The Urban Oyster Team
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David Naczycz, Co-Founder
David is a dedicated urbanist and amateur historian who loves cities and their histories. He has traveled to and lived in a number of cities all over the world and, everywhere he goes, he immerses himself in the history of that place. A resident of New York City for over ten years, David has a special interest in the world's greatest city and its history. One of his favorite activities when he's not leading a tour of the city is to explore greater New York by bike and his mission is to have cycled through every neighborhood in the city. He's also an entrepreneur who values sustainability, urban neighborhoods, and the people that live there. Over the past nine years, he has built a consulting practice working with the leaders of cities to help them create viable communities and while living in Detroit he founded Detroit Synergy, a grassroots non-profit that empowers every day citizens to get involved in improving their city. Now, through Urban Oyster, David has found a way to combine all the things that he loves: cities, history, and sustainability and he can't wait to share it with you.
In her past lives Laura has been a page at a public library, a sports reporter and an editor at non-profit teen newspaper. She couldn't be happier to reinvent herself in New York as a tour guide, especially one that celebrates craft beer. She started drinking beer at the appropriate age of 21 and became a homebrewer while living in Los Angeles. A morning person, Laura strongly believes in breakfast beer and is convinced that if you think you don't like beer, you simply haven't had the right one yet. Laura studied journalism in college and got a master's degree in American Studies doing research on women's boxing. Living without a television, she is on a quest to find a bar that shows tennis at 8 a.m. and serves good beer.
Josh grew up in Rochester, New York, and after a short stint in Connecticut called college, relocated to the city. Since then he has been exploring all edges of the city looking for unique culinary opportunities. From out in queens to the heart of brooklyn to the shores of staten Island, Josh has been tasting his way through one of the best cities in the world and then trying to recreate it all in his kitchen. Additionally, Josh fell in love with beer while learning to homebrew at Wesleyan University, and today is a prolific brewer of tasty suds. Who said you don't learn anything practical in college?
Alex is an American army brat who grew up in Germany. And European drinking ages being what they are, he developed a love for beer at an early age. While still dedicated to the German lagers of his hometown, he got to explore Europe’s great varieties of beers and ales from the Benelux to the British Isles. Here in the US he became an actor, and had the good fortune of being on tour in the late nineties just as the Craftbrew movement was taking off. He was introduced to great American brews from coast to coast and border to border. He moved to New York about fifteen years ago, and working as a bartender between acting gigs, he was immersed in the culture of food and drink that is such a great part of this city’s history. As a tour guide, he found an amazing opportunity to share this culture with others and see that history continue.
After years of being the “overly-expressive-really-into-history-OOHH-AAHHH-guy” on any tour he went on, Joe decided he would love to be the one leading the tours. A Maryland native and Seton Hall University alum, Joe has been a New York resident for five years. More than a little obsessive about food and drink, Joe is a true foodie all the way. With years of experience in the culinary industry, he’s served at an upscale Chinese Dim Sum restaurant in NOHO, a rustic Italian farm-to-table restaurant in Meatpacking, and an authentic Costa Rican joint in Chicago. If he hasn't served it, he’s eaten it. Apart from the food service industry, Joe works as an actor and voiceover guy, and regularly performs in NYC at the People’s Improv Theater.
Nathalie fell heads over heels in love with NYC upon her arrival 14 years ago. It was an unexpected love at first sight and they’re still going strong! Her first 3 months living in the city she stayed at the legendary Chelsea Hotel and like a true New Yorker she has lived in and explored many different neighborhoods and boroughs since. From Williamsburg, Brooklyn -before it’s gentrification- back to Chelsea off to Jackson Heights, Queens, and Coney Island, Brooklyn and many more in-between. Tasting local foods is a huge aspect of travelling for Nathalie -you learn so much of a culture through its cuisine! NYC is home to so many ethnicities, cultures and cuisines – it is a culinary delight! Her passion for travelling, exploring and learning have taken her all over the world both as an individual traveler and group tour leader. During the past couple of years she has been taking small groups of various nationalities through North America, delivering informative and fun experiences. Being a professional road-tripper has been exhilarating and exciting, but living out of a suitcase has made her homesick. And since home is where the heart is...she is back in the city living the dream.
Christopher brings more than 10 years of culinary industry experience to Urban Oyster. For the last four years, he has worked as a wine consultant at a small import company, helping to select small production wines and provide them to New York's top restaurants and retailers. Originally from Michigan, Christopher moved to New York in the 90s and quickly got hooked on the vibrant dining scene while entertaining clients in his corporate job. It didn't take long before passion compelled a professional move into the world of food and wine. After cooking at top restaurants such as Zuni Cafe and Tabla, a growing interest in food and wine pairing led Christopher into working in the dining rooms of Gotham Bar and Tribeca Grill before eventually opening a wine bar. Wine classes at the Culinary Institute of America and the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (Advanced Certificate) bolstered the professional experience along the way. A few personal favorites in the glass include Alsatian white wines and Northern Italian reds."
Cindy co-founded Urban Oyster with David in 2008 and founded a new company in 2012 called Turnstile Tours, which creates tours based on in-depth research in partnership with non-profit organizations. While she's no longer a day to day part of Urban Oyster, her spirit and values remain as part of the foundation that this company was built upon. Cindy believes strongly that every person, building, and street corner has a story that needs to be heard. She is interested in the role tours can play in fostering connections and understanding between people of diverse backgrounds. Cindy is an advocate for improving accessibility in museums, especially for people with disabilities. She taught blind children geography and history for four years at City Access New York, oversees an effort for the Museum Access Consortium to improve programs for visitors who have autism, and formerly developed and managed tours for 100,000+ visitors at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. From Michigan to Russia to Brooklyn - no matter where Cindy has lived - she has always had a deep interest in the stories of the people and places that surround her, and is eager to share this enthusiasm with you on a neighborhood tour of New York City, a place she is very proud to call home.