Finding your way Around New York
Finding your way around New York can be difficult, at first, but once you understand the ‘grid system’ it’s a lot easier. In theory, it is very simple. Imagine a square block that is divided by lines horizontally and vertically. For easy orientation in New York you only need to remember a few rules of thumb about this and you soon will understand the New York road system much better.
Let’s start with the most important thing: the structure of Manhattan’s street map. Manhattan is divided into three main sections: Downtown, Midtown and Uptown. Downtown starts south of Union Square, Midtown is north of Union Square up to 59th Street and Uptown is everything north of the bottom of Central Park. This is useful to know when you ride the subway. The subway rides in two directions, either uptown (north) or downtown (south), so you will know immediately which direction of train you need to take.
Road system in New York
Manhattan is famous for its grid system, which divides Manhattan into streets and avenues. All the streets run from east to west and all the avenues run from north to south. Take Fifth Avenue as an example: It runs from Harlem in the north along Central Park until Washington Square Park in the south. 59th Street meanwhile runs below Central Park from west to east.
Keep in mind when finding your way around New York:
- Broadway is an exception as the street cuts through the whole of Manhattan.
- South of Houston Street (in Greenwich Village) the streets have names instead of numbers, for example, Lafayette Street.
- Some of the avenues in the east side of Manhattan also have names, in addition to numbers, such as Madison Avenue.
- In the Uptown area, the west side of Manhattan avenues are also named rather than numbered, such as Columbus Avenue.
- In Harlem, both street names according to grid plan and an honorary name are used. 125th Street is also known as Dr Martin Luther King Boulevard.
- Addresses in Brooklyn and Queens run differently.
Building Numbers in New York
Fifth Avenue splits Manhattan into the east and west side. Therefore, nearly all streets in Manhattan have a western and eastern part for address location. Due to this, you will also find an address with “200 East 45th Street”. Numbers grow from Fifth Avenue both towards east and west. On the east side, addresses say east or E and on the west side, addresses read west or W.
As Manhattan is huge and you won’t immediately know with an address where it is actually located there is some helpful addition to an address. To make life easier, usually, the closest cross street or street corner is used in the address. For example 45 Essex Street (between Grand Street and Hester Street). Always tell the taxi driver your address using the cross street or street corner, for example, “42nd Street and 9th Avenue”.
How do you call the streets in New York?
Which street goes straight through Manhattan?
What is the name of the most famous street in New York?
What is the center of New York?
How many streets are there in New York?
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