In a city where most of it is laid out in a neat and tidy grid, your bearings are easily obtained as soon as a point anywhere else in the city is mentioned. Upper, lower, mid; east and west; avenue and street – all of this is vital information when navigating NYC. As with anything, there are exceptions to some of these rules (such as Greenwich Village), but not all of them. Even if you encounter a road with a bend or a name or a five-point intersection, you are still somewhere that can be readily defined in NYC terms – south, west, corner of, etc.
When writing Inland, I made a good faith effort to describe locations in NYC (and in the alternate universe, for that matter) with some degree of accuracy. For example, you can trace Cat’s exact route to Grand Central at the end of the book. The only conscious exception I made was with regards to the location of the government office. Because of the sensitive nature of its remit, I wanted the office’s location to be kept a secret from the reader. However, I do mention that it can be found in a rather unremarkable building in Midtown – and that certainly does not give much away.