NEW YORK CITY
By Manfred Hatton
I was born and grew up in New York City. I now live in Florida. But once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker. I’ll always crave bagels . . . Sabarett hot dogs . . . The New York Times. I even miss the noise. I have recordings that I listen to in Florida . . . recordings of traffic going up Third Avenue. I get back to New York, to Manhattan, several times each year. You might be wondering whether I now find New York to be too exciting. My answer is that, like other places dull men visit, there are both exciting things and dull things to do in New York. Finding things in New York is not all that difficult, thanks to the grids system of streets. “Avenues” go north and south and “streets” go east and west. They are designated mostly by numbers. One of the first things I do each time I’m in New York is take the Lexington Avenue subway down to 14th Street. I like to get off the train there and watch the moving platform. I do that for about an hour. Then I get back on the train and go all the way up north to where the train begins in the Bronx. I watch the pigeons getting on board. I think pigeons ride the subways because of all the crumbs that are left behind by the human passengers. I travel with the pigeons back down to 86th Street. I get off and walk over to Central Park. I saunter along (dull men like to saunter) from bench to bench. I think Central Park has some of the best park benches in the world. I sit on them for hours, watching the world go by. Then I get up and saunter more. Along the way, I enjoy reading the lampposts. Reading the lampposts provides an easy way of find out where I am in the park. On each post, there is a number system that tell me where I am in the park. Even when I’m in Central Park, I can easily find out where I am by reading the lampposts. There are numbers on every post. The first two numbers tell me which cross street I am near; for example, lamppost numbered 7304 is located between 73rd and 74th streets. The “4” designates that the post is the fourth post in from Fifth Avenue. In the upper reaches of the park, where street numbers are 100 and higher, the “1” is omitted; for example, a post numbered 0500 is between 105th and 106th street. The numbers were originally embossed on the lampposts and have been on the posts for decades, painted over and over again; they are now difficult to read. But many of the posts now have new numbers, easy-to-see metal strips that clearly show the numbers. Dull men not only like to look at lamp posts. We also like to look at statutes. Central Park has 32 statues. Click here to see the list on the park's web site. Want to see more about streets and signs? Click here for many pictures of road signs in and around New York.
One question we have . . . are the “squares” in New York really squares? Madison Square? Herald Square? Our report "The Square Truth about New York" will be coming soon. Stay tuned.
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