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A Day Full of Light

New York is full of unique places to experience the sun. Here is one day’s itinerary, from dawn to dusk and beyond.

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Midtown in the Fifties.  

6 a.m.
Hamilton Park, Weehawken, New Jersey.

The best place to watch sunrise. Take the 165 Westwood/New York bus from Port Authority, jump out just after the Lincoln Tunnel, and watch the sun creep up to silhouette the Manhattan skyline.

7 a.m.
Q train, Manhattan Bridge.

When your train starts climbing the slope of the bridge, look to the left: On a sunny day, downtown Manhattan is washed in a pale-yellow glow.

11 a.m.
Japan Society, 333 E. 47th St., nr. First Ave.

In the lobby, tall bamboo plants are bathed in sun rays from the slanted glass ceiling, while second-floor lights reflect gently in the pool under the stairs. A contemplative experience.

12 p.m.
Church of St. James, Fordham, 2500 Jerome Ave., at 190th St., the Bronx.

This jewel box tucked away on a small hill has several Tiffany windows. Warm southern light pours in through “The True Vine,” which seems to come alive as the light shifts through the day.

2 p.m.
Winter Garden at the World Financial Center.

When the sun shines, it looks like a giant soap bubble, shimmering on the bank of the Hudson.

3 p.m.
Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle, nr. 58th St.

Wear your shades: In late afternoon, the sun’s reflection against the glass façade makes the building appear engulfed in flames.

5 p.m.
James Turrell’s Meeting at P.S. 1, 22-25 Jackson Ave., at 46th Ave., Long Island City.

One hour before dusk—the only time this installation is open—as you gaze through the open ceiling, the color of the darkening sky is beautifully offset by the orange glow projected on white walls.

7 p.m.
Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl., in Robert Wagner Park.

Sunset from the third-floor vertical windows that frame Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty is so striking, the museum staff often gathers to experience it together.

9 p.m.
Upper West Side.

The eerie white glow emanating from a nighttime film shoot can make you feel like an extra. Currently shooting: August Rush with Terrence Howard.

11 p.m.
Smallpox Hospital, Roosevelt Island.

Driving down the FDR near 50th Street, look to your left. At night, the ruins of Smallpox Hospital, built in 1854, glow with ghostly greenish light.


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