Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Tricks
for
Street
Orientation:
Walk
Like
a
True
New
Yorker!
Here are some useful memory tricks that are easy to remember and might help you get your
bearings in NYC.
Although the island of Manhattan is actually tilted toward the northeast,
everyone here uses north/south, or uptown/downtown.
Traffic on 1st Ave, 3rd Ave, and Amsterdam Ave goes north, aka uptown.
You can remember this by picturing the number 1 as a rocket (it goes up),
the number 3 as two balloons (they go up), and the letter "A" as the head of
an arrow pointing up.
Traffic on 2nd Ave, 5th Ave, and Columbus Ave goes south, or as New York-
ers call it, “downtown”. You can remember this by thinking of the numbers
2 and 5 as being s-shaped (for "south"), and the word "Columbus" as the
country Columbia, which is south of NYC.
Streets run east/west. Even streets run east, which you can remember by
thinking of how "even" and "east" start with the same letter, while odd
streets run the opposite way (west)
Street addresses use "west" or "east" depending on which side of Fifth Av-
enue you're on—for example, 157 E 68th Street and 157 W 68th Street. You
know you're not a local when…you mistake is to walk the wrong direction
along a street because you're looking for the address on the wrong side of
Fifth Avenue
Houston Street is pronounced “HOWston” not “HOOUSTON”
When giving directions in a cab, make sure to say the street first and then
the avenue. Example: “I need to go to 71 st and 2 nd please. AND STEP ON
IT!”
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