GANYC Certified Guide


Hello!  Due to the current pandemic restrictions, I've decided to focus on one walking tour for the time being; a 1.5 to 2 hour walk in Fort Tryon Park.  As of Saturday, 9/12 The Met Cloisters is scheduled to re-open on a limited basis with details forthcoming upon NYC government approval, so you may conclude my walking tour with a visit to the musuem if you like, assuming all goes according to plan. 

The specifics of the tour:

When:  Each day beginning August 30th at 11am and 2pm (Note:  if you have a minimum of 5 or maximum of 19 people in your party and you would like a customized tour date and time, I will happily accommodate if I am available.)  Please click the email link above to inquire

Duration:  1.5 to 2 hours

Cost:  $30 per guest (maximum guests; 19 per tour per park rules)

Methods of Payment:  Cash, Major Credit Cards, PayPal, Venmo

Contact:  Jim Ryan 917-565-6942;

What you will see: 

  • Cabrini Shrine (interior/exterior)
  • Gatehouse (exterior)
  • Javits Playground
  • Volleyball and Ping Pong Terraces
  • Billings Lawn
  • Sir William's Dog Run and Gazebo
  • Billings Mansion ruins
  • Billings Terrace
  • The Beautiful Heather Gardens
  • Linden Terrace
  • Fort Washington Outpost
  • Stan Michels Promenade
  • New Leaf Restaurant (exterior)
  • Margaret Corbin Monument
  • Hudson River vistas
  • Allison's Walk
  • Abby's Lawn
  • Alpine Garden
  • Cloisters Lawn
  • Met Cloisters (exterior)
  • George Washington Bridge and more.

What you will hear: 

  • The history of the park from pre-colonial times through the Gilded Age to today. 
  • Detailed discussion of the origin and inhabitants of the land with particular attention to C.K.G. Billings, John D. Rockefeller, Sr., and the Olmstead Brothers. 
  • The story of Margaret Corbin aka "Captain Molly", an accidental Revolutionary War Hero of the Battle of Fort Washington. 
  • We will show illustrations and discuss of one the most unusual and lavish dinner parties ever given...right here in NYC! 
  • Discuss and share illustrations of the construction of the park and of the Cloisters. 
  • Discuss key figures which have contributed to the park's success, including Stan Michels and Bette Midler. 
  • A bit of history about the George Washington Bridge (seeing as we can see it from Billing's Terrace)
  • You will find out about the "Allison" of Allison's Walk and the "Abby" of Abby's Lawn. 
  • Discussion of George Grey Barnard and how his sideline of collecting medieval art evolved into what is now the Met Cloisters. 
  • Discussion of the annual reenactment of the Battle of Fort Washington, as well as the most popular annual event in Fort Tryon Park, the Medieval Festival and Renaissance Fair.

Face Coverings Required; Social Distancing Practiced

Each guest will receive a complementary bottle of water at the beginning of the tour.

Gratuities are accepted for a job well done (not mandatory, but appreciated).

For More Information About Jim Ryan, Please Read My Bio and Mission Below...

Since 2010 I have worked as a licensed NYC Guide and as a Domestic and International Tour Director. I enjoy working with both Students and Adults. I am also a GANYC Certified NYC Guide and a licensed Washington, DC Guide. I do Step-on work in NYC and 10 other cities. I have been to 46 states and 14 countries. I also have a background in Meeting Production, History, Culinary Arts, Graphic Design and Information Technology.

My goal as your Tour Guide is to present my beautiful city to you in a way which focuses on the things that interest you.  We start with a simple conversation, from which I can apply my experience and knowledge to your wants and desires.  Together, as you observe, enjoy, taste, smell, question and absorb this greatest of world cities, I will guide you through a unique experience, designed specifically for you. 

When you leave the tour, you will have seen a side of New York which you likely did not know even existed.  Make no mistake; this is not an "almanac" of dates and places (although there is a bit of that as relevant) like on a "Hop on, Hop off" tour.  This is a deeper dive into the little niches, presented in a way which only a trained, experienced guide can present them.  It's about attitudes.  It's about the pulse of the people, past and present.  It's about how so many things are connected, and the reasons for those connections.  The historical forces which influenced a dynamic we got here...and why.  

Special Tours:

As a result of the pandemic, I am focusing on just one walking tour: Fort Tryon Park, which includes The Cloisters and the Cabrini Shrine, which is next door to the park.  I am going to begin with running up to 14 tours per week, each day at 11am and 2pm.  We will meet at the 190th Street A Train subway entrance on Fort Washington Avenue, adjacent to Margaret Corbin Plaza.  Please call 917-565-6942 to reserve (limit 19 guests per tour).  If you have a minimum of 5 guests and would like to tour on a different day or time, I'll be happy to accommodate you if available.

You may also email me at for more information.  

Price:  $30 per guest

Cash, Major Credit Cards, PayPal and Venmo accepted

Duration:  1.5 to 2 hours

This is a walking tour which covers about 1.25 miles on mostly flat terrain.  There are ramp alternatives to most of the staircases we descend.  The tour is designed to keep up stair climbing to a very bare minimum.  Sadly, Fort Tryon Park is NOT barrier free and would not be appropriate for guests in wheelchairs.

All guests will receive a complementary bottle of water.




Because we book daily and often weeks in advance, please email for current availability

Services Offered:

Airport/Pier Meet & Greet Convention Staff Corporate Meeting Staff Hospitality Desk & Staff Lecturer Tour Consultant Tour Escort Tour Guide Tour Manager

Tours Offered:

African American History Art & Architectural Tours British Colonial History Celebrity-Focused Tours Central Park Chelsea Chinatown/Little Italy Culinary Tours Dutch New Amsterdam Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty Fashion District Grand Central Terminal Greenwich Village Hansom Cab Tours Harlem Hell's Kitchen Immigrant Experience Irish Immigrant History Italian Immigrant History Jazz Lecturer Lower East Side Manhattanville/West Harlem Mob History Movie & TV Tours Olde New York Private Bus Tours Private Tours Pub Crawls Revolutionary War SoHo SoHo & NoLita South Street Seaport Sports Related Tours Step-On Guides Student Tours Taxi Tours Theater District Times Square TriBeCa Upper East Side Upper West Side Walking Tours