Years of Experience: 13
Accreditations: GANYC Certified Guide (Guides Association of New York City)
Languages Spoken: English
Specialties: Culinary Tours, Media Themed Tours, Art Tours, History Tours, General NYC Sightseeing and all Manhattan Neighborhoods Brooklyn (Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Flatbush, Fort Greene, Greenpoint, Bushwick, Williamsburg, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Dyker Heights, Coney Island); Queens (Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights, Flushing, Corona, Flushing Meadows Park); Bronx (South Bronx, High Bridge, Arthur Avenue, Kingsbridge, City Island, Fordham, Botanical Garden)
Personal Travel Interests: I have traveled to 42 countries and 47 of the 50 US states. Favorites include San Sebastián, Spain, Peru, safari in Kenya & Tanzania, Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, golf and whiskey in Scotland and Iran.
Favorite Experience in NYC: Tasting delectable foods in the most diverse culinary city in the world, and helping to put into context why that food is important to the city and the neighborhood. Another favorite of mine is taking guests to Ellis Island to understand the immigrant experience and how it is, in my opinion, the most American place in the US – we are a nation of immigrants and nothing symbolizes that more than Ellis Island.
Getting Personal: I was walking around the East Village and I stopped to read a plaque on a building on East 13th Street. It’s about a sculptor, Karl Bitter, who had his studio here. As I am standing there, an older gentleman approaches me and says, “How do you like our plaque?” I said the plaque was interesting, that I was a tour guide and had just been reading about Bitter, who designed the Pomona sculpture atop the Pulitzer Fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel as well as the doors to Trinity Church. The man says, “No it’s my plaque, I live here!” Turns out he bought the studio and the adjacent townhouse way back in 1969 (“when the neighborhood was the pits!” he said). He told me about how he has seen the neighborhood change tremendously, and how he and his wife have put a lot of work into the place. We chatted for a couple of minutes, and then he asked, “Would you like to come in to see our home?” I said of course if it’s not too much trouble. So he took me inside. A gorgeous 1864 townhouse, I saw the bottom 2 floors — on the second floor is a lovely salon with a beautiful upright piano and a gorgeous hand-painted harpsichord. Turns out, my host is a retired Brooklyn College classical music professor, and he and his wife host recitals here from time to time, and are planning a big event for the 150th birthday of the building in the fall. They could not have been more gracious. We chatted about being a tour guide, he expressed some interest. He told me of his annual travels to Greece, and the choral society he used to conduct that sang the national anthem before Mets games 5 different times. It was just a wonderful 20 minutes. Thank you, Professor Harry Saltzman! I’ll never walk down that block without thinking of you and your lovely wife!