While in many places, the notions of "uptown" and "downtown" can be somewhat fuzzy and vague, in Manhattan, these two words have clear definitions - if you are standing on nth Street, then uptown is in the direction of n+1th Street, while downtown is in the direction of n-1th Street.
What do you call the directions orthogonal to that? That is, if you are standing on 8th Avenue, what do you call the direction you travel to get to 7th Avenue or 9th Avenue? (In particular, what do people who actually live in New York call these directions? It's not difficult to come up with reasonably clear ways of expressing these directions [see below], but I want to know what natives call it.)
Possible options (but I have no idea which of these, if any, are actually used by New York natives):
- Just east / west (since Manhattan is sort-of-but-not-really oriented to the compass directions)
- towards the Hudson River / towards the East River (but does anybody actually say this? Seems unlikely.)
- something based on roads that run along the Manhattan coast, like towards the FDR / towards Henry Hudson Parkway (but again, does anybody say this? Doubt it.)