Spending half of Thursday in Brooklyn reminded me of one of the things I love about the outer boroughs: the addresses. Know what’s so great about them? They actually tell you where the building is. Crazy, I know.

Today I had to go to 1601 41st Street. Know where it was? On the corner of 16th Avenue and 41st Street. Manhattan doesn’t do that. I once worked in a building at 605 Third Avenue. Go ahead, guess the cross-street. Give up? 40th. The address of the next bulding over was 633. This is helpful to no one.

Manhattanites, before you chime in, I know there’s a way to figure out the cross-street from the building number in Manhattan, too. But it’s not a simple way; it involves math, and it’s not even always accurate. Or maybe it’s my math that’s not always accurate. Either way, without scrap paper the best you can do with a Manhattan address is to know that a big number is uptown.

Queens, by the way, takes the concept of helpful address even further by hyphenating it. For example, that same address in Queens would be 16-01 41st Street, making the cross-street even more obvious.


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