Here's a situation we've all faced: you take the train to somewhere and walk out the closest exit. Then you look around, trying to figure out where you are, and which direction you need to walk to get where you are going. Sometimes it's not a big deal to find your way-- if there's an obvious landmark, like the Empire State Building or Citibank Building in view, for instance-- but often times you have to walk a block or two to see which way the street signs are going. Always helpful, Kottke just sent us a link to this guerilla graffiti project-- the idea is that some of us streetart types would print out these stencils, and then hit the streets outside the exits of the 470+ train stations. Of course this plan depends on the graffiti artist knowing the correct direction to point the stencil, and on trusting that they want to point you in the right direction.

Until someone puts this plan into action, here are some tips that serve us well when leaving the subway:
-- Read the signs-- they often tell you what corner the stairway opens on to (Northeast corner of Essex and Delancey, for instance.)
-- Use the power of the sun-- in the morning, it's generally in the east, in the afternoon, it's in the west
-- Know the major streets-- 5th Avenue points south, Lafayette goes north, etc.
-- Topography: Manhattan generally slopes up in a northern direction
-- Try to keep track of the train-- often you have to turn a few times walking out, but if you know the train is moving North, you can often figure out what direction you are walking just from that.

Do you guys have any other strategies for finding your way?