Energetic, eclectic Brooklyn tours from a veteran guide.
Why tours with guide Norman Oder?
See enthusiastic reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google. As cited in Frommer's, Native's Guide to NY, & Rough Guide to NYC. Follow me on Instagram.
"Mr. Oder has an encyclopedic knowledge of the borough..."
--Wall Street Journal
"...incredibly knowledgeable, dynamic, and engaging."
--Trip Advisor reviewer
"The thinking person's tour guide"
"Their favorite day of class over the semester"
Veteran Brooklyn tour guide Norman Oder aims these tours--mainly walking and public transit--to be wide-ranging and briskly-paced. Most tours involve 2-4 miles of walking, but can adapt to your pace. Vehicle tours range farther.
These tours, all led and booked by Norman, a longtime Brooklynite, are geared to energetic, curious people, and have attracted enthusiastic visitors of all ages, from student groups to seniors.
While exploring Brooklyn, we aim to understand the history of what we see, what's changed, and why. The idea, as one tour guest aptly put it, is to get the gestalt of a neighborhood, recognizing the advantages and pains of change. (Here's The Onion.)
We can snack, shop, and see art--and we can delve deeper into neighborhood social history.
Why visit Brooklyn neighborhoods?
Brooklyn would be the nation's fourth-largest city if it were independent. When you walk around 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. I aim neither to sugarcoat nor to denigrate.
My tours can focus on Brooklyn highlights, specific neighborhoods, or multiple areas. I try to be more lively than a purely academic or architectural tour, but more substantive than a "let's have fun" tour. I'm intrigued, enthused, and sometimes confounded by what we see. I'm happy to work with college and university groups to adapt tours.
"Brooklyn" has become media shorthand for some neighborhoods within the larger borough, part of the evolving Brooklyn "brand."
I can introduce you to some of those neighborhoods, but, remember, Brooklyn is larger and more populous than the City of Paris (within the peripherique), and it "contains multitudes." You can't see it all in a day!
First steps to your Brooklyn tour
Nearly all my tours are private tours. You can book my listed tours, which usually start at 2.5 hours, or can request modifications. The tours rely mainly on walking, with occasional public transit or taxis, though vehicles can be used.
Those new to Brooklyn might consider Brooklyn 101 as an introduction to classic "brownstone" neighborhoods, or the longer Brooklyn 202. But you may be more interested in Williamsburg, or Jewish neighborhoods, or other areas. We can discuss it.
Please check tour pages, fees, my FAQ and list of "top misconceptions" about Brooklyn, then get in touch.