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FutureStarrMemorial Day 'Manhattanhenge' - A Photographic Journey Through NYC
Manhattanhenge is an extraordinary natural phenomenon that occurs several days each year when the sun aligns perfectly with Manhattan's east-west street grid, creating a mesmerizing sunset spectacle akin to Stonehenge in England. New Yorkers can experience this amazing phenomenon this weekend. Beginning Sunday and lasting through Monday, there will be two full sun events followed by one partial sun event on each of those two days. 1. Times Square Times Square is an absolute must for New Yorkers and visitors alike, serving as a cultural crossroads where Broadway meets Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street - it serves as an international intersection. Here you'll find some of the world's most celebrated theater productions as well as its celebrated New Year's Eve festivities which culminate with an enormous Waterford crystal ball being dropped. Additionally, Times Square hosts discount ticket booths for both Broadway shows as well as off-Broadway productions available through TKTS ticket booths. Times Square is an historic district that was the scene of legendary boxing matches between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier in 1921, as well as being used for iconic movies like Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver to film scenes. But before becoming the vibrant tourist attraction it is today, Times Square had its share of crime. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani tightened control in the late 90s on peep shows and other illegal activity within Times Square to keep it pristine for tourists to enjoy today. Neil deGrasse Tyson first coined the term Manhattanhenge here at Yale, drawing parallels between Stonehenge (a prehistoric observatory built to observe setting sun on summer solstice) and Manhattanhenge - an urban development project designed to align with setting suns on winter solstice - which were constructed approximately 10,000 years ago and the modern cityscape. Named to recognize its grid of east-west streets that serves as an actual celestial calendar for two days each year when the sun perfectly lines up with all numbered blocks in this island borough, its name also serves to pay homage. Memorial Day weekend and July 12 have proven to be two dates this year when the sun is setting perfectly between skyscrapers and tenements, creating cinema-worthy photos and an unforgettable experience. Although not visible everywhere else in NYC, prime viewing locations include 14th and 23rd Streets, Tudor City Overpass and Hunter's Point South Park in Long Island City. 2. Central Park Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux described Central Park as "a great class leveler," drawing thousands of joggers, bikers, runners, dog walkers, strollers and skaters each year to the lush surroundings and enjoying stunning sunsets in its middle section. People visiting simply want to relax. New Yorkers can witness an exceptional spectacle twice each year when the sun perfectly lines up with New York's grid streets, creating an amazing cinema-worthy sunset. Dubbed by famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson as "Manhattanhenge", it occurs when the sun sets and simultaneously illuminates all cross streets on New York City's east-west grid - typically Memorial Day and in late May or July each year. Tyson suggests viewing the sunset in Manhattan from as far east a location as possible, such as 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd or 57th streets; Hunter's Point South Park in Long Island City Queens or areas on the west side of Hudson River near New Jersey are also good spots. The American Museum of Natural History's collection of prints and photographs by Anthony Angel, who photographed Midcentury Manhattan, can be seen via their Story Map online platform. Visitors to this Story Map can click a spot that corresponds with any given image for more information, preview, and description of that picture. It also allows users to explore all digitized images from this collection - where Angel's meticulous attention to detail - including street signs, storefront advertising spaces, and architectural features -- allows staff members to identify locations easily within his images. 3. The Empire State Building New York City's skyline is always breathtaking to behold, but at sunset its beauty becomes particularly captivating. Two days every May and July a unique phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge occurs: When the sun aligns perfectly with grid streets across New York to produce an exquisite sunset display. It pays homage to Stonehenge in England which was constructed for religious and spiritual reasons centuries earlier. This year's events will take place over two days: Sunday and Monday. The full moon will appear for viewing along 14th Street between 23rd and 34th, 42nd and 57th streets as reported by the American Museum of Natural History; or from the Tudor City Overpass or Hunter's Point South Park in Queens. The Empire State Building is an essential stop on any New York itinerary, but especially stunning at night. This 102-story Art Deco skyscraper stands as a beacon for New York and is recognized around the world as an incredible skyline. Additionally, it's one of the most visited buildings in America with restaurants, observation decks, and many other amenities on site. Make the most of your visit and book a guided tour that includes VIP access for skip-the-line entry and souvenir photo. Your 1.5-hour guided tour will explore the building's exquisite Art Deco lobby and celebrity walk exhibit before ascending to its 86th floor observatory for stunning panoramic views of NYC at night - making this an excellent way to cap off Memorial Day holiday weekend! 4. Brooklyn Bridge The Brooklyn Bridge is an eye-catching sight at sunrise and sunset alike, but particularly memorable at dusk as the sun sinks between its towers, casting golden rays across Manhattan's skyline. Opened to traffic on May 24, 1883, its opening day ceremonies inspired many writers and artists (Walt Whitman among them) before going on to become one of its iconic landmarks today. Couples frequently take this opportunity to express their love by placing padlocks on bridges and throwing away keys as a gesture of eternal devotion - although be warned: doing this illegally could result in your locks being cut off by transportation authorities! For optimal viewing, arrive an hour early. Wide, cross-streets provide the best vantage point of this event while you enjoy refreshments from nearby restaurants or bars. The Brooklyn Bridge is an essential stop for both residents and visitors of New York City alike. A stunning sight at sunrise or sunset, its great photo ops make this iconic structure one of the must-see places! Don't forget your camera as well - take some time exploring all its parts, it will remain with you for life. You won't forget this unforgettable experience! 5. The Statue of Liberty New Yorkers and visitors spending Memorial Day in the city can witness Manhattanhenge, an annual phenomenon when the sun lines up with Manhattan Borough grid streets at sunset. Coined by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in 1997, it pays homage to Stonehenge - an ancient English monument designed with stones strategically arranged so as to align with sunrises and sunsets during summer and winter solstices. The Statue of Liberty, an iconic global symbol of democracy and freedom, was initially intended to symbolize friendship between France and the US following their civil war. Later it came to serve as a beacon welcoming millions of immigrants and inspiring their pursuit of liberty in America. Frederic Auguste Bartholdi began work on this colossus statue in 1875 using copper sheets hammered into shape before assembly over an inner iron framework designed by engineers Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. Completion occurred in 1884 at which point it was presented to Levi P. Morton, U.S. minister to France at a ceremony in Paris; its subsequent relocation took place three years later at Fort Wood on Bedloe (now Liberty Island). Libertas, the Roman goddess of liberty, stands on a 305-foot statue representing slavery's abolition in America. Her right arm holds a torch and tablet bearing the date of Independence's Declaration; her left holds a broken shackle symbolizing freedom from oppression. President Grover Cleveland officially dedicated it in October 28 1886.