomenon from an alternate perspective, the 86th and 102nd floors of the Empire State Building are great viewing options. And you can even book your place on the observation deck ahead of time, to be certain you’ve assured a perfect, unobstructed, camera-ready spot.
Tudor City South Park
This is an excellent location to check out Manhattanhenge from Tudor City Place. From here, you’ll get a superb view that coincides with 41st and 42nd Streets. However, be sure to arrive early to comfortably secure your perfect viewing spot.
Get Your Cameras Ready
Without a doubt, this is a wonderful opportunity to shoot photos of a phenomenon that not everyone is privileged to see. Beyond Instagram posts, and making your friends around the world gasp on Facebook, many of these shots will also make amazing prints.
So, click away, but be sure to also breathe in and relish the moment while it’s actually happening, because as quickly as Manhattanhenge arrives, it will be gone. At least for now.
After you’ve been awed by a spectacular view of Manhattanhenge, join us at High Bar for more inspiring views. We’re located on the rooftop of the Doubletree at 346 West 40th. We offer far more than great cocktails and delicious, chef-inspired small plates. We also offer amazing panoramic views of the entire New York City skyline.
For reservations, just give us a call at 646.362.7363. Happy Solstice!