All of Turnstile’s staff are licensed New York City Sightseeing Guides and have a diverse range of experience and expertise, ranging from historical research to museum studies, sustainable architecture to street food. All of our team members also participates in ongoing research and tour development. Click the names below or scroll down to see team bios:
Founder & President
Cindy VandenBosch founded Turnstile Tours to create interactive and content-based experiences that foster engagement and interaction within and across communities in partnership with non-profit organizations in the neighborhoods of New York City. Cindy is passionate about offering experiences that are welcoming and accessible to people of all ages and abilities, and she has long been interested in socially-responsible business, which led her to found Turnstile as a Benefit Corporation in 2012. Originally from Flushing, Michigan (a suburb of Flint), Cindy studied anthropology at the University of Michigan and conducted her thesis research in Siberia and the Russian Far East, studying traditional culture of local ethnic groups.
Since moving to New York more than a decade ago, Cindy has gained extensive experience in the museum field; for several years she managed tour implementation, quality, and accessibility at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum for over 100,000 visitors annually. She has also worked in a variety of capacities with the Brooklyn Historical Society, New-York Historical Society, the Museum at Eldridge Street, the New York Transit Museum, and many other cultural organizations. From 2012 to 2015, she served as co-chair of the Museum Access Consortium, an association dedicated to increasing accessibility at cultural institutions for people of all ages and abilities, and formerly taught K-8th graders who are blind or have low vision about the geography and history of New York City with City Access New York.
In 2008, Cindy also co-founded Urban Oyster with David Naczycz and co-managed that tour company for three years before starting Turnstile.
Originally from New Haven, Connecticut, Andrew studied early American history as an undergraduate at Middlebury College and political geography and criminology at the University of Colorado-Boulder graduate school. He is trained as an historical researcher, geographer, and cartographer, and in additional to his duties as a tour guide, he oversees knowledge management for Turnstile Tours, maintaining our archive, library, and blog, and designing our tour maps and brochures. Prior to working at Turnstile, Andrew lived in Moscow and Irkutsk, Russia, where he studied geography and worked as a reporter, editor, and translator for a number of media outlets.
After moving to New York in 2009, he worked at the International Coalition of Historic Sites of Conscience, a worldwide network of museums and historic sites that use difficult histories to promote positive social change, coordinating their programming in the former Soviet Union. Andrew is fascinated by military and maritime history and the contemporary workings of New York Harbor, both manmade and natural, and he is an avid shipspotter, birdwatcher, and paddler. He has led the research and development of the World War II tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which launched on Veterans Day 2012, and our tour programs at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Andrew and Cindy were married in April 2014 at Williamsburg’s Most Holy Trinity-St. Mary Church, with food provided by street vendor Veronica’s Kitchen, and they are the proud parents of Salty. Andrew is a member of the US Naval Institute.
Head of Sustainability Programming
Doug’s diverse talents include being a working actor and an ecological design consultant, experience he gets to blend together at Turnstile Tours. Doug is a LEED-accredited professional with the US Green Building Council and for five years worked as the director of research for internationally-renowned ecological architecture firm William McDonough + Partners. Doug also worked with Bruce Mau and the Institute without Boundaries to produce Massive Change, a multi-media installation exhibit focusing on the capacity of design to shape our world for the welfare of humanity exhibited across North America, and he worked on a project to bring sustainable building technology to Haiti. Doug is also an accomplished actor working regularly on stage, in film and commercials and possesses a Masters in Fine Arts from the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College. Recently, he has appeared in productions at New York’s Guggenheim Museum and in the Solutions Grassroots Tour, a stage show about the impacts of climate change and hydraulic fracturing.
Doug led development of both the Urban Ecology and Sustainable Architecture and Industry tours at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and he helps Turnstile to incorporate sustainability- and environmentally-focused content into all of our programs and operations, including our annual benefit reporting.
Food Cart Tours
Brian Hoffman is a food blogger, actor, waiter, and lover of New York. Originally from South Florida, but born to a family of New York expats, he always dreamed of being a starving artist in the big city. After studying theater at Carnegie Mellon and moving to New York City in 2001, he realized the starving part wouldn’t cut it. So in order to never go hungry again, he founded Eat This NY, a food blog where he searches for the best of New York’s most iconic foods, and a web series of the same name that documents those searches alongside a comedic storyline. He loves showing visitors and residents alike where to get the most delicious and surprising food, and as a tour guide, he gets to do just that every day.
As the leader of our Food Cart Tours, he has fallen deeply in love with the mobile food vending scene across the country and the resourceful entrepreneurs behind these businesses. Tour attendees are always amazed at the quality of the food and the fascinating stories. He also leads tours for Urban Oyster, and he covers the street food beat for the website Midtown Lunch.
Tours: Food Cart Tours
Brooklyn Navy Yard Tours
Alex is a born and bred New Yorker who currently resides in his home borough of Staten Island with his wife, son, and dog. Alex earned his M.S.Ed. in adolescent special education as a New York City Teaching Fellow at Long Island University after graduating from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in history. Alex formerly worked as the Youth Advocate for the Groundswell Community Mural Project, a Brooklyn-based non-profit that connects youth with artists to paint social justice murals throughout the five boroughs (including at the Brooklyn Navy Yard).
Alex is also the Senior Educator at the Brooklyn Historical Society, overseeing their K-12 educational programs, including their programs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92. An avid student of the history of social justice and civil rights movements, Alex leads many of our World War II Tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, weaving together the story of servicemembers on the battlefields with the challenges and triumphs of workers on the home front.
Tours: Brooklyn Navy Yard