Friday, May 28, 2010

Manhattanhenge, or the intersection of nature and the city.

...



Tonight, at twilight, the city of Manhattan will perfectly align with the sunset. The setting sun will shine its light down the the exact center of east-west streets. Manhattan's grid deviates from the cardinal points by 28.9 degrees. If the city were laid out with the compass in mind (instead of the geography of Manhattan island), this effect would be seen on the solstices, which are the only days that the sun sets precisely in the west.

If you miss it tonight, you can see this again in July. The two occurrences are evenly spaced, on either side of the solstice.

Sometimes I worry that we humans think of Nature as something that only exists way out in The Country. Thinking that way misses the point.

We live in the natural world.

(We've just paved over much of it.)

So, even if you're not in New York City this evening, do take a moment to notice nature. Listen to a bird. Stare at the sky. Notice the leaves on a tree. Stand on the sidewalk, and immerse yourself in nature.

7 comments:

lkw said...

That's a remarkable image -- it does seem to me that paying attention to nature, wherever you are, always brings rewards.

Lisa

Anonymous said...

Beautiful picture - stirs the soul. I came over from Wisteria and Cow Parsley, read a few of your recent posts (love the info on the bees) and went to the beginning. I'll have to do catch up sometime, but am happy I'm here. I'll be subscribing.

Barbara H.

wiseacre said...

Who knew you could actually see the sunset in Manhattan.

I step outside and I can't help but notice nature. The mosquitoes are out in force but it's worth giving a little blood not to have a sidewalk within miles :)

Country Mouse said...

manhattanhenge - loveit! we have 360 degree visibility from our ridge and are very aware of the shifting position of the sun rising and setting as the year rolls around - very wonderful and we feel so fortunate to live here!

Adrian Ayres Fisher said...

Truly, there's no real separation, much as some would like to pretend otherwise. Thanks for pointing that out so dramatically.

Thomas said...

A poetic image that explains some of my favorite themes. Lovely post!

Casi said...

Seeing this makes me really really miss the city. It was so beautiful there.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...