Jared the NYC Tour Guide | Custom walking tours of New York City

Jared the NYC Tour Guide Blog

Posted: Sep 21, 2017 | 12:41 PM
by Jared Goldstein

Reviews of my NYC, American Museum of Natural History, and Ellis Island tours

Money Well Spent!

Took a private guided tour of the American Museum of Natural history with Jared and had a wonderful time. Jared was super friendly and extremely knowledgable and we would not have enjoyed the experience as much without him!

Reviewed August 11, 2017.

ellis island
Great guide for Ellis Island and you get insiders tips! We had 6 little kids and he found all of the right spots for us to make it easy.

reviewed mid Sept 2017.

Jared is AWESOME!

Jared is awesome. We had the entire family with 6 grandkids from 10 to 5 years old [at Ellis Island]. he did great job keeping their attention and personalizing the experience. I recommend highly.

reviewed mid Sept 2017.

Ellis Island and the best view on the boat!

Jared was great - he is funny in a very dry smart kind of way - perfect for the grownups and the kids. He kept the tour always interesting and knows exactly how to navigate the crowds, where to stand for the best view on the ferry, etc. He is solid and a great authentic choice. Our kids loved him and we think he is GREAT!!

reviewed Sept 17th 2017.

It is so wonderful that people take the time to share these reviews on social media.  You can see most of these reviews if you click on the link on the lower left corner of the home page of my site.

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Posted: Aug 29, 2017 | 7:07 PM
by Jared Goldstein

email from an adult tour group operator

"Ohh Jared, you are the greatest! Thanks for taking this [New York City group tour] too; we love to be able to communicate with the one and same tour guide in NYC.
Means a lot to us too."

This is from an adults tour operator that I've worked with for years.  I do airport transfers for them, then tour through New Jersey or Queens and Manhattan, including the 9/11 Memorial, the World Trade Center, and then step on the bus to tour along the Hudson River, the Highline, the Meatpacking District, Chelsea, Midtown, Columbus Circle, Central Park, 5th Ave, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square.
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Posted: Aug 29, 2017 | 6:08 PM
by Jared Goldstein

Email comment from a student tour operator

"The groups love you - makes my job easier!!!"

I've worked with this student tour operator that brings in European groups since around 2014.

I try to make things easier for Tour Operators and keep the compliments coming from their groups.  My goal is for my clients to not need to look for another NYC tourist Guide, that they can be confident that their groups will return.

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Posted: Aug 21, 2017 | 7:53 PM
by Jared Goldstein

A review in TripAdvisor about our two days in NYC

Five stars

Best way to explore NYC!
We spent a full day with Jared and had such a great time that we arranged another 2 hours the following day. We had a few specific things we wanted to see, but otherwise did a lot of ad hoc exploring, and Jared never missed a beat. Around every corner he had interesting stories to tell, and some of the places he took us wouldn't have even occurred to us to look for. Those ended up being some of the highlights of our trip!

All the great things other reviewers have said about Jared were absolutely true... knowledgeable, entertaining, patient, flexible, great with the kids, great photo suggestions. My kids say Jared is "funny and awesome," and the best part about touring with Jared was "everything!"

(This was a tour for 3 generations.  We saw and did

Grand Central
Statue of Liberty
Ellis Island
The Charging Bull
The Fearless Girl
Federal Hall
Eataly gelato
World Trade Center.

We did not want to get too sad for the kids, so I helped develop the kids' interest in architectural photography, and they were quite good!

We took a local public bus through Chinatown to the Lower East Side
We experienced a local market and foodie destination  Essex Market
Then and old fashion candy store, Economy.
Finally, Jewish Deli pastrami sandwiches and hot dogs at Katz'.

For my Command performance: I showed them my picture album of the Brooklyn Bridge, and then they toured it and took their own pictures and videos.
Then we went to the  Flatiron Building, concluding at a Jewish soda shop from the 1920s, Eisenbergs.)

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Posted: Aug 21, 2017 | 7:50 PM
by Jared Goldstein

An Email about our Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour

I wanted to thank you for the terrific tour this morning. It was great to experience your wisdom and professionalism
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Posted: Aug 16, 2017 | 11:42 AM
by Jared Goldstein

A review from facebook

"We had so much fun that the kids asked to do another tour with Jared the next day. I could rave about Jared's endless knowledge about New York, his great sense of humor, and his ability to simultaneously corral and entertain 5 jet lagged family members (ages 9 to 68) for an entire
day.... but I think my 9 year old said it best: "Jared is awesome!""

We experienced:

Grand Central

The Subway

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  I got them in better places on the lines or cues, and the best angles for pictures.

?The Charging Bull & Fearless Girl sculptures

Federal Hall

Great Eataly gelato for a break.

World Trade Center and its 9/11 Memorial

Architecture photography

A real city bus ride through Chinatown to the Jewish Lower East Side

The foodie and 'regular guy' local Essex Market

An old fashioned candy store

and Katz' Jewish style deli.

For my Command Performance:


I showed them examples of Brooklyn Bridge photography and paintings from my picture album, then we toured the Brooklyn Bridge

We experienced the Flatiron Building in Madison Square and

concluded at a Jewish style soda shop.

from http://facebook.com/JaredtheNYCTourGuide

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Posted: Jul 3, 2017 | 8:46 PM
by Jared Goldstein

Review of my Central Park Walking Tour

Private Guided Walking Tour of Central Park

I arranged for a private walking tour of Central Park for my friend and I for our last day in the city. This ... was money well spent. The guide, Jared, contacted me the day before to arrange a specific spot to start and end the tour. This made it very helpful to locate him and arrange a pick up when we were through.

Jared was fantastic! Not only was he knowledgable on the history and beauty of Central Park, he had a fantastic way of telling the story of it. He was just a pleasure to listen to and walk this beautiful park with. It felt like I was talking to a good friend with a vast knowledge of New York City and its landmarks.

Jared kept the pace going so we were sure to see the most important highlights of Central Park. The tour was 2.5 hours but I could have easily gone another hour. Jared was fantastic. I can't say enough good things about this particular guide!

June 2017

This was from a Trip Advisor review.  Such a pleasure to read that she liked my storytelling, friendliness, and knowledge.

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Posted: May 22, 2017 | 1:54 PM
by Jared Goldstein

A Note of Praise Forwarded by another NYC Tour Operator for a Manhattan Architectural Tour

"We just got some fantastic feedback about you and I thought you’d like to see; check it out!

'walking tour- Jared was awesome... so knowledgeable and flexible to adjust the tour to our needs... he called me on arrival to suggest some changes and also tell us that he would prefer to do the tour all on foot... since there was an inner city bike race that day and had the entire center core of the city shut off so the bus would not be able to get in... so we did the whole tour on foot and it was fantastic... best walking tour I have ever had in New York he even managed to get us into several buildings to talk about the interiors as well. I would request him again if we ever take a group back again'"

This ended up as a New York City Midtown Manhattan architectural tour for a college trip for Professors and students.  NYC traffic conditions are dynamic, but I have resources to avoid some parades, protests, and festivals that can get us stuck in traffic. 
I am glad the group was flexible about doing a walking tour in five nearby neighborhoods instead of sitting in a coach bus in traffic for hours.  The original plan was to go to several neighborhoods, several miles away.

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Posted: May 22, 2017 | 1:46 PM
by Jared Goldstein

A note of praise forwarded by a Tour Operator for a New York City Tour for a School Group

The following are some kind words from the [school's] group leader.

"The walking tour was brilliant, Jared was really friendly, a true New Yorker – loads to say! The kids loved him, and took lots of photos – he pitched the talk at the right level and made it personal – he took the time to ask the teachers about the kids before he talked with them, he was interested to know what they were like. He was impressed by the level of questions from the students – one child was really interested in Judaism and the cultural areas in New York which he was happy to talk about on to focus on with this student. ... – a big thank you to Jared!"

Note: The Jewish New York heritage content in my tour was in between tour spots, walking and talking to address this student's particular interest.  I love keen interests, but I try to stay general for the whole group's part of the NYC walking tour.
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Posted: Feb 3, 2017 | 10:24 PM
by Jared Goldstein

Santa Claus, the New York City Tour  Covered in the New York Times 

My NYC's Santa Claus tour was covered in the New York Times!


photo by Sharon Lowenheim

Here is the text of the article about my Santa the NYC Tour:

Santa's a New Yorker, You Got a Problem With That?

By Corey Kilgannon (c) The New York Times

If a guy on Broadway in wraparound shades and a Santa hat insisted to you that Santa is really a New Yorker, you might slip him a buck and make a quick escape to your office party.

But on Tuesday, this man, Jared Goldstein, 49, was surrounded by 10 people who had shown up to take a walking tour he runs every December called “Santa Claus: The N.Y.C. Tour,” which makes this very claim.

Mr. Goldstein was beginning the tour at what he called Santa’s birthplace in New York City. So he met the group in front of a Duane Reade drugstore on Broadway near Rector Street in downtown Manhattan.

“We’re all here because we love the jolly man,” Mr. Goldstein said.

Mr. Goldstein is Jewish and did not grow up celebrating Christmas. After deciding that the rich history of Santa in New York was being unforgivably ignored, he began the tours in 2010, which he called the 200th anniversary of Santa’s birthday.

This was Dec. 6, 1810, when the first dinner of the St. Nicholas Society was held in the Macomb Mansion on lower Broadway, he said. A tall office building now stands there, at 39 Broadway, with a Duane Reade on the ground floor.

Mr. Goldstein, who usually runs his Santa tours by appointment, had made this one a public tour. He said he was accepting donations as payment, in the spirit of Santa. He held out a Christmas stocking and asked his tour followers for “cookies for Santa.”

Mr. Goldstein, whose Santa hat was embroidered with an image of the Brooklyn Bridge, passed out some fake reindeer antlers for tour-goers to wear.

He pointed out a plaque about the Macomb Mansion next to the entrance to the Duane Reade and led the group into the store to see “the shrine,” which turned out to be a display rack of packaged Santa hats and costumes near the checkout counter.

Mr. Goldstein said the last time he led a group in the store, they were kicked out because “they were not expecting the ‘shrine to Santa Claus’” tour.

This time too, staff members and customers stared as the group gathered around the “shrine” rack.

“We’re in the birthplace of Santa Claus,” said Mr. Goldstein, who estimated that 95 percent of our current version of Santa originated in New York City.

The legend of Sinterklaas was brought over by Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam colony in the 1600s, he said, and the figure was developed over centuries, partly by commercial interests, media portrayals and New Yorkers adopting the St. Nicholas figure to help rein in a once-raucous holiday and make it into a celebration characterized by domestic tranquillity.

The modern image of Santa as the jolly, plump, pipe-smoking fellow was fleshed out by popular photos and written tributes, including Washington Irving’s 1809 account of the history of old New York, said Mr. Goldstein, who lives in the East Village.

He grew up in Old Westbury, on Long Island, and graduated from Columbia University before working at an array of jobs and doing community organizing. He began leading tours 11 years ago.

He led the group on Tuesday across Broadway and scolded an aggressive livery cabdriver: “Hey, we’re walking here!”

The group stopped into Federal Hall on Wall Street, which replaced the old Federal Hall where John Pintard founded the New-York Historical Society.

Mr. Pintard, Mr. Goldstein said, was upset by the rowdy and boozy celebrations held around Christmas by farm hands indulging in caroling sessions. Seeking a calming figure, Mr. Pintard proposed St. Nicholas as the patron saint of New York City.

Then Mr. Goldstein led the group to St. Peter’s Church, not far from 1 World Trade Center, and stopped into the antechamber to discuss the 1806 Christmas Riots, set off by a gang attacking Irish Catholic worshipers leaving the church after midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

“Do you mind if we warm up here?” Mr. Goldstein asked the Rev. Donald Fussner, a priest from the church who had approached the group.

“You can do anything you like,” Father Fussner said cheerily. “This is America.”

The group proceeded to City Hall Park, where Mr. Goldstein pointed out buildings along what was once known as Newspaper Row to prompt a discussion of the publication of Santa-related material, such as images by the illustrators Thomas Nast and Norman Rockwell, and Clement Clarke Moore’s famous “A Visit From St. Nicholas” poem.

Mr. Goldstein led the group to Broadway and Chambers Street to view the building once occupied by The New York Sun newspaper, which published the celebrated editorial that said, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

"So New York has given Santa Claus to America, and hardly anybody knows it,” said Mr. Goldstein, who noted that families have always chosen to celebrate Christmas and Santa in their own way. “And maybe it should stay that way.”

EMAIL character@nytimes.com

The Particulars

Name Jared Goldstein

Age 49

Who he is A guide who leads tours making the case that Santa Claus is really a New Yorker.

Where he’s from The East Village

Telling detail He likes to start his Santa tours in front of a building in Lower Manhattan where the St. Nicholas Society held its first dinner.

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