Hello! I am Greg Marro - founder of Greg Walks NYC. I live in the same neighborhood my family settled in 1884, now called SoHo in lower Manhattan, NYC. This cultural neighborhood offers boutiques, restaurants, international cafes and music. This timeline highlights a fun day in my life as a licensed NYC Tour guide!
8 am My alarm clock rings and I awaken to start my daily music meditation. The aroma of fresh brewed Maui coffee permeates my apartment. The coffee is from Porto Rico Importing Co. It is the oldest coffee purveyor in Greenwich Village founded 1907. It sells over 100 types of exotic coffees and teas combined. Walking in the store, and smelling the coffees is heaven, and a GREG WALKS NYC tour pleaser.
10 am I read my email to see the roster of GREG WALKS NYC tours lined up for the day. I review each tour’s manifest, the tour’s route and expected site’s arrival times. Today’s tour, ITALIANS OF GREENWICH VILLAGE FOOD TOUR, focuses on the sites and food bites of Greenwich Village. Prior to heading out, I give a quick perusal and check out the WEATHER CHANNEL, the NYTIMES and CNN online.
11 am to 2 pm I greet my tourists on the corner of Sullivan and Houston Streets in front of St. Anthony of Padua Church. This classic Romanesque architectural gem is the first Roman Catholic Church built in 1888 in the U.S. for Italian immigrants. The tours offered on MYRAGO are smaller and more intimate, usually no more than 10 people. This allows for a more intimate and leisurely tour; just the type of tour MYRAGO specializes in. Along the way, my tourists experience this famous neighborhood along with delectable bites, such as: prosciutto from a 50 year old butcher shop, gelato made from dairy products imported from Sicily and a cheesy and decadent Italian rice ball (with or without red sauce).
3 - 4 pm Having shared local Italian food bites with my tourists, I treat myself to a delectable (already prepared!) plate of fettuccine with mushrooms. This pasta from the local pasta purveyor was cut on the original 1917 pasta-cutting machine, which is still in use. They sell over 50 types of fresh pasta made daily, including noodles, ravioli, and tortellini, among others. No doubt, my lunch was likely prepared by the owner, Romana, a classic little Old Italian lady, who has run this family owned business since the 1960’s.
5pm – 7pm I meet friends for a happy hour bite at a little out of the way Italian trattoria. They specialize in Italian comfort foods; my favorite is the Sicilian meatballs. They are crunchy small bites stuffed with raisins and pine nuts. I enjoy a robust glass of Zinfandel as suggested by the wait staff. We feast on this happy hour delight and then head over to the Italian café on Bleecker St.
8 pm – 10pm: Since happy hour, we have filled up on yummy appetizers and red wine. Our tummies are craving some sweets. We head on over to one Greenwich Village’s oldest cafes on MacDougal St. This is just the type of café you’d find on a MYRAGO experience. It is small, intimate, and dark with strong espresso and delicious sweets including cannoli, profiteroles and decadent tiramisu. The interior is a classic Italian café displaying the original, shiny, silver colored espresso maker purchased in 1927.
11pm -? Having savored the local Italian flavor of Greenwich Village, we lastly head for a nightcap at Café Wha! on MacDougal St. This local watering hole showcases local musicians and bands. It was one of the many local haunts where musical greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell first played in the early 1960’s.
I then amble home, content and grateful that I live in one of Manhattan’s most lively and famous neighborhoods, well sated by its local flavor. This is all the more reason to experience with MYRAGO. Its travelers experience Greenwich Village from a very personal perspective.