A Tour Grows in Brooklyn
Heading to New York City and looking for something fantastic to do? Don't know much about the area, but are curious to learn more? I've got something perfect for you to do! Head to Brooklyn, and catch up with Rick Kadlub, of A Tour Grows In Brooklyn. His tours are personable, educational, and fun (ending with pizza!). If you're in the mood to explore Brooklyn with a native (which one of our teen travel bloggers will do next week!), try A Tour Grows in Brooklyn.
The Soldiers & Sailors Arch
We caught up with Rick and asked him about his tours, history in the area, research, and more. Here's what he had to say...
WE: Please tell us about a Tour Grows in Brooklyn...
RK: A Tour Grows In Brooklyn is a company I started 5 years ago that offers walking tours of Brooklyn's Park Slope - Prospect Park area. We also do private, group, and custom tours, which include Brooklyn Heights, DUMDO, and Greenwood Cemetery. We also offer a Food Tasting Tour. In the almost 5 years I have been doing the tour, I still have a 100% positive rating with customer reviews. That is something I am very proud of - no one has ever written a bad word about the tour or myself.
WE: What was the genesis of your walking tours?
RK: I had worked on the floor of The New York Stock Exchange for 10 years, and as automation was talking over, the jobs of people and layoffs were looming, and I had to reinvent myself. I saw people walking around my neighborhood, which not too long ago was an urban wasteland, with tourism guidebooks. I figured it might be a good idea to start a walking tour of the area.
Lower Poly Prep School
WE: What is your background in the area? How did you decide on teaching about Park Slope and Prospect Park?
RK: I have lived in the area for all of my 50 years and my family has lived on the same block for over 120 years. I bought any books I could find about Brooklyn and studied extensively. With my research, I feel there is no one more qualified then myself to lead these tours as I have lived and seen first-hand the transformation of my beloved South Brooklyn.
single family home of an aristocratic woman built in 1897
WE: How do you decide where to take people, and what to share with them?
RK: The area is loaded with history, culture, and architectural beauty. I know the area well, so I know what buildings have meaning and importance to the history of the neighborhood. On my tours, we cover a lot of the history but I also incorporate personal stories, which the people seem to love and sometimes are amazed at, as they are not from Brooklyn and almost can't believe some of the things we did growing up in Brooklyn.
WE: What might people unfamiliar with Brooklyn be surprised to find out, when taking your tours?
RK: People seem to be surprised about how beautiful the area I take them to is. All the great restaurants and the many different magnificent styles of architecture we have, as well as all the history - dating back to the mid 1600's, as the Dutch settled Brooklyn. From the Revolutionary War, through the Civil War, and to the present. As they may have been to NYC before, they have had preconceived notions about Brooklyn - and by the end of the tour they are so in love with Brooklyn and want to explore more of it - and even stay in Brooklyn on their next visit to New York.
The Williamsburg Saving Bank
WE: What is your favorite part of teaching these tours?
RK: I am truly a people person and really love sharing my knowledge with anyone that is interested. Also, I love meeting people from all over the world that come on the tour and telling them how great Brooklyn is.
WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
RK: I don't make as much money as when I worked at The New York Stock Exchange but I feel blessed and very fortunate to be doing something I really love.If you find a job that you like to do, you will never work a day in your life.
For more information, please see: brooklynwalkingtour.com
You can also find Rick on Twitter @brooklyntour and on Facebook at A Tour Grows In Brooklyn
All photos courtesy and copyright A Tour Grows in Brooklyn.