Tagged: manhattanhenge

The Face of an Angel

Remember last year when I was visiting a number of small brewing companies and getting a photo of myself enjoying a flight of their products?

One of the places I visited around that time was Angel City Brewing near downtown Los Angeles, and my mother, of all people, got a photo of me anticipating a flight of their beers.

Angel City Brewing

Late last week, I learned from my brother that LA Thrillist used that photo to illustrate their write-up on a click-baity, listicle about “43 Los Angeles Bars You Need To Drink In Before You Die.”

I hold a flight of five beers at Angel City Brewing

As some of you know, this is not the first time that someone has used one of my photos to illustrate a web article. Earlier this year, I learned that Curbed used one of “my” photos of the Four Seasons restaurant in the Phillip Johnson–designed Seagram Building. Similarly, DNA Info used one of my photos of Manhattanhenge from Long Island City after LIC became a hotspot for seeing the sun set in line with the Manhattan grid. And these are the ones I know about.

A quick web search revealed a few other uses of my photos, including:

Keep in mind, there’s nothing specifically improper about these uses. I made all of those photos available under a specific Creative Commons license allowing anyone to use my work as long as it is attributed and not used for a commercial purpose. Nonetheless, it would have been nice to receive an email or a comment on the Flickr page alerting me to the appropriating of my work: something like, “Hey dude, we used for your photo for an article on a ‘bucket list’ of awesome bars in Los Angeles. Hope you check it out.”

But at least it’s nice knowing that my photos might bring people to some interesting places in downtown Los Angeles and midtown Manhattan, as well as Queens and Kentucky.

It’s Only Fair Use

Last week, in time for Manhattanhenge, I received a request to use one of my photographs to illustrate an article about what the kids today are calling LICHenge.


I often read DNA Info’s coverage of Long Island City and environs so I let them use my photograph free of charge. Also, since I use a browser plug-in to block ads and tracking software, meaning they can’t easily monetize me, I figured it was only fair to give something back for all that content I’ve read for “free” over the years.

A few days later, I ran into a former student around NYU. He informed me that he had shared an article about the Four Seasons restaurant with another former student of mine. He reported that they both did a double-take when they noticed that it was my photo illustrating that article.

Pool Room

Unlike DNA Info, Curbed didn’t ask for permission to use it. In all fairness, they didn’t need to ask for permission. Many of my photos, including the one of the Four Seasons, are available for use through Creative Commons. They’re free to use them just as I am free to use other’s content for this website and whatever other original work I create. Old fogies and enfants terribles call this sort of thing fair use.

Besides, I didn’t even take the photo. Sarah took my camera on the OHNY tour while I went to a softball playoff game. It’s really her work, anyway.

They’re Calling it LICHenge


Midsummer is still about a month away, but twice every year—once around Memorial Day and again around Bastille Day—New Yorkers point their cameras at the setting sun to capture it as it lines up with the Manhattan street grid. Because of the similarity of how the sun lines up with the rocks at Stonehenge on the summer solstice, this specifically New York City–phenomenon has been called “Manhattanhenge.”

I first learned about Manhattanhenge back around 2002 or 2003, when a friend forwarded me a link to Neil Degrasse-Tyson’s article explaining the event, which was written not too long after People named him the sexiest astrophysicist alive. I believe he is also credited with concocting the portmanteau “Manhattanhenge.”

Almost every year since then, I missed it. For most of my early years in New York City, I lived in Greenwich Village, and I would invariably feel discouraged to take my camera and tripod to 14th Street, where I would have to dodge pedestrian and vehicular traffic at a busy time of the day. As budding New Yorker, my cynicism didn’t judge it worth the trouble.

However, after moving to Long Island City in 2008, I realized that I had the perfect spot to view the sunset on any given night, and starting in 2011, I got over my reservations over photographing Manhattanhenge and headed for Gantry State Park, where Long Island City meets the East River at Hunters Point. There, I found that I was in good company of other curious photographers, including one guy who used his girlfriend’s head as an improvised tripod.

Shooting the Shooters

And, of course, the photographic results were pretty stunning.


Much like Long Island City itself, watching Manhattanhenge from Long Island City is “blowing up.” I hate to say that because it seems silly to brag about watching a particular sunset longer than anybody else. That same sun has been “setting” beyond our horizon for over a billion years, and it has been lining up with the Manhattan street grid since about 1811. I’m old, but not that old.

However, two events came to my attention this week that suggest the growing popularity of watching Manhattanhenge from Long Island City:

  1. On Thursday, May 28, the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, the non-profit organization that advocates for Gantry State Park and Hunters Point South Park, is hosting a viewing party. The name for it is a portmanteau of a portmanteau: LICHenge. Members of the organization get some vittles and a beverage while they watch the sun set in line with 42nd Street.

  2. Jeanmarie Evelly, the DNA Info reporter who covers the “Brooklyn parts” of Queens, posted a story about viewing Manhattanhenge from LIC. I had actually completely forgotten about Manhattanhenge until she emailed me yesterday, asking permission to use one of my photos of the 2011 LIC-Manhattanhenge. The photograph now illustrates her story about “soaking” in views of Manhattanhenge from the LIC waterfront.

As an exile from Long Island City, I doubt that I will return to the Queens waterfront to view Manhattanhenge. Perhaps, instead, I will head to Transmitter Park in Greenpoint to watch it from a new vantage point. In either case, I would hate to miss it. Even if it’s more popular than ever before, watching Manhattanhenge from here is still a great experience.

What’s not to like about a sunset?

Clouds Obscure May Manhattanhenge


I tried to catch this year’s Manhattanhenge after having pretty good success last July. However, on Tuesday night, there was a big storm that obscured the entire sun, making it impossible to get any good photos.

The sky was a lot clearer on Wednesday, but trying to get photos from Long Island City proved difficult. There was a large cloud cover that obscured the sun it approached the horizon. I was pretty disappointed, as was Frank who accompanied me for the trip this time. Maybe we’ll have better luck in July.

Kayakers at Sunset

I was impressed by the popularity of the event. Manhattanhenge in Long Island City had a fair amount of fans watching, including a bunch of photographers and a bunch of kayakers who watched the sunset from the East River.

Manhattanhenge Was Cool… But the Sunset Stole the Show!

Manhattanhenge July 13

Yes, I’ll admit that yesterday’s sunset through the cross-streets of Manhattan, affectionately known as Manhanhattanhenge, was pretty amazing, tonight’s event made for an even more picturesque sunset.

At about 7:00, a passing thunderstorm came through the region and soaked everything, but it left behind a great cloud cover. Once the sun went down, the skies turned an amazing set of mostly purple colors. It made going back for a second consecutive day worthwhile.

Is tonight’s evening show more spectacular than the sunset on Independence Day?

Manhattanhenge 2011


After nearly ten years of living in this city, I finally made it to the east side and saw the sunset through the Manhattan grid, along 42nd St. Actually, I went past the East River and perched myself on the waterfront at Gantry State Park in Long Island City.

I first heard about it about seven years ago, and read the obligatory introduction, written by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the head of the Hayden Planetarium. It only happens twice a year, in late May and again in mid July, around my birthday.

And today, I biked over to the pier and snapped about 150 photos. I’ll post the choice ones on the photo gallery shortly.