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  1. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Aaron Tabackman


    Introducing GANYC guide: Aaron Tabackman!

    Company: Urban Village Tours

    Phone: 347-868-7710

    Email

    Social MediaFacebook / Instagram / Twitter

    =====================================

    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.)

  2. Spotlight on Industry Partner: DownToDash


    Introducing GANYC industry partner -- DownToDash

    Website: http://downtodash.com

    Email

    Social Media: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter


    =================================

    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.

  3. 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.)

  4. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Dave Gardner

    Introducing GANYC guide: Dave Gardner!

    Company: Titanic Walking Tour in New York

    Phone: 917-232-3350

    Email

    Social Media:  Facebook / Twitter

    =====================================

    How long have you been a tour guide?

    A decade.

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    I was driven by the impulse to contribute to GANYC.  Many of my contemporaries were joining committees and forming committees and planning tours and I felt I should step up and bring something forth - preferably something previously undone - which is a TALL ORDER for a group so prestigious as this.  After rejecting several themes, I floated the Ship Of Dreams and set sail with it.

    What types of tours do you offer?

    I do general walking tours in Manhattan and will happily lead any tour in, say, Greenwich Village, Central Park, Battery Park, etc, but my forte are my Titanic-in-New-York tours, several of which I offer.

    Do you offer Niche Tours?

    By far, my niche are my Titanic-in-New-York tours.  I know every attraction and I know everything about every attraction.  I have a regular 2+ hour Titanic Walking Tour, I have a photography tour (in a minibus), I have a Titanic Graves in Woodlawn Cemetery tour (2 hours) and I have a six-hour epic Titanic tour starting in midtown, continuing to Woodlawn Cemetery, and ending at Trinity Uptown.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    My busiest time is March and April because the sinking of Titanic was mid-April and many people commemorate that event in the month-or-so leading up to it.


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

    I've had a few decent reviews on TripAdvisor, but just a few.

    (See also, this interview)

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    One can tell the difference between the casual observer and the true enthusiast.  One can also attempt to alter the tour accordingly to interest-level but it's very rewarding to observe people catching up and riding along, no matter their previous experience.

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

    One guest I had was Charles Pellegrino whose been to the wreck of Titanic and has written several books about her.  I've had several family members of Titanic passengers and Maureen McKinney from Belfast whose grandfather labored on Titanic in the shipyards.

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

    In particular, my Titanic Graves in Woodlawn Cemetery tour.  I am the only person in all of New York City that offers such a thing.

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

    I'm willing to discuss a discount to GANYC members but I charge the barest minimum possible for my tours as it is, for participation's sake.  As long as I'm not viewed as devaluing anybody else, I'd consider a discount.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    Who knows? Half-a-dozen years, maybe?

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    Word-of-mouth.

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

    This probably isn't the "fun" answer expected here but I do must have to say: Keep the sidewalks as clear as possible. New Yorkers are always walking somewhere so just be conscious is all.  And remember, New Yorkers always walk to the right.


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

  5. GANYC's Kevin Fitzpatrick Interviewed for French TV


    For any of our French-speaking members or followers, this video may be of interest. It is an 8-minute segment from French TV on Union Square and World War I. In one segment, GANYC member-- and Apple Award-winning author!-- Kevin Fitzpatrick was interviewed about the USS Recruit from 1917.

     



    (Fitzpatrick comes in around 2:19)
     

  6. Tips For Tour Guides: Avoiding Scams, pt. 2


    Scam emails are a regular problem for many in the tour industry. These type of scams will be emailed to countless tour guides... the scammers will have skimmed email addresses of tour guides from GANYC's site or other source. Our goal is to help train you to learn how to spot, and avoid, them. 

    We previously wrote about the popular "Redstone Arsenal Military Base" one that made the rounds several times last year, with a breakdown on the red flags. We received a new one today, and we will break this one down for you as well. Here is the email:

    Hello

    I will like you to organize a tour package for my family of 6 people.

    It will be a 5-days tour program. It will start on the 24th. May-
    28th. May (5 days) 2018

    I would greatly appreciate it if you could send us an itinerary via
    email that will cover the 5- days tour.The itinerary should include
    sightseeing to historical places,arts and culture.

    And if you have accommodation too.

    Get back to me if you can take care of this booking. And I hope you do
    accept credit cards for advance payment.

    Best regard,

    James Pearson
    Glasgow
    Scotland
    +447042099660


    There are several red-flags here. Let's go one by one. 

    1. The email purports to be an English speaker, but the language and grammar here is not that of a native English speaker.
       
    2. The key one that is the same across all these type of scams: a too-good-to-be true offer that aims to get you seeing so many dollar signs that your common sense will temporarily escape you. In this particular case, the sender says that he wants a private 5-day tour for his family. If real, this would mean potentially 40 hours of private work, which would be a HUGE payday. If real.
       
    3. The request itself-- "sightseeing to historical places,arts and culture"-- is very generic, because it wants to appeal to all guides.
       
    4. The request for accomodation assistance. Again, the request is so huge as to have you seeing so many dollar signs, you ignore your gut warnings.
       
    5. It ends with an inquiry about credit cards, a classic scam email red-flag.


    While not a red-flag, the scammer did leave a clue for you... the phone # at the bottom... if you're wise enough to do some research. A Google search of that number brings up many websites warning of scams associated with that number. Google is your friend!

    So what is the ultimate goal of this scammer? There are some variations, but in general, this is how it would work: You would quote the sender a specific cost for these services... say, $2000. The sender would then you a payment-- using a bad check or more likely a stolen/hacked card-- for way more, say $4000. The sender would then immediately email you, saying they made an error in payment, and insist that you immediately/quickly send them a money transfer for the difference. So you would then send them money, and then find out their payment bounced. In which case, you are now out the money you sent them, but also responsible for the fees for the bounced/cancelled fake payment they sent.

    When you receive such an email, we recommend just deleting it. Of course, if you are not certain, you can post the email on a forum or Facebook group for tour guides and ask your colleagues their opinion. Always better to be safe than sorry.

  7. GANYC Apple Awards Winners!

    The Guides Association of New York City (GANYC) presented its 4th-annual GANYC Apple Awards at a festive ceremony on March 12 at the SVA Theater, in Chelsea. GANYC honored numerous organizations and people with Apple Awards for encouraging and promoting New York City tourism, culture and preservation while supporting the work and contributions of professional New York City tourist guides.

    The ceremony, hosted by Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell was a smashing success. Presenters included Michael Henry Adams,  Ben Kallos, Stephanie Cowell, Teel James Glenn, and others. In addition to the entertainment by our host, presenters, and winners, guests also viewed videos showing NYC tourist guides at work, and an In Memoriam reel of New Yorkers and institutions that we lost in the past year.

    Images and videos of the GANYC Apple Awards are available on our website and social media channels.

     

    Here is the complete list of 2018 GANYC Apple Award Winners:

    Outstanding Achievement in Support of New York City Culture

    The Art Deco Society of New York


    Outstanding Achievement in Support of NYC Tourism

    NYC & Company, Tourism Ready training program


    Outstanding Achievement in Support of NYC Preservation

    Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation


    Outstanding NYC Website

    Curbed New York


    Outstanding Achievement in Radio Program/Podcast (Audio/Spoken Word)

    Cityscape


    Outstanding Achievement in NYC Food (Anniversaries and Special Accomplishments)

    Breaking Bread NYC


    Outstanding Achievement in Non-Fiction Book Writing (Published between October 2016- September 2017)

    World War I New York: A Guide To The City's Enduring Ties To The Great War (Kevin C. Fitzpatrick)


    Outstanding Achievement in Fiction Book Writing (Published between October 2016-September 2017)

    The Knish War on Rivington Street (Joanne Oppenheim, author & Jon Davis, illustrator)


    Outstanding Achievement in Essay/Article/Series Writing (Published October 2016- September 2017)

     Robert Moses and the decline of the NYC Subway System (Emily Nonko, author)


    Outstanding Achievement in NYC Museum Exhibitions (October 2016-September 2017)

    New York City at Its Core (Museum of the City of New York)


    Outstanding Achievement in NYC Photography (Singular Image Published October 2016-September 2017)

    Nineteenth Street, The Secret Lives of Buildings (Marc Yankus)


    In addition, GANYC presented two legacy awards: The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to "Mr. Apollo" Billy Mitchell, and the Guiding Spirit Award was presented to two guides-- Art and Susan Zuckerman!

    The dozens of nominees across 11 Outstanding Achievement categories were announced by the GANYC Awards Committee in December; visit https://www.ganyc.org/2018-ganyc-apple-awards to view the complete list of nominees. The GANYC membership voted on the nominees through mid-January, leading up to the awards ceremony on March 12, where the winners were announced.

  8. GANYC in Philly!

    Last week, numerous GANYC members traveled down to Philadelphia to participate in the National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (NFTGA) biennial conference, at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District. This was a fun & productive event, and Philly was a great host.

    The event kicked off with a great reception at the Philadelphia History Museum. On day one, we were welcomed by VisitPhilly, got a presentation by the US Travel Association on the state of tourism in the US, then a surprisingly rousing session on the tax side of tour guiding, an update on the WFTGA conference in January (in the Republic of Georgia), a session with the National Parks Service, and a panel of key industry partners. On the second day, we had a session on integrating tech into our tours, a discussion of international tourism into the US, and a final segment on incorporating minority perspectives into our work.

    Many of our attending members will be giving detailed reports on the conference at the March 7th membership meeting (at the Brooklyn Children's Museum). We hope to see you there! And you can visit our Instagram to see numerous photos from the trip!

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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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