Walk Description

With over 25 highly qualified specialists in art history, urban design, architecture, cuisine, social history, preservation, and other topics related to New York, we are well-equipped to design customized walks around almost any interest.

Before requesting a custom walk, we ask that you browse our complete list of walks to make sure that there isn't already a walk in our repertoire that suites your needs, or that's close. If so, we urge to book that walk privately and supply us with any additional information for how you would like to adjust it.

If, however, you don't see anything in our list that works for you, please use this booking form to tell us what you'd like. We ask that you go all the way through the checkout process in order to get an formal request (with trip and payment information) into our system. Along the way, you'll see a place where you can add your "special requests." Here is where you can tell us the various monuments, neighborhoods, topics, themes, artworks, etc. that you would like to explore with our scholars and experts.

Don't worry, we will not be charging your card at this point. Your order will go into our system as pending

We can design a wide variety of walks for people with special interests, lasting from 2 hours to 3 days, and starting at $200 per group. Drawing on our network of docents, range of other services, and a growing network in NYC, the limits of a custom-walk are circumscribed only by the bounds of our collective imagination.

This generic reservation form is primarily intended for use by people with whom we've been in communication previously and for whom we are designing a custom walk; and for you this form is a tool for using our secure server to input your payment details into our system.For clients with whom we have not corresponded previously, we ask that you spend some time perusing our lists of private and small-group walks. If you find nothing there to suit your needs, if you have a specialized request for visiting sites that lie outside the touristic norm, or if you would like to enlist the services of a specific docent in our network, then we invite you to use this form to begin your reservation request. Please keep in mind that our private walks start at $300 per group for three hours.

Duration: 3 hours
Category: Orientation
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    Rachael Goldman

    Rachael Goldman holds degrees from Rutgers University, Sotheby's Institute of Art, and City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center in Classics and Art History. Rachel is currently working on a manuscript that deals with the social and cultural constructions of color in the Rome Republican and Imperial periods. She has studied at the American Academy in Rome in 2007 and has won fellowships from the New York Classical Club, the College Art Association, and the Archaeological Institute of American. Prof. Goldman is published in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review and the Journal of Decorative Arts of the Bard Graduate Center.

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    Ara Merjian

    Ara H. Merjian is Assistant Professor of Italian Studies and Art History at NYU. He received his B.A. from Yale University in the History of Art, and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He has published articles in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including Grey Room, The Getty Research Journal, Modernism/Modernity and Res, and is the author of Giorgio de Chirico and the Metaphysical City, which will be published in 2013 by Yale University Press. He has taught at Stanford and Harvard Universities, and has held major fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), and the Stanford Society of Fellows. He is a regular critic for Artforum, Art in America, and Frieze, and has authored reviews in The Papers of Surrealism, Afterimage, and Modern Painters. He has lectured widely internationally, and been an invited speaker at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, the Académie de France in Rome, and the Review Panel of the National Academy in New York. He teaches courses on the French avant-garde, Italian modernism, Neo-realist cinema, and Nietzschean philosophy and aesthetics.

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    Ethan Greenbaum

    Ethan Greenbaum received his MFA in painting from Yale University. He is a working artist who exhibits his work regularly in New York and abroad. He is a co-founder and frequent contributor to The Highlights (www.thehighlights.org), a website devoted to artist writings and projects. Ethan teaches art, design and art history at various universities in New York and the surrounding area including the Pratt Institute and Tyler school of Art. He also regularly leads tours in the Chelsea gallery district for Columbia University students. He is a recipient of the Barry Schactman Painting Prize and the Edward Albee Foundation Residency. Ethan lives and works in Brooklyn.

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    Emma Bowen

    Emma Bowen is a design historian and educator who currently teaches in the School of Art and Design History and Theory and the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. A former educator for New York’s Lower East Side Tenement Museum and research fellow in Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum's Department of Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design, Emma consistently explores how visual culture represents the merging of social experience and place. She received a Master of Arts degree in the History of Decorative Arts and Design from Parsons, in conjunction with the Cooper-Hewitt, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architectural Studies from Connecticut College. Emma is a member of the College Art Association and the Ethical Fashion Forum, as well as a contributor to HAND / EYE Magazine.

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    Cathy Kaufman

    Cathy Kaufman is a trained chef and food historian with extensive experience in the food world in New York and beyond. After working as an attorney in New York for more than a decade, Cathy gained multiple degrees in cooking from Peter Kump's New York Cooking School and the School for American Chefs at Beringer Vineyards, California. She has worked in catering and restaurants in New York, and has been on the faculty at the Institute of Culinary Education. Since the late 1990s, she has written and taught extensively on the history of cuisine, including numerous articles for the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. She is senior editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America and author of the recently published Cooking in Ancient Civilizations (Greenwood Press).

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    Matico Josephson

    Matico Josephson has been a student of New York's built environment for as long as he can remember, and an explorer of the city's nooks and crannies for even longer. His curiosity has found an outlet in the History of Architecture, in which he has recently been pursuing a Ph.D. at NYU's Institute of Fine Arts. He will prepare a dissertation on modern architecture in Spain.

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    E.Y. Zipris

    EY Zipris holds dual Masters degrees in education and museum anthropology from Teacher's College and Columbia respectively. She currently works at the City Museum of New York, and thus has deep and broad knowledge of the city and its history.

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    Allison Levy

    Allison Levy holds a Ph.D. in History of Art from Bryn Mawr College.
    Her specialty is Florentine visual culture and, within that broad
    theme, portraiture and representations of the body. She is the editor of Widowhood and Visual Culture in Early Modern Europe (2003), winner of the Society of Early Modern Women Book Award; and author of Re-membering Masculinity in Early Modern Florence: Widowed Bodies, Mourning and Portraiture (2006). Her third book is a collection of essays on sex and sexuality in Renaissance Italy, published in Italian as Sesso nel Rinascimento (2009) and in English as Sex Acts (2010). She is currently studying the art of misbehavior. Professor Levy has taught at Bryn Mawr, Tulane University, Wheaton College in Massachusetts, and University College London. She worked for Context in Florence for several years before moving to New York.

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    Becky Dalzell

    Becky studied urban history as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania and for her master’s at the University of Leicester, UK, researching nineteenth-century city planning and its social implications. In New York, she co-wrote a history of liquor distilling in the city and discovered musty secrets for guides in Time Out. A freelance writer, she primarily covers travel for publications like New York magazine, Travel + Leisure, and the Washington Post. The coolest place she’s been in the city: behind the clock above Grand Central Terminal.

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    Hansel Hernandez-Navarro

    Hansel Hernandez-Navarro is an architectural conservator specializing in cultural resource management and the preservation and rehabilitation of historic buildings and monuments. Over the years, Hansel has gained extensive experience through a variety of projects involving the preservation and conservation of historic and cultural resources. He has done site conservation work in the US, Italy, India, and Portugal. Hansel has also had various research and writing roles at the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles,
    the World Monuments Fund, and the Museum of the City of New York. Hansel received his Master's in historic preservation from Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He is also active in the documentation and preservation of buildings of the modern movement.

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    Michelle Cianfaglione

    Michelle Cianfaglione received her undergraduate degree in architecture from the University at Buffalo and her masters in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. During her education, she traveled extensively through Italy and Japan studying art and architecture. She is a third generation New Yorker who lives and breathes the culture of the city. Michelle is a published artist, avid photographer, and a member of Design in 5, which is affiliated with the Architectural League of New York. She began her career at Studio Daniel Libeskind and is currently teaching architecture at the New York Institute of Technology while practicing architecture here in NYC.

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    karlena tomc-barbosa

    Karlena was born and raised in New York City. She received her BA in anthropology and classics from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, an MA in maritime archaeology from the University of Southampton in England, an MA in Egyptology from Swansea University in Wales, an MA in urban archaeology from Columbia University, and is completing her PhD in Bronze Age alcohol from Durham University. Karlena has worked at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Harlem, the New York CIty Transit Museum in Brooklyn, and the Mary Rose Trust in Portsmouth, and has also excavated in Italy and Spain. She knows New York City and its history from many angles including land, sea, and underground. Karlena is also researching for a book she is writing on the history of alcohol in New York City from the Dutch Period to modern day. She currently lives and works in New York City.

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    William Bautz

    Bill Bautz worked for several decades on Wall Street, designing and implementing computer trading systems to support the operations of banks, brokerage houses and stock exchanges both within the US and internationally. He held senior technology management positions with Shearson Lehman Brothers, American Express Bank, and the New York Stock Exchange. A consultant with the Financial Services Volunteer Corps, Bill currently works providing assistance to the financial institutions in Egypt and Iraq. He holds a graduate degree from Yale University.

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    Elisa Decker

    Elisa Decker has worked as an artist in Greenwich Village for several decades. In addition to showing her work in galleries throughout the city and internationally, being the recipient of many prestigious fellowships, including residencies at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire and the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, Elisa writes for Art in America. She curated the 19-person exhibition "Time Frames Marking Time," which was held at Westbeth Gallery May 24-June 15, 2014.

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    Claire Barliant

    Claire Barliant is a Brooklyn-based freelance critic and writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications including Afterall, Art in America, Artforum, Bookforum, and Time Out New York, and in books on the artists Inigo Manglano-Ovalle and Ann Lislegaard. She is formerly an associate editor of Artforum and an editor of Modern Painters, where she was executive editor from 2007 to 2009.

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    Carolyn Macuga

    Carolyn joined Context in 2010 from the Philadelphia Museum of Art where she created cultural programming for over seven years. She is an Adjunct Instructor of art history and museum studies at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, and holds a BA in English literature and art history from Colby College, and an MA in museum studies from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Carolyn works in our Philadelphia office managing Context's programs in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., as well as overseeing the client services team.

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    Andrew Magnes

    Andrew Magnes is an Architect and Artist. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing from the University of Florida and a Master of Architecture degree from New School University, Parsons School of Design. After working for several New York Based architecture firms, he founded his own practice, amProjects, in 2007. Andrew is particularly interested in how cultural and social shifts redefine architectural and urban form. In the Fall of 2011, he will be teaching Architecture at SUNY Orange.

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    jennifer abadi

    Jennifer Abadi wrote and illustrated her cookbook-memoir, A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes from Grandma’s Fritzie’s Kitchen (now in its third printing in paperback), and currently assists others in writing and preserving their own family recipes. Four years ago she created “The Traveling Palate,” a monthly event where guests enjoy a series of food demos and tastings while learning about less-common cuisines and cultures in an intimate café setting. Jennifer teaches in such professional cooking schools in New York City as The Jewish Community Center (JCC), the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), and the Natural Gourmet (beginning fall 2010), as well as privately in individual homes. Her area of expertise covers a range of cuisines, such as Syrian, Indian, Moroccan, Iraqi, Egyptian, Yemenite, Persian, Greek, Armenian, Georgian, and Turkish, all of which she can customize to your needs. Jennifer is also an active member of The New York Women’s Culinary Alliance as well as ChefsLine.com, MyFoodMyHealth.com, and Cookstr.com. She has done food demonstrations on NBC, ABC, and Fox 5 News, as well as been interviewed by such radio on stations as “Awake, Alive, and Jewish,” and “Radio Sefarad: The English Corner,” in Spain.

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    Sarah Lohman

    Sarah Lohman has over a decade of museum experience with a specific focus on culinary history. Currently, she is an educator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and also works as a freelance curator, consulting with historical institutions to create public programs focused on food. Dubbed an "historic gastronomist," Lohman recreates historic recipes as a way to make a personal connection with the past. She chronicles her explorations in culinary history on her blog, FourPoundsFlour.com, and her work has been featured in publications as diverse as Edible Manhattan and NHK Japanese Public Television.

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    Richard Ocejo

    Richard E. Ocejo earned his doctorate in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and joined the faculty in fall 2009. His primary research looks at the interrelationship between urban change and the nighttime economy, with a specific focus on issues such as gentrification and urban growth policies, through the analytical lenses of nightlife scenes. He is currently researching a book on the development of contemporary cultural movements, focusing on the cocktail movement with the aim of identifying patterns of cultural production and consumption, as well as new forms of work in the postindustrial economy.

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    Chantal Martineau

    A Montreal native now based in New York, Chantal Martineau is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine, spirits, travel, and culture. During a three-year stint in London, she edited the travel section of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin.net, and since then has contributed to such titles as Saveur, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Redbook, Wine Enthusiast, Decanter, Imbibe and The Globe and Mail. In 2009, she starred in the Travel Channel's Confessions of a Travel Writer and, in 2010, published Knack Calorie Counter Cookbook. She is currently at work on a book about the evolution of tequila from local agricultural product to luxury good.

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    Meisha Hunter

    Meisha Hunter is an architectural historian and a historic preservationist. In 2007, she was awarded the Rome Prize in Historic Preservation from the American Academy in Rome, where her research focused on the construction history, water management, and stewardship of a still-active, 21km long, 2000 year old aqueduct. Her writing, travel and collaborative projects focus on historic waterworks infrastructure and her photographs have been exhibited in Florence and Rome. She currently lives and works in New York City.

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    Adam Zucker

    Adam Zucker is an artist, curator, and arts writer who lives and works in New York City. He received his B.A. in art and multimedia from the University of New Haven and is completing his Masters in Art History and Museum Studies at the City College of New York. As an artist, he has exhibited his art in galleries across the East Coast and has been featured in several publications, catalogs and journals. His writing has been published in Sculpture Magazine, and online at Berkshire Fine Arts. As an independent curator he is a founding member of a curatorial alternative art space in Bushwick, Brooklyn called et al Projects where he works with contemporary artists to create multi-disciplinary events and exhibitions. He has curated a retrospective of the work of the American modernist painter Irving Kriesberg at the Longview Museum of Fine Art in Longview TX, and will curate another museum scale exhibition on a group of renowned American Figurative Expressionists in Provincetown, Massachusetts in the summer of 2013. Adam was born in New York City and enjoys the excitement and fast pace of one of the greatest art scenes in the world.

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    Daniel London

    Having earned his Master’s degree in History and Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center, Daniel London continues his pursuit of the urban past through intensive research into the following questions: How have cities been built, experienced and imagined by different social groups across time? How have these understandings conflicted or converged with each other? And finally, how have these discussions and debates impacted the city we see today? He is currently teaching a course on American Urban History, working at the Museum of the City of New York, and is planning his dissertation on public space in early-twentieth century New York.

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    David Pistrang

    David Pistrang grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, and holds a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from Tufts University. In 2010, he completed a Masters degree in the Anthropology of Food at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, where he focused his dissertation on the impact of tourism on local cuisine in China. His research and professional interests include food tourism, Chinese cuisine, education, and cross-cultural experiential learning. David has worked in the gourmet food world, as well as the online food world, and has led educational tours in China and South America. David loves exploring different San Francisco neighborhoods and trying new foods wherever he goes, and is excited to be able to share his love for San Francisco's history and culinary treasures.

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    Kathleen Hulser

    Kathleen Hulser is an independent historian who teaches urban history at the New School for Social Research in New York. During her eleven year career as public historian at the New-York Historical Society she curated or worked on the curator teams for exhibitions on Slavery in New York, Little Germany and the General Slocum Disaster, Grant and Lee in War and Peace, Lincoln in New York, Up on a Roof, Nueva York, and Petropolis: A Social History of Urban Animal Companions. She also ran the research and public interpretation projects "Run for Your Life" about the Underground Railroad in New York. She is currently working on new digital interpretations of the War of 1812. She has written and lectured about brick wall signs, teaching digital humanities, the history of slavery and abolition, and celebrations, parades and rioting in the city.

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    Monica Valley

    Monica Valley is a media designer and an art historian, specializing in later twentieth century art. A frequent lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she is currently pursuing doctoral studies at Columbia, focusing on the work of Robert Rauschenberg. Ms. Valley has programmed and led art study tours to India, Italy and Brazil, and is fluent in Portuguese.

  • Judy Richheimer

    Judy is a NYC guide and a widely published freelance journalist, specializing in both arts and urban affairs.

  • Chhoti Rao

    Cho Rao has been a resident of San Francisco since 2007. She has attended Universities in the US and the UK where she studied History, Art History and Decorative Arts. With fifteen plus years in the art industry spent as an auction house manager and art consultant she is now shifting her focus from art sales to art appreciation in the international museum field. Currently she is a Master’s candidate in Museum Studies at the University of San Francisco.

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    Eric Washington

    Eric K. Washington is a local historian, author and fellow in Columbia University's Community Scholars Program. His research on Harlem, Trinity Church Cemetery and Upper Manhattan is reflected in numerous publications and presentations in both academic and public forums. His book, Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem, was the basis of a notable City College of New York exhibition and the interpretive signage in West Harlem Piers Park that won him the Municipal Art Society’s 2010 MASterworks Award. His ongoing study of Trinity Church Cemetery--Manhattan’s only active burying ground--provides the majority of research in the parish’s official literature of notable burials. He is on the Directors Council of the Historic House Trust and is featured prominently in Phillip Lopate’s Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan, and Jonathan R. Wynn’s The Tour Guide: Walking and Talking New York. Eric is the owner of Tagging-the-Past, which endeavors to reconnect forgotten history to present landscapes through articles, talks and tours.

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    Gabriela Vainsencher

    Gabriela Vainsencher is an Argentinean-born Israeli artist who has been living and working in Brooklyn since 2005. Her drawings, installations and videos have been shown in galleries across the US, as well as in museums, galleries, and art fairs in France, England, Germany, Norway, Canada, and Israel. Her most recent project is The François Vase, a work for video projection and live string quartet, which she created in collaboration with her husband, composer Daniel Fox.

    Vainsencher is the founder of the Morning Drawing Residency, writes about art for The Huffington Post and Title Magazine, and occasionally teaches art at Williams College, in Williamstown, MA. She received her B.Ed in Fine Arts at The Midrasha School of Art in Israel and is a current MFA candidate at Hunter College in New York City.

  • Sun You

    Sun You is a Seoul born, New York based artist, who has taught painting and printmaking at the Pratt Institute, M.I.T and Ohio State University. You has exhibited her work in galleries and museums internationally. Recent exhibition venues include The Korean Cultural Center, Berlin and New York, Kunstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral, Bad Ems, Hangaram Museum, Seoul, Wagner College, New York and The Suburban, Chicago. You was an artist in residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts, Triangle Arts Association, and Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral in Bad Ems, Germany. You also heads President Clinton Projects, a curatorial project.