Blog

  1. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Jason Thompson

    Introducing GANYC guide: Jason Thompson!

    Company: Tour Noir NYC

    Phone: 646-403-6909

    Email

    Social Media: Facebook / Instagram

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    How long have you been a tour guide?

    Since March of 2017!

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    I'm a lifelong New Yorker and love this place to pieces and am constantly dismayed at the lack of knowledge people have about where they live. I'm trying to fight the lack of knowledge and intellectual curiosity that seems so prevalent in this country one tour at a time! Also I didn't want to work in an office...

    What types of tours do you offer? 

    I do a sightseeing theater walking tour called Tour Noir NYC.

    Do you offer Niche Tours?

    Tour Noir: A Dame to Guide For is the definition of a niche tour! Tour Noir NYC combines a film noir comedy with a walking tour of Lower Manhattan. The story goes that I, humble tour guide Jason Thompson, am in the middle of leading a tour when my ex-fiance interprets and then tasks the tour group with finding her missing husband. Together we travel through Lower Manhattan and solve clues and do some fun screwball style comedy bickering while trying to find this missing person!

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    I love when people get very into the story and interact with me and the actress playing the role of my "ex-fiance". This shows that the play is engaging  and I enjoy seeing all the moving parts come together and work in unison. I like to think of it as watching other people solve a puzzle I've already solved. I enjoy watching that process.
     

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    Hopefully the next season coming up!

    Have you or your company been featured  in print, broadcast or online media?  

    PERNYC Podcast - pernyc.com - scroll to the middle of the page for the one titled "tour noir" - listen for a GANYC mention - and some light ribbing - all in good fun!

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

    The clothing designer KidSuper took my tour with his mom (both longtime friends) and they charmed the hell out of the journalists I was presenting to. Both journalists got her number and promised to call her for life and career advice. So that was pretty funny to me.

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

    I'm doing a $25 promotion for the next 2 weeks - (from 6/10-6/24) just email me and talk about being in GANYC and we'll set something up.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    Since October 2017.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    A friend of mine, who is a tour guide, does fantastic tours of Grand Central -- Zoe Seda -- told me to join.

    How has GANYC helped you and your business?

    GANYC helped set up a fam tour for me which went very well (picture proof on my website). Being part of a knowing community that speaks your language and can relate to your experiences and pass on hilarious stories and pearls of knowledge is always a great perk. It's a welcome treat to be among people who parlayed intellectual curiosity and a passion for New York City into a profession. Plus I enjoy collecting business cards at the network happy hours and hopefully setting up more fam tours.

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

    Make sure you hit all the major tourist sites. If this is your first time in New York, you better see the Statue of Liberty and Times Square and don't avoid it because it's not trendy or whatever. You're not impressing anyone by seeking out the best dive bar in the City. Be a tourist and own it - how many times are you going to be here realistically? Hit the main touristy sights for sure and then do something off the beaten path. Be a tourist and own it because no matter how hard you try we all know you're an "out of towner". And that's okay. Just own it.

  2. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Janet Kirchheimer

    Introducing GANYC guide: Janet Kirchheimer!

    Company: JanetK Tours

    Phone: 917-541-4800

    Email

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    How long have you been a tour guide?

    12 years.

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    My love of learning about the history of the community.

    What types of tours do you offer? 

    Walking tours: a synagogue and cemetery tour.

    Do you offer Niche Tours?

    The First Jewish Community in North America - founded in 1654.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    Providing those who take my tours with information about the history of the community.

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

    I do private tours, rather than tours on a specific day/time.  Once any reader contacts me, I can be in touch about price range and discounts.  The tours are entitled:  The First Jewish Community in North America: Walking Tour of Lower Manhattan; Synagogue Tour; Cemetery Tour.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    Summer.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    Since January 2018.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    Found it on the internet when I did a search for tour guides in NYC.

    How has GANYC helped you and your business?

    I recently attended my first meeting and learned a lot about GANYC -- met some other guides and we exchanged cards.

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

    Walk the streets and soak up the atmosphere. And have a tour guide give you information you'd never find out on your own.


    (For more info or to book a tour with Janet, check out her GANYC profile by clicking here.)
     

  3. GANYC Guides In The Media!

    Two GANYC members are spotlighted in the media this week.

    First, our Treasurer, and food tour guide, Adrienne Cooper talks bagels with CultureClock.

    And our Vice President, Emma Guest-Consales, was interviewed by the NY Times travel section for a piece called "How to Hire a Quality Private Tour Guide". Thanks for the great tips, Emma!


    If you know of a GANYC member who's gotten press for their work, let us know!

  4. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Prudence Wright Holmes

    Introducing GANYC guide: Prudence Wright Holmes!

    Company: Tours with Prudence

    Phone: 917-723-0164

    Email
     

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    How long have you been a tour guide?

    8 years.

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    I love NY City history. 

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    Sharing the city I love with others.

    What types of tours do you offer?

    Walking tours.

    Do you offer Niche Tours? 

    Broadway theater, Greenwich Village literary and ghost tours.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    Spring through fall.

    Have you or your company been featured  in print, broadcast or online media?

    As an actor, which is my other job, I’ve been in 4 Broadway shows and 10 movies including Sister Act with Whoopi Goldberg and the upcoming Coen brothers movie.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    7 years.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    Hardy Phippen.

    How has GANYC helped you and your business?

    Great networking opportunities.

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

    Learn as much as you can about NY City and go on Fam tours.


    (For more info or to book a tour with Prudence, check out her GANYC profile by clicking here.)

  5. Every Tour Bus Needs a Tour Guide

     

    Please watch this video which highlights the importance of having a licensed tour guide on every tour bus in the city... and well as showing the numerous duties bus guides have, crucial to passenger safety and comfort.
     

     



    And if you are a NYC resident, please contact your representative on the NYC Council and tell them to please support bill 289-A. You can contact them by phone, email, or social media.
    Info on the bill: Here.

  6. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Michael Zufolo

    Introducing GANYC guide: Michael Zufolo!

    Phone: 212-410-0672

    Email

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    How long have you been a tour guide?

    Since 2010.

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    My love of the City of New York.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    Meeting up with interesting people from a variety of backgrounds. Also, learning of personal interests of my guests and their reactions.

    What types of tours do you offer? 

    Architectural, Historical, Theatre, Ethnic Cuisine, Shopping ( tours by walking ).

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    Definitely Summer.

    What special deals are you offering to GANYC Members and our industry partners?

    10% discount for groups of 20 or more.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    Since 2010.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    Harvey Davidson.

    How has GANYC helped you and your business?

    Referrals.

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

    "See New York on foot". It's the best way.


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

  7. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Aaron Tabackman


    Introducing GANYC guide: Aaron Tabackman!

    Company: Urban Village Tours

    Phone: 347-868-7710

    Email

    Social MediaFacebook / Instagram / Twitter

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    How long have you been a tour guide?

    8 years.

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    Failed acting/comedy career.  Love of history and love of New York City, of course.

    What types of tours do you offer?

    Walking tours and pub crawls.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    Helping people.  Love meeting travelers and people from all walks of life.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    Hard to answer because I have yet to be “busy”.

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

    Would love to host any GANYC member on my pub crawl. 

    Prohibtion Pub Crawl:
    Part I: What Led to Prohibition

    Join us as we drink 1920's style on this entertaining and interactive pub crawl.   You will visit several hidden bars some of which served as speakeasies during Prohibition in New York City.  Learn about the important events which led to the eventual passing of the 18th Amendment.  Hear a fascinating story of one gangster's amazing determination and fearlessness.  Learn about the history of the taverns and saloons of New York City.  Learn of the rise of the Temperance movement in American life.  Hear the stories of the beer barons, the big time criminals and the entertainers who became immeasurably wealthy due to dry laws.   And, of course, enjoy some great craft cocktails along the way. 

    6 PM to 9 PM, Daily.
     

    What special deals, sales, events or promotions are you offering to GANYC Members and our industry partners?

    25 percent off any tour.   Use the code REPEAT25 when booking on urbanvillagetours.com

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    6 years.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    GANYC Member Stan O’Connor.

    How has GANYC helped you and your business?

    In so many ways.  Education through seminars especially on issues like documentation, networking with other GANYC guides who have literally inspired and informed me how to run my business and be professional.

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

    Go beyond Times Square and make your trip stress-free.  Hire a guide.


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

  8. Spotlight on Industry Partner: DownToDash


    Introducing GANYC industry partner -- DownToDash

    Website: http://downtodash.com

    Email

    Social Media: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter


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    Tell us about your business.

    DownToDash is a free app to make plans with and meet new people who share your interests. You can post your own plans for other people to join, search for other plans and events, and look at user profiles to find people who are down to do similar things! Apple Store: https://apple.co/2HnLuw4 Google Play Store: https://bit.ly/2FrQSSl

    What year did your business open?

    2016.

    Can you tell us a little about your ideal customer?

    People who move into NYC, tourists.

    Has your company or organization been featured  in print, broadcast, or online media?  

    Yes. Here is our TedX talk:
     




    What drove you to work or create this company?

    When we were in college there were so many times we wanted to form a group to play Basketball and could not find enough people. Also, when we travelled to New York it was difficult to meet people initially . We personally wished something like this existed.

     

    72% of Americans suffer from loneliness and experience this feeling as often as once a week while 88% of people who move into new cities find it difficult to make friends. Moreover, loneliness is increasingly growing among millennials with 56% college students feeling lonely while 40% of them have no close friends on campus. Then there are people with many friends, who still find it difficult to meet people to share specific activities with.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    Connecting people.

  9. Licensed NYC Guides Get Complimentary Admission

    The GANYC PR Committee has been working to compile a comprehensive of NYC museums & cultural institutions that offer complimentary admission to anyone with a valid sightseeing guide license. Here is what we have. Please let us know if a) any of these are not correct, and b) we are missing any.

    1. Statue Cruises (Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island)
    2. The Museum of the City of New York
    3. Tenement Museum
    4. New York Historical Society
    5. Museum of the Moving Image
    6. Cathedral of St John the Divine
    7. Museum of American Finance
    8. Eldridge Street Synagogue
    9. The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)
    10. Morris-Jumel Mansion (with a group only)


    ​There are other institutions that may allow it on a case-by-case basis, but for the purposes of this list, we have only included those that have an official policy on it.

    (This is not counting pay-what-you-wish places-- like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Natural History-- where New York City residents can get in for low price or free if they so choose.)

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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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