See enthusiastic reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp. As cited in Frommer's NYC, the Michelin Green Guide, & Rough Guide to NYC.
"Mr. Oder has an encyclopedic knowledge of the borough..."
--Wall Street Journal
"You can take a private guided tour with the man who knows it best..."
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 exploring Brooklyn, we aim 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. Many New York City visitors now know that their trip is not complete without a Brooklyn walking tour.
The tours rely mainly on foot and public transit, though vehicles can be used. All tours are led by Norman Oder, who as both guide and journalist has developed deep expertise in Brooklyn. 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. Custom tours are available, too.
(Above left, one of the city's best blocks: South Portland Avenue in Fort Greene. At right, a view of the Pratt Institue 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.
We should be open to serendipity. Sometimes it's seeing a bridal party near the Brooklyn Bridge. Visiting a stoop sale with homemade cupcakes. An impromptu visit to The Dinner Party. Checking out Pratt's sculpture garden. 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
Do keep in mind that Brooklyn is vast. Also 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.
I'm periodically on Twitter (@TouringBrooklyn) and Facebook (New York Like A Native). But you can contact me here.