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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On How the Streets are Numbered in This City

W Hotel, Times Square
Photo by myself, at lobby of the W Hotel in Times Square.

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Getting around in New York is not for the small-brained or dyslexic.

Example: You have to get to a meeting at 1:00 pm at 350 Fifth Avenue, on the Northwest corner of Fifth and 35th Street, Suite 220.

Hello, you have to hold all these numbers in your head: one o'clock, Fifth and 35th, Suite 220. You could easily switch everything around and wind up at 220 Fifth Ave, Suite 350. It's not so simple as '15 Birch Drive'. A simple address can make Mission Impossible seem straightforward.

This happened to me tonight - I was late for a meeting and scurried to 48 West 34th Street, between 5th and Broadway on the 8th floor. I ran out of the subway out of breath and looked high and low.

'48...48...' I saw 50, I saw 30. Meanwhile, seconds ticked by.

It turns out I'd misread my own handwriting and I really belonged on 37th Street. So off I scurried through the darkness, dodging taxis and passersby.

Today I had a couple appointments. The one in midtown, at 37th Street and another at the W Hotel in Times Square. I met my appointment in the Lobby, a guy who dealt with mirrors and hardware.

'So did you find this place all right?' he asked.

'Sure. It wasn't too terrible.'

'Y'know,' he said, 'I think this is the only hotel lobby I've been in that's on the seventh floor. They're always on the ground floor.'

We looked at each other, laughed and said in unison, 'Only in New York!'

6 comments:

Spandrel Studios said...

Wow, I've stayed at that very hotel several times for business, never noticing the odd location of the lobby!

But my trips are usually so jam-packed, that I've probably been in the hotel's common areas for a total of 11 minutes, so I guess it's no wonder.

sid said...

Sounds like a mission. Glad you got to your appointment in time though.

Tammy said...

I have no idea how you do it in New York. I have a hard time finding my way around Saint John and there are probably more people on your block than there.

Kitty said...

Spandrel, it's a nice hotel. The bar is very cool
They're revamping all the hotel rooms soon. I got a sneak peek and they're snazzy!

Sid, thank you and thanks for visiting all the way from South Africa!

Tammy, I'm sure you'd get it in no time. I actually get quite lost without a street grid.

I dunno how people remember street names that aren't numbered!

Adam said...

Its so much easier other here in the UK.

The Middleton Building,
29 Broadman Row,
Southwark,
London.
SW3 9EK

A simple address, you remember names and not numbers.

I much prefer the British way.

Kitty said...

Welcome, Adam!

The British names are distinguished sounding as well. Funny how that is.