See New York City the best way possible: on a walking tour with a licensed sightseeing guide. I have been leading walking tours of New York for more than 12 years. All four of my walks are unique and I have written and researched all of them myself. You won’t find these walks given by another guide or company.
I have picked the dates for two of my most popular walking tours. They will be the last Saturday of the month, March-June. Schedule is below.
Walk #1: The Algonquin Round Table Walking Tour
The Algonquin Round Table comes alive in the only New York walking tour devoted to the famed literary group. The 2-hour walk celebrates Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman, Harpo Marx, Edna Ferber, Franklin P. Adams, Heywood Broun, Harold Ross, Robert Sherwood, Marc Connelly and the rest of the Vicious Circle. The tour begins and ends at the landmark Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th Street. The tour encompasses the Theatre District, Rockefeller Center, Times Square and Hell’s Kitchen. Guests will see the former homes, haunts and hangouts of the Vicious Circle of the 1920s. See where The New Yorker began, visit the spots where the speakeasies once stood, and walk in the footsteps of the legendary wits. There are more than 40 destinations on the tour; among them are places associated with the Vicious Circle: speakeasies, theaters, offices, homes and landmarks. Immediately following the walking tours guests have the option of having cocktails on the Upper West Side, or lunch at the Round Table in the hotel’s award-winning restaurant (cost of lunch separate).
Walk #2: Dorothy Parker’s Upper West Side Walking Tour
Visit Dorothy Parker’s neighborhood and walk in her footsteps to her former apartments, haunts, school and more. See one of the most beautiful and historic neighborhoods through the eyes of a young Dorothy Parker. Learn about the history of the Upper West Side, its architecture and development, all tied into the life of Mrs. Parker. See more than a dozen locations tied to Mrs. Parker, as well as see scores of local landmarks, architectural gems and historic sites. Dorothy Parker’s Upper West Side begins at Riverside Drive and West 72nd Street, at the statue of Eleanor Roosvelt. The Parker walking tour (20 blocks) takes in Riverside Park, Broadway, literary landmarks and architectural highlights.
Saturday March 30 Noon Algonquin Round Table Walking Tour
Saturday April 27 Noon Dorothy Parker’s Upper West Side
Saturday May 25 Noon Algonquin Round Table Walking Tour
Saturday June 29 Noon Dorothy Parker’s Upper West Side
Tickers are $20 each. More information and advance ticket sales can be found here.
For the past couple weeks I’ve been reading Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives, by Anne Bruner Eales and Robert M. Kvasnicka. It is published in conjunction with the United States National Archives and Records Administration.
If you are serious about researching military records, this is the book. For about the last 10 years of my genealogical research, I’ve been focused primarily on family sources. I’ve gone as far as I can with the family stories, until I meet more family that have more stories. At the same time, I’m undertaking a lot of new research tied into my discoveries about Cypress Hills National Cemetery, where I gave a walking tour last month for Veterans Day.
The book is great because it breaks down the records collection by sections and by American conflicts and wars. The thing about Cypress Hills National Cemetery, which was one of the first cemeteries created for vets by President Lincoln in 1862, is that there are soldiers, sailors and Marines from the Revolution up to Korea. Along the way, there are vets interred from all the little gunboat diplomacy conflicts nobody remembers (1871 Korean Expedition. Heard of it?). This book is good because as I look for information about the Mexican War it details what is known of the records for each one.
I’m just scratching the surface of what the National Archives holds for my research. This book is helping out a lot. More of my discoveries will be posted as I come across them.
It is a real shame that because of Hurricane Sandy the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are closed indefinitely. But there are other history alternatives to visit in the city. This applies to locals as well as tourists.
First, I am a huge fan of the General Grant National Memorial, otherwise known as Grant’s Tomb. Whenever I visit there are about 3 people there, which is sad. It is the biggest mausoleum in North America and a tribute to one of our greatest presidents and field generals. It’s in Morningside Heights west of Columbia and is so easy to get to by mass transit. Note: it is open Thursday through Monday and closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Keeping with my president theme, who isn’t a fan of Teddy Roosevelt? His birthplace at 28 East 20th Street currently has a couple of floors being renovated, but there is enough to see that is still open. And it’s warm inside.
I know, I know, if you read my blog you know I support Cypress Hills National Cemetery. It’s the only national cemetery in New York City, and it celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. Any chance I get I will plug it. It’s open 7 days a week and it is heartbreaking it gets so few visitors. Take the J train from Manhattan and you’ll be there in about 35 minutes. It’s a moving experience to see this cemetery.
I’ll give more tips in future posts. But just because Lady Liberty isn’t open, you can’t experience memorable history in New York.
I just spoke to Ricky at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale. He said that there are trees down in Cypress Hills National Cemetery Brooklyn, but that the cemetery is open today. Crews are being sent out today to work on the damage.
I was worried that my Veterans Day Walking Tour would have to be postponed for Sunday 11/11/12. But the historic cemetery will be open and I’ll be there at Noon to show everyone around.
If you have never been to Cypress Hills National Cemetery, there are some massive oak and plane trees on the grounds. Some are easily 100 years old or older. The “Century Oak” in the center of Section 2 is particularly impressive, and has a special plaque. It’s fitting that a Medal of Honor winner (one of 24 at the Brooklyn cemetery) is underneath.
So that is great news, and I’ll see you on Nov. 11!