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Help for the directionally challenged

Nashville, TN
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768 posts
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Help for the directionally challenged

We will be in NYC in a couple of weeks for our 3rd trip. I can navigate the subway pretty well and feel comfortable with it, but I always have trouble finding which direction I need to go once I emerge from the subway, especially in a new area or one that has more than one entrance/exit point. On our last trip we walked 1-2 blocks the wrong direction to get to Katz's Deli when I should have just walked straight. I understand the numbered streets are east/west and numbered avenues are north/south. Is there any trick to this or am I just directionally challenged?

US
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11. Re: Help for the directionally challenged

I did the same exact thing coming out of that subway stop a couple weeks ago, mrspopeye. And I will probably manage to do it again!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for New York City
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12. Re: Help for the directionally challenged

"I pay attention to which way the train was going. If it was an uptown train, then the direction of the train is north, etc"

This did not work for me. I thought it would but I paid attention, then went up the stairs and turned to the left and the right (for example) then exitted the subway, and STILL walked in the wrong direction. Something happens to your brain down there lol!

Portland, Maine
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13. Re: Help for the directionally challenged

In the grid system of Manhattan, one way even numbered streets generally head east, and odd numbered streets go west.

On the east west streets (not the north south avenues) odd numbered buildings are on the north side of the street and even numbered buildings are on the south side.

Delaware
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403 posts
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14. Re: Help for the directionally challenged

If I am in midtown I use the trees from Central Park as a guide. If I am walking toward them, I know I'm going North.

Sterling, VA
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
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15. Re: Help for the directionally challenged

I often will look for a landmark building (ESB, Chrysler) and use it as a guideline. For example, last trip, we went downtown to see how the WTC site was developing. We took the R train to City Hall. Having never used that station before, we started out walking in the wrong direction. My husband looked at the skyline and saw the Chrysler Building and right away knew we were walking north rather than south (south was what we wanted).

Also, in order for this to work (noticing landmark buildings), you have to know what street they're on (ESB is on 34th and Chrysler is on 42nd).

Perth, Australia
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16. Re: Help for the directionally challenged

I just look towards the direction that feels right...... then go in the opposite direction!!!! Works every time.

Nashville, TN
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768 posts
29 reviews
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17. Re: Help for the directionally challenged

I am so glad to know that I am not alone. As if I did not feel touristy enough already. I seem to do better with landmarks vs. north-south or east-west, type directions. It's funny how that is hard for some people and easier for others. Thanks for the help/

Portland, Maine
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11,780 posts
31 reviews
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18. Re: Help for the directionally challenged

If building numbers are increasing and you're on an avenue, you're heading north. On the east west streets , numbers increasing going away from Fifth Avenue.

Just by looking at building numbers you can often tell which direction you're going. Or just ask.

New York City
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19. Re: Help for the directionally challenged

Subways generally travel under one-way Avenues. If you can remember the direction of traffic on the Avenue, you will know which way is which when you get out of the subway.

Traffic on Lexington Avenue (the 4, 5, 6 trains) flows south.

Traffic on Sixth Avenue (B, D, F, M trains) flows north.

Traffic on Seventh Avenue (1, 2, 3 trains) flows south.

Traffic on Eighth Avenue (A, C, E trains) flows north.

Traffic on Broadway (N, Q, R trains) flows south.

If you can remember that, you will immediately know which way north and south are (and thus, which way east and west are) most of the time when you get out of the subway station.

Edited: 02 October 2012, 19:40
Netherlands
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for Guernsey
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20. Re: Help for the directionally challenged

GWB ....wonderful! I'm putting that in Word ^_^