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  1. Destination New York Podcast #3 Interview with Lee Gelber

    On March 12th, the podcast committee had the honor to interview Lee Gelber, founder and owner of Here Is New York and a.k.a. "The Dean of NYC Tour Guides." Why is he called that? Well you will just have to tune in, listen, and find out. This episode features a recap of the GANYC Apple Awards which was held on Monday, March 2nd at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Symphony Space Theatre, the interview with the dean, and fun tour guide tips. Please subscribe and enjoy!

  2. The 1st Annual GANYC Apple Awards Ceremony

    Apple Awards co-hosts Kevin Doyle and Olivia Petzy

    GANYC'S first ever awards ceremony, the 1st Annual Apple Awards took place last night at the Leonard Nimoy Bar Thalia on the Upper West Side to a capacity crowd. Emcees were the co-hosts of the off-Broadway show "How 2 B A New Yorker" Kevin Doyle and Olivia Petzy.  The co-hosts were funny, sharp-witted and killed elicting many laughs from the audience.   They performed many bits and kept everyone entertained throughout.   Certainly Mr. Doyle knows a few things about tour guides because he is one himself.  

    There were nine categories each with multiple nominees for the best in culture and tourism.  What really made the whole show special was that nobody seemed to be at loss for words, both presenters and winners.  After all the Tour Guides talk for a living although not necessarily on an elevated proscenium stage.  

    President Matthew Baker addressed the audience midway through the show to remember those New Yorkers whom we lost over the past calendar year including Tour Guides.   It was a rather maudlin affair I'm sure as many people in the audience were moved.  

    The winners gave some excellent speeches including Tour Guide Justin Ferate who all but said the Apple Award was the best award he's ever won.   Professor William Helmreich admitted he didn't know much about the life of a tour guide, that is until he actually took the exam to become one and now gives tours legally.  

    The widow of the man who was friends with the late Leonard Nimoy spoke, Ethel Sheffer.  She gave a warm rememberance and explained her late husbands relationship to the Hollywood star and told the story of how the theater was named.  

    The Bowery Boys, Tom Myers and Greg Young, spoke on just how much their show has grown in seven years of producing the podcast that won for Outstanding Achievement in Radio Program/Podcast.  

    GANYC's coming out party couldn't have gone better.  Kudos to the Awards Committee by GANYC members Sal Balbi (chair) and Amada Anderson, Matthew Baker, Adrienne Cooper, Ibrahima Diallo, Bob Gelber, Lee Gelber and Riley Kellogg. 

    For a list of winners go to our Twitter feed using the hashtag #GANYCAppleAwards.  Watch the Apple Awards at 

    Watch the special GANYC Apple Awards In Memorium at

    What did you think of the 1st Annual GANYC Apple Awards?  What did you like?  What did you not like?  Tell us here.  



  3. GANYC Apple Awards Nominee Speaks at Mid-Manhattan Library

    Roberts speaks to a capacity crowd on February 18th.

    On February 15th, New York Times Urban Affairs reporter and 2015 GANYC Apple Awards nominee Sam Roberts spoke to a capacity audience at the mid-Manhattan Public Library.  He spoke on his new book “A History of New York in 101 Objects”.  Roberts demonstrated how history can be viewed through the lens of physical objects.  He talked about how the British Museum wrote a similar book about seeing the entire world through 100 objects. 

    Roberts laid ground rules for the objects in his book.  They had to be transformative.  No humans or icons could be included.    He mentioned he received hundreds of suggestions by New York Times readers including a lot of suggestions for food.   Interestingly he didn’t think pizza was emblematic of New York City.  He said pizza was more of a national dish.  The bagel, however, screams New York. 

    The Times writer indicated the list is really artificial because you’re only dealing with objects that survived the test of time.    His research included a trip to The Hague in The Netherlands to do some archival research.  This included a 17th century letter from Peter Schaghen to the Dutch West India Company informing them of the purchase of Manhattan Island from the Lenape Indians. 

    The talk was very engaging due to the many great stories and anecdotes told by Mr. Roberts.  One included writer Washington Irving putting a missing item of a manuscript on every newspaper in the city only it was really to be a hoax concocted by Mr. Irving, the author of A History of New York by Diedrich Knickerbocker.  Robert’s said it would be the first real publicity campaign in American history for a book. 

    Some stories include Elijah Otis demonstrating the elevator safety break at the World’s Fair.   A ticket from the Third Avenue trolley led to a little known story of an African-American woman who sued the trolley company for being thrown off of it due to her race.  A lawsuit she won a hundred years before Rosa Parks.  A funny story recounted was the making of the Woody Guthrie song “This Land is Your Land.”  The original lyrics were to be “Staten Island” but instead became the well-known “New York Island”.   At the same token, Mr. Roberts extolled that the words “outer boroughs” are not in his vocabulary. 

    He discussed the Flushing Remonstrance and how that became the defining moment in how America gained her freedom of religion values that is cherished today.  And another peculiar story was how New York gained the nickname Gotham. It came from a fabled town in England where it’s twelfth century inhabitants behaved rather oddly. 

    There were some objects that he liked that were mentioned to him after the book was published that he would have used in the book including the ever so increasing inflatable rats that striking unions employ today.   The artichoke that Mayor LaGuardia banned to get rid of mafia influence.

    This was an extraordinary presentation and adds to the dynamic speakers that the mid-Manhattan Library seems to invite. 

    Sam Roberts is nominated for an Apple Award for Outstanding Achievement in Book Writing (books published in 2013-2014).  Come to Symphony Space on March 2nd at 6:30 P.M. to see if he wins.    

  4. Destination New York Episode #1

    Temporary Logo

    In this the inaugural episode of Destination New York, the gang sits down with President of GANYC Matthew Baker for a wide-ranging interview where they discuss a number of topics including what exactly GANYC is and what the organization actually does.  Recorded at the Players' Club, the podcast also highlights the upcoming first annual Apple Awards, the awards ceremony honoring the best in New York City cultural achievement.  


  5. GANYC on Z-Travel and Leisure

    Our President, Matthew Baker, was featured on Art and Susan Zuckerman's radio show called Z-Travel and Leisure which airs on WVOX radio station 1460 AM. Show information can be found online at
    WVOX 1460 AM has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal to be "America’s great community radio station." New York Governors George Pataki and the late Mario Cuomo both agreed that WVOX is "the most influential radio station in New York state." WVOX is the station for families, adults, decision-makers…where many different voices are heard in the land. WVOX is often called the last remaining independent voice of the Golden Apple.
    WVOX 1460 AM and Whitney Radio reaches over 1.5 million potential listeners in Central and Southern Westchester, Connecticut, The Bronx, Queens, and the North Shore of Long Island.
  6. GANYC begins new blog and podcast

    The Guides Association of New York City kicked off 2015 with not only a great January Meeting at Theater 80 but also with the birth of a new blog and a new podcast entitled “Destination New York.” 

    The podcast will be co-hosted by three of GANYC’s active members Aaron Tabackman, Amada Anderson and Stanley O’Connor, all members of the Public Relations Committee.  It will seek to explore the world of tour guiding but also the history, culture and politics of the Big Apple all in a fun and funny sort of way. 

    The first podcast was recorded in January at the Players’ Club in Gramercy.  The first guest was the President of GANYC, Matthew Baker. 

    Matthew Baker, now in his second year as the president of GANYC, sat down for a full-ranging interview introducing the organization to listeners and how he came to live in New York City and how he became a tour guide.  The wide-ranging discussion can be listened to on or subscribing to iTunes. 

    “Destination New York” is the brainchild of Web and P.R. Committee Member Aaron Tabackman and Stanley O'Connor and plans to record monthly with possibility of more frequent podcasts.  This is the beauty of the medium.  There are no rules as to length or frequency of recordings.  Stay tuned. 


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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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