Podcast & Blog

  1. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Pim Zeegers

    Introducing GANYC guide Pim Zeegers of his own company: Pim Philip Experiences

    Website: Pim Philip Experiences

    Phone: (917) 214-4179

    Email

    Social media: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn / Pinterest
     

    How long have you been a tour guide?

    I have been in the business for several years and I got my NYC license the beginning of 2016.

    What types of tours do you offer? (Walking, Biking, Bus, etc...) Could you describe them for us?

    I offer tours on foot, by bike, rollerskates, subway, bus, whatever you want. 

    Do you offer Niche Tours? (Knitting, Food Tours, etc) If so could you describe them for us a little bit.

    My niche is 'off the beaten path' and I love to connect my clients to local people and businesses in the city. From street art and artists, urban farms, interesting businesses, cool places. Visit places and have a look behind the scenes. I can do this for a private tour but I also set it up for businesses and create custom programs in their field of business. Inspirational journeys or retail safaris, you name it. And in the mix I combine it with the history of NYC and it's landmarks. I organize this in both Brooklyn as Manhattan. 

    What time of year would you consider your busy season? 

    From May till October.

    Have you or your company been featured in print, broadcast (tv or radio) or online media?

    I have been featured in an inflight magazine Holland Herald (KLM) september last year: LINK

    Besides that I host videos for a company called Hatched. The videos are called First Look and we visit restaurants, bars, coffee places, new businesses that just opened their doors in NYC. It's a great way for me to be in the know about openings in NYC and I love to spread the news afterwards. If you want to check out some videos, check out the YouTube channel of Hatched.

    What drove you to become a tour guide or tour operator or create this company?

    I met somebody in the business that made me fall in love with this type of work. It's that simple really. Personally I'm always looking for hip trends, interesting concepts and special places in the city. I love the ‘out of the ordinary' and I love to share my findings and experiences with others. In my personal life but now also in my professional life. I am very grateful I am able to do that.  

    What is the most gratifying part of your work? 

    That I make people's stay in NYC something to remember. Life is a collection of memories and experiences so I want to make sure we create a great one when you visit NYC

    What celebrities (if any) have patronized your business?

    Some Dutch celebrities that most readers will not know. But even Dutch Celebs get ambushed here! I think it's very important is to stay discreet in these cases.

    What special deals, sales, events or promotions are you offering? 

    Anybody who reads this interview and decides to work with me will get 10% off. Mail me and refer to this article or use code GANYC

    How long have you been a GANYC member?

    1 year.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    Through long time members Minna Scharff and Barbara Dunn Alfinito.

    How has GANYC helped you and your business?

    European businesses find me through the GANYC website and I love the way we educate each other on the FAM Tours the education committee organizes. I believe sharing knowledge is a great thing. 

    What's your advice or Tour Guide tip you love to share to people visiting New York?

    Maximize your time in New York City by hiring a tour guide! 

    (For more info or to book a tour with Pim check out his GANYC profile by clicking here) 

     

     

     

  2. Watch The GANYC Apple Awards!

    The GANYC Apple Awards were held on Monday evening at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan, and they were a tremendous success. We thank our host, presenters, award nominees, and guests for making this a night to remember. Extra big thanks to GANYC's Awards Committee for their months of behind-the-scenes work. You can see images and highlights from the red (apple) carpet and the ceremony on our social media-- Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.

    The full video of the ceremony is now up on our YouTube channel:

     

    We also have the full video of our In Memoriam reel:

     

     

    And the video package for the 2017 recipient of the GANYC Guiding Spirit Award: Mr. Anthony W. Robins

     

     

  3. Tickets are selling out for the 2017 GANYC APPLE AWARDS!

    THE GUIDES ASSOCIATION OF NYC presents:
    The 2017 GANYC APPLE AWARDS!

    This year the show will be hosted by Mark Nadler who was just nominated for three 2017 Manhattan Association of Cabaret (MAC) awards himself! He was nominated for Outstanding Celebrity Artist, Outstanding Musical Revue, and Outstanding Director! Congratulations Mark!


    Make sure to get tickets now so you won't miss out on seeing additional award-winning presenters!
     
    Including: 
    Shana Farr (Bistro Award-winning cabaret star of In the Still of the Night)
    Bruce Sabath (2-time BWW Award-winning actor currently appearing in Cagney)
    Kristin Singleton (Owner of Kristin's New York and a Brooklyn Experience)
    Tony DiSante (Past President of GANYC)
    Roberta Nusim (President of the Art Deco Society of New York)
    Tim Ries (Director of Park Services for the Highline)
    Janos Dev Marton (Founding blogger at Janos.NYC and contributing author to Untapped Cities)
    Laurie Baker (Founder and Host of OutTakes Interviews on BlogTalkRadio.com)
    Scott Wiener (Founder of Scott's Pizza Tours)
    Elizabeth Kerri Mahon (Author of Scandalous Women)
    Kari Morris (Author of The Girl Who Could See)
    David Sheward (Former editor and critic for Back Stage and founder of Critic's Choice Tours)
    Annie Fitzsimmons (Editor-at-Large and Travel Writer for National Geographic)
    Lorcan Otway (Curator of the Museum of the American Gangster)
    Lynda Kennedy (Vice President of Education & Evaluation at the Intrepid Air, Sea, and Space Museum)
    Andrew Yamato (Founder and Blogger at The Whole Cloth)
    Marta Sanders Cooper  (MAC Award-winning cabaret star and a Past President of GANYC)
    Nina Mende (Vice President of The Guides Association of NYC)
    Amada Anderson (Director of the GANYC Apple Awards Show and owner of New York Broadway Tours)
    Ibrahima Diallo (Chair of the GANYC Multilingual Guides Committee and owner of All New York Fun Tours)
    Adrienne Cooper (Chair of the Awards committee and owner of Fun Foodie NYC)

    The 3rd Annual GANYC Apple Awards Ceremony is this Monday, March 6, 2017!  

    SVA THEATRE (333 West 23rd Street) Cocktails at 6:30pm, Doors open 7:45pm, Show starts at 8pm.  

    GANYC will honor organizations and individuals that encourage and promote New York City tourism, culture and preservation while supporting the work and contributions of professional New York City tour guides.


    Use code RUSH at checkout for $20 off general admission!
    GANYC members, please contact the Awards@ganyc.org for discounts.
    All media and press inquiries or press passes contact PublicRelations@ganyc.org)

    Got your tickets yet?

     

  4. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Robert Brenner

    Introducing GANYC guide Robert Brenner of his own company: Pig Feet Walking Tours

    Email. / Food Tours / Times Square tours / Local Expeditions

    Phone: 917-439-0549

    Social media: Facebook

    How long have you been a tour guide?

    Approximately two years.

    What types of tours do you offer? 

    I do mostly custom food/history/architecture walking tours. I try to show people things they aren't going to find in guide books. I also lead the Gritty Old Times Square walking tour for Untapped Cities, the 34th Street walking tour for MAS, and the F*ck Tr#mp: Cheap Ethnic Eats In Midtown walking tour for Local Expeditions. 

    Do you offer Niche Tours? 

    Food is a big part of my tours. I like going to unusual neighborhoods and eating unusual things. I describe myself as a "curious carnivore," although I suppose I could accommodate vegetarians in a pinch. My motto is "put something unusual in your mouth." I also like exploring the seedy side of New York City history-- the stuff they aren't going to put up plaques about. 

    What time of year would you consider your busy season? 

    Anytime except January and February. New York City is great, but the winters suck. 

    Have you or your company been featured in print, broadcast (tv or radio) or online media? 

    Yes! I've been featured on: 

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    A couple of years ago, I met some people from the Times Square Alliance. We started talking about what Times Square was like back in the day, and they asked me if I could give them a tour. I put together my own tour based upon my personal memories and research, and I was off and running.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work? 

    Having people tell me they've lived in the city all their lives and never knew this existed. 

    What upcoming or annual events, promotions or sales would you like to promote? 

    F*ck Tr#mp: Cheap Ethnic Eats In Midtown: every Saturday from 12-3 PM starting Feb. 18th. $40/head for 2-3 hours.

    Gritty Old Times Square: next tour Sunday, March 19th, 10:30 AM. $35/head for 2 hours.

    Custom tours: any time/date/neighborhood mutually agreed upon. 

    How long have you been a GANYC member?

    A little less than one year. 

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    I chatted with another tour guide on Facebook, and she told me if I wanted to get serious about my business, not just do it as a hobby, I should join GANYC.

    How has GANYC helped you and your business?

    Getting professional advice from seasoned veterans has been a lifesaver.

    What's your advice or Tour Guide tip you love to share to people visiting New York?

    Get off the beaten path. There's a whole city out there to explore that you won't find in guide books. Ask the locals what they like to do/see/eat. 

    (For more info or to book a tour with Robert check out his GANYC profile by clicking here)

  5. Spotlight on Industry Partner: Jeff Klein of Luna Park

    Introducing GANYC Industry Partner – Jeff Klein

    What is your Business Name?

    Luna Park in Coney Island

    1000 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11224
     

    718.373.LUNA (5862)

    Luna Park website

    Social Media: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
     

    What year did your business open?

    2010.

    Can you tell us a little about your ideal customer?

    People of all ages who love Coney Island, amusements, fun!

    Has your company or organization or any members of the organization received any awards?

    Yes; IAAPA-- Best Digital Video for 2015 Commercial

    Has your company or organization been featured in print, broadcast (tv or radio) or online media?

    Luna Park has been featured in various movies; TV series (Girls, The Wahlburgers); & print -- Time Out NY , The NY Times, Daily News, NY Post.

    Music Videos: Beyonce (XO), Bon Jovi ( Rollercoaster).

    Here is a 2014 CBS news segment:

     

     

     

    What time of year would you consider your busy season? 

    Memorial Day-Labor Day

    What drove you to work for this company?

    Coney Island is the birthplace of amusements. I'm proud to work in a place filled with many nostalgic moments that shared with many generations! The team at Luna Park is committed to enhancing guest experience while paying homage to the Coney Island atmosphere.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work? 

    It's all about creating an unforgettable experience for our guests at Luna Park!

    What celebrities (if any) have patronized your business or organization? 

    Each season, we get tons of celebrities visiting the park and having a blast! From Chris Rock, Catfish crew, Jerry O'Connell, Sports Illustrated, Scott Disick, Harry Potter cast, Leonardo DiCaprio and more! It's always nice spotting a celebrity in the park-- what's funnier is when they want to be incognito and our guests spot the celebrity--seeing their reactions are priceless!

    What upcoming or annual events, promotions or sales would you like to promote?

    Coney Island Cyclone's 90th Birthday on June 25! Details coming soon!

  6. 2017 GANYC Apple Awards Nominee: Simeon Bankoff, Historic Districts Council

    Simeon Bankoff is a notable New York City preservation activist. He has served as Executive Director of the Historic Districts Council, a New York City not-for-profit organization, since November 2000. His organization, founded in 1970, serves as the advocate for New York City's historic buildings, neighborhoods, and public spaces.

    GANYC spoke with Mr. Bankoff ahead of the GANYC Apple Awards (next Monday; tickets still available!), where he has been nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Support of New York City Preservation.

    We thank him for his time, and look forward to seeing everyone at the Awards ceremony. 

     

    1.       What do you do, why and how did you get there?

    I’m the executive director of the Historic Districts Council, the citywide advocate for NY’s historic neighborhoods. We help New Yorkers preserve our city’s irreplaceable character. I do it because I love this city.

    2.       As member of the HDC, what do you think is its biggest asset to the public and what do you think is another asset the public should know about?

    HDC is at the heart of a network of more than 500 neighborhood-based organizations. We know people throughout the city who care about their neighborhoods. We also have been around since 1970, so we have a deep history of NYC development policies.

    3.       As tour guides, we often mention institutions such as yours and the Landmark Preservation Commission as part of our tours, is there something that to a tourist from say the Midwest or South Asia could attract them to your organization or recent causes?

    Let them know there are reasons why Greenwich Village looks like it does, and what there are still theatres on Broadway. This work is unsexy but incredibly necessary if you care the least bit about keeping the city real.

    4.       What is your organization’s best kept secret?

    If I told you, it would not be a secret. Our worst-kept secret is that we never have publically opposed a landmark designation.

    5.       Walk us through a normal day at the HDC, what decisions must be made throughout the day to keep it moving to the next day or major event?

    The usual running of a small business competes with the inexorable schedule of public programs, meetings and hearings. We also practice a horizontality of information-access, so there’s lots of communication and discussion .  Then the phone rings and we go into crisis-prevention/counseling mode,.  Afterhours meetings and start all over again.

    6.       What was a highlight towards your tenure at your position that you will most likely remember and how does it compare to when you first started?

    Helping all the neighborhoods in Brooklyn (Crown Heights North, Bedford Stuyvesant, Dumbo, Wallabout) gain protection has been a highlight.  Watching the positive effect we’ve had with our advocacy has been wonderful.

    7.       How do you see the average New Yorker, who due our busy schedules, we often do not know of the local historic districts or structures in our own backyard, have you discovered ways to engage the public to care for historic districts throughout the city?   

    Public awareness, walking tours, terra-cotta street signs and press attention are all ways to make people aware of their surroundings. 

    [GANYC Apple Awards tickets available here.]

     

  7. 2017 GANYC Apple Awards Nominee: Hidden in Plain Sight: Portraits of Hunger in NYC, Brooklyn Historical Society

     
    Each year, GANYC proudly honors organizations and individuals that encourage and promote New York City tourism, culture and preservation, while supporting the work and contributions of professional New York City tour guides. The 2017 GANYC Apple Awards is coming up, on Monday, March 6, 2017. This year there are 44 nominees. Below, is an interview with a representative for one of them.
     
    Nomination: Hidden in Plain Sight: Portraits of Hunger in NYC, Brooklyn Historical Society, Outstanding Achievement in New York City Museum Exhibitions (October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016)
     
    Joey O’Loughlin is the exhibit photographer for Hidden in Plain Sight: Portraits of Hunger in NYC. The creative force behind the exhibit includes curator Jake Price and other staff at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Joey lives in Brooklyn and her photojournalist work focuses on social justice and humanitarian issues both locally and around the world.
     
    What was the main source of inspiration for the exhibit?
    The exhibit was inspired by the dignity of the working poor families I met through my partnership with Food Bank for NYC, the desire to make their experiences known, and to encourage thoughtful solutions to the contemporary hunger crisis. For many of us, American hunger has been framed by powerful images from another time – Depression Era pictures of bread lines and the Dust Bowl, or turn-of-the-century photos of urban poverty in city tenements. But the people I photographed don’t look like that – they’re well dressed, have jobs and families and responsibilities just like everyone else. We share neighborhoods and subway cars, but their hardships are unacknowledged. Those personal challenges are hidden in plain sight, thus the exhibit’s title. These are new images of hunger and the people it affects in our city right now, and their experiences reflect an unsettling new economic norm that should be examined and addressed.
     
    Please describe, briefly, what your process is like for creating your work?
    I’m a documentary photographer, working on long form projects that seek to illuminate social justice issues. I worked on this project for three years, and visited 40 food pantries in all five boroughs. I approached hundreds of people over the course of the project, asking them to allow me to go home with them to see how a pantry bag made a difference to their family. Almost everyone refused. There’s shame attached to standing in a food line and most people don’t want to talk about it. It makes sense, but then there were those who wanted to tell their stories because they feel they are doing their level best and their economic reality is crushing. They want to be understood, and they’d like to see things change for the better. After meeting them at a pantry, I would spend a day or so at their home, sometimes visiting several times. Lining up for food can be dehumanizing – you’re both on display and socially invisible, but at home, you’re like everyone else. A visitor to the exhibit might see something in a home that reminds her of her own life – a plate, a stack of bills on the dining room table, a loving gesture that suggests a shared experience. I wanted the photographs to offer points of connection between the people on the lines and the people who walk past them, unaware. Awareness is critical to change.
     
    What’s been a highlight of your work or a particular event or happenstance that has kept you motivated to continue doing it?
    The Brooklyn Historical Society exhibit! What an extraordinary opportunity! First, because the staff is so smart and creative, and offered strong and clear support for the work. Then, the community events connected to the show were powerful – lectures and panels that illuminated the issues of poverty and hunger, and fostered crucial discussions in this history-making election year. School groups from grade school to the university level came to the exhibit. And the press, attracted to BHS for its intelligent and trustworthy expressions of history, was so responsive to this venue. I never anticipated such a list of coverage, and am so pleased that these stories could bring attention to the experiences and needs of the working poor. I still have requests to talk to groups about the exhibit – and it closed in November. Finally, the building itself is beautiful and infused with the dignity of our history. It was particularly meaningful to have hunger recognized in this place as a part of the American experience. Personally, I’ve been motivated by the stories I hear as a result of the exhibit. When I mention the project, people will sometimes open up about their own experiences with poverty – decorated veterans, shop owners, graduate students. I believe that the more we acknowledge that poverty is possible for so many of us, the more the stigma will be reduced. When people speak out, things start to change, and we are at a remarkable moment where people are demanding to be heard.
     
    For our professional GANYC tour guide members, what things about your work might we share with the thousands of visitors to NYC we meet every year?
    Documentary photography is worth supporting. To be done right, it takes patience and time, and in the Instagram/Snapchat world it seems like everything can be done fast and easy. Thoughtful photography still makes an impact, and it’s important to train the next generation. Photographs start conversations, and conversations lead to change.
     
    Favorite tour you've taken in NYC, or if you haven't taken a tour, where in NYC would you next like to have a tour (preferably led by one of our GANYC members)?
    As a local, I have to confess that most of my NY tours have been self-guided. After looking at your list, though, I think I’ve been missing out. My two must-do guided tours – The Amazing "Metrocard" History tour of the New York City Subway System and The "International Express" subway tour of Multi-ethnic Queens. I think transportation systems are a great way to look at urban history, and in this case, I know there will be amazing food, too! I may have to think about some of the others, too, and they’re great gift ideas.  
     
    What is your favorite place in NYC and why?
    The Met. I love art and culture, and see as much of it as I can. The Met is endlessly satisfying to me. Each time, something stops me in my tracks, for sheer beauty, or because it raises some aspect of the human experience that I had never considered before. It’s a safe space for human thought and expression. It reminds me of what we have to be grateful for as a species and what we have to lose if we don’t safeguard our collective treasures - physical, intellectual and spiritual.  
     
    If you could be any one of the five NYC boroughs or a particular store/restaurant in NYC, what would you be and why?
    Brooklyn! I was born here, and I’m loving the borough’s renaissance. Art, civilization, food, and water, water everywhere – so cool. I wonder if we’re doing the best we can to preserve the culture as we power ahead, and I think that tours are a wonderful way to spread the word about the value of preserving the best of the past.

  8. 2017 GANYC Apple Awards Nominee: America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far, Children’s Museum of Manhattan

     
    Each year, GANYC proudly honors organizations and individuals that encourage and promote New York City tourism, culture and preservation, while supporting the work and contributions of professional New York City tour guides. The 2017 GANYC Apple Awards is coming up, on Monday, March 6, 2017. This year there are 44 nominees. Below, is an interview with a representative for one of them.
     
    Nomination: America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far, Children's Museum of Manhattan, Outstanding Achievement in New York City Museum Exhibitions (October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016)
     
    Lizzy Martin is the curator and exhibit developer for America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far. The exhibit was a five year development process that cost over $1 million. Lizzy is an educator and has helped to develop numerous exhibits at the museum.
     
    What was the main source of inspiration for the exhibit?
    New York City is one of the most diverse cities in the world. Our exhibit was inspired by the cultural diversity of our Muslim friends, neighbors, and fellow New Yorkers. At the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, we celebrate the city’s wonderful pluralism. This exhibit is the fourth in a series of global cultural exhibitions. Other exhibitions focused on the cultures of ancient Greece, China and Japan.

    Please describe, briefly, what the process was like creating the exhibit?
    We started with a wide group of local, national and international advisors and community members. We worked with interfaith leaders, scholars, chefs, artists, educators, and families from across the five boroughs, in other states, and even from around the world as far away as Oman, Pakistan, London, Zanzibar, and Denmark. The next step was narrowing down the amount of content as well as designing interactive and immersive elements that would translate the content into accessible and engaging experiences for children and families.

    What’s been a highlight of your work or a particular event or happenstance that has kept you motivated to continue doing it?
    Through my work as curator and exhibit developer for the exhibit, I’ve met many warm and interesting people. It was such an honor to work with them to create a beautiful and fun learning experience for children and families. My biggest motivator is seeing how much our young visitors enjoy it. Recently, I was having my picture taken for an article on the exhibit and several little boys were so eager to get into the replica of a truck from Pakistan in the gallery that they pushed their way into the photo!

    For our professional GANYC tour guide members, what things about your work might we share with the thousands of visitors to NYC we meet every year?
    Many people don’t understand, or aren’t familiar with the idea of a children’s museum. Unlike other museums, children’s museums are places where children learn through play and exploration in environments designed just for them. If you are offering tours for families, especially those with young children, a visit to the Children’s Museum will give them a wonderful sense of what it is like to be a child in NYC. They’ll also be able to meet, play and explore with young New Yorkers and visitors from around the world in a welcoming, safe space designed especially for them!

    Favorite tour you've taken in NYC, or if you haven't taken a tour, where in NYC would you next like to have a tour (preferably led by one of our GANYC members)?
    I grew up in NYC so I haven’t taken many tours of the city. But, I’d love to take a tour of some of the hidden, unexpected places of NYC, perhaps a tour of “New York Secrets” featuring private gardens, hidden subway tunnels or closed board rooms.

    What is your favorite place in NYC and why?
    A local New York City coffee shop, one of the ones tucked away on a side street. I love working at a table surrounded by NYC’s energy and diversity of personalities and stories. It's fun to think about how each person is contributing to the world, what work they are creating on their laptops or what they are sharing in their conversations.

    If you could be any one of the five NYC boroughs or a particular store/restaurant in NYC, what would you be and why?
    I’d want to be Manhattan. It has all of the various elements of my personality: nature for my alone time, sports for my athletic side, Broadway shows for my dancing and singing side, international people and restaurants for my worldly side, and is surrounded by water, which is how I wish I could be all my life.

    Anything else you’d like to share?
    Thank you so much for nominating the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and our America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far exhibition. Since your guides see all of NYC’s wonderful exhibitions, this is quite an honor. New York has a reputation of being busy and overwhelming, but I’d like to encourage people to slow down and look around. There is something interesting at every corner. That’s why I’m glad GANYC is helping people really and truly see our wonderful city!

  9. 2017 GANYC Apple Awards Nominee: Nathan Kensinger

     
    Each year, GANYC proudly honors organizations and individuals that encourage and promote New York City tourism, culture and preservation, while supporting the work and contributions of professional New York City tour guides. The 2017 GANYC Apple Awards is coming up, on Monday, March 6, 2017. This year there are 44 nominees. Below, is an interview with one of them.
     
    Nominations (multiple): Camera Obscura, Nathan Kensinger, Curbed NY, Outstanding Achievement in Essay/Article/Series Writing (published October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016); Nathan Kensinger, Bronx Casitas 5, Outstanding Achievement in New York City Photography (singular image, published October 1, 2015 - September 30, 2016); Nathan Kensinger, Port Morris 3, Outstanding Achievement in New York City Photography (singular image, published October 1, 2015 - September 30, 2016)
     
    Nathan Kensinger is an urban explorer who has been extensively documenting New York for years via photography and the written word, often exposing an aspect not often seen, even by well-traveled, veteran New Yorkers. In addition to giving talks and walks of much of his subject matter, many of his photographs have been exhibited around New York, and often show parts of the city that no longer exist, except in virtual form, as can be seen on his website.
     
    What was the main source of inspiration for starting Camera Obscura?
    My photo essay series, Camera Obscura, has been published every two weeks for the past five years by Curbed NY, but these bi-monthly articles actually started 10 years ago in March 2007, when I began self-publishing a photo-blog exploring the abandoned and industrial edges of New York City. The inspiration for creating those first photo essays was seeing the entire Brooklyn historic industrial waterfront being demolished, and wanting to document its buildings before they disappeared. My first 95 photo essays were portraits of all the old, abandoned industrial buildings on the New York waterfront, and of unique neighborhoods along the coast. When Curbed NY approached me in 2012 about continuing this essay series on their website, it was a great opportunity to expand into some new topics and territory. The first series I did for Curbed NY explored all of the new parks which had opened on the city’s post-industrial waterfront during the Bloomberg era, and then Hurricane Sandy hit later that year, taking my explorations of the waterfront in a much different direction.
     
    Please describe, briefly, what your process is like for developing each article?
    Each of my photo essays is a different adventure into a unique part of the city, usually exploring a place that intrigues me and that I don’t know particularly well, and whose story hasn’t really been told before. I begin with an intensive period of research, digging into the history of each location using newspaper archives, old maps, and books from my personal library. Then, I plan out possible routes around the area, using satellite maps to scout out places that would be interesting to photograph. For each essay, I usually hike around and photograph for two or three days, taking hundreds of photos, and then spend a day going through photos, before starting to write the essay portion of the piece. The essays and the photos go hand in hand, with one informing the other.
     
    What’s been a highlight of your work or a particular event or happenstance that has kept you motivated to continue doing it?
    When Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012, it motivated me to continue documenting the city’s waterfront. Many of the areas I had been writing about before the storm were decimated, and I knew I wanted to follow up and see what had happened to them in the immediate aftermath. In the years since the storm, my work has focused on the recovery process from Sandy, and on the city’s future, as it deals with the reality of sea level rise and climate change.
     
    For our professional GANYC tour guide members, what things about your work might we share with the thousands of visitors to NYC we meet every year?
    Each of the 200+ photo essays I’ve done over the past 10 years is a short, unique piece about a small part of New York City’s history. Some of them are portraits of specific historic buildings, some cover entire neighborhoods. The essays can be read individually, informing a specific tour or walk, or can be taken in as a whole, giving an overview of how New York’s waterfront has evolved during the past decade, including insight into the past few centuries of the city’s history, and what the future of the city will be.
     
    Favorite tour you've taken in NYC, or if you haven't taken a tour, where in NYC would you next like to have a tour (preferably led by one of our GANYC members)?
    I don’t go on too many tours of the city, because I am usually out visiting places which are pretty far off the beaten track, but my favorite tour company is Turnstile Tours, which is run by Cindy VandenBosch and Andrew Gustafson. Their tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Brooklyn Army Terminal offer great insight into Brooklyn’s changing waterfront, combining historical depth with fun glimpses into how the city is currently evolving.

    What is your favorite place in NYC and why?
    My favorite places in New York are the lesser-known beaches and rivers hidden all along the coast, which I’ve been writing about for the past few years. The sandy strips along the Arthur Kill, the bottle beach at the Edgemere Landfill, the backwaters of Hook Creek, the pathways along Gabler’s Creek and Lemon Creek. These places are quiet refuges, sometimes completely unknown and unvisited. It’s great to still be able to find a bit of solitude, in the most populous city in the United States.  
     
    If you could be any one of the five NYC boroughs or a particular store/restaurant in NYC, what would you be and why?
    I don’t know that I would want to be an entire borough – they all have good and bad sides. Same with being a restaurant. If I could be one place in the city, maybe it would be the island in the middle of Pouch Camp on Staten Island – surrounded by nature, calm and peaceful, and a complete surprise for those who stumble across it.

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GANYC is an association of independent tour guides. Each member is licensed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. GANYC provides a listing of all member guides to the public.GANYC is not liable, or responsible, for contractual obligations made between clients and tour guides. GANYC stands for Guides Association Of New York City.

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