Every year during Fleet Week, and on special occasions and holidays, Turnstile Tours partners with Classic Harbor Line to offer boat cruises about the military history of New York Harbor, especially during World War II. Starting from Chelsea Piers, this 2.5-hour cruise aboard one of their beautiful motor yacht features visits to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Army Terminal, and USS Intrepid, as well as other historic and military sites along the New Jersey and Brooklyn shores. Along the way, we share the stories of sailors, shipbuilders, longshoremen and merchant mariners who built New York Harbor into the heart of the American war effort.
This tasting exploration showcases the vendors of the Lower East Side’s Essex Market, founded in 1940 and now housed in a new, bustling facility home to over 40 vendors. This 90-minute walking and tasting tour visits 6-8 vendors, with generous tastings that may include top-quality olive oils, tacos, empanadas, fresh-baked breads, handmade chocolates, and a selection of cheeses and charcuterie. Along the way, we will explore the past and present of New York City’s public market system, from open-air pushcart markets, to the retail and wholesale network built by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, to markets’ role today providing quality food to communities and creating opportunities for food entrepreneurs to launch and grow new businesses.
From farms to pushcarts to public markets, this 2-hour walking and tasting tour explores historical aspects of New York’s food system and the influence of Caribbean and Latin American cultures and cuisines on the past and present of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Once known for its pickles and kosher meat, today the eastern section of Williamsburg serves up herbal tea remedies from Mexico, sounds of salsa, and traditional ingredients. Based on more than 20 oral history interviews with neighborhood residents and local business owners, and on original archival research, this tour explores the history of Brooklyn’s “Avenue of Puerto Rico” and takes an in-depth look at the Moore Street Market, built in 1941 to mark the end of the pushcart era and today a centerpiece of the Spanish-speaking community. The tour includes 6-8 generous tastings from market vendors and local eateries.
Step aboard a luxury yacht on this intimate two-hour cruise narrated by guides from Turnstile Tours that explores the Brooklyn waterfront past and present, from the borough’s historical emergence as an industrial powerhouse, to its resurgence today as a major center of innovation, manufacturing, and recreation. The Brooklyn waterfront has long been a major economic engine and cultural touchstone for New York City – there’s no better way to explore this dynamic landscape than from the water.
All tours are offered in partnership with Classic Harbor Line.
Turnstile Tours offers interactive and educational tours in partnership with non-profit organizations on topics ranging from the the history of New York City’s industrial waterfront to the contemporary stories of the city’s manufacturers, immigrant entrepreneurs, urban planners, and architects. Below you will find information on all of our programs for your people, including detailed information on educational standards that these programs fulfill. Turnstile Tours guarantees that all educational tours will engage youth participants to:
- actively participate in the process of interpreting primary and secondary sources relevant to the tour experience
- share personal connections, prior knowledge, and opinions
- make observations, share opinions and perspectives, and draw conclusions based on larger issues related to the tours
All our staff members have experience teaching in either classroom or museum settings for K-12 students or at the college level, and many have experience working with young people who have intellectual, learning, and physical disabilities. Staff members are assigned to educational groups based on their relevant teaching experience and expertise in the subject matter.
For 165 years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard built some of America’s most famous fighting ships, from sailing frigates to aircraft carriers. Today, the Yard is home to hundreds manufacturing, technology, and creative businesses, providing thousands of jobs to New Yorkers across a wide range of industries.
We offer a variety of theme-based tours about history, architecture, industry, and more, and there are many hands-on ways to discover what’s behind the walls of the Brooklyn Navy Yard by bicycle, bus, and on foot. Because the Navy Yard is such a vast and complex site, we can craft experiences relevant to almost any subject area, including social studies, history, and many STEM subjects. Click “More Information” to see how to book, availability, pricing, and applicable New York State Scope and Sequence learning standards.
Try some of New York City’s best street food, and learn how food offers an amazing window into the life of a city and its neighborhoods and people. On our Food Cart Tours of Manhattan’s Financial District and Midtown, we introduce visitors and lifelong New Yorkers alike to the amazing tastes and stories of the city’s street vendor community, offering the opportunity to not only taste amazing dishes from all over the world cooked up on the sidewalk, but also to get an insider’s perspective on the industry.
This hands-on tour is an excellent experience for students of all ages, especially for those studying topics related to immigration, food systems, and the history of New York City. The tour can also be adapted to meet most dietary needs. Click “More Information” to see how to book, availability, pricing, and applicable New York State Scope and Sequence learning standards.
Step inside an engineering marvel that is today a center of manufacturing and innovation. Built in 1918-1919, this enormous Cass Gilbert-designed complex served as a supply base for the American military for nearly 50 years. Today, this thriving industrial park is home to over 100 companies in industries ranging from precision manufacturers to biotech researchers, online retailers to chocolatiers. This walking tour explores how this teeming military transportation hub operated, and how these facilities are put to use today.
This walking tour is an excellent experience for students of all ages, especially for those studying topics related to the history of New York City, US history, military history, transportation, waterways, and industry. Click “More Information” to see how to book, availability, pricing, and applicable New York State Scope and Sequence learning standards.
All of Turnstile’s staff are licensed New York City Sightseeing Guides and have a diverse range of experience and expertise, 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:
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 models, 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.
With over 15 years of experience in the museum, tourism, and disability fields, Cindy serves on the emeritus advisory board of the Museum Arts & Culture Access Consortium, the Tenement Museum’s access advisory committee, and has consulted with institutions in the U.S., Russia, and Singapore to foster more inclusive and engaging visitor experiences for people of all abilities. Cindy is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals. In her spare time, Cindy is learning American Sign Language, serves as a member of Brooklyn Community Board 7 as the Chairperson of the Ability and Access Committee, and is a board member of Travel Unity, a new nonprofit dedicated to inclusivity in the travel and tourism industry.