TikTok poster discovers the already well-known method for navigating Central Park


TikToker goes viral explaining Central Park’s built in GPS system

By Jesse O’NeillSeptember 30, 2021 9:41pm  Updated

A TikToker went viral for explaining the “secret” to decoding where you are in Central Park by looking at the numbers on its cast iron lampposts.

“Long gone are the days of getting lost in the park or needing to ask someone for directions,” Lucie Fink said, adding that the four numbers engraved in the posts can tell you the nearest street and geographical direction.

“The top two [numbers] tell you the cross streets,” @luciebfink explained. “If the next number is even you’re on the east side. If it’s odd you’re on the west side.”

The clip had more than 80,000 likes Thursday night, and hundreds of comments from newly illuminated viewers.

“I’ve lived in NYC for approximately 10 years. Never knew this!” one user wrote.


However, Central Park’s numeric lampposts are hardly a secret, as any dedicated jogger will attest.

The numbering system on the park’s 1,600 lampposts was designed in 1907 by architect Henry Bacon as a GPS of sorts. 

Central Park Conservancy historian Sara Cedar Miller had an offbeat take on the system in the 2016 Discovery Channel show “Secrets of America’s Favorite Places: Central Park.”

“All the odd people live on the West Side!” Miller said.

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