föstudagur, október 21, 2005

the zero block

I just learned a useful little fact about Reykjavík, and that is that it actually has a "zero block" of sorts. In (mainly Western) U.S. cities this is the place where 0th Street meets 0th Avenue. Sometimes street numbers themselves are based on this (0, 0) point in the city's Cartesian grid. This is a system that was really taken well past the limit of practicality and well into the Twilight Zone in soulless Salt Lake City where "270 West 10000 South" is a legitimate address.

Thankfully, they didn't go nearly as far as that here. In the case of Reykjavík, there is no true zero block, but it is true that the street numbers on most streets count upwards with the main post office downtown as their radial hub. So if you want to know which end of the street has the lower numbers, just look back in your mind's eye to the big red building in the heart of things. (Now I wonder what scheme they use on Pósthússtræti itself...)


Anonymous Nafnlaus said...

Hello Admiral

Well, actually close to one end of Vesturgata (Westgate), where Aðalstræti (Main Street) and Hafnarstræti (Harbour Street) meet, there is a copper shield in the pavement indicating "O" or the absolute centre. So, figuring street number directions is based on this specific point.



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