When we first moved to Dumbo, we didn’t know much about the neighborhood. But we’re dog owners, so we spend a lot of time walking the streets looking for stuff to pee on. Each walk we saw something that we hadn’t noticed before and after awhile realized the place probably had some cool history. So we decided to take a walking tour to find out.
The tour just wasn’t us. And it was kind of boring. It was just a bunch of facts so it felt more like a long history lesson. They didn’t talk about the stuff we wanted to know. They told cheesy jokes. People were asking really silly questions…..And they expected us to do this for three hours!
We bailed and went home to do research ourselves. We found out some seriously awesome stuff and the more we found out the more we wanted to know. It became like a weird obsessive hobby and after a few months we knew everything that had ever happened in our neighborhood. So we started schooling our long-time resident neighbors about cool facts they didn’t even know. We invited friends over to impress them with our knowledge of the streets. When they got excited, we got even more excited. We loved it!
Then we realized that even though we travel and explore a lot, we never take walking tours. We LOVE history, art, architecture, pop culture, movie locations…..a little bit of everything. But we don’t love ONE thing enough to spend three hours talking about it. And we don’t like being tied down to a specific time to take a tour.
So, we decided to create the walking tour that WE would like to take. Our ideal tour would be more like a story and would be interesting to listen to. It would ONLY talk about the cool stuff, not just the stuff the Chamber of Commerce wants mentioned. It would be casual and sometimes politically incorrect when necessary. It would be on demand when WE wanted to do it. It would sum up what we need to know in a reasonable amount of time. And it would guide us around so we wouldn’t have to study street maps for weeks before going somewhere.
This is the Sidewalk Sherpas experience.