The Secret to Never Getting Lost in Central Park

Aerial view of Central Park in New York City
Photo: Peter Adams/Getty Images

There are many places in New York City where you can easily get lost, but none are quite so confusing as Central Park.

The beautiful, expansive, and largely unmarked part of Manhattan can turn around even the most seasoned New Yorker. But there is a good trick for navigating your way through the park without resorting to Google Maps.

Next time you’re wandering down the winding paths, staring at the grassy knolls and feeling like Kevin McCallister in "Home Alone 2", all you need to do is look at the lamp posts to guide your way.

The Discovery Channel show revealed that Central Park’s 1,600 lamp posts feature an embossed set of numbers on the base. The first two or three digits tell you the closest cross-street. If the last number is odd, you’re on the west side of Manhattan; if it’s even, you’re on the east side.

So, if you see a lamp post with the numbers 6809, you’re near 68th Street on the West Side.

Now you can save your phone battery for more important things, like posting amazing skyline pictures on Instagram.

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