Do I look like a Tourist?
Whenever my family goes on vacation and visits cities with historical or cultural significance we always use tour guides. We Find that the information is generally accessible via mobile device or guidebook, but great tour guides provide breadth and depth that you will never obtain on your own. We have toured Jerusalem, London, Sydney, Disney World, and much, much more! However, we happen to live in one of the most historical and culturally dynamic cities of the world, and we rarely think to tour here … that changes now with today’s Find.
Instagram is abuzz with selfies at Wynwood Walls in Miami, and yet NYC is synonymous with graffiti art. Though it didn’t originate in New York (thank you Philly), it certainly was popularized here during the 70’s. The incredible thing about graffiti and street art is that it is a balance between the criminal and the beautiful. Similarly, there is a constant battle between authorities and artists, making its existence ephemeral. However, in Bushwick there is critical mass made possible by groups such as the Bushwick Collective which offers a constantly changing and curated selection of graffiti and street art with the approval of the building owners. Here you can see local and world famous artists’ tags, bombs, and murals. Go on a private tour with the folks at Brooklyn Unplugged Tours and understand where everything is, why it is there, and what it means. You will be able to gain access into this world that looks beautiful, but has significantly deeper meaning and backstories that aren’t readily available to the casual observer. So, don’t forget your phones and your selfie sticks, #bushwickcollective #brooklynstreetart.
Many consider the West Village to be the Bohemian capital, the cradle of the modern LGBT movement, and the East Coast birthplace of both the Beat and ’60s counterculture movements. It has a long history of preservation and despite some inevitable gentrification, it has kept much of its earlier ethos. As a result there is much in the way of diversity, particularly in retail, and especially in food. It is one of the great culinary destinations for take out or quick service food for many ethnicities and lends itself perfectly to a food walking tour! Experience the history of the West Village through the various purveyors and food vendors with the help of experts at Sidewalks of NY. Go with a group of friends and an empty belly and experience an amazing array of foods and cultures, all while learning about the history of this great neighborhood. PS. As a venerable NYer, I implore you to not miss their Lower East Side Food Tour as well.
Long before New York City was called the Big Apple it was Called The Big Onion. Sign up for one of the group tours or book a private tour with this critically acclaimed touring company that has a variety of possible tours. Come explore the merging of a long history with the modern requirements of a growing city. Tours include Central Park, Penn Station, Wall Street, Brooklyn Heights and much much more. You won’t be disappointed and you might even be able to give a tour to your out of town guests!
There is a ton of history that you probably drive by everyday on your commute to work, or walk by with your dog, that you are completely unaware of. For this, there is the History Here App which is free and provides alerts when you are near some place that is historic. This app is part of the History Channel and covers the entire United States — it is particularly slick and is rich in detail and interesting facts. Turn your everyday walks/drives into your own tour and really learn about the city you inhabit.