When you’ve lived in New York long enough, you tend to forget that it can be a pretty difficult place to navigate. Even if it’s set on a pretty straightforward grid, it isn’t always easy to get where you’re going. Here are ten useful tips for finding your way around the city, based off an article I found on Timeout New York:
Odd-numbered streets go west, even-numbered streets go east: In addition, odd-numbered buildings are on the north side of the street, while even-numbered addresses are on the street. On a north-south street, odd buildings are on the west side, even ones are on the east.
The color of a station’s subway tiles can tell you a lot: There’s an entire secret code hidden in New York’s subway stations.
The address of a building can tell you what avenues it’s between: For addresses on the west side, just add the first number of the address (zero if the address is only two digits) to 5 for the lower cross street. For example, 225 W 37th street (2+5=7) is between seventh and eighth avenue. For the east side, subtract 5 from the same number for the highest cross street, so 150 E 18th street (1-5=-4) is between Fourth and Third Avenues.
Fifth Avenue splits NYC’s streets between east and west: The reason that the above trick works is because Fifth Avenue serves as the splitting point between the city’s two sides.
Black dots on the subway stop represent local ones, white ones signify express: In case you were curious why more trains stop at white stops.
Use lampposts in Central Park: It can be easy to get lost in Central Park, but most lampposts have a set of numbers embossed on their base, which corresponds to the cross-streets you would be on if the street extended through the park.
The uptown train platform is on the east side of the street, downtown is on the west (for the most part): So you don’t have to waste another swipe.
The major avenues in Manhattan alternate directions: From First to 11th Avenue, the traffic on every other avenue flows in alternate directions. The exceptions are Third Avenue, which is mixed until 24th street and then travels north, and Fourth Avenue, which runs north before turning into two-way Park Avenue South.
Remembering the order of uptown avenues: “You can take a CAB back home if it’s Late PM”, an easy way to remember that the uptown avenues are Columbus, Amsterdam, Broadway, Lexington, Park and Madison, going from left-to-right.
Smartphone maps: In case you forget any of this, use the map on your smartphone.