Tour Advisor

I love to write about places of interests whether I have been there or plan to go there. I write about related topics of tours given by NYC by Foot for more in depth knowledge. For more information click on our About page.

 

 

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands.
One nation under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.”

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

On July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence from Britain and Democracy was born.  July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence.  Every day thousands leave their homeland to come to the “land of the free and the home of the brave” so they can begin their American Dream.

Image from Fact Of The Day Website

The United States is truly a diverse nation that is made up of dynamic people.  Every year on July 4, Americans celebrate that FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE with family gatherings, barbecues, picnics.  With such growing technology we are learning through the internet about and communicating with people of different nations, with different languages and different races throughout the whole world while bringing the world closer with understanding and knowledge can only benefit all nations.

Let’s us never forget the men and women who are fighting to protect OUR HONOR, OUR FREEDOM AND OUR COUNTRY!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!

 

The “New Colossus” The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.

The New Colossus
Famous Poem by
Emma Lazarus in 1883
statue dedicated in 1886

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

A Short Story “Coming to America”

Just to add my own personal story, one that I am very proud of;

I remember seeing the Statue of Liberty when my parents, my brother and I came to America from Germany on April 30, 1958, on a ship called the “SS Berlin”. We arrived in New York in the late afternoon and I remember standing on the pier looking back at the statue which appeared smaller than when we first passed it, just a few hours earlier. I also remember taking a taxi to our first residence in Manhattan in a neighborhood I learned later was called “The Bowery”. It was a small apartment that our sponsors, The Lutheran Church of America” had procured for us.

The Bowery in 1958 was not as it is today. There was widespread and open use of alcohol in that neighborhood and I remember having to step over a man who was sleeping it off on the steps of the door to our building. …a bit scary for a child not even 9 years old. My parents worked day and night for 4 months to get us out of there and into a better apartment.

What I remember of the day we came to America is that I was really scared being in a different country and not speaking any English.  By the time I started school, however, I already knew some sentences which made it easier for me to make friends. Just 5 years later, I am proud to say we became Americans when we received our citizenship in 1963

Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was a French sculptor born in Alsace. He created many monumental sculptures, his most famous work was the Statue of Liberty. The statue is constructed of copper sheets which are assembled on a framework of steel supports designed by Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. For transit to America, the figure was disassembled into 350 pieces and packed in 214 crates. Four months later, it was reassembled on Bedloe’s Island (renamed Liberty Island in 1956). On October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty before thousands of spectators. Since the 1892 opening of nearby Ellis Island Immigration Station, Bartholdi’s Liberty has welcomed more than 12,000,000 immigrants to America. Emma Lazarus’s famous lines engraved on the statue’s pedestal are linked to our conception of the statue Americans call “Lady Liberty”:

Frederic Bartholdi’s design patent for the Statue of Liberty

In 1865 a young French sculptor named Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi went to a banquet near the town of Versailles, where he struck up a conversation with Edouard de Laboulaye, a prominent historian. De Laboulaye, a great admirer of the United States, observed that the country’s centennial was approaching in 1876. He thought it would be a good idea for France to present America with a gift to commemorate the occasion. Bartholdi proposed a giant statue of some kind and thought about it for the next six years. The Statue was a joint effort between America and France and it was agreed upon that the American people were to build the pedestal, and the French people were responsible for the Statue and its assembly here in the United States. However, lack of funds was a problem on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In France, public fees, various forms of entertainment, and a lottery were among the methods used to raise funds. In the United States, benefit theatrical events, art exhibitions, auctions and prize fights assisted in providing needed funds.

Bartholdi went back to work. He founded a group called the Franco-American Union, comprised of French and American supporters, to help raise money for the statue. He also recruited Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, soon to become famous for the Eiffel Tower, to design the steel and iron framework to hold the statue up.

In the United States, things were harder. There was some enthusiasm, but not as much as in France. It was, after all, a French statue  and not everyone was sure the country needed a French statue, even for free. The U.S. Congress did vote unanimously to accept the gift from France, but it didn’t provide any funding for the pedestal, and neither did the city of New York. Neither did the state.

By now, the Statue of Liberty’s right hand and torch were finished, so Bartholdi shipped it to the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition and had it put on display. For a fee of 50¢, visitors could climb a 30-foot steel ladder up the side of the hand and stand on the balcony surrounding the torch. Two years later the statue’s head was displayed in a similar fashion in Paris, giving people a chance to climb up into the head and peek out from the windows in the crown. But while events like these generated a lot of enthusiasm, they didn’t raise as much money as Bartholdi hoped for.

In 1883 the U.S. Congress voted down a fresh attempt to provide $100,000 toward the cost of the pedestal; the vote so outraged Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World, that he launched a campaign in the pages of his newspaper to raise the money.

“The Bartholdi statue will soon be on its way to enlighten the world,” he told his readers, “more appropriate would be the gift of a statue of parsimony than a statue of liberty, if this is the appreciation we show of a friendly nation’s sentiment and generosity.” After two months of non-stop haranguing, he managed to raise exactly $135.75 of the $200,000 needed to build the pedestal.

By now the centennial was only two years away. It was obvious that the huge statue couldn’t be designed, financed, built, shipped, and installed on Bedloe’s Island in time for the big celebration. But Bartholdi kept going anyway.

Raising the $400,000 he estimated was needed to build the statue in France wasn’t easy. Work stopped frequently when cash ran out, and Bartholdi and his craftspeople missed deadline after deadline. Then in 1880 the Franco-American Union came up with the idea of holding a “Liberty” lottery to raise funds. That did the trick.

NOTHING TO STAND ON

In June of 1884, work on the statue itself was finished. Bartholdi had erected it in a courtyard next to his studio in Paris. The original plan had been to dismantle it as soon as it was completed, pack it into shipping crates, and send it to the United States, where it would be installed atop the pedestal on Bedloe’s Island, but the pedestal wasn’t even close to being finished. So Bartholdi left the statue standing in the courtyard.Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

Construction of Statue

COMING TO AMERICA By 1871, Bartholdi had most of the details worked out in his mind. The American monument would be a colossal statue of a woman called “Liberty Enlightening the World.” It would be paid for by the French people, and the pedestal that it stood on would be financed and built by the Americans.

Did you know?

the Statue of Liberty was built to withstand hurricane-force winds with copper skin less than two pennies thick? And that’s not all you may not know about this American icon.

It is alledged that Miss Liberty of Statue-of-Liberty fame wasn’t always imagined as the scowling, linebacker-throated Midwestern matron of steely spiky Germanic stock that she is today. She was supposed to look like an Arab peasant, robed in the folds of Muslim precepts. She wasn’t even supposed to be eternally standing at the entrance of New York Harbor, welcoming new arrivals to the New World. She was supposed to be the welcome ma’am at the entrance of the Suez Canal in Egypt, that her name was supposed to be either Egypt or Progress, and that the flame she was brandishing was to symbolize the light she was bringing to Asia, which had claims to newness all its own.

Illustration from U.S. Patent D11023, Filed Jan 2, 1870 by Bartholdi

Lighting the Way to Asia

All this from the imaginative scruffles of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the Alsatian-French sculptor who’d fallen in love with his own Orientalist fantasies about the Middle East after a trip to Egypt’s Luxor spreads in 1855. He liked Egypt’s colossal sculptures, those “granite beings of imperturpable majesty” with their eyes seemingly “fixed on the limitless future.” He liked just as much the then-fashionable notions of Europeans thinking themselves the “Orient”‘s best thing since unsliced baklava. Bartholdi returned to Egypt in 1869 with the blueprints for a toga-draped giant of a woman who’d double-up as a lighthouse at the entrance of the Suez Canal, which opened that year to fanfare and (British and French) stockholders’ delight.

The Suez Canal may have been in Egypt. But Egypt wasn’t reaping its monetary benefits. The American Civil War had done wonders for Egyptian wealth thanks to the blockade of Southern cotton, which turned Egyptian cotton into gold. But the price of cotton crashed after the Civil War and so did Egypt’s economy. Suez revenue could have picked up the slack. Instead, it went into the pockets of European investors (until Egypt’s Gama Abdel Nasser nationalized the waterway in 1956, to the disingenuous fury of France and Britain).

From Lady Egypt to Lady Liberty

As Bartholdi was sketching one likeness of his great statue after another, it became apparent that his plan would never get Egypt’s financing. Bartholdi was crushed. He sailed to New York. And there, as his ship was entering New York Harbor, he saw Bedloe’s Island, deserted, oval-shaped, perfectly positioned to bear his creation. She wouldn’t be Egypt. But she’d still be Barthold’s. He worked out an arrangement with Gustav Eiffel to build the statue in 350 pieces in Paris, for the French government to pay for the statue (that was back when French and Americans had more respect than reproach for each other), and with American donors to pay for the 89-foot pedestal. Bartholdi’s goal was to have the dedication coincide with the centennial of the American Revolution, somewhere around July 4, 1876.

It happened a bit later, on Oct. 28, 1886, with a military, naval and civic parade in Manhattan, ending at the Battery at the tip of the island, with Gen. Charles P. Stone, who as the statue’s American engineer, was essentially its midwife, was the parade’s grand marshal. She was no longer an Egyptian woman. She was “Liberty Enlightening the World.”

New York Inaugurates Liberty

The weather did not cooperate. The rain was so bad that a New York Times editorioal called it “almost a national misfortune” that “robbed the pageant of much of its effect.” Not that U.S. President Grover Cleveland was going to miss a chance to make himself slightly immortal by association with Lady Liberty as he accepted “this grand and imposing work of art,” though in words of granite neither grand nor imposing: “This token of the affection and consideration of the people of France assures us that in our efforts to commend to mankind a government resting upon popular will, we still have beyond the American continent a steadfast ally, while it also demonstrates the kinship of the republic.” At that point the historical record notes that there were loud cheers, not least those wondering who wrote that stuff.

But Cleveland got a bit more colorful in his next salvo: “We are not here today to bow before the representative of a fierce and warlike god, filled with wrath and vengeance, but instead, we contemplate our own peaceful deity keeping watch before the open gates of America.” Well, the battleship Tennessee’s warlike batteries, which had just boomed, notwithstanding. “Instead of grasping in her hands the thunderbolts of terror and of death, she holds aloft the light that illumines the way to man’s enfranchisement.”  Liberty’s light, he concluded, “shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and men’s oppression until liberty shall enlighten the world.”

One last irony: Bedloe’s Island was not officially renamed until many years later, when it became Liberty Island. The year? 1956.

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island can be seen from the Lower Manhattan Tour given by FREE TOURS BY FOOT!

Read More on the Suez Canal, Where Lady liberty Was Originally to Stand

Bedloe’s Island  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Island

Wiki Link  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Liberty

the National Park Service  http://www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm

PBS Timeline  http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/statueofliberty/timeline/

Link to Canal http://middleeast.about.com/od/middleeast101/a/statue-of-liberty-egypt.htm

 

 

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Walking Tours New York City!

Free Tours by Foot is pleased to present the only Free, tip based tours of New York City. These interesting and informative tours will take you through many of Manhattan’s most famous neighborhoods.

USA’s first capital city, a center of global finance and a tribute to over two centuries of immigration and the American experience — New York City’s history is the history of America.  And on every step of our tours, our expert guides – part professors, part performers – will explain why.

Always interesting, always intimate. We make history fun for everyone!  You can find all of these tours below by clicking the link  – Most of these are 2 hour tours.  All In One is a 6 hour tour

Lower Manhattan Walking Tour

It is here, as much as anywhere, where American history started.  It’s where the first US Congress assembled and produced the Bill of Rights and where President George Washington took his first oath of office. It’s here where the world’s most important stock exchange and one of the most famous bridges stand. And it is here where an unspeakable tragedy took place and where a rebirth is underway.    Check out the itinerary for this tour.

Greenwich Village Walking Tour

is among Manhattan’s most desirable and expensive residential neighboorhoods.  It’s history, however, betrays it’s monied status.  The Village, with it’s quiet, shaded streets, lined with lovely brick and brownstone townhouses, was once the incubating ground of artistic, social and political movements that have helped shape US history.  From the Beats to the Folk Movement, from workers’ rights to gay rights, the Village has often been the center of New York and America’s social movements. Check out the itinerary for this tour.

Midtown Manhattan Walking Tour

Arguably the world’s most valuable, busiest and most crowded pieces of real estate, Midtown Manhattan is what most visitors think of when they think of New York City. Home to some of the city’s most iconic architecture, from Gothic to Post-Modern and from Beaux-Arts to Art Deco (lots of Art Deco). it’s not difficult to understand why. But just behind the massive facades, lie fascinating stories just waiting to be unveiled. Check out the itinerary for this tour.

Historic District Walking Tour

A relaxing stroll through SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown. Join us as we gawk at the Fashionistas and cast iron buildings of Soho, visit New York’s and America’s first “pizzeria”, famous mafia locations, or take a stab at bargaining with a street vendor in Chinatown. This approximately 2 hour tour will cover a range of topics and give you the opportunity to better understand these neighborhoods and to better orient yourself in case you choose to return on your own.  Check out the itinerary for this tour.

Central Park Walking Tour

This tour explores the southern half of Central Park, starting from the southeast corner at Grand Army Plaza. We will wander the winding pedestrian paths passing a pond, rocky outcrops, bridges, open fields and skyline views — all great photo opportunities. The tour will guide you down “The Mall”, a promenade lined with statues of famous literary greats, to the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, the main formal element of the park’s original design. The tour will also include a stop in Strawberry Fields, a living tribute to John Lennon, and will end in front of the Dakota Hotel, where the great Beatles’s life was tragically ended. Check out the itinerary for this tour.

All-In-One Walking Tour

Don’t have enough time to take all of our tours? Prefer to experience Manhattan with a smaller group, but a private booking is out of reach?  Then consider our All-in-One New York Tour. This tour utilizes your feet and the New York City Subway* to transport you from Lower Manhattan, the birthplace of New York, through Wall St and the Financial District, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Chinatown and Midtown Manhattan.

The All-in-One (AIO) Tour covers much of the content covered in several of our separate tours. Reservations are requested, in order to help us keep the ratio of guests to guide managable, in order that each guest gets ample time with the guide. Check out the itinerary for this tour.

Private New York Sightseeing Tours

Whether you represent a school, a business, or a large family, our tours are perfect for any group visit. We can customize each tour depending on our audience. Our guides can go anywhere in New York City and beyond. Why choose us for your private tour of New York City?  Because we are fun! We employ only the best, brightest and most energetic tour guides in the city.   We’re amongst the highest rated tour companies on Tripadvisor for a reason — we’re great at what we do!

Read the reviews!

To book a private tour

COMING SOON!!
YOU WILL BE ABLE TO PURCHASE OUR T-SHIRTS!!
ONCE I GET THEM I WILL POST THEM HERE!!

We are also located in

Washington D.C. More will be posted

Philadelphia, PA We have only one tour

All the instructions for each tour will be on the site by going to Free Tours By Foot If you have any questions about the tours, you can email your questions here at Walking Tour Advisor or leave a comment.  We will respond promptly.  We will be posting more information!

This is dedicated to all the soldiers in the Armed Forces who have given their lives to protect and defend OUR FREEDOM!!

 

(To turn the music off while reading, scroll down to the bottom and just turn off)

 

Monday, May 30th, 2011 we celebrate Memorial Day honoring soldiers who have served their country and who gave their lives so we can continue to live and enjoy the Freedom they have fought and died for.  This is a little personal to me because of one young soldier who I never met and have never forgotten.

My brother enlisted in the Army in 1965, he was almost 18.  He served in the 25th infantry, 1st batallion 5th infantry..they were called the BOBCATS, and was to go to Vietnam. Before he left, he had one wish and that was to be baptized, should anything happen while he was stationed in Vietnam. My parents and I were there when he was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran church in New York City.  It was a huge cathedral.

When he went over to Vietnam, he was with many young men from different states working together for the same goal. How can I forget the letters he wrote telling us how bad things were there and my mother crying over the letters because she feared that she would never see her son again.  She even went as far as to call the White House and wanted to speak to the President (ofcourse that was not going to happen).  She put her complaint in and as she is crying she said she has only one son and they cannot keep him and to send him back home.  Two weeks later she received a letter from the White House saying that she should be proud of her son wanting to serve his country.  It was a tall order to ask of a mother who’s son was not even 18 years old to die for his country.   So many mothers of all these young men all felt the same way…wondering if the war would ever end and send their sons back home.

A few years went by,  I was 18 years old and I was working full time.  There was a card store around the corner and I used to stop there everyday and purchase a funny card to send to my brother. EVERYDAY!!..I would go  there and buy a funny card and sometimes write just a few lines.  The card would make him laugh, I was sure of that. You can imagine what his pile of mail must have looked like after a month. When they received their mail, the other men would look at my brother’s mail and ask him “You must be a lucky guy to receive all this mail”. When he told them they were from his sister and maybe a few letters from mom but no girlfriend..what must they have thought??..Some of them did not even have girlfriends back home and did not even receive mail.  BUT my brother did, and that is when he wrote me a letter asking if I would be a penpal to some of these soldiers.

I loved to write and sending cards..a card would put a smile on them in the middle of a jungle..what else could they do or think about?  He gave me the name of one.  I cannot remember his name..at the time I did, but he stopped writing after a while.  Then my brother said to stop writing to that soldier and gave me the name of another.  His name I distinctly remember…

I received a 4 page letter from a young man named William (Billy) Strickland.  I am not sure if he lived in Kentucky or Louisiana.  I do remember he lived on a farm and he talked about his life on the farm and his parents and sisters and brothers.  I can feel his excitement of telling me all about himself and the warmth of his writing.  He told me he is a christian and went to church every Sunday back home.  He had so much to say and was so happy to be the one to write me and wanted to know all about me.  I started writing back 4 pages of my life and living in New York City. To a country boy, New York City is BIG!.  I was looking forward to his letter so much so that I started writing a letter back because I didn’t want to forget telling him how my day was .  He wrote 3 or 4 more times and then the letters stopped coming.

I wrote my brother and asked him about Billy and I never received a reply..kind of ignoring that question as he wrote about what was going on in Vietnam.  I even asked my mother if he mentioned in his letter about what happened to Billy and why is he not writing and she said no..he did not mention him.

Time went by and it was time for my brother to come home.  He had served over in Vietnam twice and was coming home for good. When he came back he told us what it was like serving in Vietnam, but not all of it because it was very hard for him to talk about it. It was a burden too much for him to bear. I wanted to ask him about Billy and he had not given me a reply. I could not understand but I had a feeling something bad happened. The next day  he did decide to tell me and it was difficult for me to hear.

They were all walking through the jungle and going to their next destination when Billy stepped on a mine and was blown up right in front of him.  My heart sunk and I could not think of a word to say. All I could think about was not this nice young man..why!!.  When I received Billy’s first letter..I could feel the energy he had and the excitement and love for Jesus as he wrote and of his family. Even in this horrible place he was in, he had a good sense of humor and love even for the enemy. Someone you would imagine being polite even to the enemy!.  I knew I would never receive a letter from him again.

Years have past by and I had my own family.  My oldest daughter was in Junior high school. Their class was planning on their class trip to Washington, D.C. in the mid 80s which was about when they had built the Memorial Wall with everyone of the names of soldiers who had died in the Vietnam war. I had told my daughter the story and had asked if she would put a flower by his name.  I gave her a white silk rose to put along the bottom of the wall under his name.  When she came home I asked her if she put the rose there and she said that she looked for his name but could not find it so she did put the rose on the bottom like everyone else did when they searched for their loved one.  Recently, in 2008, we went to Washington, D.C. and visited the Memorial Wall. I found William (Billy) Strickland’s name and placed a rose there again.

I don’t know why I remembered this one particular young man (soldier).  I had never met him or seen his face. My brother had a picture of the whole battalion but it was a small picture and I cannot make out his face too well.  Even though we made plans to meet when he was released from his duties, I believe I was never to meet him only be a friend who wrote him letters from home.

As we celebrate Memorial Day,  remember all the soldiers who have returned and all the fallen soldiers who have given their lives so we can continue to enjoy the freedom we sometimes take for granted. ..GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

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Anna Maria Island is a wonderful place to come and enjoy the beaches and or have a romantic getaway. Whatever the reason, you will find the sugar white coastline, emerald Gulf waters your next vacation destination.

Anna Maria Island called Paradise Island in its original form when it was discovered by local Indian tribes the Timucan and Caloosan American Indian tribes and then by Spanish explorers (including Hernando DeSoto) in the name of the Spanish Crown.

During the mid 1500s the Spanish Crown claimed the area after their discoveries of the area. The first resident of the island arrived in 1892 and by the early 1900s began developing the island by laying out streets, sidewalks, houses and a water system.

Many of the older, larger buildings were transported by barge. In 1921 a wooden bridge was constructed connecting the island with the mainland and the Bradenton Beach fishing pier is the western end of the original bridge.

There are three cities on Anna Maria Island,  Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, & Bradenton Beach. For years the only way to the Island was by boat. It was not until 1921 that Anna Maria was physically connected to the mainland by a wooden bridge that extended westward from the fishing village of Cortez to the Island. The Bradenton Beach fishing pier is the western end of that original bridge.

The Island is about 7 miles long and 2 miles wide at its widest point and some places much narrower than this. You will be amazed at the brilliant and spectacular colors of its sunset views over the Gulf of Mexico. It is near Longboat Key, Florida. The entire atmosphere of the island is casual and come as you are for fun and games. It is one of the top tourist destinations in Florida.

Anna Maria offers quaint shopping areas and many restaurants ranging from “island ambience” to white tablecloth.

If fishing and boating is your love,  the island offers many marinas, boat ramps and fishing piers such as the historic Rod and Reel Pier and the Anna Maria City Pier.

Entertainment and Recreation

Anna Maria Island is truly a tropical paradise found! With an amazing abundance of plants and wildlife, fishing areas and miles of sandy beaches – what’s not to love? No high rises, no fast food chains, not many traffic lights, just a laid back, casual and unhurried lifestyle. What a slice of Florida history!

Heron just standing by the pier waiting for his fish!

Along Anna Maria Island you will see a line of local cafes and ice cream shops for your relaxing pleasures. You might want to visit the art galleries and art exhibitions, spas, the theater or museums, vineyard tours and wine tasting in the area. Checkout the  Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce

If fishing and boating is your love, the island offers many marinas, boat ramps and fishing piers such as the historic Rod and Reel Pier and the Anna Maria City Pier.

Throughout the island, narrow winding streets give way to lush tropical growth that embellishes a mixture of contemporary and historic buildings. Anglers of all ages fish from rustic piers while sailboats skim the azure blue coastline. Anna Maria Island is an “Old Florida” beach resort that families love to visit year after year.

With an island of about 27 miles of Beaches, a coastline of 150 miles, an area of about 740 miles and a population of about 1,822 this would be a haven for retirees and for couples who want an easier and calmer way of life.  For the ones who pick Anna Maria Island for their vacation destination, it hosts a wonderful walking tour for sightseers.

A Bicycle Touring Adventure

A bicycle touring adventure on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key is about having fun, meeting people, viewing incredible scenery and improving your mental and physical health.

Whether you are new to bicycle touring or someone who has already experienced many great bike touring adventures, Fun and More Bicycle Rentals makes touring these Florida gems easy.

 


A Scooter Touring Adventure

Whether you are looking for an exciting sightseeingadventure around the Island or a laid back Islandcruise, Island Scooter Rentals provide the cooland comfortable way to ride with wind in your hairand the sun on your face.

 

 

 

A Free Trolley Touring Adventure

Hop on our free island trolley if you want to explore Anna Maria.It’s a quaint andeasy way to see all that Anna Maria has to offer. Get off anywhere and hop back on whenyou want to continue. Check out the website for a video and more info Anna Maria Trolley

 

 

Some pictures I took of the island and Rotten Ralph Restaurant

 

Check out this Video

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I will be posting Restaurants soon!  The picture of the Herod was taken by me..

 

 


Domestic Super Saver Fares

 

THE BRIDGE:  What does a boxer and the Verazzano-Narrows Bridge have in common? Good question!!.  I would not be writing this blog if I had not been watching a certain movie that brought the boxer together with the Verazzano Bridge. First a brief history about the bridge which was constructed in 1959 and it opened in 1964.  It has a length of 42,260 (main span) and 13,700 feet (total length). When it opened up, it was the worlds longest suspension span.  The ends of the bridge are at historic Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn and Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, both of which guarded New York Harbor at the Narrows for over a century. The bridge was named after Giovanni da Verrazano, who, in 1524, was the first European explorer to sail into New York Harbor.

Its monumental 693 foot high towers are 1 5/8 inches farther apart at their tops than at their bases because the 4,260 foot distance between them made it necessary to compensate for the earth’s curvature. Each tower weighs 27,000 tons and is held together with three million rivets and one million bolts. Seasonal contractions and expansions of the steel cables cause the double-decked roadway to be 12 feet lower in the summer than in the winter.

Located at the mouth of upper New York Bay, the bridge not only connects Brooklyn with Staten Island but is also a major link in the interstate highway system, providing the shortest route between the middle Atlantic states and Long Island.

In Brooklyn, the bridge connects to the Belt Parkway and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and to the largely residential community of Bay Ridge. On Staten Island, which saw rapid development after the bridge opened in 1964, it joins the Staten Island Expressway, providing access to the many communities in this most rural of the city’s five boroughs.

THE BUILDING OF THE VERRAZANO-NARROWS BRIDGE

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Happy 40th Birthday – Verrazano Bridge – November 21, 1964-November 21, 2004

Discover the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (map)

CINDERELLA MAN:  THE CINDERELLA STORY OF JAMES BRADDOCK

A Brief History of the Life and Times That Led to a Lasting Legend

THE BOXER: The Jazz Age of the 1920s was a golden time for America, as the nation celebrated peace and booming prosperity on the heels of World War I. It was also a Golden Era for boxing, the brutal yet beautifully balletic sport that had captured the public imagination with its raw, primal struggles for transcendence in the ring. In the melting pot society of the early 20th century, disparate immigrant groups drew pride from their “native” sons who boxed;communities with strong Old World roots found a focus, an expression of their heritage, each time a fighter wearing their national colors or symbol climbed into the ring. It was during this era that James J. Braddock, a New Jersey-based amateur known for his fierce right hand, turned pro. Like many working-class kids, Braddock saw boxing as his ticket to a decent life. It was the only thing he was ever good at and for a while he was very,very good. His career shone with promise in the early years, when he was dubbed “the Bulldog of Bergen” for an unflinching tenacity that seemed to carry him through fights with far larger opponents.But, after sustaining irreparable damage to his badly broken right hand, his career began to slide downhill. In 1929, he suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of light heavyweight champ Tommy Loughran, who beat him in a heartrending 15-round decision that touched off a seemingly endless string of bad luck and ugly losses. Braddock was never the same again. Nor was the nation. That same year, the stock market crashed, wiping out 40 percent of the paper values of common stock. As the shockwave spread, American families from all walks of life and every economic class lost their savings, their businesses, their homes and their farms. By 1932, nearly one in four Americans was unemployed.

During the “Great Depression” the nation was reeling in shock, as throngs of once working families began showing up at Salvation Army shelters. Food lines, work lines and Public Relief lines something many Americans never thought they would see in their own country became a common place sight.The poorest of the poor were forced to live in “Hoovervilles,” grim cardboard-shack shanty towns that sprang up on the edges of most major cities (named with bitter irony for U.S.President Herbert Hoover, who, prior to losing the 1932 election to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had failed to put into place any federal aid programs for struggling families). Thousands upon thousands of others roamed the country, searching for any job no matter how hard, demeaning or dangerous. For the first time since the nation’s pilgrim beginnings, many Americans faced the very real and haunting prospect of hunger and malnutrition. Suicide rates among men who had lost their jobs soared.

Like so many bankers, butchers, farmers and factory workers, Jim Braddock watched as his life, too, began to fall apart. When the local boxing commission forced him to retire by revoking his license, Braddock searched valiantly for any available jobs, but there weren’t many. He took hard-labor jobs in the ship yards, hauling sacks, or anything else he could get.Yet he was making so little that at one point, Braddock was trying to feed a family of five on just $24 a month. It seemed like a losing battle. When the family could no longer afford the basics milk, gas, electricity Braddock applied for Relief. It was a terrible blow to his pride,a secret shame that many who had always worked for their families were experiencing across the country. But then in 1934, just as Roosevelt’s New Deal began to kick into high gear,Braddock’s luck began to shift as well. Unexpectedly, he was given the chance to fight John“Corn” Griffin in a bout Braddock was, by all accounts, pretty much guaranteed to lose. Instead, he managed to dance and jab his way to a win no one could quite believe, thanks inpart to a newly strengthened left hand as a result of his stints working on the docks. Shortly after that, as if to prove it wasn’t a fluke, he won a 10-round decision against Hall of Fame light heavyweight John Henry Lewis. Then, he took on Art Lasky, who had won all but one of his last 15 fights yet Braddock dispatched him too in a thrilling 15-rounder.

With these remarkable wins, Braddock’s spirit became renewed. Remarkably, one of the first things he did with his earnings was to pay back his Public Relief debt to the government. This selfless act of honor earned Braddock a new moniker among his growing ranks of American fans: “Gentleman Jim.” Suddenly, with his fame beyond the boxing world increasing every day, he found himself in the unlikely position of being able to make a title shot against heavyweight champion Max Baer.

It might seem like a chance any boxer would jump at but Braddock had plenty of reasons not to take the fight. In fact, many in the sports world warned that it was a potentially deadly match-up. Braddock was much smaller than Baer, far less experienced and had to rely mainly on his new found left hook, favoring his formerly injured right. Baer, on the other hand, had recently been brought up on manslaughter charges when one of his opponents was instantly killed by his power house knockout punch. Though he was later cleared of the charges, there was little doubt that Baer, when riled up, was one of the most dangerous fighters in the sport. (Baer had also subjected opponent Ernie Schaaf to a knockout punch in the tenth round of their 1932 fight, leaving him unconscious; Schaaf later died following a bout with Primo Carnera and his death was attributed in part to the brutal beating at the hands of Baer). In 1933, Baer fought one of the greatest matches of all time, knocking out Max Schmeling in a ten-round fight that would go down in history. In 1934, the same night that Jim Braddock fought Corn Griffin, he defeated Primo Carnera, knocking him down 11 times in 11 rounds.

Despite critics’ cries that Braddock-Baer would be an unfair bout and his wife Mae’s concerns that she could lose her husband to a boxing match, Braddock persevered and jumped into some of the most challenging training a boxer had ever undertaken. The build-up to the match only increased the tension, with Max Baer publicly predicting an easy knockout and reportedly taunting Braddock by calling him a “bum” an insult Braddock definitely could not let pass without an answer.At last, the Braddock-Baer fight took place on June 13, 1935, in front of a packed crowd of 35,000 fans in Madison Square Garden. Millions more huddled around their radios to hear the blow-by-blow commentary. Baer came on strong in the first few rounds, but Braddock was undeterred—fueled as he was, fighting for his family’s survival. Each time one fighter dominated the round, the crowds anticipated an early end to the fight, yet the opponent invariably rallied back. This nearly impossible to call, give-and-take battle continued for an unbelievable 15 rounds. Braddock, possessed by an unfailing spirit and pounding away with remarkable endurance, lasted all 15…and finally won the fight in a unanimous decision.

Instantly, it was proclaimed the greatest upset in boxing history…if not all of sports. In bars and living rooms around the country, ordinary people celebrated Braddock’s championship as if he were one of their own family. The fight seemed to remind a desperate world that sometimes the down-and-out not only manage to stay alive but, in the process,become the greatest on earth. It was incredibly fitting that sports writer Damon Runyon had dubbed Braddock the “Cinderella Man” because his rags-to-riches story so resembled a classic fairy tale.

Braddock continued to fight, losing the heavyweight title to Joe Louis in 1937 in an eighth-round knockout (Louis was then 23 while Braddock was a comparatively ancient 32 and Louis would later say that Braddock was one of the most courageous fighters he everfought). He went on to beat the odds one last time, defeating the talented Tommy Farr in1938, putting him in position to fight for the title again. But instead, he retired, saying to reporters that he was doing so not because he was done fighting but out of fairness to his wife and family.

Over the years, Braddock continued to be a hero to all those who knew his story. He was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1964 and International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2001. He served honorably in World War II and went on to own and operate heavy equipment on the same docks where he labored for a pittance during the Depression. In the 1950s, he helped to build Brooklyn’s famous Verrazano Bridge, which was at the time the largest suspension bridge in the world. He died in 1974 at the age of 68.

More on James Braddock – The Cinderella Man

About James J Braddock

Cyberboxingzone

NT Times Article of 1963 Braddock working on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Biography of James J Braddock “Cinderella Man

 

Contributor:  Fred Pickhardt: The “Charging Bull (aka the Wall Street Bull or the Bowling Green Bull) is a large bronze sculpture by Arturo Di Modica and is an icon in lower Manhattan at the northern entrance to Bowling Green Park near Wall Street. It stands 11 ft. (4.9m) tall, 16 feet (4.9 m) long and weighs in at 7100 lb. (3200 kg).

The sculpture is a symbol of financial optimism and prosperity and has become a popular tourist destination.  Di Modica’s bull represents the “bull market” which is associated with increasing investor confidence, and increased investing in anticipation of future price increases.

The artist, Arturo Di Modica was born in Sicily in 1941 and worked on the sculpture over a two year period, spending $360,000 of his own money.  He installed it without permission in front of the New York Stock Exchange on December 15, 1989 as a Christmas gift to the people of New York City.  The police seized the sculpture and placed it into an impound lot, however, after much public outcry the city installed it two blocks south of the Exchange in the plaza at Bowling Green.

The use of the bull as a symbol of power or strength goes back to antiquity.  Cave paintings in France show that the extinct Auroch or Urus (ancestor of domestic cattle) was likely seen as having some magical qualities or a symbol of strength from pre-historic times. The aurochs survived into the Iron Age in Anatolia (Asia Minor) and the Near East and was worshipped throughout that area as a sacred animal.  The identification of the constellation of Taurus the bull is ancient, dating back perhaps to the late stone age as seen in the cave paintings at Lascaux (dated to roughly 15,000 BCE).

The Bull of Heaven appears in the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (written about 2750-2500 BCE).  In Egypt, the bull was worshipped

Taurusurania

as Apis, the most important of all the sacred animals in Egypt and was considered to be the embodiment of  the god Ptah, the god of creation.

The bull is also familiar in Judeo-Christian cultures from the Biblical episode where the golden calf was made by Aaron and worshipped by the Hebrews in the wilderness of Sinai.

Exodus 32:4 “He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt’.”

Our letter “A” likely derives from an early pictograph of a bull or ox head.  The original alphabet was developed by Semitic people living in or near Egypt and quickly spread east and north to the Canaanites, the Hebrews, and the Phoenicians. The Phoenician and proto-Hebrew letter aleph  later became the Greek Alpha and the modern “A”

References

New York Times article   SoHo Gift to Wall St

Taurus  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurus

You can see the Charging Bull with FREE WALKING TOURS by Foot (formerly NYCbyFoot) on one of the tours “Lower Manhatten Tour” Here is their calendar of events for this month.  You can check out other months as well.

Central Park Carousel

One of the historical landmarks to see in Central Park is the Carousel.  I used to come to this carousel when I was a little girl and continued to come even when I was in high school.  There were days when we had classes that started after in the day so we would go to Central Park and explore the area.  It was alot of fun. Even when school ended for the summer, some of us would get together and spend time at the carousel or just enjoy sitting on the benches and talking. Living in the city where I was close to everything of walking distance, I never gave it a thought on where things came from or why and how long have they been here. Now, as I have different perspective about things that I have seen, it brings me to wonder how long this carousel has been here.

Central Park has had a carousel since 1872.  There have been several different carousels  but a favorite of park-goers, the first Carousel remained in operation until 1924. It was powered by a mule and horse who walked in a hidden compartment underground below the attraction.  The animals were trained to start and stop with a foot tap from the ride’s operator above ground.  The next 2 carousels in the park were steam-powered and both destroyed by fire.

A search for a replacement model had begun and they found one abandoned in an old trolley terminal in Brooklyn’s Coney Island.  Originally crafted in 1908 by Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein, the current Carousel is one of the nation’s largest merry-go-rounds, featuring 57 hand-carved horses and two decorative chariots. While still in working condition, it is over 100 years old and has undergone many rounds of repair and maintenance.

Come and see the Carousel in Central Park and listen to the music and laughter of the children having FUN!.  If you are in a romantic mood, take a carriage ride,  and enjoy the beauty and the music in the park, it is breathtaking!

Trump took over Central Park Carousel

Central Park

Free Walking Tours (formerly NYCbyFoot)  FREE TOURS – Check out their websites for more details on other tours and a calendar of scheduled tours.

We took a trip to Paris in 1972 and we came across this man who played a most unusual instrument I have ever seen. It resembled a guitar, an accordion, and it had a handle at the end which the man kept turning as he played.  The sound it made was a sound of a bagpipe. I had forgotten about this man and the picture of the unusual musical instrument until recently when I decided to take all of my pictures of my past trips and have them transfer them from slides to CD. I am now fascinated all over again and decided to find out more about it. I posted this picture on Facebook and asked if anyone has seen a musical instrument like this and what was the name of it.  My daughter saw the post and searched on the internet and said this was a Hurdy Gurdy. What??  I never heard of it before. Where did this Hurdy Gurdy originate from?  So this is my blog about it and where I will begin to find out about the Hurdy Gurdy.

A Brief History Of The Hurdy Gurdy

The hurdy gurdy, known in France as the vielle a roue or vielle for short, is an ancient instrument which is undergoing a modern renaissance in Europe and America. First, to dispel a popular misconception: the hurdy gurdy was not played by the organ grinder or his monkey. They used a large music box operated by a crank. Today’s hurdy gurdy is roughly the same as those built in the middle ages. It has three to six strings which are caused to vibrate by a resined wheel turned by a crank. Melody notes are produced on one string, or two tuned in unison, by pressing keys which stop the string at the proper intervals for the scale. The other strings play a drone note. Some instruments have a “dog”, “trompette” or “buzzing bridge” A string passes over a moveable bridge, which by a clever movement of the crank in the open hand, can produce a rasping rhythm to accompany the tune by causing the bridge to hammer on the sound board. The instrument is held in the lap with a strap to hold it steady. The case can be square, lute back, or flat back with a guitar or fiddle shape. Forms of the vielle a roue existed not only in France, but in Germany, Italy, Britain, Russia, Spain and Hungary.

An interesting related instrument is the Swedish nyckelharpa which was developed around the sixteenth century. It has keys and is played with a short bow. It is enjoying a revival of interest and new custom made instruments are now available.  The origins of the hurdy gurdy are unknown but one theory says that when the Moors invaded Spain they brought with them many stringed and bowed instruments. There is no proof that the vielle a roue was one of them, but the possibility exists that something similar arrived in Spain at that time and dispersed throughout Europe along the pilgrim’s roads.

THE HURDY GURDY’S ANCIENT ROOTS

The earliest known form of the vielle a roue was called an organistrum and bore little resemblance to the modern one. It was so large that one person turned the crank and another played the keys. The wooden keys were arranged in various ways depending on whether secular or religious music was to be played. The organistrum was only capable of playing slow melodies and simple harmony because of the hard key action. It’s main use was in the medieval church. The first mention of the organistrum was in a construction manual by Odo of Cluny, which was discovered in the twelfth century and possibly written in the tenth century. There are also other depictions dating from the twelfth century. During the thirteenth century, the organistrum was redesigned to be playable by one person, which encouraged use by blind and itinerant musicians. The improved key action with drone accompaniment made it ideal for dance music. It was adopted for popular and folk music of the day, and use in the church diminished. Even the name organistrum had died out by the fourteenth century. In France, it was known as a symphonia until it was abandoned for popular music in the late fifteenth century. One can surmise that, at this time, the name changed to vielle a roue, which is still used today. The vielle was used only for folk music by peasants and street musicians. It was known all over Europe by about 1650 but remained a peasant instrument for the next one hundred years. By this time the design had standardized to the size and shape familiar today.

THE VIELLE A ROUE’S REBIRTH

Although the vielle a roue was mentioned frequently as a beggars instrument in the early seventeenth century, it appeared occasionally at the royal court along with the musette (bagpipe), providing music to accompany the new pastoral plays. Gradually, courtly diversions about the Arcadian idea of rural bliss gained favor at court. Shepherds and milkmaids were portrayed passing away pleasant hours together. During the reign of Louis XIV, 1660 to 1715, Arcadian pastimes greatly increased because the king enjoyed them and all his court followed suit. Music for the vielle a roue and musette were written by popular composers such as Vivaldi in the baroque period and later by Mozart. Many aristocrats became accomplished performers on these instruments.

During the mid-seventeenth century, writers like Jean Jacque Rousseau castigated the corruption and lax morals at court. He advocated a return to the simple rural life where virtue and integrity came naturally with the hard work of the peasant life. He also encouraged the display of sentiment and emotion to further enhance the delicacy of one’s character. His ideas gained favor at court but became twisted. The simple life continued to be portrayed in pastoral plays by highly decorated persons impersonating rural folk playing traditional instruments but behaving as no peasant would.

During the vielle a roue’s favor at court, Paris instrument makers started to make elegant instruments with fancy inlay and carving. The mechanism was built into guitar and lute bodies, giving the instrument a better tone. Many fine instruments were manufactured during this period.

This renaissance of the hurdy gurdy continued until the reign of Louis XV was over in 1778. The next king, Louis XVI, was rather puritanical and did not participate in the diversions of the court. The amusements continued under Marie Antoinette but her tastes changed to the neo classical. She abandoned her milkmaid roles for Sappho with her harp. The hurdy gurdy had no logical place in this type of entertainment but it did not disappear entirely from the court scene until the French Revolution. At this time, it simply was left to the streets where it had always been. Use of the instrument for more than a beggars tool gradually retreated into central France in the areas of Auvergne, Berry and Limousin, where the tradition has remained to this day.

After the French Revolution, around early 1800, the peasants began to leave the place of their birth and migrated to Paris to find work. They typically became first water carriers then coal carriers. Many set up store fronts in conjunction with the coal business, where they sold wine from their native areas. By the 1850’s, there were many homesick peasants in Paris. They gathered at the wine shops, sitting on benches and wine barrels, to drink, dance and play the familiar old folk tunes on the hurdy gurdy and cabrette (bagpipe).

About 1880, the diatonic accordion began to be added at these sessions, and gained in popularity rapidly because it was easier and less troublesome. The hurdy gurdy had to be tuned carefully and was subject to constant problems from dampness. Originally, the diatonic accordion played a simple melody line but about 1890, a chromatic model was developed which could play a fast melody with runs and grace notes. Starting about 1850, the bagpipe was often played without the drone because of the conflict with the new chromatic music. The hurdy gurdy was not so versatile playing this music, so it’s use decreased while the accordion increased in popularity.

The small groups of homesick peasants dancing traditional dances gradually grew larger as more people became interested. By 1910, the dances had grown so large in Paris that large halls were built to accommodate as many as 400 dancers. The instrumentation had changed solely to chromatic accordion and drones cabrette. A whole new style of music and dance was created by the changing times. The polka, mazurka, waltz and musette are some of the creations of that period. The new dance and music gradually trickled back to central France where traditional music was still played and the hurdy gurdy was still appreciated. This time the accordion did not displace the hurdy gurdy, but was merely added. The cabrette, hurdy gurdy and accordion are still playing traditional music in this area today.

The term hurdy gurdy was not coined in England until the eighteenth century. The instrument still occurred as a street instrument in many places throughout Europe till about the twentieth century. During the eighteenth century a variation of the vielle was developed. The Lira Organizzata was a hurdy gurdy with a bellows and organ pipes inside which were operated by the crank and keys respectively. The pipes had a very high squeaky sound. These instruments are being made today and are enjoying a revival of interest.

I have received permission from the owner of the information I found to use on my blog.  There is more information and pictures at http://www.hurdygurdy.org/

I found a video where this 11th century musical instrument is being played

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Also a video giving details of the Hurdy Gurdy and how the parts play

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Medieval dance tunes, Hurdy Gurdy – English Heritage

There seems to be a few different theories as to how John’s Pass received it’s name.  Although the theories differ there seems to be one common thread among these finding, a man name John LeVeque.  Some accounts have John sailing the Gulf of Mexico as a pirate collecting treasure. Other accounts say he was simply a land owner living on land offered by the government.  No matter which version you believe to be true, what happens next does hold true.

On September 27, 1848, a hurricane passed through the area now known as Madiera Beach and destroyed much of the shoreline.  John LeVeque was sailing his ship homeward and looking for a way to pass through to safe harbors.  It is believed that he might have been looking for Blind Pass, or Pass-a-Grille, but found a more northerly opening which has never been seen before. It was from then on that the new opening was to be called John’s Pass in honor of John LeVeque.

John’s Pass today has incredible waterfront shops, boardwalk, fine dining, cruise ships, marinas and entertainment of all types.  You can always find something to do at John’s Pass.  Thousands of visitors, seasonal residents and locals all converge here enjoying the beautiful scenery.  John’s Pass is a beautiful waterfront community.

Another reference on John LeVeque -

On September 25, 1848 Two St. Petersburg residents, Joe Silca and John Levach, prior to the storm had headed out to New Orleans to sell their greenback turtles, on their return the weather drove them to shelter along the coast of Florida. Returning to St. Petersburg Beach, Levach found an entirely different shoreline. He managed to find a new and navigable pass some 830-feet wide, his partner deemed it John’s Pass. Nicknamed “French John,” he was the first to sail through the new channel and since that day residents always referred to it as John’s Pass.

Was there really a storm in 1848?  There was one in Tampa in 1848

The Great Tampa Hurricane of 1848

Probably the most intense hurricane ever to hit Tampa occurred on Sept. 25th of 1848. An intense hurricane with estimated maximum winds of 101-135 mph moved north-northwest just off the west coast of Florida causing considerable damage at Charlotte Harbor as it passed to the west. As the storm moved northward along Florida’s west coast it appears to have turned to the northeast and then east-northeast making landfall near Clearwater during the early afternoon of Sept. 25, 1848 with an estimated minimum pressure of about 945mb. At landfall it is estimated that the radius of maximum winds were only about 15 miles and the center was moving from SW to NE at about 10 Knots..more on this

Here is just a little information and video on John’s Pass.

Florida Beach Lifestyle

John’s Pass Condo Rentals



Madeira Beach is a community in Pinellas County, Florida, United States bordered on the west by the Gulf of Mexico and on the east by St. Petersburg. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 4,492. Those living in this small (2 miles long) Florida city are within minutes of the beach if they don’t live right on it. The area is primarily residential with little or no industrial or sizable service businesses. Residents are mostly supported by commercial interests outside the area and a large number of residents are retirees. Entertainment district John’s Pass is located on the Intracoastal Waterway.  Check out history of John’s Pass.

There is where you will find Captain Steve and his Sightseeing Water Taxi/Limo, 55 ft. Bluewater Cruiser parked by Madeira Beach.  Captain Steve of Captain Steve Tours takes his crew on affordable day cruises from Tarpen Springs, FL to Venice, FL.  His  cruises can be customized to fit your needs.

 
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CALADESI ISLAND PICNIC TOUR

JOIN US FOR A DAY OF FUN AND SUN

8:00am TO 4:30pm

ENJOY A LEISURELY BOAT RIDE UP THE INTRACOASTAL TO BEAUTIFUL CALADESI ISLAND STATE PARK.

Bring your picnic basket  and cooler with lots of food and drink and enjoy the day at Caladesi Island State Park.  And let Captain Steve Tours take you on his

 

55FT.YACHT”SHAMAYEM”

PRIVATE TOURS (max 40 persons)  to a BEAUTIFUL ISLAND for picnics,  BBQs, weddings, birthdays, Anniversary and Memorial Services or any SPECIAL OCCASION.  Ask us about our all inclusive rates that are the lowest anywhere

Enjoy a day of Luxury aboard our 55 ft. BLUEWATER CRUISER.   Cruise in comfort and style as you enjoy the beauty and serenity of THE FLORIDA SUNCOAST.    For an hour, half day, full day or weekend.  Let us, and your imagination, transport you to a place you may have only dreamed about.

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Captain Steve has over 20 years experience in the boating and sightseeing business.

The captain is also licensed to perform marriages.

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Central Park, which has been a National Historic Landmark since 1963, was designed by landscape designer and writer Frederick Law Olmsted and the English architect Calvert Vaux in 1858 after winning a design competition. They also designed Brooklyn‘s Prospect Park. The park, which receives approximately twenty-five million visitors annually, is the most visited urban park in the United States. It was opened on 770 acres (3.1 km2) of city-owned land and was expanded to 843 acres (3.41 km2; 1.317 sq mi). It is 2.5 miles (4 km) long between 59th Street (Central Park South) and 110th Street (Central Park North), and is 0.5 miles (0.8 km) wide between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West. It is similar in size to San Francisco‘sGolden Gate ParkChicago‘s Lincoln ParkVancouver‘s Stanley Park, and Munich‘s Englischer Garten. Central Park is bordered on the north by West 110th Street, on the south by West 59th Street, on the west by Eighth Avenue, and on the east by Fifth Avenue. Along the park’s borders however, these are known as Central Park North, Central Park South, and Central Park West, respectively. Only Fifth Avenue retains its name, as it delineates the eastern border of the park.

Join NYC by Foot as we stroll through the park and tell the epic story of New York’s green oasis. Once described as the lungs of the city, Central Park brings a breath of fresh air to New York’s crowded urban terrain. What started out as the rocky and desolate northern fringes of a rapidly expanding city is today amongst the world’s most famous and beloved public parks. Originally intended to bring people of all walks of life together — a people’s park — Central Park lives up to it’s original designs. With over 843 acres of meadows, hills, ball fields and bodies of water, it’s impossible not to find something to enjoy in Central Park.   This tour explores the southern half of Central Park, starting from the southeast corner at Grand Army Plaza. We will wander the winding pedestrian paths passing a pond, rocky outcrops, bridges, open fields and skyline views — all great photo opportunities. The tour will guide you down “The Mall”, a promenade lined with statues of famous literary greats, to the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, the main formal element of the park’s original design. The tour will also include a stop in Strawberry Fields, a living tribute to John Lennon, and will end in front of the Dakota Hotel, where the great Beatles’s life was tragically ended.

The Official website for Central Park
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More on Central Park in jogging style

Bow Bridge

Arial View of Central Park

Sites we cover on the tour:

  • Grand Army Plaza
  • Central Park Zoo
  • The Pond The Dairy
  • The Carousel
  • The Mall Bethesda Terrace and Fountain
  • Sheep Meadow
  • Strawberry Fields
  • The Dakota Apartments


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We are super famous for our FREE tip based ‘More than Monuments’ walking tour.  This tour takes you on an adventure through the city’s grand monuments and will be an unforgetable experience for your group.   Find out all about this tour HERE.

We offer our services for Private Groups anytime and anywhere you want to go. Our tours are packed with history, humor and random facts.

Whatever your tour guiding needs; we can hook you up. Need a bus? We will get you one. Just need a tour guide for three hours? Too easy! Want a multi-day tour with full itinerary? No problem.

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Some of the places we can include:

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  • Pick-up at hotel, office, airport
  • Free bottled water

St. Marks (8th Ave) The heart of the East Village between Bowery (3rd Ave) and 2nd Ave.

Like a small town within Manhattan, the Village has narrow tree-lined streets and brick townhouses.

For over 100 years, this small area below 14th Street and west of Broadway has been a Mecca to the creative, rebellious and Bohemian. Although today no starving artists could afford to live here, the vibe still lingers and the beat goes on.

For those wishing to experience the ambiance of a small town within a teeming metropolis, head to Greenwich Village with its charming crooked streets that are filled with culture, history and renowned institutions of learning and creativity. Woven into this invigorating environment are cafes’, boutiques, entertainment venues and a vibrant street life’  Greenwich Village is sometimes said to be the unofficial headquarters of the City’s counterculture. It has witnessed decades of well-known art and social movements including bohemian, beatnik, hippies.  History bounds on every corner. Known for its bohemian life style, the area of Greenwich Village was first settled by

Washington Square Arch

Native Americans. Washington Square, Its most recognizable landmark, Washington Square Arch, was built in 1898 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of George Washington’s inauguration. The Arch is located in Washington Square Park, the center of the Village’s thriving urban oasis.   Washington Square Park and the rows of townhouses around it with charming alleys behind them are all frozen in time. The park, with its arch famous from much movie exposure, is the heart of the Village. This park, at the foot of Fifth Avenue, is an oasis and circus combined, where skateboarders, jugglers, stand-up comics, strollers, sweethearts, chess players, fortune tellers and daydreamers converge and commune. History of Greenwich Village

In the 19th century, the gridiron plan for streets was established. But in The Village, where winding streets already existed, the character established in Colonial days prevailed.

Greenwich Village began to attract writers and intellectuals at an early date. By 1910 there was a combination of literary talent, independent thinkers with a zeal for social reform, and “bohemian” artists centered in the area. The Village today is still alive with their voices. Where artists and writers once lived, burning their candles at both ends, you will now find a more sedate atmosphere

Free Historic District Walking Tour

A relaxing stroll through Greenwich Village, Soho, Little Italy and Chinatown.
You’ve seen the iconic skyscrapers, attended a Broadway show, visited Lady Liberty and relaxed in Central Park.

Looking for a little more of the Big Apple? It’s time to visit some of Manhattan’s oldest and most enchanting historic districts. NYC by Foot is proud to present the “Free Historic Districts Walking Tour.” Join us as we walk the Village’s

Chinatown

winding and seemingly incoherent streets, catch a glimpse of street chess in Washington Square Park, gawk at the Fashionistas and cast iron buildings of Soho, savor a slice of pizza and a canolli in Little Italy, and take a stab at bargaining with a street vendor in Chinatown.

This 2.5 hour tour will cover a range of topics and give you the opportunity to better understand these neighborhoods and to better orient yourself in case you choose to return on your own. There will be opportunities to rest and refresh yourself as well as take lots of pictures. See some of the highlighted stops listed below!

Sites we cover on the tour:

  • The Stonewall Inn
  • Stonewall Riots and the Gay and Lesbian Movement
  • The Friends Apartment
  • The Huxstabul House (The Cosby Show)
  • Washington Square Park
  • Cafe Wha?
  • Haughwout Building
  • Heath Ledger’s Apartment Building
  • Little Italy
  • Canal and Mott Streets
  • and much more!

Arguably the world’s most valuable, busiest and most crowded pieces of real estate, Midtown Manhattan is what most visitors think of when they think of New York City. Home to some of the city’s most iconic architecture, from Gothic to Post-Modern and from Beaux-Arts to Art Deco (lots of Art Deco). it’s not difficult to understand why. But just behind the massive facades, lie facinating histories just waiting to be peeled away.

Let NYC by Foot guide you through Midtown. This approximately two hour tour will take you from the pulsating beats of Times Square and Grand Central Terminal to the majesty and tranquility of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Sights we cover on the tour:

  • Times Square
  • Theater District
  • Bryant Park
  • New York Public Library
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • The Chrysler Building
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • and much more
© 2011 Walking Tour Advisor 2010 Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha