Saturday, July 13, 2019

Manhattanhenge




The man and I, and our niece who lives with us now, went down to 79th Street last night to witness Manhattanhenge, also known as the Manhattan Solistice, during which the setting sun aligns perfectly with the east-west grid of the city's streets, casting a fiery orange light, and people flock form their homes to bathe in the glow. Some streets offer more dramatic views than others, the wider ones, unobstructed by trees, with high buildings on both sides forming a man-made canyon that intensifies the light rays. It's an odd moment of communion in the life of this bustling city, with everyone getting still, watching the sun as it sinks below the horizon, arms raised in unwitting salute to capture the marvel of light using technologies of light. People smiled at one another in rueful acknowledgement of our insignificance in the face of such the celestial grandeur. The name Manhattanhenge was coined by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, where my husband is also part of the science staff as an ichthyologist. DeGrasse Tyson was inspired of course by Stonehenge in Salisbury, England, built 5,000 years ago and thought to predict the progression of the seasons by the movement of the sun over its stones. My niece, who is still new to the city, having moved here only two months ago, thought the whole thing was pretty darn cool. I did, too.

16 comments:

  1. Well, that WAS pretty dang cool. Thanks for bringing us along.

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  2. That is simply awesomely cool. I love it!
    So many cultures have noted and built to celebrate the solstices. Ancient magic, for sure. The kind I believe in.
    I also believe in Neil deTrasse Tyson.

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  3. it IS pretty darn cool! the light is just amazing.

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  4. This is amazing! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. We have that here too but only on the equinox. I've never seen it downtown but I mean to, eventually, maybe. It's cool seeing everyone outside on the street taking photos.

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  6. Gosh , it's very different to our Stonehenge - but it's lovely .

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  7. Amazing but are you part of the black out? Hope all is well. XO

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  8. It's so interesting how this Manhattanhenge phenomenon has become so popular. I mean, it's very cool, but I never even heard of it when I first moved to New York. I think it's something that has really escalated with the rise of social media, don't you?

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  9. I LOVE this. I love that the setting sun brings people to the streets to watch. Ah Manhattanhenge! What a grand moment!

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  10. How wonderful is that?! Love it! Thanks for showing us first-hand.

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  11. Pretty darn cool is right. I always think of Manhattan as a magical place, but how lovely to live there and have this other worldly experience to add to it. So glad to got to go out into the light.

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  12. I visited NYC in 1969 on a high school trip. I am always looking at NYC on live camera sites, read the posts about old NYC places, and dream about going to Brooklyn, Manhattan, old immigrant streets and places, Long Island, downtown, hippie enclaves, any and everything associated with your city. I want to see it all! Times Square, the Hudson River, Mulberry Street. I don't know how to do that, don't know how to make the plans, but I will somehow someday see it all. My 18 year old fantasy was to be a background dancer in a Broadway show, isn't that a hoot! NYC will always be my very most ultimate place to be. I really don't understand why it has been so important to me. It just is.

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  13. ANYTHING to bring folks together in goodwill! And then- the power outage and the handsome firemen rescuing folks stuck in elevators! Bless them!

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  14. Wow this is so gorgeous. I would have loved to see this. I bet that you and your family had a great time! I love the photos.
    I do digital scrapbooking and those are worthy of great scrapbook pages.

    Thank you so very much for stopping by my blog. I was terrified. He is off in a new truck now and I pray for his safety and on my comment on your blog with your son working... I pray for his safety as well. Beth

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  15. Looks like an amazing experience!

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  16. Now that is something new to me. The light looks mystical, all orangey.

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