TOURS FOR NYC INSIDERS
Rock Junket New York City
Bobby Pinn (real name: Ron Colinear) quit his job as a record-company exec to devote his full attention to this company. Today, the onetime Tower Records clerk explores the musical heritage of the West Village, Union Square, and other parts of NYC. The most popular of his offerings is his East Village jaunt, which pays homage to Joey Ramone’s East 9th Street pad, the apartment building that graced the cover of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti, and the now-defunct CBGB.
Schedule: Tue.-Thu., Sat.-Sun; call for details.
Duration: 2 hours.
Cost: $35, plus $2 ticket charge.
Jewish Chassidic Walking Tours
The Chassidic Discovery Welcome Center sponsors walking tours of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home to the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic Jewish movement’s headquarters. You’re unlikely to get a more personal look inside this culture than a stop at the Chabad rebbe’s private library, stocked with ancient manuscripts, religious articles, and a late-19th-century clock that calculates months according to the moon. Visitors also see Torah scrolls being made by quill and parchment, then nosh on a kosher deli lunch.
Schedule: Check website for details.
Duration: 3 hours.
Cost: $49.99; seniors, students $48; teens under 16 $48; children under 12 $24.99; infants free.
In addition to advocating for preservation of the state’s shoreline habitats, this nonprofit group holds more than 100 different weekend day hikes along rivers, lakes, and bays throughout the metropolitan area. Walks include Green-Wood Cemetery, a Triboro to Queensboro bridge walk (ending with lunch in Astoria Park), and a Crack Is Wack: Graffiti tour. All of it’s reachable without a car. On Thanksgiving Day, the group holds its annual W.O.T.T. (Walk Off the Turkey) along the Hudson, from the Staten Island Ferry to the historic Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge.
Schedule: Weekends; check website for details.
Reservations: Not required.
Duration: 3–8 hours, depending on length of the hike.
Cost: Free, check website for details
Wild Food Tours
The idea of eating anything grown in Central Park may seem horrifying, but naturalist “Wildman” Steve Brill leads ecology tours that encourage you to do just that. Spend the afternoon foraging in the park for edible plants, like wild raisins, honey mushrooms, and black walnuts. If you’re looking for more variety, he also leads tours in Connecticut and throughout the five boroughs—wherever the hunting’s best.
Schedule: Weekends only; check website for details.
Reservations: Required, at least 24 hours in advance. Call 914-835-2153.
Duration: 4 hours.
Cost: Suggested donation $20, $10 for children under 12.