Monday, July 11, 2005

manhattanhenge

it's really just such a shame i live outside the confines of perfect griddation.

isti can't afford the sort of law and order that living above 14th street provides, which is why she slums it in her 250 sq ft side of the chinoistown walkup. our crazily aligned streets of lower manhattan make no concession to the griddation of 1811, taking their cues instead from the former waterways and farms that zig-zagged and criss-crossed their ways across the swampy lower reaches of the island. while this provides us with a dead end alleyway to send tourists down, and innumerable nooks, crannies, and strangely shaped lots and buildings, it does deny us the fantastic sight that our uptown neighbors enjoy.

every year, on july 12 (and may 28), the stars align and the sun sets on manhattan. (only literally, natch.) not only does it set, but set it does- in a glorious glow that hovers off our western edge and treats those on the streets to the image of a fire consuming the outer banks of our island, lapping its way on shore and blazing down the usually darkened afternoon concrete canyons. it is new york's version of the equinox, that time when the sun is at it's perfect true alignment, perfect because it corresponds to our versions of east and west instead of those pesky ordinal ones.

one will note, oddly enough, that this burning sensation seems to come from the direction of jersey.

unfortunately, we here in our darkened little cubby out in the cut will not be privy to such a display of the sun's awesome powers of light and heat. we will instead likely be sitting on the fire escape, fanning ourselves against the heat, and hurling invectives at the truck with the never-ending shriek pawning ghettosicles. we understand bloomberg now, we really do. jealous of our uptown neighbors for perhaps the first time, we will take some comfort in the fact that living uptown probably also endows them with just enough brilliance to cluster on top of their buildings, crowing about their views, and stare directly at the sun.

luckily, gothamist notes, the weather is the perfect sort for all of them to burn their retinas.

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