My continuing quest to see everything in New York City

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011


A recent walk in Forest Hills Gardens took me over the three-quarter mark. 1668 out of 2217. Forest Hills Gardens is a really pleasant walk - heading by the West Side Tennis Club, which hosted the US Open until 1977. The main stadium has been abandoned for a while (and is the subject of preservation fights). It would be a great candidate for inclusion in the Open House New York weekend.

3/4 seems like a lot, but the reality is I've already collected all the low-hanging fruit. The hardest part of this project isn't walking the tracts - it's getting to the tracts. Most of the ones I have left are in Eastern Queens and Staten Island - areas that will take me an hour+ to get to on bicycle or public transportation.

Still, I'm confident I'll be done with the other three boroughs this summer or early fall. And then maybe I should move to Hollis next year.

Neighborhoods: Forest Hills, Forest Hills Gardens
Tracts Walked: Q717, Q709, Q711, Q713.02, Q725, Q727, Q729, Q731, Q733, Q735, Q757, Q769.01, Q769.02, Q771.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Mysterious Case of the Ghost Zip Code

In doing our walk from the lowest zip code in New York (10001 in Midtown) to the highest (11697 in the Rockaways), we came up against a problem – one member of the group had heard of an even lower Zip Code: 00083, which is Central Park. I had never heard of Central Park having its own Zip Code, and decided to look into if this a little deeper. Evidence is mostly negative. To note:

1) Looking up all Zip Codes for "New York, NY" on the United States Postal Service Zip Code Lookup doesn't return 00083.

2) Downloading the GIS shapefile for NY State Zip Codes clearly shows no separate Zip Code for Central Park, instead dividing it up amongst several different Upper East and Upper West Side Zip codes.

3) The NYC Parks Department Headquarters, which is actually within Park boundaries, does not use the 00083 zip code, instead having Zip Code 10065. Likewise, the NYPD Central Park Precinct uses 10024. Others places, like the Central Park Boathouse and Central Park Zoo don’t list zip codes at all.

4) Entering “00083” on Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, Mapquest, or yields nothing.

5) Googling “New York, NY 00083” yields 290 results, most of which are property listings through Real Estate Websites on Central Park West or South, which are obviously not correct. To contrast, Googling "New York, NY, 10001" yields about 28 million results.

The only mitigating evidence I can find in favor is that if you enter "00083" on OasisNYC it directs to Central Park (I don't know what base files Oasis is using for Zip Code data). To a lesser extent, there are also a few websites (,, that list places in Central Park as having a "00083" zip code.

On the surface, it looks like there's nothing official about 00083 at all, but that it somehow has gained a toehold in the general public consciousness. If anyone wants to look into how Central Park got an Urban Legend Zip Code, it’d be an interesting story.