Free Tours by Foot thought yo u should know more about who we are! Our tours would not be so highly rated if it weren’t for our guides – the passion, knowledge and fun they bring to our tours. We’ll be featuring more information about our great guides in each city over the coming months.
As a photographer, Garrett notices things. As a guide, Garrett earns a living from noticing things. One might say that Garrett is a professional noticer of things. A lifelong New Yorker, he brings an innate curiosity for the order and origins of things to his tours and conducts them in such a way that you come to view new york as a great big puzzle with clues scattered about on every block. Together you will examine those clues, trace the DNA of the city, and come to know it as if it were your own home. He is expert at finding the patterns, and articulating how the city’s identity is shaped both locally and by the world around it. Most visitors leave his tours with a better understanding of what New York is than many who live here. The conversational nature of Garrett’s tours create an experience where your questions and interactions augment the experience. Feel free to check out Garrett’s photo blog, where you can follow his urban explorations. http://garrettshore.tumblr.com/
- Why did you decide to become a tour guide?
I became a tour guide in my mid 20s when it became clear that I knew way more about where things were and the history behind them than most people. When people would ask me directions, I would usually throw in a detail about something they might notice on the way. A few friends of mine told me that I would be a good guide. I took the exam on a lark and I took to the industry like a duck to a pond. I responded to industry similarly to Cinderella fitting into the glass slipper. It was quite obvious that this is an industry that my personality matches.
- What is the best tour you’ve ever taken – anywhere in the world?
The best tour I’ve ever taken is life. That may sound like an evasive answer but we sort of discover ourselves through our travels. I conduct the tour in a way that allows people to discover things more so than simply noticing them. The sense of discovery is most important.
- When you have friends/family visit, what’s the one place you make sure they see/thing to do?
If a friend were coming from out of town and hadn’t been in town for a while, I wouldn’t be able to take them to old haunts mostly because so much of that New York we grew up with has or is disappearing. But one thing I know will be here long after the apocalypse is Coney Island. I would especially take them there in the winter months, when its desolate and barren. Or maybe Times Sq. at sunrise.
- Do you have a favorite tour group memory?
I remember on a tour once there was this kid who knew exactly what I was talking about. Sometimes its easy to assume kids aren’t interested in architecture or early American history. One time I had this kid on the tour who I thought was gonna be glued to a cell phone but instead was asking questions that only a kid who reads up on the related subjects would know. I was astonished. I mean, seriously. The kid knew the difference between Doric and Corinthian columns.
- If you weren’t a tour guide, what would you be doing?
If I were not a tour guide i would be break-dancing on the subway. Badly.