You can almost always get a general idea of where you are by looking at a street corner since DC is a planned city with a grid:

- The US Capitol is where the grid starts from

- From there the city is divided into 4 unequal quadrants: NE, NW, SE, SW; all streets have the quadrant as part of the street name.

- Numbered streets begin from the Capitol and count up going both east and west; 16th St NW is about 16 blocks west of the Capitol.

- Going North and South the grid is alphabetical. The first 25 blocks are letters (no J), followed by 2 syllable words, then 3 syllable words, and finally flowers/trees (ever heard of a Jonquil?). Only the NW quadrant is large enough to get into the plants, FYI.

- The Avenues named after the state run diagonal to the grid; you can still figure out which quadrant you are in by looking at a sign, but they are confusing; even the locals have trouble with the state avenues outside of the parts they travel on the most often.