August 30th, 2008

planet

city places

something that totally confused me in manhattan is that "uptown" and "downtown" are directions that mean "north" and "south", instead of locations. In other cities I'm familiar with, downtown/uptown are locations. So I just figured, when we were in NYC, that a subway going "downtown" would take us to Times Square. But not so. If we were in the village, downtown went to the financial district.

so the up/down thing sort of makes sense when you see it on a map, but I really like directions better. I'm from a place where the streets are a nice even grid and you can usually see the sun, so we know directions. Downtown is, well, downtown. If you're in Delano it's east of you. If you're in college hill it's southwest.

I talked to some people and other cities, like Chicago, are like this too... downtown is a place, not a journey. I don't know which way's right, I just know it's sort of a mind trip to try to convert to the other way of thinking.