Custom-created tours of New York City
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All our tours are custom-created...but here are some suggested themes...
The name of this most famous borough (until 1898, the entirety of New York City) is said to derive from the Lenni Lenape word "Manna-hatta," which has been variously translated as "island of the hills" and "island of general inebriation." Since most of the hills were leveled as a result of the 1811 Commissioner's Plan—and since nowadays there's a watering hole on every other corner—we're going with the second one. Bottom's up!
Despite living in New York City's most populous borough, the many Brooklynites who are employed in Manhattan still say they work in "the city"...yet, before the consolidation of 1898 (which united all five boroughs into one huge city, at the time second only to London in population), everyone thought Brooklyn was going to be THE city. Today, with extensive waterfront development and trendy, revitalized neighborhoods like DUMBO and Williamsburg, Brooklyn is surely giving Manhattan a run for its money.
The Bronx is the only borough of New York City that is entirely on the mainland. Named for Jonas Bronck who established a farm there in 1639, it developed a terrible reputation for crime in modern times, thanks to movies like Fort Apache, the Bronx. Nowadays it's considerably safer and there is much on the positive side to see—Arthur Avenue (the Bronx' own Little Italy), the winding lanes of Fieldston, the spectacular beauty of Wave Hill, among whose residents were personages of no less celebrity than Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt—and much more.
The largest borough in terms of area, Queens is widely-regarded as the most multiethnic location in the United States. Forget the United Nations! Just take the 7 train and get off at every stop for a different national cuisine. Made famous in The King of Queens, it is home to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (yes, in New York City!), the elegant single-family homes of Malba, the wonderful ocean beaches of the Rockaways and, of course, the US Open.
Perhaps known best for the iconic Staten Island Ferry (free to all comers), it's also where the largest sporting event in the world, the New York City Marathon, starts. Distinct in character from the rest of New York City—it's almost suburban—Staten Island has actually, in the not-too-distant past, considered seceding from it. But don't write off the "forgotten borough!" It is home to treasures such as a beautifully-preserved row of Greek revival buildings and the lovely Chinese Scholar's Garden—and it's where (of course!) the reality TV show Staten Island Cakes is filmed.
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