If New York City is a perpetual-motion machine, the tourists gum up its works. Hurried pedestrian flows on busy city sidewalks are snagged by islands of confused visitors. Time is money, people! Get out of the way.
The tourists overrun not only Times Square and Broadway but also most corners of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Way out on the east side of Manhattan or far west in Bushwick, I still spot the lost consulting their upside-down maps.
I don’t much understand getting lost. New York is almost as simple a city as ever designed, the template of citiness. East-west streets are numbered, north-south avenues are numbered. Further simplifying, Patrick tells me that odd-numbered street addresses lie on the north, while the evens sit on the south (NOSE).
Why then, dear group of Italian women, doddering old Germans, brash Russians do you stare so much at your maps? I can offer some hints: after 35th St comes 36th St and then the improbable 37th St. The diagonal Broadway, I admit, wrecks the grid.