I’ve been lucky in my life that I’ve had many an excuse to visit New York City. I’ve gone because as a family we would go to nearby New Jersey to visit my dad’s people. I went in college because I occasionally played the part of a giant nerd in Model United Nations. I’ve gone for work. Then of course, I’ve gone to visit my cool friends who have lived in Manhattan. It’s so hard being me.
Of all the times I’ve visited there was something I ALWAYS wanted to do but could never quite seem to pull off until, a Big Onion Tour. I love all things guided. Double-decker tourist bus? Yes, please. Museum audio tour? You bet! Riding on an amphibious WWII vehicle while making quacking noises? My tourist heaven.
Big Onion Tours are themed walking tours led by individuals who hold advanced degrees in history (lovely nerds). Some tours even involve eating. You simply show up at the meeting place and join (reservations are only required for the eating tours). We went on the Central Park Tour.
I’ve strolled through a part of Central Park before. I learned then that there are two types of women who visit the park mid-day on a Friday. One type gets dressed up in high heels, pushes a zipped up stroller, a stroller that contains a little white dog that is not allowed to touch the ground. The other is a slow jogger wearing a shirt that reads, “Book and Cats, All You Need.” Given my prior experience, I was excited to learn something other than how Central Park attracts pet-obsessed middle aged women.
It was very rainy on the day of our tour. I didn’t mind. We had one raincoat and one umbrella, “all you need.” The rain was nice because it meant we toured with only about four other people.
We learned loads that I’ve since forgotten. Our tour guide was probably a genius (I can never spell genius, ironic? No, just obvious) but he wasn’t one of those brainy types to whom normal people can’t relate. I do remember learning that at the Dairy they once gave away milk to poor children from real cows. That and when the park was first built it was so far away from the actual city that people didn’t want to live nearby it, how times change.
The tour was good despite the downpour. The park is beautiful, especially wet. Marcus took many an awesome picture. I took two, the one up there and this one. Well I suppose that’s a lie as I’m in the photo below. I guess I took one and posed in another.
Since the tours differ based on the day and time of year Big Onion Tours are pretty much the perfect thing for the frequent NYC visitor. I would love to go on another one; hopefully one that involves a little less rain and a lot more stuffing my face with delicious food.