Named "New York's Wackiest Tour Guides" by the Travel Channel!

Levy TV!

Matt and his fans appreciating Brooklyn's Street Art

In case you havent heard all of our shouting from the rooftops, The Levy clan will be on TV this coming Saturday! No, we dont have our very own Reality TV show (yet . . .) but rather we’re going to be a short segment as part of NBC’s First Look program, screening at 7:30pm on Saturday May 7th and again, at 1am on Sunday May 8th.

First Look is a national lifestyle TV program that focuses on culture in the 10 major markets across America. Each episode is organized around a topic – Locavore dining in Chicago, LA, Miami and Dallas; DIY remodeling in San Fransisco, Seattle and Minneapolis, you get the picture. The May 7th episode of First Look is all about family businesses, and all four Levys get to share their favorite tours for 4 minutes of the half-hour program! Hey, it’s a start . . .

Mark and his group in the former Five Points (now Chinatown)

For the first segment, Mark met the camera and (ridiculously good looking) hosts Jackie and Nate at Columbus Park in Manhattan’s Chinatown, site of the notorious Five Points neighborhood. Part of our Ethnic NY Tour, Mark talked about how in the mid-19th century, the Five Points was the worst slum in the world, yet gave birth to such all American inventions like Bowling Alleys and Tap Dancing. Mark introduced the family business, then sent the camera on its way to meet:

Jackie & Nate, the ridiculously good looking hosts!

Jonah, in Hell’s Kitchen, talking about Sandwiches! The Hell’s Kitchen Sandwich Crawl, one of our newer, more delicious tours, grew out of Jonah’s love for sandwiches and storytelling, and layering the two together like a well-stacked Cubano. In the segment, Jonah expounded on the interesting backstories found in sandwiches and NY neighborhoods like Hell’s Kitchen.  He and Nate split a sammy and chow down. Meanwhile . . .

Matt caught up with Jackie on Vandevoort Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn to talk all about Graffiti and Street Art. From Graffiti to Galleries and Brooklyn Represent! are two different versions of Matt’s favorite tour. The tour marches through a half-dozen neighborhoods, talking about the development of post-industrial NYC and the role that street art plays in generating neighborhood change. For First Look, we took them on an outer borough adventure to learn about the difference between graffiti, tags, murals, wheatpastes, throw-ups and street art.

Gideon (and Matt) talk about Oral History at Bar 169

Lastly, Gideon met Jackie and Nate at Bar 169, to discuss Saloon Culture in the Lower East Side. Featured in our Jewish Gangsters of the LES tour, Gideon talked about the history of neighborhoods that are transformed from working class immigration to industrial no-man’s land to hip artist lofts to boutique designers and luxury condos. And often the only history is the oral history passed down from generation to generation. So it’s important to keep your ear to the ground and stay tuned.

Which is exactly what we Levys want all our fans and friends to do! Keep your ears and eyes tuned to NBC on Saturday, May 7th at 7:30pm for our National TV debut! And keep listening to the word-of-mouth history, especially when it comes from NY’s First Family of Tour Guides!

By Matt Levy

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