Grump, I'm not sure there is a way to understand NYC addresses. Each borough has its own "system", but there are so many exceptions that writing them down in a book would yield a tome larger than War and Piece . . . for each borough.
Example: The general rule in Manhattan is that streets run east-west, and avenues run north-south. But Lafayette Street, Centre Street, Wooster Street and others are north-south. These three along with others are in lower Manhattan, where the streets are holdovers from the Nieuw Amsterdam of the 17th century (i.e. cow paths). The dividing line between east and west streets is 5th Avenue . . . except where it's not. South of Washington Square (where 5th Ave. begins), the dividing line between east and west streets is either Bowery or Broadway . . . again, except where it's not. Confused? Join the club. But Manhattan can't hold a candle to Queens:
In Queens, you'll find a lot of numbers in many addresses, for example 101-50 98th Street, Jamaica. The 101 means it's between 101st Ave. and 103d Ave. (in that part of Queens, there is no 102d Ave.). The 50 is the house number, and logically enough, it's on 98th Street. You don't want to know about the "Lanes and Places" other than (in my opinion) they were named that for the sole purpose of confusing everyone. Suffice it to say that if the address is 101-50 169th Place, its approximately one block from 101050 169th Street. Then there are the numbered "Roads", the named streets and avenues, and assorted other ways to make it difficult to figure out where you're supposed to be going.
I've tried to make this a tongue in cheek reply to you . . . but I agree 100% with t123ken . . . use Google maps.