As a native of New York City, we often are put into one of two boxes.
- The know it all, that has a story about everything from delis to fancy night-life spots
- The avoider, AKA, the one that avoids crowds. This is the person that you will never find at any major tourist destination.
I myself, am somewhere in between. I have a vast knowledge of hidden gems and hot spots in the city, but at the age of 27, I can’t say that I have visited the Statue of Liberty (sad life, I know). Because of this, I am always on the lookout for opportunities to learn more about the city in which I live, and Walks of New York fills that void.
In celebration of National Walking Day on April 2nd, the team at Walks Of New York held a series of free, themed walking tours around the city for media. The company is an extension of Walks of Italy, a successful walking tour company of European destinations that began in 2009. For New York, the company is starting out with five tours:
- Highlights of New York Tour: Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central
- Meet the Met: Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Lower East Side Stories: Traditional New York Culture & Food
- B&H New York Photography Tour: High Line, Meatpacking, Chelsea Market
- Express Access – Empire State Building Tour and Skyscraper Walk
Being the photography nerd that I am, I chose the B & H Photo Tour. We started out in front of the Gansevoort Hotel on 9th Ave and 13th St. Our walk headed westward, and in this time we were introduced to some of the area’s history by freelance photographer, Kirsten Alana. Along with educational bits on the neighborhood, Kirsten gave us insight on perfect locations to snap beautiful photos.
Our westward walk took us to one of my favorite places, The Highline. Once an elevated train track, The Highline has since been remodeled to be a mini park and path of sorts, for us to experience nature at a higher level. The sunlight was splendid on the afternoon, so I was very pleased to capture great shots on the street, as well as close ups of foliage, as seen in the photo above.
Our stroll along The Highline introduced us to both modern and Post-War architecture alike. It was very interesting to see former meatpacking structures juxtaposed against such futuristic buildings, as the IAC Building, designed by architect Frank Gehry. One of my favorite modern structures to view was that in the photo up top. I am unsure of the address and name, but the deep teal, white, and black color combination with linear accents stopped me in my tracks. See more photos from the walk below.
The tour concluded with a master tour of photography equipment powerhouse, B & H Photo. We were given an overview of the retail location and all it has to offer from basic photography equipment, to pro-audio, to workshops from experts in-house to help you hone your craft. This was very exciting for me as prior, I was unaware of how vast B & H’s product selection was. We were given gift bags upon our departure, which rounded out the fun and education-filled afternoon nicely.
I would definitely recommend Walks of New York for the individual that is visiting the city and wants a tight-knit tour on a specific topic, or the resident who wants to learn more about the city around them. The guides are extremely knowledgeable, and you are able to engage well as group sizes are of twelve people or less.
For more info on tour descriptions and pricing, visit the Walks of New York website.
*All photos by Andrea K. Castillo