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Thread: Down

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    #1

    Down

    What does "I live down broadway" mean?
    I tried the dictionary but it gives a couple of possible answers. I would like to hear what you have to say.


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    #2

    Re: Down

    Quote Originally Posted by karitaru View Post
    What does "I live down broadway" mean?
    I tried the dictionary but it gives a couple of possible answers. I would like to hear what you have to say.

    In Boston, "I live down on Broadway" (not "down Broadway") would mean only that you live on the street named "Broadway."

    I wonder if that would be different in New York, because New York has an Uptown and a Downtown.

    Boston has a Downtown, but no Uptown. And in Boston, Downtown is not a direction. It is a specific shopping area in the center of the city.
    "I'm going downtown to shop for shoes."
    "Where did you buy that?" "Downtown."

    In Boston, the old-timers used to say, "He lives down Maine" or "He's from down Maine." "From down Maine" is used only for Maine, and it's confusing because Maine is north of Boston.

    But if you talked about the relatives you left behind "down home," you were from the Canadian Maritime Provinces -- "down home" to them but not to others.

    If you were coming to Boston from New York, you were "coming on from New York."

    If you were coming to Boston from anywhere else, there's no special word for it because it's only to be expected that if you are from somewhere else, you would naturally want to come to Boston.

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    #3

    Re: Up

    You know what, I am really so sorry. It's a sentence I was translating like two years ago, and I could have sweared that it was down.
    It seems after rechecking it that it is up not down. It is actually the following sentence.

    I TOOK a large room, far up Broadway, in a huge old building whose upper stories had been wholly unoccupied for years, until I came.
    This statement is from a Mark Twain book, so the 1800s. And yes it is in New York.

    What would you say to "up" here? I have a hunch that it means north, but I am not so sure.

    Thank you for your reply, though.

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    #4

    Re: Up

    Quote Originally Posted by karitaru View Post
    You know what, I am really so sorry. It's a sentence I was translating like two years ago, and I could have sweared that it was down.
    It seems after rechecking it that it is up not down. It is actually the following sentence.



    This statement is from a Mark Twain book, so the 1800s. And yes it is in New York.

    What would you say to "up" here? I have a hunch that it means north, but I am not so sure.

    Thank you for your reply, though.
    Dear karitaru:

    In towns and cities, people get into the habit of referring to places as 'up' and 'down'. Sometimes this is for very obvious logical reasons. In the case of a street, it could be because it's on a slope. Sometimes it's just a tradition that has no apparent logic.
    In the Twain sentence you quote, he may want to give the impression that his lodgings were some distance away from the central, busy, populated part of the street, or 'far up Broadway' may simply mean the room was quite a distance from some other reference point previously mentioned.

    I hope this is helpful,

    Petra


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    #5

    Re: Up

    Quote Originally Posted by karitaru View Post
    You know what, I am really so sorry. It's a sentence I was translating like two years ago, and I could have sweared that it was down.
    It seems after rechecking it that it is up not down. It is actually the following sentence.



    This statement is from a Mark Twain book, so the 1800s. And yes it is in New York.

    What would you say to "up" here? I have a hunch that it means north, but I am not so sure.

    Thank you for your reply, though.
    Petra might be right, but I'd bet on its meaning "in the Uptown direction on Broadway" or "the part of Broadway that is Uptown."

    This article considers "uptown" as a direction (north)
    "'Uptown'and 'downtown,' popular directional expressions, are relative terms: traveling south from any point is to travel downtown, and north from any point uptown. By and large, however, the downtown district is below 14th St. Occasionally 'midtown' is used to designate the area embraced by Seventh and Lexington Aves. and 34th and 57th Sts. 'Cross-town' is from east to west and vice versa."
    New York - New York City Uptown Downtown

    This article considers Uptown and Downtown as places, not directions, with uptown and downtown further split in half into the East Side (Upper East Side and Lower East Side) and the West Side. "Up" is still "north' however.
    New York City: Getting to Know : Neighborhoods in Brief : Uptown | Frommers.com

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    #6

    Re: Up

    I take "I live down Broadway" to mean "a fair distance along, on Broadway." Same thing for "up".

    Depends on the speaker's point of view -- which direction seems unfamiliar, new, uphill, whatever we want to express beyond "along."

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