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Manhattanhenge
July 11, 2008 6:24 PM   Subscribe


 
Beautiful. I'm not so sure about the 'a unique urban phenomenon, if not the universe.' bit though. Lets wait and see what Phoenix comes up with.
posted by tellurian at 6:31 PM on July 11, 2008


Last year during Manhattanenge, it rained for a few minutes without a clouds blocking out the Sun falling across the east-west streets. I've never seen anything like it.
posted by Mikey-San at 6:31 PM on July 11, 2008


Manhattanhenge, even. And now that I think about it, it might've been two years ago.
posted by Mikey-San at 6:32 PM on July 11, 2008


Of course, if you want some semblance of this phenomenon on the equinox, you have to go to Stuyvesant St.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:34 PM on July 11, 2008


"What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues?"

Probably something like "They worshipped themselves."

And they'd be right.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:50 PM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


MIThenge
posted by DU at 7:01 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Check out this awesome NYC at dusk panorama. (as seen earlier on Gawker)
posted by spock at 7:06 PM on July 11, 2008


This explains why I saw swarms of people taking pictures in the cross walks. Running west at sunset last night, I was amazed at how laser-like the sun was. Now it all makes sense.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:11 PM on July 11, 2008


Also: this post has reminded me of my favourite view of Manhattan (I think it's Manhattan, correct me if I'm wrong) - the opening aerial vista from West Side Story. I just went and watched it again. It's not so powerful on the small screen but I can remember first seeing it at the cinema and it blew me away (I was an impressionable child).
posted by tellurian at 7:14 PM on July 11, 2008


I started wearing the Special Pants today,
according to prophecy.
posted by Dizzy at 7:15 PM on July 11, 2008


Look west at sunset, young man.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:25 PM on July 11, 2008


Before I clicked through, I read this as "manhattan... henge!" with some sort of transformation going on.

I was wrong.

This is cooler.
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:34 PM on July 11, 2008


NBC Nightly News segment [video | 01:30] this evening about Manhattanhenge.
"Friday is one of only two days a year when the sun sets in precise alignment with the Manhattan grid, fully illuminating every cross-street for the last 15 minutes of twilight."
posted by ericb at 7:51 PM on July 11, 2008


PBS | Nova: Manhattanhenge.

Manhattan Solstice
"The Manhattan street grid is angled 30 degrees east from geographic north. [I]n May...and July...this angle results in a sunset at the end of every cross-street."
How Far from True North are the Avenues of Manhattan?
posted by ericb at 7:56 PM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]



"What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues?"


"No one knows quite who they were, or... what they were doing..."
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:10 PM on July 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


I remember this, I commented about it when it happened. Did anyone get to go?
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 8:11 PM on July 11, 2008


"What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues?"

"Oh my God. I'm back. I'm home. All the time, it was... We finally really did it.
You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell
!"
posted by ericb at 8:17 PM on July 11, 2008


Whoa! What's that R. Mutt? Googling gets me "The brilliant, horizontal streak of light which appears briefly, low along the western horizon after the sun has set, has been made a subject of a story by the Yurok, an episode in longer stories by the Wintu and the Modoc, and has been woven as a seeming reminiscence into the adolescence ritual of the Hupa." On the same page:
The Wit At Home. Home in his hut in Gondar, AG-H was one day at dusk lying in his bed. His wife had gone to the river to wash her private parts, as is the custom of the Amhara women at nightfall. Tired from the uphill climb from the valley, she rested before the hearth to dry herself, but dozed off. Soon AG-H heard a cannonade of farting, issuing from his half-conscious wife. He called out to her, "Where are you? Come to bed!"
Awakening, she said dazedly, "I am just drying myself."
To which he replied, "You are drying yourself so much that you are cracking apart."
"A Woman's Way." [In accordance with ancient custom, women used to pluck out their pubic hair, rubbing ashes between their finger to get a good grip while plucking.]
One day a girl student of AG-H was late for her lesson. Taking a quick short-cut across the back yard, she tumbled into the ash heap, soiling her lower toga and her legs with the ashes. She excused her appearance to her teacher, saying, "Oh, Master I was so eager to come quickly, and have now dirtied myself with ashes all over."
"That is your way," nodded AG-H.
Only much later did the girl learn that he had meant not only the wrong way she had come, but was referring to the fact that being smudged with ashes was the natural "way" for a woman.
WTH is that all about?
posted by tellurian at 8:23 PM on July 11, 2008


Meanwhile, Detroit sucks during the solstice just as much as it sucks at all other times of the year.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:37 PM on July 11, 2008


This is beautiful and it reminds me of my favorite song of all time, City Drops Into The Night by Jim Carroll.
posted by caddis at 8:37 PM on July 11, 2008


Did everyone remember their human sacrifices?
posted by tracicle at 12:47 AM on July 12, 2008


Working on mine right now! Poor little hipster. I tried to explain about the eschaton but he just keeps babbling Deerhunter lyrics.
posted by flotson at 1:28 AM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


What, no Bronxhenge?
posted by bwg at 3:31 AM on July 12, 2008


"that special day comes on Thursday, May 29h this year"

Ah, for the love of Pete. I was there on May 29g! Totally missed this.
posted by Eideteker at 7:30 AM on July 12, 2008


I saw the sunset from the bridge over 42nd St in Tudor City last night. It's pretty cool. True Manhattanhenge, when the half the sun's disk is above the horizon when the sun is shining parallel to the streets is tonight. So there's still a chance to see it if you missed it last night.
posted by plastic_animals at 8:25 AM on July 12, 2008


Yeah thanks a lot. I'm a be in Brooklyn at sunset.
posted by nowonmai at 9:49 AM on July 12, 2008


"What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues?"

"Hey, those people could do math."
posted by sondrialiac at 10:24 AM on July 12, 2008


And driving crosstown really sucks.
posted by notreally at 12:51 PM on July 12, 2008


Booo! It didn't work on Saturday. This post jinxed it.
posted by Frank Grimes at 5:37 PM on July 12, 2008


Scary to think of all those people in the streets taking pictures while the drivers on those same streets are blinded by the sun. Could be tragic?
posted by rtboo at 8:29 PM on July 12, 2008


I heart Tyson mightily. This evening there was a promo on "World" (one of the digital PBS stations) about Tyson discussing Manhattanhenge on NOVA Science NOW — "Next! on most PBS stations."

Evidently our market didn't qualify as "most." :(
posted by middleclasstool at 9:08 PM on July 12, 2008


'unique urban phenomenon' = 'I've never left New York'
posted by pompomtom at 10:33 PM on July 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


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