See New York as New Yorkers see it

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 Neighborhoods Tour (Scroll down)

An unusually engaging  visit to New York's many ethnic enclaves

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Next time you're in New York, I hope you'll let us take you on a customized tour to city's the deepest pockets of soul and fun.

For Instance:
Bowery Poetry Club
(where the musical, theatrical and poetic performances push the envelope daily);
Parlor Entertainment
(where Marjorie Eliot opens her Harlem home every weekend to anyone needing a shot of spiritual jazz);
Inwood Hill Park (where you can get lost on the hiking trails and see no one for hours and never leave Manhattan);
Hookah Bars in the East Village and Astoria, Queens where smoking still is permitted in these exotic cafes.

Gordon Polatnick's

 Big Apple Jazz Tours

New York City Neighborhood Tours

Start off in Chinatown, where you can pick up a cheap, fake  Rolex watch

or do what I like to do:

    • Chinese Massage:

    I let a couple thousand years of tradition and expertise give me a neck and back massage, (or foot massage when my dogs start barking).

    • I Ching:

    When I'm perfectly relaxed I make a pilgrimage to the storefront Buddhist temple to pay my respects, and monitor my future by making a wish -- then dipping my hand into the fortune trough, and pulling out the answer to my destiny.

    • Rum Balls:

    Then I counter the effects of  a lousy fortune by visiting a Chinese bakery and sampling a chocolate rum ball or perhaps a thick, rich, red bean cake.  Since my fortune wasn't what I'd hoped, I buy a bag of  fortune cookies and have at it.

  Bargain Shopping on the Lower East Side

I like to then counter the effects of rum balls and bean cakes by walking down Canal Street over to the Lower East Side and noshing on a fresh garlicky sour pickle, or  a steamy potato knish.  You can take these treats for a stroll down the streets known as the Bargain District, shopping for deals as you go.


After all that snacking there's only one sure cure: So my next stop is at the Turkish Baths for an hour or so of steaming, shvitzing, splashing (or a "leaf-beating" massage called a platza).  The baths are a piece of authentic NY history which have survived unaffected for 100 years.

At this point, I'm al dente -- stewed to perfection, and ready to go...To Harlem. 



And I'm hungry again.   According to Duke Ellington there's only one way to get to Harlem: You must take the A train...I'll take that sound advice.

There are plenty of well known soul food restaurants in Harlem.  But there are only a handful worth visiting to get the real flavor of the neighborhood.   From southern fried chicken to mac and cheese, I know where to go to avoid the tourist traps.  And when my stomach is full and content once again, I head over to a local jazz club and bebop into the night.   It makes for a satisfying day in the city, and it couldn't happen anywhere else on earth.  Won't you join me?

This 8-hour tour is available for all sized groups.
The price is $250 per person and includes:

  • Services of a licensed private tour guide.
  • Snacking in Chinatown and the Lower East Side.
  • Massage in Chinatown.
  • Turkish Bath. ("Leaf beating" platza massage is extra).
  • Subways
  • Full Dinner in Harlem.
  • Jazz Club cover charge plus two drinks of  your choice.
  • Transportation downtown.

This tour begins in Chinatown at 3:00 pm and ends at your leisure.

Call or write to make reservations.  Questions are welcomed.
The tour can be nuanced to meet your particular needs and desires.


Gordon Polatnick

Email Us
NYC Jazz Tours
Prices Page
Sample Itinerary

Phone: 718 606-8442   Fax: 212 656-1057    Email:

Click 2 times...For the time of your life!
(References by satisfied customers)