Thursday, November 29, 2012

More Great Tours from Turnstile Tours -- Immigrant Foodways December 16th

Turnstile Tours

The Spirit of the Season

World War II Tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Charity Christmas Tours of historic Brooklyn church
Immigrant Foodways Tour and holiday events
Helping our neighbors recover from Sandy
Showing images to a tour group at dry dock one in the Brooklyn Navy Yard

"The Can-Do Yard": World War II Tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Our newest tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard has launched, and we hope you will join us to explore this fascinating history. We already have been honored to host two World War II veterans on this tour – one who served in the Merchant Marine, another in the Navy – and they have shared powerful and moving stories with our visitors. We are pleased to offer free admission to any World War II veterans, and discounted tickets to military veterans of all ages.

During World War II, the Brooklyn Navy Yard played a pivotal role in the American war effort – it built or repaired over 5,000 ships, sent troops and supplies to fronts across the globe, and the tireless efforts of its 70,000 workers earned it the nickname "The Can Do Yard." This tour will examine the role of the New York City waterfront in the war effort, explore connections between the Yard and famous battles of World War II, and visit sites of significance that remain from this era, including the Naval Hospital campus, the Naval Film Exchange, a working dry dock, and even businesses outside the Yard that switched to wartime production. By visiting these sites, hearing the stories of workers and sailors, and examining historical images and documents from the period, we hope to evoke a sense of what the Yard was like during the war and illuminate the historical legacies that persist to this day.

This tour is being offered in partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92.

Upcoming tour dates:

Sunday, December 2nd
Saturday, December 8th
Sunday, January 6th

Time: 11:00AM-1:00PM
Tickets: $30 per person

Click here for tickets & information

We also offer our 2-hour overview tour of the Yard every Saturday and Sunday at 2:00PM.

Be sure to read our blog, where we'll be sharing great stories about the Yard's history, and check out wonderful photos taken by our friend David Berkowitz on the Veterans Day launch of this tour.

Image Source (Above): David Berkowitz
Father Timothy Dore and Cindy VandenBosch in Santa caps

Tour an Historic Brooklyn Church and Support Families in Need

In the Spirit of the Season: A Christmas Tour of the Parish Grounds of Most Holy Trinity-St Mary
Discover the beautiful church and parish grounds of Most Holy Trinity – St. Mary, built in 1885 as “The German Cathedral” and described in author Betty Smith’s famous novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Led by Father Timothy Dore and Turnstile’s founder Cindy VandenBosch, this tour will venture up into the bell tower, down into the crypt, and even take a peek into the German-themed Rathskeller rectory.  Attendees will learn about the origins of many Christmas traditions, highlighting the parish's early beginnings in the mid-1800s with stories of the origins of Santa Claus and Christmas trees, and discussing more recent immigrants from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Poland, who have brought new traditions to the church, from Noche Buena to the Three Kings Day Parade.

All proceeds from the tour go to benefit Trinity Human Service Center, a non-sectarian, non-profit organization that provides food and social services for needy families in Brooklyn. Cindy has been proud to offer this tour experience for four years, and it has helped to raise thousands of dollars for struggling families – we hope you will join us this season.

Saturday, December 15th, 2:30-4:30PM
Saturday, January 5th, 2:30-4:30PM
Tickets: $20 per person. Space is limited, so advance ticket purchase is required.
Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Most Holy Trinity-St Mary Church

Explore Latin American Food and Culture in Williamsburg

Immigrant Foodways Tour
Our Immigrant Foodways Tour takes you on a journey through the sights, sounds, and flavors of the diverse Latin American cultures that come together in Brooklyn's East Williamsburg neighborhood. Once known for its pickles and kosher meat, today the neighborhood serves up herbal teas from Mexico, sounds of salsa, and traditional foods from Latin American countries. Based on interviews with neighborhood residents, this tour explores the history of Brooklyn’s “Avenue of Puerto Rico” – once the heart of a Jewish community – and takes an in-depth look at the Moore Street Market, built in 1941 to mark the end of the pushcart era and today a centerpiece of the Spanish-speaking community. By the end, you’ll be equipped with new knowledge about Latin American ingredients and a booklet of traditional recipes to help you recreate the tastes and smells of the market in your own home.

Sunday, December 16th, 10:30AM-1:00PM
Tickets: $42 per person. Advance ticket purchase is required.

Click here for tickets & information

Holiday Events in Williamsburg

In addition to our Christmas Church tour and Immigrant Foodways tour, there are many other holiday events going on this time of year in East Williamsburg. The Graham Avenue Business Improvement District will be running its Holly Jolly Trolley this year to transport shoppers around the neighborhood. The trolley will operate on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the Christmas season from 11AM to 3PM. For more information, visit the Graham Avenue BID's website. The neighborhood's annual Three Kings Day Parade will take place Sunday, January 6th, along Graham Avenue, and will feature menagerie of animals – including a camel! – in its procession (if you want to learn about the origins of the nativity scene, come on our Christmas Church Tour!).

Special Holiday Food Cart Tours

Throughout the holiday season, we will continue to offer our Food Cart Tours on our regular schedule – Wednesdays in the Financial District, Fridays in Midtown – but with a special twist. Tours in December will include special holiday content, including stories about New York City's sidewalk Christmas tree vendors and roasted chestnut sellers, and holiday foods and traditions from the home countries of the immigrant vendors we work with. With Manhattan already abuzz with the holiday spirit, we hope these tours will offer unique insight into holiday traditions and foods. If you have family in town or you're just visiting New York for the holidays, our Food Cart Tours are a great family experience.

Financial District, Wednesdays, 12:00PM-2:00PM
Midtown, Fridays, 2:00PM-4:00PM

Click here for tickets and information

Help New York City Recover from Sandy

Many of our partners, friends, and family were deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy. In the days and weeks since the storm, our team has tried to do what we can to help in the relief efforts, but there is still so much to be done. Many of the street vendors we work with were affected, as Manhattan's Financial District experienced massive flooding, forcing many of them out of their regular locations and causing them to lose customers they had relied on for years to support their small businesses. But street vendors have stepped up to the plate in Sandy relief (read about this on our blog), bringing their mobile kitchens to the hardest-hit areas of the city to provide hot meals for families in need, free of charge, thanks to support from crowd-sourcing campaigns and generous donors. The Brooklyn Navy Yard was also hit hard by Sandy's storm surge, and roughly 25 of the Yard's 275 businesses suffered losses in inventory and equipment – some were even taken offline completely, and remain so to this day. Both IceStone, a manufacturer of countertops made from recycled glass, and Ted & Honey, the cafĂ© inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center, have launched campaigns through the crowdfunding platform Smallknot to help them get back on their feet. The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation is working hard to provide support for the tenants and workers at the Yard, but every bit helps.

The outpouring of support from individuals and organizations during this crisis has been incredible, and we have been deeply moved by people's generosity, selflessness, and hard work. We would like to extend special acknowledgement to some of the groups that we have worked with, including Occupy Sandy, COJECO, Team Rubicon, and the New York City Food Truck Association. Cindy has compiled a list of resources that you can use to donate money, supplies, or your time to the people in need. It has been a month since the storm, but there are still thousands of families without homes and in need of support. As the weather gets colder and the prospect of spending the holidays without a home, job, or belongings, that support becomes ever more critical. Thank you for your help.

How you can help victims of Sandy.

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Upcoming Tours

Fri, Nov 30
Midtown Food Cart Tour
Sat, Dec 1
Brooklyn Navy Yard Overview Tour
Sun, Dec 2
World War II Brooklyn Navy Yard Tour
Brooklyn Navy Yard Overview Tour

Wed, Dec 5
Financial Dist Food Cart Tour
Fri, Dec 7
Midtown Food Cart Tour
Sat, Dec 8
World War II Brooklyn Navy Yard Tour
Brooklyn Navy Yard Overview Tour

Sun, Dec 9
Brooklyn Navy Yard Overview Tour
Wed, Dec 12
Financial Dist Food Cart Tour

Fri, Dec 14
Midtown Food Cart Tour
Sat, Dec 15
Christmas Church Tour
Brooklyn Navy Yard Overview Tour

Sun, Dec 16
Immigrant Foodways Tour
Brooklyn Navy Yard Overview Tour
Plastic deer Christmas lawn ornament

Gift Certificates Available for the Holidays!

Give the gift of a unique New York City experience this holiday season. Gift certificates can be purchased by tour or dollar amount. Give the gift of an historical tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a strolling lunch of street food, or a weekend visit to an historic public market!

Purchase Gift Certificates
Brian and food vendors

Write a review! Tell your friends!

If you recently joined us for a tour, we would greatly appreciate it if you wrote a review of your experience on our TripAdvisor page. Online reviews go a long way in helping us reach more customers and improve our experiences. We rely a great deal on word-of-mouth, so please, tell your friends and family about your tour and help us get the word out about or small but growing company. And we always welcome your feedback if you would like to send it to us directly at
People unloading supplies for Sandy relief in Coney Island

From our blog

Neighborhood Eats Tour from Urban Oyster

Our friends at Urban Oyster offer a wonderful food tour of Brooklyn's Smith and Court Streets, highlighting a vibrant mix of small, locally-owned, artisanal food shops, both old and new. Stops on the tour include Italian and Middle Eastern shops that have long been staples of the neighborhood, as well as the growing scene of cafes and restaurants specializing in New American cuisine. While you enjoy their delicacies, you will also learn about the neighborhood's rich history and get to meet the local business owners.

Tours are offered Saturdays, 1-4PM

Tickets & information
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