Join 3,501 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"I wanted the world to know my city as I did"
January 18, 2013 1:44 PM   Subscribe

In 1992, Lynn Brooks founded the non-profit Big Apple Greeter program, to help make a visit to New York City seem less intimidating and dangerous to first-time visitors: Pick a date, time and neighborhood, and the organization will match you up with a local who will spend several hours with you, helping you find your way around, teaching you the ins and outs of subways and buses, the cool shops, the great places to eat. (Their site also has some outstanding neighborhood profiles and cultural attraction guides that should be of just as much interest to local residents.) The idea spread, leading to the formation of the Global Greeter Network, which now has greeter programs in cities all over the world.
posted by jbickers (13 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, looks like a great resource. Should provide greeters with a steady stream of rubes,hayseeds, and bumpkins to fleece.

Really, anyone who visits for the first time should have a local to show them around and tell them the essentials, like you don't have to wait for the sign to say walk.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:12 PM on January 18, 2013


Should provide greeters with a steady stream of rubes,hayseeds, and bumpkins to fleece.

Quite the contrary (but hey, thanks for insulting all of us non-New Yorkers so casually!). I found out about the service thanks to avocado_of_merriment, and it made a world of difference on our recent trip. It's my understanding that greeters are pretty rigorously screened.
posted by jbickers at 2:21 PM on January 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was just kidding about the rubes and hayseeds. Don't tell anyone though, other New Yorkers might think I've gone soft.

We gotta have the attitude, otherwise we would be like any other city but with more rats.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:27 PM on January 18, 2013


"Dangerous?" In 1992???

Pfft. Try walking from Penn Station to MSG to see a rock concert in '76, bitches!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:33 PM on January 18, 2013


Even foreigners know Michael Schenker didn't form MSG until '79.
posted by ersatz at 2:43 PM on January 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seeing that there is a Chicago Greeters program as well, I have no idea how to resolve the conflict between the part of me that thinks this is the best thing ever and the part of me that hates it when tourists get in my way when I'm walking to and from somewhere.

(Probably the same way I'll resolve the part of me that would want to do this when I visited a city and the part of me that is much more scared to meet new people than I am to meet new places... by smiling politely and nodding. Because I am from the Midwest to my core.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:48 PM on January 18, 2013


Pfft. Try walking from Penn Station to MSG to see a rock concert in '76, bitches!

Isn't it the same building? Or like at most you have to go around a corner?

Did I miss the joke?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:54 PM on January 18, 2013


I was hoping for a NYC greeter program that came with hot towels.
posted by Perko at 3:24 PM on January 18, 2013


6 paid staff and about 35 volunteers

As someone who has worked for a lot of nonprofits this kind of amazed me. Where the heck is their money coming from?
posted by threeants at 3:37 PM on January 18, 2013


I've heard about this service before and kind of want to try it out, even though I know my way around already. One could always get better! Thanks, great post.

Where the heck is their money coming from?

Foundations (one of which is Getty-related), city grants, Bloomberg corporate support, handful of logical corporate partners (parking company, Port Authority, Bombardier (they make trains)) and smalltime supporters. This is, no doubt, some wicked good fundraising, but they have a great product to offer, clearly!
posted by Miko at 9:19 PM on January 18, 2013


Isn't it the same building? Or like at most you have to go around a corner?

FWIW, I meant this.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:58 AM on January 19, 2013


The Paris greeters' slogan is "Parisien d'un jour", a lovely sentiment.
posted by Monochrome at 10:56 AM on January 19, 2013


My husband and I spent time with Steve S., one of the greeters who also happens to work for the transit system. First, he was commited to spending four hours with us. Instead, he spent the entire day. He took us around to all the places we had been eager to see (all in Brooklyn). We had a fantastic day and made a long time friend. A fantastic day and fantastic organization of dedicated people wanting to see visitors have a good time. We love New York, but were not (at that time) familiar with anything outside of Manhattan. We became empowered through this program to be able to venture out into new areas. Thanks Big Apple Greeters and Steve!
posted by eepersmom at 1:57 PM on January 19, 2013


« Older Diamond Joe Biden did an AMA on reddit today....  |  Maya Eliam does a graphic repr... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments