See reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp. As mentioned in Frommer's NYC, the Michelin Green Guide, & Rough Guide to NYC.
"Mr. Oder has an encyclopedic knowledge of the borough..."
--Wall Street Journal, 11/17/07
Veteran Brooklyn tour guide Norman Oder has designed these tours--mainly walking and public transit, also vehicles--to be wider-ranging and faster-paced than most.
These Brooklyn tours are geared to energetic, independent-minded people, including student groups and delegations. While we explore Brooklyn, I hope to decode the landscape in multiple ways: historical, cultural, retail, architectural, residential, institutional, political.
The idea, as one tour client aptly put it, is to get the gestalt of a neighborhood. And, of course, we can snack, shop, see art, and have other adventures.
The tours rely mainly on foot and public transit, though variations using vehicles are available, as are custom tours. All tours are led by Norman Oder. Scheduled public tours are infrequent, but listed here.
I offer private versions
of any listed tours and can modify them for your interest. For those new to Brooklyn, I recommend Brooklyn 101 or the longer Brooklyn 202. Then again, some visitors are more interested in Williamsburg
, a look at Jewish neighborhoods, or other specific neighborhoods listed at left.
(Above left, one of the city's best blocks: South Portland Avenue in Fort Greene. At right, a view of the Pratt campus and its sculpture garden.)
Walking Brooklyn, touring Brooklyn, discovering Brooklyn
Brooklyn would be the nation's fourth-largest city if it were independent. When you visit Brooklyn with me, you learn about the ebb and flow of Brooklyn history, especially its fascinating and uneven rebirth, and witness its diversity, complexity, charm, and challenges.
Brooklyn neighborhood tours allow participants to learn not merely about the built environment they see but also the forces behind it. And we should be open to serendipity.
Sometimes it's seeing a bridal party at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. Visiting a stoop sale with homemade cupcakes. Viewing the Manhattan skyline. An impromptu visit to The Dinner Party. Checking out Pratt's sculpture garden. Finding food and drink. Taking the East River Ferry to skip among waterfront neighborhoods. Walking the Brooklyn Bridge and going well beyond it. Learning the story behind the Barclays Center.
Video also here. Filmed by JonathanBarkey.com
Tours of Brooklyn on foot, using public transit, and by vehicle
Please keep in mind that Brooklyn borough is vast. Do recognize that "Brooklyn" has become media shorthand for a few highly-publicized neighborhoods--including several of those in my tour repertoire. See this essay about Brooklyn's real demographics, and this essay regarding how the Brooklyn "brand" has evolved.
And, yes, I offer tours in Manhattan and Queens, focusing on places I know well, that just happen to linked to Brooklyn.