Big Onion Tours of NYC
[Orig. posted to H-Ethnic,
From: IN%"email@example.com" "Edward Thomas O'Donnell"]
> Dear Fellow H-Ethnic Subscribers,
> At the suggestion of Prof. Jensen, I am posting the following description > of a historical guide company that a fellow graduate student, Seth Kamil, > and I founded three years ago.
> BIG ONION WALKING TOURS:
> Big Onion offers over 20 different walking tours in Manhattan and > Brooklyn. The subject matter includes everything from architecture, > to politics, to riots, to famous people. The majority of our tours, > however, focus on the city's many ethnic enclaves (both past and > present), especially those of the Lower East Side. >
> Our most popular tour is "Immigrant New York" which covers the long gone > Irish, German, African, and Dutch neighborhoods; the mostly gone Italian > and Jewish quarters; and the booming Chinese and Latino enclaves. Stops > include everything from the birthplace of Al Smith, to the Jewish Daily > Forward, to the apartment once used by Dr. Sun Yat Sen, to the church where > St. Frances "Mother" Cabrini first arrived in America. All this and much > more in less than two miles!
> As one can imagine, this range of material, the physical and visual > evidence of a multi-ethnic society (ex: an 1850 church that, became an 1890 > synagogue, that is now a Buddhist Temple) is extraordinarily effective > with students. We have taken classes as young as first grade on up to > graduate-level history seminars (UC Santa Barbara, for instance, sends 25 > international students to us two or three times per year). >
> Variations on the ethnic tours include: Irish New York, The Jewish Lower > East Side, Little Italy, Chinatown, Harlem, and last Summer's big favorite > -- "From Naples, to Bialystock, to Beijing": The Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour. > We also run tours of Ellis Island.
> Many of our tours include stops at three unique museums on the Lower East > Side: 1) the Lower East Side Tenement Museum: an 1863 tenement in which > each apartment is being restored to different eras, ethnic groups, and > functions. Social history at its best. 2) The Eldridge Street > Synagogue: the first and oldest grand synagogue built by Eastern European > Jews (1887), open as a musum while slowly undergoing restoration. 3) The > Chinatown History Project: dedicated to preserving an accurate portrait > of the Chinese experience in New York, it collects oral histories and > features small changing exhibits. Big Onion guides serve as historians > and consultants to all three projects. >
> Our non-ethnic tours include Greenwich Village, The East Village, Brooklyn > Heights, Lower Manhattan/Financial District, The Bowery, and Governors > Island.
> Today Big Onion is the largest guide company of its kind in New York > City. Last year we led nearly 600 tours. Perhaps most importantly, it > provides or supplements a living to nine graduate students working > on Ph.D.'s in US history.
> If anyone is interested in learning more about these tours please feel > free to e-mail your postal address to me and I will send along a brochure > and some literature.
> Ed O'Donnell
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