Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Almost Aligned

Twice a year the sun sets aligned with east-west streets of Manhattan. It is called Manhattanhenge, which I guess describes it well, but I wish there were a less druidic, more New York kind of term. I missed the May alignment and planned to capture it last Friday. I watched all day as the clouds slowly gathered, pretty much obscuring the sun by sunset. So I went out on Saturday.

Things looked promising as I started out at Houston Street, with the sun falling on both sides of the street. But on the numbered streets, it was just an ordinary summer sunset. Even 14th Street had golden sun on one side and shadow on the other. I was surprised that the sun had shifted so much in one day. The light was really pretty so I decided to continue taking pictures.

This was from Union Square Park.

The just before sunset, it all came together, just a little off center.

I scrambled to get the picture when three young women pranced into my frame, their arms linked in joyous friendship. They are just visible past the odd trailer thing on the sidewalk. There did seem to be a sort of camaraderie in the air. When I was standing in the street to take a picture, a cab driver waited to turn and did not try to run me down. Things were a little rowdier on 23rd Street.

The shadowy blur on the left was a biker about to careen into me and my tripod. I have to be a little more careful in where I choose to stand next time. In November the alignment occurs at sunrise. Maybe at dawn the traffic will be calmer.

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