Explore the past, present, and future of the Brooklyn Navy Yard on this guided walking tour of this historic and dynamic waterfront site. Founded in 1801, the Yard was once the nation’s premier naval shipyard, building, repairing, and outfitting vessels from the War of 1812 through the Cold War. Today, the Yard’s historic industrial landscape has been repurposed to support 450+ businesses that employ over 11,000 people in manufacturing, technology, and skilled crafts. On this two-hour walking tour, we will explore the Yard’s rich naval and labor history, through examining historical documents, listening to oral histories from workers and sailors, and visiting historic buildings, including Civil War-era machine shops, the Yard’s museum and visitor center at BLDG 92, and a working dry dock still used today for ship repair. We will also learn about the Yard’s business ecosystem, community programs, and workforce development today, and the future plans for the Yard’s development.
Brooklyn Navy Yard: World War II Tour
Brooklyn Navy Yard: Architecture & Infrastructure Tour
Once America’s premier Naval shipyard, today the Brooklyn Navy Yard is a mission-driven industrial park and a hub of industry, technology, and craft. Explore the Navy Yard’s unique architecture and examine the many layers of history visible in the landscape, from Civil War-era machine shops to innovative LEED-Certified structures, and see how these buildings have been adapted for modern manufacturing. Learn about development projects currently underway at the Yard, which is undergoing its largest expansion since World War II. This tour showcases the role the Brooklyn Navy Yard plays in providing economic opportunities for thousands of New Yorkers, from small business owners to manufacturing workers to technology startups, and looks at the infrastructure that keeps the Yard – and all of New York City – running, including stormwater management, solid waste, and alternative energy systems. The tour covers most of the massive 300-acre campus, including visits to the still-active 1851 Dry Dock No. 1, the one-million-square-foot World War II-era Building 77, the sites of the Admiral’s Row and Dock 72 projects, and the LEED Platinum-certified Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92.
Brooklyn Army Terminal Tour
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. Our walking tours explore how this teeming military transportation hub operated, and how these facilities are put to use today. All tours are offered in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
Prospect Park Tours
Discover hidden treasures, natural wonders and little-known tales on these interactive guided tours of Prospect Park in the heart of Brooklyn, presented by Turnstile Tours in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance. While taking in the beauty of this iconic park’s woodlands, waterways, wildlife, and landmarks, explore the fascinating layers of natural and human history, from the flora and geology, to the architectural eras visible in the built environment, to the past and present of recreation and play. Explore how use of the park has changed over time, from the original vision of designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, to projects underway today that support environmental conservation, historic preservation, and recreational and cultural access for Brooklynites and visitors from around the world.
Food Cart Tour: Jackson Heights
Join us on an exploration of local flavors in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the world! As a center of New York’s street vending community, Jackson Heights is the perfect location to learn about the ins and outs of the industry, while sampling delicious favorites from around the globe and getting to know more about the people and organizations who help these vendors to thrive. We’ll dig into the past, present, and future of street vending in New York, discuss how vendors have advocated over the years to make important changes, and look at how they play an essential role in feeding their communities. On this two-hour walking and tasting tour, you’ll learn about the origins of many of our favorite street foods while you enjoy tastings from five different businesses, which may include award-winning Colombian arepas, hot Himalayan momo, flavorful Bengali fushka, and much more! Enjoy an insider’s perspective into this complex industry, while chatting with vendors and devouring incredible, fresh made-to-order dishes right there on the sidewalk.
Food Cart Tours
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, Midtown and Jackson Heights, Queens, 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.
Food Cart Tour: Street Vending After Dark
As night falls on the sidewalks of New York, street vendors continue to fill the streets, offering some of the best food in the city, as well as art, souvenirs, and other merchandise. On our Street Vending After Dark tour, we introduce visitors and locals alike to the amazing flavors, creations and stories of the city’s street vending community, while discussing the ins and outs of the industry. We’ll chat with vendors while admiring their wares, devouring incredible food from around the world, and discussing how they navigate the challenges of being a street vendor in NYC. On this two-hour walking and tasting tour, we’ll stop at five different businesses to indulge in tastings of late-night classics like chicken over rice, kati rolls, tacos, and maybe even a New York hot dog. And we will visit street artists, booksellers, and clothing merchants, and gain an insider’s perspective into this complex industry.
Essex Market Tours
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 5–6 vendors, with generous tastings that may include top-quality olive oils, tacos, empanadas, fresh-baked breads, hearty soups, 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 La Guardia, to markets’ role today providing quality food to communities and creating opportunities for food entrepreneurs to launch and grow new businesses.
AIANY Around Manhattan Architecture Boat Tours
Upcoming Tours led by Andrew Gustafson:
Explore NYC’s new and enduring architecture, engineering marvels, and the revitalized waterfront from the teak decks of Classic Harbor Line’s elegant motor yachts. Hosted by the guides of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, this 2 hour and 45 minute circumnavigation tour offers insightful narration about the city’s built environment, from the Hudson and the Battery to the Hell Gate and Spuyten Duyvil. The story of NYC’s development is described as a broad overview for visitors, yet includes deeper insights to satisfy knowledgeable locals and architecture and design professionals. Learn about architectural icons and new and alluring sites, including Little Island at Pier 55, the mega-project Hudson Yards, and the continuing ascent of “supertall” luxury residential towers. Turnstile’s Andrew Gustafson is now part of the AIANY team leading these tours, and you can find his schedule above (subject to change), or join any of the wonderful AIANY boat tours with their engaging and knowledgeable guides.