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? about Big Apple Greeters

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? about Big Apple Greeters

I can't find the post about this from maybe a week or so ago -- but I'm pretty sure I saw one that specifically said that the Big Apple Greeter service should not be considered "a free walking tour." The Big Apple Greeter website mentions that, among other things, the greeter will help people learn how to use the subways and find their way around the city.

Then today I noticed this portion of a post by Bigapplegreter1 (in the "FDNY tour" thread):

"have a great trip to NYC..perhaps you want to register with www.bigapplegreeter.org for a free walking tour..

So, here's the question -- if we have been to NYC before (my husband went to Columbia) and are comfortable with the subways and getting around, are we not the people that Big Apple Greeter is designed for? If we are really interested in some guidance in walking around, say, Harlem or parts of Brooklyn, would it be more appropriate to pay for a commercial tour (or do a self-guided walking tour) than request a Big Apple Greeter? I certainly don't want to usurp a free service that is really targeted at first-time visitors.

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Big Apple Greeter
Big Apple Greeter
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New York City, NY
Columbia
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Birkenhead, United...
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1. Re: ? about Big Apple Greeters

I could be wrong but I'm not sure they are designed for 1st time visitors. To me I think they are for anybody who is really interested in seeing things you may not always see or hear about on your own. New Yorkers are very proud to be New Yorkers and a lot of them love to show off their great city. I was lucky enough have have a Big Apple greeter on my last visit and had a fantastic time, what lovely people they are to give up their own time to try help a tourist have a good holiday.

KD1
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2. Re: ? about Big Apple Greeters

And a question from a non American and person unfamiliar with your tipping - does one tip a Big Apple Greeter ? If so, how much.

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Big Apple Greeter
Big Apple Greeter
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Manchester, United...
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3. Re: ? about Big Apple Greeters

no they do not accept tips

so you either buy a small gift from your homeland or buy them lunch or make a donation to the greeter programme

Manhattan
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4. Re: ? about Big Apple Greeters

khoff - you have that right. Big Apple Greeter is like Welcome Wagon - it is designed for first time visitors - it is not a free walking tour service and the person who keeps posting that it is and claims to be a greeter does not understand the organization he volunteers for.

If your husband graduated Columbia a long time ago, he will not recognize the place! Two recommendations for Harlem area tours are Harlem Heritage tours and Big Apple Jazz.

I do hope you return to Columbia and visit St John the Divine while you are in the neighborhood.

If you read posts about Brooklyn here on Tripadvisor, you will get lots of info to guide yourself.

Sue

thestarryeye.typepad.com/explorenyc

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Big Apple Greeter
Big Apple Greeter
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New York City, NY
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Columbia
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Harlem
Harlem
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New York City, NY
Harlem Heritage Tours
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New York City, New...
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5. Re: ? about Big Apple Greeters

I'm sure Sue is correct, but I also don't think you have to be a first time visitor to use a Big Apple Greeter. If that were the case, they might screen applicants and ask that question and disqualify those who were repeat visitors. I do think based on what I've read here, by stipulating a specific area you want to see, you reduce the chances of getting a Greeter since the liklihood that someone with knowledge of that one area is available when you're here is less than if you leave it to "greeter's choice."

Ironically in looking at their website for clarification on your question, I've discovered for the first time they have some pretty handy neighborhood guides for do it yourself tours. Here's the one for Harlem.

bigapplegreeter.org/PDF/MN_Harlem_Apr2004.pdf

Here's a link to the page with 7 different areas of Brooklyn

bigapplegreeter.org/06-resources/02-neighbor…

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Big Apple Greeter
Big Apple Greeter
710 Reviews
New York City, NY
Harlem
Harlem
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New York City
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6. Re: ? about Big Apple Greeters

The Big Apple Greeter program enables a visitor to interact with a NY'er to see and visit an area of the City thru the presentation of the greeter. This in itself could be a very rewarding opportunity.

For many, this could be a fabulous way of enjoying a day in NYC, meeting new and interesting people, and gaining a perspective that may be different than the standard tour.

May not be for everyone, but it could be a great experience.

Edited: 27 March 2010, 12:23
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Big Apple Greeter
Big Apple Greeter
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7. Re: ? about Big Apple Greeters

You are right whiz - you do not have to be a first time NYC visitor although that is what the organization was founded for. Back in the deep dark early 90's Big Apple Greeter was founded to provide positive press for all of NYC.

If you have been to NYC before, please ask for a visit to boroughs outside of Manhattan or in the Northern part of Manhattan.

Big Apple Greeter was not designed for repeat fulfilled greeter requests. There are way too many requests for the number of volunteer greeters.

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The Time New York
The Time New York
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Big Apple Greeter
Big Apple Greeter
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New York, NY
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8. Re: ? about Big Apple Greeters

Here is the deal:

Big Apple Greeter is a "FREE" service - do not confuse it with other groups.

It can be a walking tour, learning how to use the subway or making a visitor feel comfortable navigating the city.

www.bigapplegreeter.org

Secondly, it is designed for any visitor, whether first time or 10th time. It has nothing to do with whether you have been to NYC before or not.

Thirdly, we do not and cannot accept tips. I much prefer that you make a donation to the organization, but that is also not mandatory.

You do not have to bring a gift nor pay for anything. If you do so that is up to you, again, not mandatory. SPeaking only for myself I get uncomfortable with someone wanting to pay for me. If they bring a gift, all well and good, but not necessary.

I hope this helps.

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Big Apple Greeter
Big Apple Greeter
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New York City, NY
Denver, CO
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9. Re: ? about Big Apple Greeters

Thanks, everyone -- especially, NYWhiz, for the links to the walking tours on the Big Apple Greeters' site. I hadn't noticed that before.

New York City
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10. Re: ? about Big Apple Greeters

Irish Girl is flying. She got a B A G,

a " Tale of Two Threads ".

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k3382492…