Are you the person, tattered guidebook in hand, trudging down a worn tourist path?  If you’re saying, “Yep, that’s me!” then I have a solution for you: Urban Adventures. 

Urban Adventure

Urban Adventure

According to David, owner of NYC Urban Adventures,“Urban Adventures was launched in 2009, as a joint venture between Intrepid Travel and WHL Group, with the idea of creating a new style of day tours that got travelers off the beaten path to really connect with a destination on a local level. In each destination UA operates in, local teams ensure this – whether it is a home-based cooking class in Delhi, a beer and history tour of Toronto, or even a cycling tour through Soweto. Today UA is a truly global company with teams in over 100 cities around the world and are now fully owned by Intrepid Travel. New York City Urban Adventures operates as part of this network and takes particular pride in showing guests what is truly unique to NYC.  NYCUA offers tours that focus on connecting both locals and visitors to the small, locally owned businesses that make New York special. We visit immigrant bakeries, craft breweries, hidden cocktail bars, and more to give people a taste of New York.”

I have written about many local walking & bus tours in the 18 months that included Art Crawl Harlem, Taste & Culture Harlem, Brooklyn Neighborhood Tour, Craft Beer Tour, Best Brooklyn Pizza, Origins of Hip Hop, etc. The one thing they have in common is an opportunity to learn more about the city I love. Almost all the tours had a majority of participants from outside the city, with many tourists from around the world.
Urban Adventure tour group

Urban Adventure tour group

On a beautiful late spring day I met the other 11 adventurers from Holland & Scotland at the fountains in City Hall Park. I was the only local participating. Our guide was Joe and we were lucky to have him as our leader. There was a lot of walking on this tour & he made sure to wait for me to catch up with the group (I use a cane). The title of this 3-hour plus tour was Tenements, Tales & Tastes ($65). To quote their description, “Tacos, dumplings, knishes, bagels; America would be a food wasteland without immigration. Join this New York tour to sample the side effects of mass immigration while learning about those that dared to live the American Dream.”

Joe started with a history lesson about the founding of NYC & gave us a Dutch sweet to get us started (I know the 8 folks from Holland liked that). We learned about the settling of NYC & The Five Point area.

Joe, our Urban Adventurers fearless leader of

Joe, our Urban Adventures’ fearless leader

Joe talked  about the history of City Hall, the Municipal Building, the Federal Courthouse, and the African Burial Grounds, etc. as we moved toward Chinatown & Little Italy. There were 4 food stops, all excellent choices. When one has jury duty it is always fun to have lunch in Chinatown. Our first stop was a tiny place named Fried Dumpling on Mosco Street.  Not much ambiance but 5 freshly made and tasty dumplings for $1? WOW!

Alleva Dairy is the oldest cheese shop in America (1892) & is opposite the very well known Ferraro Bakery & Café on Grand Street where we sampled mozzarella & prosciutto. I had not been to Yonah Schimmel Knishery (1910) in 40 years. It is located on East Houston Street with handmade & baked (never fried) Knishes. I don’t think any of the other members of our group had ever tasted one before. Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten was our last stop. Located on Rivington Street I had passed it many times when visiting the now departed Shapiro Winery & Streit Matzo facilities. I had another appointment so I had to say farewell to the group after enjoying a freshly baked pretzel. The beer will come another time.

I had a wonderful time & heartily recommend the tour.  For more information:
About the Author:

Ron Kapon has over 50 years experience in the wine & spirit field, starting with his first drink (mixed with water) at age three. His family’s business – Acker, Merrall & Condit – was established in 1820 and is the oldest wine merchant in the United States as well as the largest wine auction company in the world.

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