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Jane’s Walk 2018: 10 NYC tours worth taking this weekend

There are more than 200 walking tours happening around NYC this weekend and they’re all free


This weekend, the Municipal Arts Society is returning with its annual Jane’s Walk series, where civic-minded citizens lead more than 200 walking tours around the five boroughs inspired by Jane Jacobs. The tours last all weekend, with a plethora to choose from.

This year’s series welcomes a #JanesWalkNYC Photo Contest that encourages participants to share photos from various tours on social platforms, using the the hashtag, for a chance to have their photos featured on the Municipal Arts Society’s website and showcased at the 2018 Summit for New York City in October.

The festivities kicked off on Friday, May 4 at 9 a.m. with walking tours of NYC’s oldest Street (the Bowery) and exploring the secret gems of Brooklyn Heights, however, there’s still plenty of action lined up for the weekend so don’t worry too much about missing those. With so much to see and do, it’s hard to suggest any one tour over the others, but in the essence of trying, here’s a few that definitely sound intriguing. The full list of tours, with dates and times, can be found here.

Will Central Park become Central Dark?: East River Alliance’s Lisa Mercurio will team up with Save Central Park NYC’s Sheila Kendrick to “explore megatowers in development and invading our skyline.” The walk will also discuss the benefits of “suitable development” and the importance of protecting New York City as we know it.

A People’s History of NYC: Native Americans, African Americans, and Immigrants: This two-hour walking tour will lead you through Lower Manhattan to the Lower East Side with a focus on highlighting the history of neighborhood’s minority populations.

Explore history and culture of Crown Heights.

Jewels in the Crown: Crown Heights: Explore the rich history of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights where you’ll see some of the last remaining alleys in NYC, the historical home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, a few historic mansions, along with a look at the neighborhood’s orthodox Jewish and African American and Caribbean neighborhoods.

David Bowie’s New York: Walk through some of the sights that iconic musician David Bowie visited as part of his daily life during his tenure in New York.

Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York: Photographers James and Karla Murray, behind the Lower East Side’s “Mom-and-Pops”exhibitions, will lead this tour that takes a look at the at the neighborhood’s remaining storefront, while also paying tribute to those that have vanished.

Row Houses: Flats & Tenements of East Harlem: This one-hour tour will serve as a crash-course in the history of East Harlem, including its immigrant culture and an introduction to a few longtime residents.

South Bronx Tour: This tour will take you to three historic districts in the South Bronx, where you’ll get the facts behind how the areas are making a comeback from the decline of the 1970s and 1980s.

Nathan Kensinger.

A Glimpse of the Ghosts of the Five Points: The onetime beloved graffiti mecca of New York, 5 Pointz, may be no more but there are still notable remnants that you’ll get to explore on this one-hour tour.

Golden Hour Walk at Freshkills Park: This Sunday evening tour will be about all things Freshkills. You’ll learn about the history of the former landfill, how it’s being transformed into a public park, and there will be a bit of hiking action as well.