PUBLIC WALKING TOURS NYC — Spring 2018

Just show up and discover treasures in every NYC neighborhood on any one of these guided walking tours. Bring a friend and share the fun of a sightseeing-storytelling adventure.

Given the frequent subway service interruptions on weekends, check web.mta.info/weekender for changes and closed stations.
 
» Gift certificates available for public or private tours

» Spring 2018 Public Tour Schedule available for viewing and pdf download
 

Hells Kitchen Mural, east side Manhattan

March 18   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

IRISH HELL'S KITCHEN

MEET: Ninth Ave. & W. 43rd St., southeast corner at Red Poke eatery.

Fleeing starvation during the Famine, Irish immigrants poured into New York City in the mid 19th century in search of a better life. One of the few jobs open to Irish men was back-breaking work on the docks. Hell's Kitchen faced the westside waterfront, a squalid, crime-ridden and overcrowded slum. Here the Irish families struggled to survive poverty, violence, corruption and discrimination.
 
The area's name still evokes images of:
• gang fights along Tenth Avenue
• Design that made traffic flow and luggage glide
• Irish killers with names like Happy Jack Mulraney, Goo Goo Knox, Stumpy Malarkey, and One-Lung Curran
• Cattle pens and slaughterhouses on West 39th St.  

portrait of Inez Mulholland

March 24   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

THE IMMIGRANT, RADICAL, NOTORIOUS WOMEN OF WASHINGTON SQUARE

MEET: Washington Sq. Arch, Fifth Ave. 1 block south of 8th St.

In few other places on earth have so many notable women lived and achieved. For the last 150 years, it has seen an unparalleled variety of women – working class, gentry, radical, literary, academic, theatrical, convict, and immigrant – remarkable women who left their imprints on the Washington Sq. neighborhood – and beyond.
 
Highlights of the tour — literary, art, and theatre iconoclasts:
• The salon of Mable Dodge, a center of WW I-era activism
• The tragedy of the Triangle fire and its role in the labor movement
• The Suffrage Movement  

Alexander Hamilton statue

April 1   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

ALEXANDER HAMILTON IN THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT — “HOW THE SAUSAGE GETS MADE”

MEET: Trinity Church, Wall St. & Broadway.

Alexander Hamilton immigrated to British Colonial New York as a young, orphaned nobody, but quickly rose to be an influential player in the Revolutionary War and the founding of the United States of America.
 
On the southern tip of Manhattan, Hamilton lived, studied, worked, and served to create a financially robust nation in good standing with the international community. Today’s Financial District was the setting for much of Hamilton’s career.
 
Highlights include
• Site of first capital of the United States
• Society of the Cincinnati
• Trinity Church, the Tory stronghold
• Hamilton’s political foes Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr
• Grave of Hamilton & Eliza Schuyler Hamilton

Historic illustration of old new york

April 7   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

GANGS OF NEW YORK AND THE BLOODY FIVE POINTS

MEET: The Bowery & Bayard St. (1 block south of Canal St.) northwest corner at Bank of America.

Just east of today's City Hall and Municipal Building, this was once was a foul-smelling, disease-ridden district. Brought to life in the movie Gangs of New York, it was a place of violence, gang wars, poverty, and corruption. The district evokes such places of notoriety as Paradise Square, Cow Bay, Bottle Alley, and such gangs as the Roach Guards, Plug Uglies, Shirt Tails, Dead Rabbits.
 
Highlights include:
•  Five Points visitors — Davy Crockett, Charles Dickens, and Abraham Lincoln
•  A Five Points Success story - Al Smith - Tammany Hall protégé, state governor, presidential candidate
•  The oldest Jewish graveyard in North America
•  The Roman Catholic church with Anglican, Cuban, Irish, Italian, Chinese, and Buddhist history  

5th Ave Mansions

April 15   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

CRIMES OF THE FIFTH AVENUE GOLD COAST

MEET: The Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St. between Fifth & Madison Aves.

The American Dream and its dark side reside even on Fifth Avenue. The creation of Central Park in the 1870s destined Fifth Avenue, the park's eastern border, to become one of New York's most elegant addresses. But as the wealth moved in, so did chicanery and violence. Great historic mansions housed both perpetrators and victims, sometimes both living together.
 
Highlights include
•  American tycoons with aristocratic yearnings
•  Grandiose homes and what happened in them
•  Landmarked district one mile long
•  Private armies, criminal intent, financial skullduggery  

Harlem Cotton club

April 22   SUNDAY   1 to 3:30 PM

HARLEM HISTORY WALK

MEET: City College, 138th St. & Amsterdam Ave. Take #1 subway to 137th St. station; go to 138th St. & walk 1 block up the 138th St. hill.

In the 1880s, the new elevated railroad converted Harlem from a rural district into tracts of beautiful homes for wealthy New Yorkers. By the 1920s, downtown development and the new subway changed the neighborhood into one of the nation's most famous African-American communities.
 
Highlights of the tour include:
•  Sites of the artistic and literary Harlem Renaissance
•  Alexander Hamilton''s last home
•  Strivers Row, Sugar Hill, and Hamilton Heights
•  Abyssinian Baptist Church
•  One of world's greatest collections dedicated to the study of black culture  

Roosevelt Island tram

April 29   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

ROOSEVELT ISLAND — FROM HOGS AND MADMEN TO INNOVATION HOTSPOT

MEET: On Roosevelt Island, in front of the tram station. Take tram from 2nd Ave & 60th St. Manhattan; or F train subway to Roosevelt Island, then walk to the tram station near 59th St. Bridge.

Set in the middle of the East River, Roosevelt Island served as a place to pasture swine for the Dutch, and later as the Blackwell family farmland. In the early 19th century the city bought the island and for 100 years used it to house the unsavory services of prison and madhouse. In the last few decades, it has become a thriving mixed-income town built from a Master Plan. And major changes are on the way.
 
 
Highlights include:
• The new Jacob Technion - Cornell Institute
• Preparations for the upcoming Cornell-Technion venture—their institute for innovation
• The Roosevelt Island Tramway, a picturesque & reliable transport
• Blackwell’s Farmhouse, a centuries-old residence
• Spectacular views of Manhattan

May 10   THURSDAY   11 AM to 1 PM

ALEXANDER HAMILTON IN THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT — “HOW THE SAUSAGE GETS MADE”

MEET: Trinity Church, Wall St. & Broadway.

Alexander Hamilton immigrated to British Colonial New York as a young, orphaned nobody, but quickly rose to be an influential player in the Revolutionary War and the founding of the United States of America.
 
On the southern tip of Manhattan, Hamilton lived, studied, worked, and served to create a financially robust nation in good standing with the international community. Today’s Financial District was the setting for much of Hamilton’s career.
 
Highlights include
• Site of first capital of the United States
• Society of the Cincinnati
• Trinity Church, the Tory stronghold
• Hamilton’s political foes Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr
• Grave of Hamilton & Eliza Schuyler Hamilton

Gramercy Park gardens

May 13   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

THE GENIUS AND ELEGANCE OF GRAMERCY PARK

MEET: Gramercy Park, Lexington Ave. & 21st St. 

Discover a London Square that became home to creative minds, elegant salons, and the taste-setting Lady Mendl. Samuel Ruggles, lawyer, developer, and urban design visionary, purchased a piece of marshland in 1831 in order to create a park for local citizens. Over the next several decades, a private London square emerged, surrounded by substantial homes. This landmarked district became home to some of America's greatest inventors, architects, actors, doctors, diarists, publishers, writers, painters, and losing and winning presidential candidates.
 
Highlights include:       
•  Manhattan's only private park       
•  The National Arts Club       
•  The Players Club       
•  The Salon of Elizabeth Marbury and Elsie de Wolfe       
•  O. Henry's home and bar       
•  Homes of Peter Cooper, Edwin Booth, and Stanford White       

Washington Square Park

May 15   TUESDAY   11 AM to 1 PM

THE FLAMBOYANT AND THE BOHEMIAN — GREENWICH VILLAGE AND HOW IT BECAME FAMOUS

MEET: Washington Sq. Arch, Fifth Ave. 1 block south of 8th St.

In its earliest years Greenwich Village was a refuge from the yellow fever epidemic downtown. By the early 20th century, the Village had become home to artists, writers, and playwrights looking for an unconventional environment and creative freedom. Protesters came here in their struggles for the vote for women, better working conditions, opposition to war, and gay and feminist rights.
 
Highlights include:
•  The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the labor movement
•  Literary figures — Henry James, Edna St Vincent Millay, Willa Cather, Eugene O'Neill
•  19th century residential architectural as a social document
•  Coffeehouses of the Beat Generation
•  The Minetta trout stream and street design
•  Landmarking and preservation controversies  

Grassy park land on Governer's Island

May 20   SUNDAY   12:45 to 3:30 PM

GOVERNORS ISLAND — A QUICK RIDE TO THE COUNTRYSIDE

MEET: Outside Gov. Island ferry building (light green), 10 South St. Manhattan, next to the Staten Island Ferry. Look for our yellow umbrella. Subways: #1 to South Ferry, #4, #5, or R to Bowling Green/Whitehall. G.I. ferry tickets cost $2/$1 or IDNYC card.

Governors Island is a prime piece of real estate just a short ride from Lower Manhattan with phenomenal views of the Lower Manhattan skyline. Until recently the island was federal land and closed to the public. Today government, private interests, and the public are all involved in defining the future of this unique section of New York.
 
In Dutch and British colonial times, the island was pasture, timberland, game preserve, and summer resort. For nearly two centuries after the American Revolution it served as guardian of the harbor and was in continuous military use.
 
A visit today includes areas designated as national monuments, temporary art installations, and activities from jazz concerts to children’s activities to biking in a car-free environment. It’s a visit to quiet, green, and open-spaces. The big question to consider is — what lies ahead.  

Roosevelt Island tram

May 23   WEDNESDAY   11 AM to 1 PM

ROOSEVELT ISLAND — FROM HOGS AND MADMEN TO INNOVATION HOTSPOT

MEET: On Roosevelt Island, in front of the tram station. Take tram from 2nd Ave & 60th St. Manhattan; or F train subway to Roosevelt Island, then walk to the tram station near 59th St. Bridge.

Set in the middle of the East River, Roosevelt Island served as a place to pasture swine for the Dutch, and later as the Blackwell family farmland. In the early 19th century the city bought the island and for 100 years used it to house the unsavory services of prison and madhouse. In the last few decades, it has become a thriving mixed-income town built from a Master Plan. And major changes are on the way.
 
 Highlights include:
• The new Jacob Technion - Cornell Institute
• Preparations for the upcoming Cornell-Technion venture—their institute for innovation
• The Roosevelt Island Tramway, a picturesque & reliable transport
• Blackwell’s Farmhouse, a centuries-old residence
• Spectacular views of Manhattan

illustration Civil War in Manhattan

May 27   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR IN MANHATTAN

MEET: Cooper Union, between the brown Foundation Building & Cooper Triangle Park (E. 7th St., between 3rd & 4th Aves). Subways: #6, N, or R to 8th St./Astor Place.

As the inevitability of the Civil War increased, New York faced conflicts within its varied population. Family connections with the South brought personal strife for some. Business interests dreaded the potential loss of Southern markets for finished goods. Ever present ethnic and class tensions increased.
 
Once war was declared, New York officially supported the Northern cause. But as the war dragged on, ethnic and class tensions escalated between the Irish and blacks, and the poor and the governing class. Groups actively engaged with the war included shipbuilders, manufacturers, newspaper publishers, humanitarian philanthropists, and soldiers returning from the Battle of Gettysburg.
 
Highlights include:
• Abraham Lincoln, the candidate and president
• Greeley, the abolitionist editor
• Confederate plot to burn down New York
• The Draft and Draft Riots
• The Monitor & New York shipbuilding
• General Grant, General Sherman, and Admiral Farragut  

Private custom tours are always available, beginning at $275 for up to 6 people.