New York secrets: How lampposts help you navigate Central Park

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(FOX 5 NY/Arun Kristian Das)

Navigating Central Park's winding paths can be a challenge. Even seasoned New Yorkers and avid runners sometimes get confused in the 843-acre urban gem and aren't sure if they are heading to the East Side or the West Side or whatnot.

And what about in an emergency? How will someone find you?

Here is a secret to finding your approximate location even if you don't have a smartphone or it's too cold to take your hands out of your pockets: find the nearest lamppost.

Why? Because every lamppost in the park has a number near the base. The first two digits tell you the nearest street. (Central Park stretches from 59th Street to 110th Street). The final two digits, the lamp's number in that series, indicate which side of the park you're in—even numbers mean east and odd mean west.

So lamppost No. 6702, for example, is near East 67th Street. Lamppost No. 0801 is near West 108th Street. The number is also crucial if you have an emergency. Dial 911, tell the operator you're in Central Park, and then give the closest lamppost's number. Medics and cops will know just where to find you.

Happy—and safe—exploring!

Arun Kristian Das is a senior digital content creator for FOX 5 NY. He learned this secret the first time he volunteered at a New York Road Runners race in Central Park. He has spent countless hours in the park but still sometimes gets turned around.