When Is Manhattanhenge? Tonight, And Here’s Your Playlist!

Well, even though May’s Manhattanhenge was considered by many to be a bust, the good news is that we’ve got another chance: The second Manhattanhenge of the year will occur tonight, July 11, and tomorrow night, July 12. You can check out our last post about the phenomenon for more details about the whole thing, but here are the salient points in an easy-to-digest, bullet-pointed format:

  • Tonight, Manhattanhenge will occur at 8:24pm; tomorrow night, it’s at 8:25pm.
  • Friday will feature the full sun on the grid, while Saturday shows only half the sun.
  • The best viewing spots are on 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th Streets. The views on 34th 42nd are particularly scenic.
  • Position yourself as far east in Manhattan as you can; when you look west across the avenues, you should be able to see New Jersey (I’ll be waving at you all from my Jersey apartment).
  • Arrive half an hour early to secure the best viewing locations.

Since we’ve already walked you through some of the science, this time round, we’ve got something a little different up our sleeves to celebrate the occasion: Your very official, carefully curated Manhattanhenge soundtrack. Because hey, you’re going to need something to both get you pumped and keep you occupied in the minutes before the sun shows its stunning little head, right? Get ready to rock out!

1. Spinal Tap, “Stonehenge”

TheTimeOfRock02 on YouTube

Not going to lie: I look for an excuse to play “Stonehenge” at every opportunity. There’s definitely no better time to play it than during Manhattanhenge, though.

2. They Might Be Giants, “Why Does the Sun Shine?”

ParticleMen on YouTube

This tune’s sequel, “Why Does the Sun Really Shine?”, is perhaps more scientifically accurate… but the first one is a catchier song.

3. The Beatles, “Here Comes the Sun”


It’s all right.

4. The Doors, “Waiting for the Sun”

MusicWorldRecords on YouTube

…Which is exactly what we will all be doing in the half hour prior to Manhattanhenge.

5. Debbie Clarke, “Lay Down”

Warner Music Germany on YouTube

The album this track is from is actually called Manhattanhenge, so even if the tune’s subject matter isn’t exactly relevant… well, we can’t very well not include it, right?

6. Ylvis, “Stonehenge”

TVNorge on YouTube

Spinal Tap isn’t the only comedy group with a song titled “Stonehenge.” Norwegian duo Ylvis’ version asks all those burning questions about life — like “who the f*ck builds a Stonehenge.”

7. Katrina and the Waves, “Walking on Sunshine”

KatrinaTheWavesVEVO on YouTube

I am so, so sorry for getting this song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

8. Smash Mouth, “Walking On the Sun”

SmashMouthVEVO on YouTube

And this one, too.

9. Hair Original Soundtrack Recording, “Let the Sunshine In”


In context, the final of the musical Hair is tremendously depressing. Out of context, it sounds like a summoning spell for Manhattanhenge.

10. Animals, “House of the Rising Sun”

mcat95 on YouTube

Okay, Manhattanhenge involves the setting sun, not the rising one, but, well... just work with me on this.

Image: 4rilla/Flickr