Photo: Diana Robinson/Flickr
Many New Yorkers look forward to Memorial Day — and not just because they get the day off. Some eagerly await “Manhattanhenge,” a time of the year when the setting sun aligns with the Manhattan street grid, bathing the city in spectacular mystical glow.
But New Yorkers do not have to wait to experience this phenomenon anymore, at least when it comes to isolated occurrences. NYCHenge, a new initiative from the web mapping platform CartoDB, invites users to “…discover henge events happening all over the city on every sunset of the year.”
Every day, there is moment somewhere in the city where the sun fits perfectly between buildings. The interactive tool at NYCHenge shows users just where to look. Simply drag a slider to the desired date and you can find out which streets will have “henge events.”
NYCHenge is made possible by the NYC Open Data initiative, which brings hundreds of thousands of city documents to the public, all searchable within a web database. There are over 1,300 datasets already available and thousands more will be released by 2018.
Manhattanhenge, sometimes referred to as the Manhattan Solstice, actually comes twice a year. Neil deGrasse Tyson explains that the phenomenon occurs when “the setting Sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan’s brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough’s grid.”
Have an NYC gem to share? Connect with us at @bbhnyc.