Many of the most iconic city-scape photos in the world come from the glittering Manhattan skyline, and thanks to a rare solar occurrence that's happening this week, New Yorkers can add a professional-grade shot of their own to the mix (or Instagram). Manhattanhenge is a an odd but beautiful phenomenon that happens only four times a year — on the days before and after the summer solstice. When it does happen, the buildings of Manhattan and the bright, glowing evening sun line up in perfect symmetry. During Manhattanhenge, the sun hovers like a fiery, neon orb over the city, casting its dreamy, dusky sunlight over the glass of the city’s buildings. It’s like something out of a tropical greeting card or Hollywood blockbuster. And while it requires being in just the right place at the right time, if you’re in New York, it’s well worth going out of your way to catch the light show. Here’s when to see Manhattanhenge 2017.
The first two Manhattanhenge viewings happened earlier this year back in May, but thanks to a particularly rainy spring, views were unspectacular. New Yorkers will get their shot at a make-up this Wednesday and Thursday when the ‘henge comes back around again. On Wednesday, the sun will be fully featured in the skyline, while Thursday’s show will feature only half the sun above the horizon.
Although, thanks to Mother Nature’s funny sense of humor, you might not be able to get an Insta-worthy shot of Manhattanhenge, no matter your location. The forecast for Wednesday and Thursday is predicted to be rainy, so unless things clear up as the sun’s making its grand setting, views might be a little murky.
Still, it’s worth it to set yourself up for a front row seat just in case things turn around at the last second. If you’re in Manhattan, Business Insider suggests staking out a spot facing west on 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, or 57th Street. These streets are more pedestrian friendly, meaning you won’t be fighting as much foot traffic to get a peek at the natural wonder. For the signature city-scape effect, post up toward the eastern side of the city and look west. For a clearer line of sight, stay on the west side and look toward New Jersey.
Note, that for the signature Manhattanhenge shot you’re probably looking for, you’ll want to be on or close to the ground level, so be sure to take the elevator down from your high rise to see it in all its glory. Just be sure to find a high spot on the street to get the full perspective in you shot.
To see Manhattanhenge for yourself, make sure you’re in place by 8:15 p.m. on both evenings. Wednesday’s show is set to start at 8:20 p.m., while Thursday’s should show up right at 8:21 p.m.