Those with a passion for New York City history can kickstart their weekend with our lineup of events. On Sunday, we’re hosting our Tour of the Remnants of Gritty Times Square, followed by the ever-popular Secrets of Central Park and 400 Miles of History in 1 Mile walking tours.
Tour the Remnants of Gritty Old Times Square: Sunday, July 30th at 10:30am
We are thrilled to announce the latest addition to our tours which will take you back to the Gritty Old Times Square of the 1970’s… Back then, Times Square was a dangerous, exciting, gritty, intense, racially and sexually diverse neighborhood frequented by both locals and tourists. Love it or hate it, you couldn’t ignore it. Most of old Times Square has been carefully obliterated by generic hotels, soulless office buildings, and Walt Disney musicals, but there are still a few vestiges of its seedy past—if you know where to look.
So let us take you back to the halcyon days when 42nd Street was the Deuce, Eighth Avenue was the Minnesota Strip, the Great White Way was a red light district, and the Crossroads of the World was XXX-rated. We will see former peepshows, grindhouses, adult book stores, dive bars, hotsheet hotels, sex clubs, porno theaters, and massage parlors–not to mention all three locations of the New York Times. We will discover the personalities who made Times Square what it was: the King of the Peeps; the reclusive genius behind the McDonalds of Sex; the woman who built a gay and S&M porn empire; the slumlord with two suitcases filled with gold and five wives; and the Catholic priest who flew too close to the neon sun and crashed and burned. Also learn about the largest sex emporium in New York City (and maybe the world), the freak show where Diane Arbus found her inspiration, as well as the last remaining hot sheet hotel and live peep show in Times Square.
Secrets of Central Park Walking Tour: Sunday, July 30th at 11:00am + 2:00pm
Did you know that Central Park was once the site of a former African-American village? Or that it was previously home to an infamous casino, where alcohol flowed throughout the Prohibition? For almost 160 years, Central Park has been the green heart of the city, serving as a pastoral haven for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Even so, it still holds many secrets that have yet to be discovered. On this walking tour, we’ll explore the history behind some of its best-loved and hidden sites. Learn about the genesis, design, and evolution of the immense green space, while uncovering its many outrageous happenings, scandals and more.
400 Years of History in 1 Mile Walking Tour: Sunday, July 30th at 2pm
Take a walk in the footsteps of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, revel in beautiful architecture across four centuries, hear stories of heroes and rogues that have shaped our history as a country and as a city. Our newest tour, 400 Years in 1 Mile, looks at the history of New York City by walking a mile long portion of Lower Broadway. In this area of Lower Manhattan, you can find examples of streets and structures that date from our Dutch past to the 21st century. Architectural and technological breakthroughs from all period of the city’s history can be found here.