We're doing some shameless promotion on this week's pick, but for good reason. We run this tour under our sister company Urban Adventures but the real people behind the tour are all of our ancestors.
The Tenements Tales and Tastes Tour introduces people to the immigrant stories from the very beginning of New York City. Aside from the Lenape Native American tribe, we all came to this city and country from somewhere else. And on the tour, we meet all the major immigrant groups from the very first Dutch colonists to the Latin American community who have settled in the Lower East Side.
Along the way, you get to hear the historic stories of people like Peter Stuyvesant, John DeSalvio, and Yonah Schimmel and meet more recent immigrants from places like China, the Ukraine, and Germany. You will also no doubt hear stories that parallel the struggles that your family went through escaping political or religious persecution or fleeing a life of unbearable poverty to discover the American dream.
We offer the tour every single morning beginning at 10am and we explore these stories of hardships through the food that the people brought from their homeland and have since become the American food we love today. Hot dogs, tacos, pizza, and bagels are only American because of the Germans, Mexican, Italians, and Jews that brought them here.
After a walk through the Civic Center, we uncover an old forgotten African cemetery and see where the Irish first lived near an area known as Five Points. In Chinatown, we experience the authentic neighborhood that is still alive today and get a taste of the best and most affordable dumplings in the city. We hear stories of the Italians' struggles and sample authentic food in the old neighborhood of Little Italy and the new neighborhood of Nolita. And finally we delve deep into the Lower East Side where Eastern European Jewish immigrants lived in crammed apartments known as tenements, where Germans called the neighborhood Kleindeutschland, and the newer Latin American community built incredible public gardens.
Here's a little video preview of what the tour is all about:
New York (and America) has always been a home for immigrants. It makes our cities safer, more prosperous, and full of culture. Every single group struggled with discrimination and suspicion. The Chinese may have had it the hardest since there was a federal law limiting their ability to immigrate to this country starting in 1882. Sound familiar?
In the current political climate, it is important to remember that our country was founded on the contributions and hard work of immigrants. On this tour, we learn the history of this and we hope it can guide us toward the future.
Tenements, Tales, and Tastes Tour
Every morning at 10am
3 hour tour through the Civic Center, Chinatown, Little Italy., Nolita, and the Lower East Side