There is no other city in the world in which it is so easy to get around, as New York. If you will get the points of the compass fixed in your mind at the start, it will help you greatly. Standing in front of the Library on Fifth Avenue, at 42nd Street, and looking toward Madison Square you face South; your back is to the North. On your right is West, and on the left is East. Traffic police are stationed at congested points. Stop until they signal you to cross. The ninety-four on horseback and the five hundred and nineteen on foot are out in all weathers, quick to see the movements of every kind of vehicle and alert to adjust every condition that arises to facilitate the travel of foot passengers as well as the saving of time of cars and carriages and all kinds of wagons on wheels.
The woman in the car and the man on foot must exercise patience when held up at certain hours of the morning and evening by the over-rush of automobiles or of people hurrying to work or to their homes.
Almost every location in New York is either "Up-town" or "Downtown." Occasionally you hear "Cross-town" but not often. There is no actual dividing line between up and downtown. If you go South you are going downtown; if North, uptown. Between East and West the e9se is different. Broadway to 23rd Street and from 23rd Street up Fifth Avenue, is the popular dividing line. To be technically exact, Broadway to 7th Street and Fifth Avenue up from 8th Street, is the map division. All streets are East or West, as they hap-pen to lie on the right or left of this line. It is against the law to cross a street in the middle of a block. Use regular crossings only.
No city excels us in the frequency or rapidity of our local transportation. We have surface cars on almost every thoroughfare; a Subway and Elevated System on the West Side and the same on the East. At 42nd Street there is a short line on which passengers may change from the East Side to the West, or vice versa, and continue their journey without extra fare. There is also a Subway line on Broadway to which you can also transfer from the same connecting line. Other Subway trains, using these same tunnels, take you to Brooklyn, Long Island City and all the little towns in Brooklyn, as far as Coney Island. The fare to the latter point is only 10 cents and the time about 40 minutes. On each Elevated and Subway station there is a colored map showing the different stations on the route you are going to take.
Consult those maps for the station you wish to get off at or ask the guard on the train. He always calls out the name of the next station as the ear approaches. Stations are about six blocks apart in local trains and a mile and a half on Expresses. All subway entrances on the street are plainly marked "Up-town" or "Downtown."
There are separate tracks for Express and Local trains on the Subways, so look for the sign which points to the different tracks. Except on the Sixth Avenue Elevated, the same system applies to the Third and Ninth Avenues. Avoid travel between 7.00 and 9.30 A. M. and between 4.30 and 6.30 P. M. These are the rush hours when the trains are packed to the limit.
In all probability the average visitor who does not intend to go outside of New York will use one of the two main Subway lines—the East or the West. They practically cover every foot of the entire island and will get you anywhere. Assuming therefore that you are staying in the hotel section, you will find the West Side Subway the most convenient if you are located West of Fifth Avenue; and the East Side Subway if you are East of the Avenue. The group of hotels adjoining the Grand Central Terminal are directly in touch with both systems, as the connecting railway runs past their entrance on 42nd Street. Trains run on about a two minute schedule.
Taxis have succeeded hackmen. Charge per mile regulated by the city. Inside each taxi the rate card is prominently displayed. Each cab carries a meter which counts the mileage. There is no chance for argument with the driver, as the charge must agree with the distance traveled as shown by the meter. In case of dispute, order the driver to take you to the nearest police station.