Ever since I graduated from Brooklyn College, I just knew that this 9 to 5 thing was not for me. Which is why I settled for 8 to 4! But after doing this for 25 years, and much deliberation with Mrs Z that took years, I finally reached the turning point. Last month I left my Software Engineering job in Hell’s Kitchen to pursue some new ventures and dip my toes into entrepreneurship. You can still count on me on all your Hell’s Kitchen food news, as I have many friends in the area and still spend a considerable amount of time there. I have a special connection to Hell’s Kitchen that is not going anywhere (see page 38-9 in this month’s issue of W42st).
So what I’m up to, besides exploring other neighborhoods for the past several weeks gaining a healthy amount of calories. I’m busy with all sorts of projects I’m not quite ready to discuss, except for one important one. Touring! I’ve always been interested in the tourism business. For the past few years I’ve been running Hell’s Kitchen food tours for free, partially because of my struggles to find affordable similar local experiences abroad. The more I travel, and the more I spend on Trip Advisor forums, the more things become clearer to me as far as people wants and needs. Visitors want to meet locals and have the “local experience” but not really sure how to achieve it. People want to see Brooklyn (besides Dumbo), but don’t know how.
So two weeks ago I passed the NYC sightseeing guide license exam with a score of 121, which means I get a star next to my name! My first star since potty training. I’ve joined forces with Local Expeditions
who are basically doing the same local experiences I seek abroad. For the time being I offer one tour with LE, a walking tour of Hell’s Kitchen like no one else is currently doing, called Go To Hell
! Its essentially an abbreviated (2-3 hours) version of the Food Tour. Local Expeditions also offer biking tours and a whole lot of great experiences for tourists designed by knowledgeable locals
And while I’m working on a site that would detail these better, I’m essentially open for business offering these tours to small groups (up to 4 people):
Hell’s Kitchen Food Tour – An amped up version of the tours I’ve been doing with more history, culture, ghosts, and food. Yes ghosts!
All day tour of Brooklyn – This one I’m mostly excited about. We drive around in a comfortable car and explore the borough I grew up in, walking in some neighborhoods totally outside the tourist path. And include Dyker Heights during lights season. All while eating great food of course. There’s a lot more to Brooklyn than Pizza.
East Village Food Tour – Possibly the best food neighborhood in the city, and most overlooked by tourists. We will end this together!
Citibike Tours – I will introduce you to Citibike and customize a tour around the city with you based on time and shape (ahem, I mean depending on the kind of shape you are in, not if you look like a triangle). This is a great way to see Manhattan and the boroughs. I meet so many, even locals, that want to use the bikes but scared and dont really know where to bike. I’ve been biking all over the boroughs since the program’s inception.