By Sarah Yanez-Richards
New York City, US, Jul 11 (EFE).- Immortalizing “Manhattanhenge,” the moment twice a year in which the sun sets between the skyscrapers of Manhattan in New York City, was the goal of thousands of people Monday, many of whom stood in traffic on the busy avenues of the Big Apple to plant their camera hours in advance.
“This is really crazy,” said a taxi driver, honking the horn in an effort to cross 42nd Street at Grand Central Station, one of the most popular spots to photograph the moment.
One of the hundreds of people occupying the road replied with a laugh: “You should have taken the afternoon off to watch the sunset!”
Another vehicle drove slowly so that the front-seat passenger could sit in the window and, with half of his body outside, take photos.
According to experts, the widest streets of Manhattan (numbers 14, 23, 34, 42 and 57) are usually the best place to enjoy the show, and another option is to cross the East River to Long Island City to see it from the borough of Queens.
In this corner of the island amateur photographers and those who have happened across the spectacular sunset mix with more serious photographers, the latter planting their cameras hours in advance, some in the highest of places, such as the Pershing Square bridge.
Carolina Pereira, a Colombian tourist, says she searched the news for where to go, and her friend María Ortiz describes the colorful scenery as a beautiful sight, despite the “madness.”
It wasn’t only tourists and photographers who took to the streets to get the perfect photo, but also locals.
This is the case for a group of New Yorkers who, despite having grown up in the city, had never before seen the sun set perfectly between the skyscrapers.
“New York is a city of pedestrians. I think it’s great that today we stop the traffic and take over the streets,” Nicole, a student, says while taking photos with her phone.
During “Manhattanhenge” – a play on words and analogy of Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in England where crowds also gather to see the effects of the sun every summer and winter solstice – the rays of the setting sun align with the east–west streets of Manhattan.
If the grid were perfectly oriented to the north, this phenomenon would occur at the solstices, as with Stonehenge, but since it is tilted about 30 degrees to the east, the dates vary, and this year it occurred, in addition to Monday, at the end of May. EFE