Our day with Gabby Cabby (aka Peter Franklin) was without a doubt one of the best parts of our recent trip to New York City. I cannot think of a better way to see the real New York than with this informed and informative man. This tour is not for the faint of heart, the trifler; this is for those who want to learn about the city and its boroughs from the inside out, from someone who has lived there his entire life and whose pride shows through in every statement. And best of all, he tells everything - history, anecdotes, jokes, asides, geography, you name it - in rapid-fire, genial style that's both endearing and entertaining. I swear, by the end of the day when he was reminding me not to forget my gloves, he felt like family...
You book the tour on-line before you go and if there is something in particular you wish to see, mention it while you're booking, Gabby Cabby does tailor his tours to suit the client wherever possible. We wanted to see whatever he wanted to show us so left ourselves in his more than capable hands for more than seven hours. Seven hours! That's not counting the forty-five minutes we took for lunch when he left us at the diner where Seinfeld used to be filmed...and how cool is that? And if you're wondering if the amount of time was too long? Not in the least...
Even though the day was kind of crummy weather-wise...rainy and slushy but cold too...the hours just flew by as we toured Harlem, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and saw sights we hadn't expected to see (the Cloisters, the amazing Brooklyn bridge - in detail, and Yankee Stadium, just to name a few). Gabby Cabby knows where the bodies are buried (literally - he showed us where someone famous was gunned down, and also where the most people are buried in Manhattan).
His knowledge of NYC is inexhaustible and I could have gone out again the next day and started on another seven or eight hours. I would be willing to bet, he could do another long tour and not repeat anything he did the first day at all. There were many times during our trip, especially towards the end, when he would point out something like Greenwich Village and talk about it in passing (a place I'm familiar with as it happens) but then say something like, 'but, unfortunately that's not on our schedule today, we can only fit in so much'...so I know, there's more to see, much more.
Would we go with him again? In a New York minute.
February 10, 2014
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