Posts Tagged ‘walking tour’

New tour at the tenement museum

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
The old Loew's Canal, built 1927

The old Loew's Canal, built 1927

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is kicking off the outdoor season April 4 with a new walking tour, Immigrant Soles.

The museum has given a walking tour of the Lower East Side since 2005, but this one has a new focus on the daily lives of neighborhood immigrants from 1863 to 1935. How did they spend their time (as much as possible, outside their overcrowded and airless apartments)? How did they create an American identity? What were their everyday struggles?

Hints come from newspaper ads; from the advice column in the Jewish socialist newspaper, The Forward; and from “the historical landscape itself,” says David Favaloro, director of curatorial affairs.

Some things haven’t changed so much: just as young people today—including the children of immigrants—often work in retail, teenage girls coveted jobs at the E. Ridley & Sons department store, where the pay was not so hot, but the work sure beat the garment factories.

Favaloro led a preview of the walk this week with VP of Education Annie Polland. The tour covers shopping, worshiping, banking, politics, education, and entertainment. And because the Lower East Side is very much an immigrant neighborhood still, it’s the farthest thing from a theme park.

New York is full of walking tours, many of which are worthwhile. What I liked most about this one is that it doesn’t focus on the famous Someones or the Major Incidents. This is about ordinary life a century ago, and the ways in which people navigated its demands and complexity.

“Historians have to pick their theme,” Polland says. “Living there, you experience it all at once.”

The 90-minute tour will be offered once a day Saturday and Sunday, starting April 6, and will expand to twice daily by summer. Admission is $17 for adults, $13 students & seniors. A discount is available if you combine it with tickets for a tenement tour and make a day of it—god knows it won’t be hard to find a place for lunch.

And stay tuned for another walking tour this fall!

Irish and more

Friday, March 13th, 2009

A quick roundup of many weekend events, mostly centered around St. Patrick’s Day:

Museum events: Music, food

Traditional Irish songs by Irish Fever at 7:30 and 9 pm Saturday, Historic Richmond Town, 441 Clarke Ave, Staten Island. $15. Reservations required; call (718) 351-1611, ext. 281.

“Bridget Murphy’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration,” with samplings of 19th-century Irish-American foods and Irish music. 6 pm Tuesday. Call (212) 777-1089 for reservations (suggested). $30. Merchant’s House Museum, 29 E. Fourth St.

Walking Tours

Big Onion Walking Tours: “St. Patrick’s Weekend Irish New York,” meeting in front of St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway between Vesey and Fulton. (212) 439-1090, bigonion.com. 1 pm Saturday.

Adventure on a Shoestring: “When Irish Eyes Were Smiling!” A walk in Clinton, meeting on the northeast corner of Eighth Ave and 48th St. 2 pm Saturday, (212) 265-2663. $10.

NYC Discovery Tours: “Little Ireland and Little Italy History and Tasting Tour,” visiting cultural and gastronomic sites of importance to Irish and Italian immigration, with a sampling of foods. 1 and 3:45 pm Saturday, noon and 2:45 pm Sunday. Call (212) 465-3331 for reservations and meeting place. $22.

Gotham Walking Tours: “Immigrant New York City,” a tour of Lower Manhattan, meeting on the southwest corner of Chambers and Centre. 11 am Sunday, (646) 645-5782, walkingnyctours.com. $20; $18 for seniors.

Center for the Urban Environment: “The Yiddish Rialto,” a tour of the Second Avenue theater district, meeting in front of the Sunshine Theater, 143 E. Houston. 11:30 am Sunday, (718) 788-8500, ext. 217, bcue.org. $13.

Bowery and Canal Walking Tours: “Five Points and the Irish,” meeting at City Hall Park, Broadway and Park Row. 1 pm Sunday, (917) 602-3543. $15; $12 for seniors & students.

Joyce Gold History Tours: “Hell’s Kitchen and Its Vivid Irish Past,” meeting on the northwest corner of Tenth Ave and 42nd St. 1 pm Sunday, (212) 242-5762, joycegoldhistorytours.com. $15; $12 for seniors.

Gearing up for Chinese New Year

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

The Museum of Chinese in America will give a walking tour, with shopping and tasting, from 1  to 2:30 pm Saturday, Jan. 17, to show Chinatown’s preparations for the Year of the Ox, which begins January 26. Tickets are $15 ($12 for seniors and students), and the tour meets on the second floor of the museum at 70 Mulberry St. If you can’t make it, they’ll also have walking tours on Jan. 24 and 31.

Farther south, on Sunday, Jan. 18, the Staten Island Zoo gears up for the holiday with “unique crafts and special feeding and presentations showcasing the zoo’s Chinese horoscope animals.” That’s a cool idea, and it’s a nice little zoo with a great batch of rattlesnakes. Activities run from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, and admission is $7 for adults, $4 for children. The zoo is at 614 Broadway on Staten Island. You can get there on the S53 bus from Bay Ridge or by taking the S48 bus at the ferry terminal; see their website for directions.

Start the new year on Main Street (Flushing)

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Flushing, Queens

Jack Eichenbaum will lead a Municipal Art Society tour of Flushing’s Chinatown on New Year’s Day. According to their website, “In less than a generation, this immigrant destination and commercial center has come to rival its Manhattan antecedent. Taiwanese rather than Cantonese at its core, Flushing’s Chinatown plays host to a variety of overseas Chinese groups. Rezoning and greater land availability support unusual real estate developments that include office buildings, hotels, residential condos, specialty shops, cultural institutions and malls. Lunch is available in more than 100 Asian restaurants nearby.”

I took the churches of Flushing tour with Jack Eichenbaum last year, and it was very interesting.

(There’s a late gift idea, too. Municipal Art Society gift certificates are good for walking tours and programs. For more information, call Tamara Coombs, director of programs & tours, at 212-935-3960, ext. 294, or email tcoombs [at] mas.org.)

Meet at 1 pm Thursday, Jan. 1, at St George’s Church, 39th Ave and Main Street. You can take the 7 train to Main Street and walk one block north. $15, $12 MAS members.

Run, don’t walk, to reserve tickets

Friday, July 18th, 2008

In conjunction with its Catholics in New York exhibition, the Museum of the City of New York is conducting a walking tour of the Catholic Lower East Side. Thursday afternoon’s tour is already sold out, but as of this writing you can still get tickets to the tour at 11 am Saturday, July 26. It’s $9, quite a reasonable price for a walking tour, and here’s how they describe it:

Join us for a walk through the Lower East Side and discover New York through the eyes of an early Catholic immigrant. Highlights include architecturally distinguished churches and chapels, including the “Sacré Coeur of the Lower East Side”—the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer—and the original St. Patrick’s Cathedral, designed by Joseph Mangin of City Hall fame. The tour will stop at a former Catholic orphanage and Al Smith’s school and church.

You can order tickets online through the link above, or call (212) 534-1672, ext. 3395.