Born in Queens but raised just outside of NYC in New City, NY Eric, the Founder and President of Beyond Times Square, can’t remember a time when he wasn’t surrounded by the travel industry. The son of Harold Gordon, founder of Park East, an innovator and leader in wildlife safaris in Africa, Eric was immersed in travel and the business from day one, and began actively working for the family business in 1992.
Eric took on roles of increasing importance. He oversaw the company’s expansion into a broad range of nature destinations, including South and Central America and Antarctica. During that time, the company created travel programs for some of the most prestigious zoological societies, museums, and educational institutions. In 1997, Eric purchased Park East from his father. To take Park East to the next level, Eric sold the business in 2000 and continued as President until the fall of 2003.
Having visited Africa over 20 times before the age of 22, Eric developed a special love for the continent and travel. He has traveled extensively around the world (six of the seven continents) and could have started a new company selling any destination, but wanted to focus on something even nearer and dearer to his heart. Eric started Beyond Times Square in November 2003, to share his home and favorite city with the world. Explaining his reasoning in creating a new company, Eric says:
“New York City is the most interesting place in the world. I’ve always lived and worked in and around the city. I want to share it with other people, but I want to go beyond the typical tourist spots. I want to show people the real New York, the neighborhoods where New Yorkers live, work, and play.”
Eric lives in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood with his wife of 15 years, Catherine, research assistant in Pediatric Oncology at Columbia Presbyterian and an avid runner. When Eric is not working on growing the business he spends his time going to the theater, biking, cooking/eating, reading, exercising, relaxing at the beach, exploring neighborhoods and traveling. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York College at Oswego and his MBA from Baruch City University of New York.
He looks forward to showing you his New York and other cities he enjoys.
More about Eric
Most Recent Trip: Shelter Island
Favorite Trip Experience: Glacier hiking in Iceland
Next trip: Oregon
Dream Destination: Tahiti
What you never travel without: Bose Bluetooth speaker
Top 5 things to do in NYC:
- Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
- Bike the West Side coastline of Manhattan
- Get a slice of pizza from Joe’s Pizza on Carmine Street
- Walk Bedford Street and Commerce Street in the West Village and think you are walking through history.
- People watch. A great place to do it is on the subway. Don’t be rude though.
Favorite NYC Neighborhood: West Village
Favorite attraction/landmark/building: Chrysler Building
Favorite Hidden Gem: Sala 19 in the Flatiron District
Favorite food/restaurant: the main dining room at the Modern in Manhattan and Speedy Romeo in Brooklyn.
Best thing to do in NYC on a rainy day: Sit in the lounge on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, look out the window onto Central Park and sip Champagne or have a beer. Or spend the day eating your way through Chelsea Market.
Best thing to do in NYC on a snowy day: Walk the Mall in Central Park
Tip for people travelling to NYC for the first time: When you take the subway, do not stop at the top of the top of the stairs. There are people coming up the stairs behind you. Step to the side when you exit the station so you do not block the stairwell.
Do not leave New York without…: seeing the exceptional musicians that perform in subway stations. Union Square L train platform is one of the best.
Something people don’t know about NYC: the creation of Battery Park City along the Hudson River was created with 1.2 million cubic yards of earth and rock excavated for the original World Trade Center as its foundation.
Favorite Travel Quote: “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley