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John Semlak
GANYC Certified Guide

Contact Information

Language(s) : 
Saturdays and Sundays


My name is John Semlak.  I'm a tour guide, historian, and photographer.  

I give tours in a wide range of areas.  I have experiecne in bus tours all over the city, escorted tours, and tours of popular attractions like the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial, the High Line, Rockefeller Center as more out of the way attractions like Green-Wood Cemetery, historic Harlem, or Brooklyn Heights.  I specialize in historical walking tours, including tours of sports history, Colonial, Revolutionalry War, and Civil War New York, mafia and crime history.  I lead tours on topics such as the history of the World Trade Center, Abraham Lincoln in New York, or the birth of baseball in New York.  

Before moving to New York, I lived in Russia for over 15 years and speak fluent Russian and offers tours in Russian and English.   I have been a member of the New York CIty Guides Association for four years. In 2018 I passed GANYC's 10-week certificaation course.  I have 7 years experience as l liscnensed New York City guide.  I maintian a blog where I write regular articles on the city's history and discuss my tours.  



Tours & Services Offered

Special Tours: 

These are just some of the customized tours I've designed and offer.

New York in a Day: A 7-hour guided private tour using public transport as well as hidden routes and passageways to explore the city's most popular cites.  The tour can be customized to meet the customer options but can include Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, the 9/11 Memorial, the Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Terminal, and more.   Lincoln in New York Tour--A tour following Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln's visits to New York City.  We stop at Lincoln's hotel, the newspaper offices he visited, Mary Todd's shopping haunts, Matthew Brady's photostrudio, the Cooper Union, and Plymouth Church in Brooklyn.   British Colonial New York--A tour of colonial New York during the British period follwing the Bernard Ratzer map of 1767.  We visit the remaining remnants of British New York and learn about it's legacy in the city today.  Baseball History in New York--I offer several tours of baseball and sports history in New York, focusing on the sports early history in the city. 

  • From Sandlots to Big Leagues: the birth of baseball in New York
  • Before the Dodgers: Early baseball in Brooklyn
  • Boaters, Batters, and Boxers: a sports tour of Green-Wood Cemetery


Services Offered: 
Airport/Pier Meet & Greet,
Tour Escort,
Tour Guide
Tours Offered: 
African American History
Architectural Tours
British Colonial History
Central Park
Chinatown/Little Italy
Churches & Houses of Worship
Civil War History
Double-Decker Bus Tours
Dutch New Amsterdam
East Village
Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty
Grand Central Terminal
Greenwich Village
Immigrant Experience
Lower East Side
Mob History
Olde New York
Private Bus Tours
Private Tours
Revolutionary War
SoHo & NoLita
South Street Seaport
Sports Related Tours
Step-On Guides
Times Square
Upper East Side
Walking Tours

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Proud Members of:

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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