About Our New York Tour Guides
Free Tours by Foot – New York is a group of young (and young at heart), fun-loving guides who have come together for a common cause: To teach history and entertain guests with creative tours of New York City. We offer tours at no upfront costs for one very important reason, so that everyone can enjoy a fun, creative and educational walking tour experience no matter what their budget is. You get to determine what you think a tour was worth at the end of the tour. Our tour guides love what they do and will make sure they provide you with the best sightseeing experience possible.
Don’t take our word for it, check out our tour reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google and Facebook.
We are always on the lookout for great talent. We promote the tours of our independent New York tour guides and allow them to offer up their skills and their experiences to our guests on a pay-what-you-like basis. Do you have a tour that you would promote through Free Tours by Foot? Then drop us a line and let us know about it.
Meet the Crew:
Renee: Curious about the events in one’s life and the impact they have — sometimes for several generations — is what brings Renee to work as a tour guide. Everyone has a story, what they do with it and about it is what creates the world around us. Renee finds that intriguing, exciting, and …curious. Will the stories about the inhabitants of New York City change the way you view your world? A writer, editor and storyteller, Renee has a desire to assist others to be curious about the world around them.
Derrick: Derrick, a dedicated guide for a few years, follows one motto: Few people really dislike history, it is merely the way it’s presented to you. Using his background of performing and writing with his quick wit and general freewheeling personality, Derrick mixes in a bit of history, cultural insight, pop culture references and charm to his tours. Derrick would like to remind all people to ask any questions that come to mind because closed mouths don’t get fed. Especially in a city where they eat a hot dog while talking on a cell phone while also weaving through congested traffic without missing a beat.
Dante: Dante is a proud and passionate Native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. He brings his own special blend of New York City knowledge, charm, and humor to every tour he gives. An authentic tour guide with all of this city’s epic magnificence & catastrophe in his heart and soul, Dante is committed to providing his guests with a one of a kind tour, full of excitement, laughter, and enrichment.
Garrett: 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. He is expert at finding the patterns, and articulating how the city’s identity is shaped both locally and by the world around it. Together with Garrett you will examine those clues, trace the DNA of the city, and come to know it as if it were your own home.
John: John is a New York State licensed tour guide with most of a decade’s experience. He holds a Master Of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has conducted well over 1000 tours of New York City and has the city at his fingertips, ever ready to share at a moments notice. Having appeared in more than 30 major films and television shows, John is also an expert in pop culture and dining. He brings charm, knowledge, manners and humor to his tours and eagerly awaits helping to make your New York trip a memorable one.
Onel: Onel is a life-long Brooklyn resident. Onel grew up in Brooklyn and attended high school there. He graduated from the City College of New York and has J.D. degree from Boston College Law School. He is a licensed New York City tour guide with thousands of tours to his credit and an urban historian with in-depth knowledge of the City’s history, people, culture and architecture.
Lori: A true Jersey girl, Lori grew up on the other side of the Hudson with the view of the Manhattan skyline every day, and many weekends exploring the streets of New York. Her love for nature, animals, kayaking, and sunshine, made her escape for a couple of years to the sunshine state, only to be drawn right back to the excitement of the city of her childhood and teenage years. Lori enjoys walking the streets of New York, and sharing her fascinating stories and history of the many New York neighborhoods with her tour guests.
Bill: When Bill first visited in 1983, he knew NYC was where he wanted to live. Three decades later, he is still enchanted by the electricity, diversity, rich culture and history of New York. Bill’s favorite part of being a tour guide is that he gets to spend so much time in the most fascinating place on earth: the streets of NYC. And sharing the fascination is very fulfilling. Bill has a Bachelors Degree in both Theater and Art History and a Masters Degree in Theater. Since moving to New York almost 20 years ago, he has cultivated a wide breadth of knowledge about NY’s cultural past and present. He believes the most interesting site in NYC is its people: the good, the bad, and most importantly, the kooky.
Katherine: Katherine has been living in New York City for a decade and can’t imagine anyplace she’d rather be! Her love of the city, history, and meeting new people eventually led her to being a tour guide. Katherine truly believes that New York has something to offer everyone, no matter where their interests lie, and she hopes that her tours are a little bit like the city itself: energetic, exciting and a little offbeat. When she isn’t leading tours, Katherine is often writing, producing and acting in indie films and television shows and searching for new places to eat.
Josh: Josh is a native New Yorker who drove a NYC taxi in the 1970’s and then spent over thirty years teaching on the high school and college levels. He has a Masters degree in history from the University of New Orleans. During his teaching career he won numerous awards including a Governor’s Award, three Time-Warner teacher awards and the New Jersey State Humanities Teacher of the Year Award. Josh has traveled all over the world but still believes that New York is the greatest city on the planet. He is also an avid foodie who can tell you where to locate the best ethnic food throughout the five boroughs. Josh’s new book There Once Was A Man From The USA, 50 State Limericks is currently on sale on Amazon.com and Outskirts Press.
Mike: Born and raised in a quiet little town in southeastern Brazil, Mike fondly remembers flying kites, climbing trees, and following his grandfather around his ranch. When he moved to New York 12 years ago, his life couldn’t have been more different from his childhood, but soon enough he became obsessed with the city of New York. Mike enjoys walking around and getting to know new people while sharing great stories. He admits he is addicted to bagels and he will gladly tell you where to get the best ones in the city.
Meredith: Meredith, born and raised in Long Island, grew up experiencing the culture and variety that New York has to offer. She became an official “New Yorker” when she moved to Brooklyn in 1995. A professional sightseeing guide, Meredith also has experience in theatre stage management, and as a NYC pedicab driver, pedaling people around the streets of Manhattan on a bicycle rickshaw for over ten years. Meredith’s family roots can be traced back to both immigrants processed at Ellis Island, important American revolutionaries, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and love for this wonderfully historic and dynamic city!
Lady Altovise: Lady Altovise has a crafty and creative way of combing history, the arts, architecture, nature and pop culture which enables her to zero in on “your” areas of interests. Lady Altovise is a Southern Belle taking a big bite out of the Big Apple. She holds an MFA and quickly became a member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA which allows her to work both locally and even internationally as a stage film and tv actress. As a result, Lady Altovise, brings a great deal of her experiences as an artist from traveling all over the world. Some of Lady Altovise’s work and tours can be viewed on her YouTube channel-LadyAltoviseNYCTours.
Alicia: Alicia’s love of New York City’s rich history is only trumped by her appreciation for a well-crafted tale. Her love of ghost stories started when she was eight and she didn’t sleep for two weeks straight after reading Alvin Swartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Though she truly believes our fear of ghosts stems from the fear of the unknown, her stories focus on details of local murders and hauntings, funerary practices, and the famous ghosts that lurk around nearly every corner.
Ellen: A former dancer who moved to New York 20 years ago, Ellen has been designing and leading tours of the city for the past several years. She was also a co-founder of the New York Dance and Performance Award-winning theater group, Red Dive, for which she wrote, produced and performed in site-specific performance tours in both famous and off-beat neighborhoods in New York. In addition, Ellen currently teaches a course at Pace University called “Walking Tours of New York,” in which international students are introduced to the history, people, places, and culture of New York City through tours of neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs.
Megan: When Megan isn’t giving ghost tours she can be found making indie electronic music with her band Neonfaith. Formerly an eating disorder therapist, Megan has turned her attention to the macabre, telling stories of murder, mayhem, and mystery. Her years at New York University and the New School have given her an insider’s glimpse at the secrets Manhattan has hidden away, and now she’s sharing them with her tours at Free Tours by Foot. Check out this video on why Megan loves leading ghost tours.