Take a virtual ride with us on the Astoria route of the NYC Ferry. We will board at Wall Street, and on this one-hour ride, we will examine the historical buildings along the waterfront of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, and learn about things to do at each of the ferry’s stops. We will stop by Wallabout Bay for a visit to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and other landmarks of the industrial waterfront, learn about the history of housing in the Lower East Side, Midtown, and Long Island City, examine the river’s barge traffic, past and present, and discuss the natural and manmade islands that stretch along the river. To accompany this guided tour, check out our free map guide that we created for Open House New York.
Explore one of the most beautiful and historic churches in Brooklyn, Williamsburg’s Most Holy Trinity-St. Mary. Established in 1843 as the first German Catholic parish on Long Island, the stunning cathedral-like structure was completed in 1885 and was a key location in Betty Smith’s 1943 classic “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” Cindy and Andrew were married in this church (and April 26 is their wedding anniversary!), and they will be joined by their friend and priest Father Timothy Dore, who will share the rich history of the parish he served for many years.
Explore the history of Graham Avenue, Brooklyn’s “Avenue of Puerto Rico” and take an in-depth look at the businesses and people of this community, including the historic Moore Street Market, and the department stores, butcher shops, and pushcarts of the past and present. Turnstile Tours has worked in the neighborhood for more than 10 years, and this program is based on more than 20 oral history interviews with neighborhood residents and local business owners and on original archival research that we will share during this session.
Some of the subjects we frequently have to address on our tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard are: where is it? and what is the official name?
So let’s start with the first question. The Brooklyn Navy Yard is located on the banks of the Wallabout Bay, a bend in the East River located opposite Manhattan’s Corlears Hook. The Yard has grown considerably since it was established in 1801 with the purchase of 23 acres of land on the bay’s western shore. Today, it encompasses 300 acres that encircle the bay from west to east, bounded by Little Street and Navy Street to the west, Flushing Avenue to the south, and Williamsburg Street, Kent Avenue, and Division Avenue to the east. >> Continue reading
Support for development of neighborhood tour offered by a non-profit organization // 2012
During the spring of 2012, Turnstile Tours provided support to staff members at St. Nick’s Alliance to develop and offer a walking tour focused on sites of historical significance in Williamsburg, a neighborhood in North Brooklyn, that wove together stories of sites, residents, and the organization’s impact over time on issues related to affordable housing, crime, care for senior citizens, public art, and youth programs. Turnstile Tours provided support by providing feedback on place-based storytelling techniques, incorporation of primary sources, past-present connections, and methods for engaging attendees.
Technical assistance in walking tour development for neighborhood placemaking initiative // 2012
Turnstile founder Cindy VandenBosch provided support to Neighborhood Women, a non-profit organization based in North Brooklyn, to help shape and develop a walking tour based on the stories of female community leaders as part of a place-marking initiative. Cindy provided feedback to the tour development team on techniques for incorporating personal stories within the context of larger neighborhood issues, while using visual cues, primary sources, and audience participation to support storytelling. Feedback and support was also provided regarding logistical implementation of the tour, from designing a realistic, achievable route to staying on time and providing locations for attendees to sit down and rest throughout the experience.