8. Honorable Mention To All Numbered Streets/Avenues

It doesn’t help that even within boroughs, numbers will be granted to streets that intersect, placing NYC in an especially unique place when it comes to depending on suffixes (street, avenue, etc.) for clarity. Generally speaking, there are nine major numbered schemes, two of the most famous are the east-west streets and the north-south avenues of Manhattan’s Grid Plan. This plan was extended north after New York County annexed the lands of Westchester County in 1874 and 1895, creating The Bronx. This designation scheme became so popular that Brooklyn and Queens adopted similar patterns.

While Brooklyn’s plan follows the same directional orientation as that of Manhattan, Queens reverses the scheme, so avenues run east-west to the dizzying number of 149. To a Manhattanite, this total is madness. The two lesser-known number schemes are in Williamsburg and the Rockaways. The old city of Williamsburg numbers its east-west streets as North or South relative to Metropolitan Avenue. The north-south streets of the Rockaways are all listed with the prefix “Beach,” numbers 2 through 25 not forming anything close to a rational grid (and there is no “Beach 1st Street”). These extend across the peninsula to number 249, which means there are more “Beach” numbered streets than there are numbered streets of the iconic Manhattan Grid Plan.

Learn more about the history of NYC streets here, and get in touch with the author on his website and @thisisnotreale.