Pure, unadulterated, chaos. That’s New York City on a normal day! But tonight, only one of two times a year that the city experiences Manhattanhenge, when the setting sun perfectly aligns with the East-West Streets, New York really turned the crazy up a notch.
I’d expected things would be pretty chaotic, Manhattanhenge in May had been rained out, so with just one chance in 12 months to be blinded by the setting sun I positioned myself two hours early (sunset was just before 8.30pm) on the ramp up to Grand Central Station, a nice elevated position looking West down 42nd Street. That was until the NYPD arrived at 7pm and sent us all away… damn it!
So off to Plan B, further down 42nd next to the New York City Library on Fifth Ave, and with an hour to go that’s when the chaos started. The sun wasn’t even in sight yet but people were quite happy to walk out onto the road and stand in traffic to get a picture of clouds.
And as it edged closer to 8.30pm the crowds grew, and now people really didn’t care that drivers were leaning endlessly on their horns, the road had been taken over by New Yorkers and tourists alike.
I’ve seen some pretty incredible shots of Manhattanhenge (do a quick Google search and you’ll see) and I can only deduce that nailing a shot like this requires both a tripod and a hefty amount of Photoshop work because trying to expose the sun as a perfect sphere and not have the buildings be pitch black silhouettes is quite frankly impossible.
I took more enjoyment from turning my back to the setting sun to instead capture the mayhem of people jostling for a shot on their phones and pocket cameras.
New York City continues to deliver, every day is an adventure!