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Secrets of the Met
The Met is more than just room after room of paintings and stuff, artists’ bios and scholarly discussions of who influenced whom. The Museum is packed with great stories that only PlaceChase delivers. Marvel at the backstory to some of the Museum’s greatest collections, the stories, scandals and only-in-New York drama behind the institution that the Met itself does not choose to share. Did you know they tried to give away the musical instrument collection? That they had to fight Jackie Kennedy for the Temple of Dendur. That they have been accused of buying fakes since the beginning. And then there is always the awkward question of what treasures are hidden in the basement?
Secrets of the Met covers 15 different Collections and locations within the Museum. You may explore them all or pick and choose among them in any order you desire. This Chase is not a scholarly study or comprehensive guide to the art, and does not provide free entry into the Met.
(15 Collections – 3 to 4 hours)
PlaceChase FiDi is your essential tour-guide to NYC’s Financial District. Explore the heart of old New Amsterdam and the place where New York’s runaway growth was fueled. Three separate curated walking routes extend southwards from City Hall to the southern tip of Manhattan – colonial era New York of the 1600s and1700s, the NYC Colossus of the 1800s or the New York of outsiders, some welcomed but many not. You may opt to follow one or more routes in their entirety or pick and choose, from among them – explore as much or a little as you want.
NYC is a city of untold stories, all of them fascinating and so many overlooked. Did you know that infamous outlaw Billy the Kid was christened here in the gritty heart of FiDi? Or that a slave-king ruled once a year for Pinckster Days? Or that coffee drinkers chased out the slave market? Or that there was a plan afoot to balance Lady Liberty on top of the Washington Monument, or another to place a giant illuminated wrist-watch around her upraised torch-arm? Or how about that the Post Office used to send live cats through pneumatic underground mail tubes to prove their reliability. Perhaps you remember that Jefferson had a phobia about public speaking, but could you imagine it possible that the last veteran of the War of 1812 lived to 1905, his long life due in his words to booze and cigarettes?
(17 Places across 3 themed routes – 1 1/2 hours per route)
This Chase is your essential companion to the great stores of NYC from Macy’s, to Saks Fifth Avenue, to Bloomingdale’s, and everything in between. Enchanting even when the holiday season has passed. We’ll take you through and spill the beans on the larger than life stories of the city’s iconic retail houses. The great Macy's balloon hunt, Canadian imposters, indoor ski hills, Presidential cheapness, how the Rockettes helped save Radio City Music Hall and how they all created the New York City Christmas that we all know and love – we touch upon it all.
New for 2019, our partners along the tour route generously made available 'holiday treats' - special offers and gifts for ChristmasWindows users, including Bloomingdale's, the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, Le Pain Quotidien and select Bryant Park Winter Village artists. The time for these holiday treats has alas passed until Christmas 2020, but you can still enjoy these engaging stories of NYC, on us all year long.
PlaceChase ChristmasWindows covers eight Places between 34th and 59th Streets. Our curated exploration offers a full morning or afternoon of holiday enchantment, with some delightful only-in-NYC stories to boot, or take the deep dive into a single Place on your lunch hour or coffee break.
(8 Places - 2 to 3 hours)
PlaceChase Brooklyn Bound takes you across the Great East River Bridge, as it was known, into the heart of the picture-perfect historic waterfront neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo. Explore the life and times of a colorful cast of characters that range from the curmudgeonly farmer Teunis Joralemon, who fought City Hall tooth and nail only to see his daughters marry future Brooklyn mayors, to Victoria Woodhull, the first women to run for the U.S. Presidency, who was forced to manage her campaign from inside of a jail cell, to Robert Odlum, swimming instructor and fire safety enthusiast, who proved you would not suffocate in jumping from great height but that the landing could be lethal. Through their stories and others, we chart the rise of that quintessential American phenomenon, the pop-up city that grows seemingly overnight at the whim of hucksters, real estate speculators and transportation tycoons. This tour through America’s First Suburb and the City of Churches leads you from Brooklyn’s earliest days, through the glories of the late 1800’s, the dark days of the 1960s and 70s, to the city of today with its fascinating combination of historic preservation and hipster cred. This Chase provides a full day of sightseeing, we recommend stopping for lunch.
(12 Places – 5 to 6 hours)
New York Public Library
PlaceChase New York Public Library explores the past and present of the wondrous institution that is the library on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets. Uncover the stories of the men and women who made it, of those who sought to stop its being made, and of those who changed it along the way. Marvel at the leap of imagination that turned this from a sanctuary for the rich into a refuge for the city’s everyman. Explore what’s actually in the Library, and what was here before it.
(6 Places - Under 2 hours)
PlaceChase Central Park takes you on a journey through the development of this most iconic NYC gem, from its inception as a settlement of free African-Americans, well north of and outside of 1850s New York City, to its present-day status as a must-see destination in the heart of Manhattan. Explore the ways the Park has changed with the city, and marvel at the outlandish plans that never came to pass. Meet a cast of characters that ranges from ‘Commissioner of Everything’ Robert Moses, to the Free Masons who believed in a Christian society that pre-dated the birth of Christ by a millennium or more, to the surprisingly house-proud residents of the Depression-era Hooverville on the Great Lawn. This Chase covers the Park south of the Reservoir. A separate northern Park and Harlem Chase is coming soon.
(10 Places – 3 to 4 hours)