The Ethnic Apple

Fridays, 10:15 am – 5:00 pm


Breathtaking urban vistas that are typically not seen. Ethnic neighborhoods that are part of the unique mosaic of the city. This great bike tour combines them both!

  • Hassidic Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn
  • Lunch in a local Polish restaurant (food cost not included)
  • Williamsburg, Brooklyn
  • Greenpoint, Brooklyn
  • Queensboro Bridge
  • Williamsburg Bridge
  • Gantry State Park (Queens)
  • Lower East Side
Tour details

New York: is it a "melting pot" where cultures meld? Or a "salad bowl" where different cultures maintain their own customs? Or both? On this tour, you’ll find out!

Fittingly, this tour begins in Queens, one of the most ethnically diverse places in the world. At this borough’s Gantry State Park, we see restored "gantries" and learn about their critical role in the city's commerce in the first part of the 20th century. The view across the East River, directly opposite the United Nations and what was the world's tallest apartment building, provides an unforgettable photo opportunity.

In Brooklyn, we encounter the most dramatic example of New York’s ethnic mosaic—Williamsburg—where a centuries-old culture lives on within the orthodox Jewish community, and where, on a Friday afternoon, everything is bustling in preparation for the Sabbath. We’ll see how this culture has adapted, on its own terms, to the broader American society. You will find it hard to believe that you are in New York City in the 21st century!

In Greenpoint, another great Brooklyn neighborhood, we’ll discover a vibrant Polish community that honors its roots with native cuisine and language. Here you’ll see how New Yorkers live outside the frantic pace and congestion of Manhattan. We’ll also visit the Lower East Side of Manhattan, an area generations of immigrants have called home. Here, early and recent arrivals from Europe, Latin America, and China intermingle with assimilated New Yorkers.

As we complete this tour, we pass directly in front of the United Nations. What better place than this to reflect on the unique urban mosaic that makes the Big Apple such a fascinating place to explore!