The route passes through some of the loveliest streets in Manhattan, many of them recently rescued from horrible decay, and tells the little-known stories of earth-shattering events that took place in buildings that few visitors ever notice:
- The Stonewall Inn: This inconspicuous little building, which was built as a stable, housed the spontaneous revolt that started the Gay Rights movement around the globe.
- Jefferson Market Library: This beautiful structure, born of the old fire department’s astonishing failures, hosted some of the last century’s oddest trials.
- Washington Square: Why does this celebrated small park stay so green during the summer? Perhaps because of the corpses that lie below.
- Cooper Union: The history books say the Civil War started at Ft. Sumter. In reality, America’s bloodiest war started in the auditorium of this little-known college.
What Is Not Included?
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
- Tickets must be purchased in advance and tours often sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please book well in advance. Tickets can be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
- Does this tour run in all weather?
- Yes, tours run in all weather including rain, snow and extreme temperatures. Of course in the case of any extreme weather events that could shut down public transit, we may need to cancel.
- How long do tours last?
- Tours are approximately two hours long.
- Do I need to purchase tickets for young children?
- Children 6 years old and under do not need a ticket as they are too young to really understand the subject matter. However, if you are bringing young children, please let us know when purchasing your tickets.
- How much walking is involved?
- On this tour we cover about 1.5 miles over mostly flat ground.
- Where does the tour end?
- The tour ends at Houston Street and Second Avenue which is approximately 1 mile from where it begins. Your tour guide will gladly help direct you back to the meeting location of wherever your trip takes you next.
- Does the entire tour take place outside or do we enter any buildings?
- Other than a quick peak inside the City's oldest bar, the entire tour takes place outside.
- Is the tour accessible by wheelchair or stroller?
- Yes. Other than some rough sidewalks and roads, which are everywhere in New York, there are no obstacles to wheeled vehicles.
- Are there bathrooms along the way?
- There are no scheduled restroom stops on the tour, but we can generally find facilities if the need arises.
- Will I be able to shop and buy souvenirs along the way?
- No, unfortunately there is no time for shopping on this tour as we'll need to keep on schedule.
- Are cameras allowed on the tour?
- Yes, cameras are allowed and encouraged as there will be multiple photo opportunities.
- Is there parking available near the meeting spot?
- Parking can be difficult in New York City and therefore we encourage people to use mass transportation. If you are driving, we suggest parking in a nearby parking garage. Several parking options will be provided after purchasing your tickets. Please keep in mind that the tour ends a little less than a mile away from the meeting spot.
- Are tours offered in any language but English?
- No. Being Americans, we are all monolingual, but we are cosmopolitan enough to be embarrassed by this shortcoming.
- Do you offer gift certificates?
- Yes. If you are interested in purchasing a gift certificate, please click on the "Contact MetroWalks" link on the left side of the page for more information.
- Are private tours available?
- Certainly. We can do private versions of any tour we offer — or entirely customized tours — at any time on any day of the week. Please click on the "Contact MetroWalks" link to email us with your request.
When designing tours, he tries to use quirky individual stories to illustrate broad and important points about how the City operates. Walkers spend most of their time laughing at improbable tales and only later realize that they've been tricked into learning stuff.
His tour repertoire covers everything from Dutch history to today's headlines, touching on architecture, city politics, pop culture, financial shenanigans, and much more. He combines all these individually interesting topics to leave walkers with a sum that is greater than its parts: a sense of what makes New York unique and how it got to be this way.