May 26, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge
Long Island City residents will once again enjoy their front-row seats to Manhattanhenge, a biannual event where the sun aligns perfectly with the Manhattan street grid, with a viewing party organized by the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy.
Manhattanhenge was popularized by the renowned astrophysicist and Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson. Writing for the American Museum of Natural History, he called it “a rare and beautiful sight” that creates “a radiant glow of light across Manhattan’s brick and steel canyons.”
The first Manhattanhenge event this year will take place this weekend. Residents can join the two-day “LIC Henge” viewing party at LIC Landing on Saturday starting at 6 p.m. or Sunday starting at 4 p.m.
“It’s the most spectacular thing,” HPPC vice president Mark Christie said. “Parts of LIC actually light up.”
The event is free and open to the public. There will be DJ music on Sunday, Christie said.
A photo contest will run throughout LIC Henge. Participants who tag their shots of Manhattanhenge with #LICHenge will be entered to win a surprise gift.
“People come from all over to take pictures,” Christie said. “The bridge between the Gantries aligns perfectly with 42nd Street so that’s the most popular spot.”
Manhattanhenge will peak on Monday evening, according to the AMNH. The next event will take place in July.
A “Newgrange Festival” is also planned for this weekend, as DNA Info noted.
Presented by the New York Irish Center and Film Fleadh Foundation, this event will include a talk by astrophysicist Jackie Faherty, a research scientist at the AMNH. An evening of Irish music will follow to accompany the Manhattanhenge sunset.
The Newgrange Festival takes place on Saturday at Gantry Plaza State Park at 7 p.m.