A swell way to see some different
sides of New York
Unfortunately, the day we’d
booked for SwingStreets’ Harlem
tour was really lousy: chilly, windy and overcast. Still, our guide
whole experience a sunny one. He has a quirky sense of humor,
with members of our group…and made sure that we
didn’t feel like strangers with
one another. This helped to bring some participants who’d
come alone into our
conversation … Because of prior commitments, two couples had
to peel off as we
passed the 135th St. subway station. But we had all exchanged phone
maybe we’ll meet them again. Walking tours like this one tend
bright, outgoing people, don’t they?
The guide provided plenty of
historical information but not
Our leader was enthusiastic - and
that was contagious. He
got group members talking and laughing with one another, which
wasn’t a food-tasting
tour, although we’ve enjoyed those during past New
visits. But our guide did point out several worthwhile eating places we
along our route, including a very classy patisserie along Malcolm
near our finishing point, there are also several West African
we’re curious to try someday. Most of our group decided,
however, to walk a few
blocks back to Sylvia’s, which is surely the most famous
It’s crowded on weekends but offers outstanding Southern
dishes. We enjoyed one
another’s company, as well as the chicken-and-waffles house
A nice variety of [Brooklyn
neighborhoods … A great variety of sights.
By coincidence, the [Harlem
took last weekend included another architect besides myself. Since he
Hungarian and I’m from the West Coast, we both welcomed this
chance to examine
a spectacularly beautiful neighborhood we had read about but never seen
I have always been a huge jazz fan,
with Duke Ellington as
my ultimate hero. For me, taking this Harlem
like a dream come true. Along the way, we managed to pass four
where Duke lived at various times during his career. There were also
addresses and locations of interest to a hard-core jazz lover like me.
seemed to my wife and myself that nobody else joining in for this walk
crazy about this music as we are. But everyone really enjoyed the
more, the lively conversation among participants enroute made this a
delightful experience. In fact, I may fly from Cleveland
again sometime in the future, just to do this same walk again.
We have recommended your Harlem
to other friends here in Chicagoland.
I wouldn’t change a thing
about this walk.
Our guide would be a great ambassador
for New York
We are German speakers and English is
not our first
language. However, our guide speaks slowly enough and clearly enough
don’t think we missed any details.
Our group touring Greenwich
numbered fourteen persons in all. Oddly enough, three of them
crew from BBC radio in London
were in the city gathering material for a broadcast documentary about
the New York
jazz scene. There was an interviewer, a sound
technician and a producer. Remarkably, our guide somehow maintained his
with a microphone stuck into his face at every stop along the way
… If the
finished program could ever be posted on the SwingStreets website, that
be great, since our party guesses that some of our comments and
Our tourguide is knowledgeable and
enthusiastic. He really
knows his stuff.
One problem with many walking tours
I’ve taken is that once
you begin, there are no rest rooms available along the way. Our guide
Harlem made it easy for us by telling us at the starting point where we
find “comfort stops” at various points enroute
… The guide also set a
comfortable walking pace: not so quick that my husband and I
couldn’t keep up (he
is 76 years old) but also brisk enough that no one became bored.
speaking, the route from where we began down to 116th
is either flat or gradually
downhill. Even people
in wheelchairs could easily do it.
I went along reluctantly on this [Greenwich
] tour. My wife likes these kinds of
more than I do. But this walk was fun…Our guide was a fellow
who, as they say,
wears his learning lightly. I intend that as a compliment, too!
If you like exploring new
neighborhoods, take this [Brooklyn
tour. Out-of-towners will love it. There were even three youngish
who said they’d
never seen any of these areas before and didn’t even know
they existed. To me,
the most surprising part was Flatbush, where you go from a hectic Caribbean
district almost instantly into another section where the streets are
impressive Victorian mansions surrounded by perfectly manicured lawns
gardens. This is a New York
I’d never imagined.
As first-time visitors, we got to see
a lot of things we
wouldn’t have found on our own.
ticket buyers, see the Zerve