Pinara S

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Pinara S

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Aug312013

Tour/Activity

Harlem Soul Food and Jazz Evening Tour

New York City, New York

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

The tour guide was very informative, punctual, assertive, take-charge and get it done lady, but she was partial towards the French tourists ( all money is the same so I expected similar, friendly treatment). She was more engaging in conversation and conspicuously attentive to the French tourists. She never introduced herself or stated her name (I realize it was busy and she was rushed for time, but that was a harmless but unprofessional oversight). The tourists want to be engaged in every aspect of the excitement and the journey is just as important as the destination. My sisters and I did appreciate the specific route drop-offs at the end of the tour.
Two drinks were included but if you did not drink alcohol the choices were limited. The place chosen for the Jazz exhibition was small, cramped and had a grade letter of from the Department of Health of New York (the sign was tucked behind a door with bars and you wouldn't notice it unless you were looking intently and closely) "pending" because of sanitation issues. It would have been nice to have visited at least two jazz clubs. The Soul food served at Sylvia's was overall good, but not memorable. The potato salad was too mushy and the ribs were acceptable, but not tender fall off the bone succulent and juicy southern ribs. This tour needs some work for the price charged to tourists. It really needs to broaden its horizons and stepped it up from 10 to 100.

Aug302013

Tour/Activity

Best of Brooklyn Half-Day Food and Culture Tour

New York City, New York

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I really enjoyed this tour because the tour guide, Laura was immediately friendly and engaging. You could tell she really enjoyed her job and she's a real, top-notch certified tour guide for New York. She gave us mountains of history about Brooklyn and New York in general. She was authentic, honest and forthright when responding to specific questions. The bus was comfortable, the other tourists were just as friendly and engaging and my sisters and I enjoyed getting to know other people in that short amount of time. The food was authentic, good and I realized that food cooked by the natives of that culture is the best food tasting experience. No one knows how to really prepare and cook it the way it should be, but a native of that culture.
I was able to gather a real sense of the Brooklyn area and appreciated being taken off of the regular "touristy" typical, type route to drive into the Latino section and have a delightful Cuban sandwich. I got a real sense of the community and the people. I enjoyed being in the middle of New York's real life.
I also enjoyed the fact that we were not asked to give a tip or that it was expected as it really seems to be the case with many other tours and car services. If there was not such a high expectation, then it wouldn't seem so rude and aggressive. I would recommend this tour, but I am indeed partial to Laura. I don't think you would enjoy it as much with anyone else :0).

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