525 8th Avenue
New York, NY
There’s more than enough to do in NYC that there’s no way you could ever run out. No chances could possibly exist where you could be bored in this town. The opportunity to explore, see, hear, feel, touch and learn about this city are endless. On the off chances you find yourself having an inkling of these feelings, pick up your phone and call the Levy’s. They are NY’s First Family of Tour Guides…and these aren’t your every-day hop on the double decker, point at the Empire State building, hop off the bus in Times Square type tours. The Levy’s Tours are all about unique New York.
The Levy’s are self-admitted, completely-certified, New York history dorks. Through their passion for their home town they have designed (and continue to design) custom-built private tours of NY. Whether it’s their “HEY HO! LETS GO! Punk Rock on the Bowery Pub Crawl & Walking Tour,” “BIKE BROOKLYN BEER BLITZ! A 4 hr Bike Tour of Bklyn’s Former Breweries!,” or the “Jewish Gangsters of the Lower East Side” tours, your guaranteed a New York-y experience like none other. I’ve lived in the area since 1996, married a woman born in Manhattan and yet, some of the most unique experiences I have had learning about this city are in the presence of Matt Levy.
While I am off trying to eat 31 Burgers in 31 days to celebrate National Hamburger Month, I am trying my best to balance the Burger Consumption with as much exercise as I can. My favorite way to burn of Burger calories? Riding my bike around New York. When planning out a ride for this weekend post Thrillist Rewards Craft Beer Crawl, my buddy Vince Neilstein from Metalsucks, suggested we join up with Matt Levy for his “Bike The Boro’s Border” tour.
Here’s the official Levy’s Unique New York description of the tour:
“Ever wonder what the life is like between the lines of both the most populous and the most diverse boroughs in NYC? (Hint – not the same boroughs!) Ever scratch your head as to why our boroughs’ borders zig and zag, jig and jag, whiz and bang back and forth so much and so randomly? (Hint – its hardly random!) Ever found the burning desire to follow that thin slashing, dividing yellow line til’ it runs out of land to divide?
Come along on an awesome North to South bike ride and tour along the Brooklyn-Queens border! Hosted by The Levys’ Unique New York! We will start at the foot of the romantically named and aromatically scented Newtown Creek Industrial Inlet, at the corner of Metropolitan and Scott streets. Then we will do our darndest to follow the boro border line along such disparate Brooklyn neighborhoods like East Williamsburg, Bushwick, Broadway Junction, Highland Park, Cypress Hills, Cityline (there’s a neighborhood called Cityline!), East New York, Spring Creek, and South-east Canarsie, and thats just in Brooklyn! On the Queens side we’ll also haul through LIC, Ridgewood, along the Evergreen Cemetery, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Lindenwood and we’ll skirt the edge of Howard Beach! Exciting!”
So with that, Rob from Idle Hands, Rick from Musician Coaching and I rode out to the start of the Brooklyn-Queens border to meet Vince, Emily, Matt, his father Mark and a gaggle of other riders to Bike the Boro’s Borders!
The Vander Ende-Oderdonk House – is the oldest Dutch Colonial stone house in New York City. Home to Arbitration Rock, the once boundary marker between the two Long Island townships of Newtown and Bushwick.
Neir’s Tavern – a 180 year old drinking establishment where a scene in Goodfellas was once shot. Check out this great video about the history of Neir’s. Be sure to look at the photo below where the name of the movie is incorrectly spelled…just like Eldert.
“The Board of Transportation of the City of New York,” doesn’t actually exist. Technically it’s the “New York City Department of Transportation.”
The Hole – A section of the Brooklyn-Queens border that no neighborhood is willing to claim. The area is 30 feet below grade and floods EVERY time it rains. It used to be a mob dumping ground and now is patrolled by a local organization of mounted horse riders known as “The Federation of Black Cowboys.”
Sapphire St Brooklyn / 78th St Queens – On the outskirts of The Hole you’ll find a street that shares the border and also has two different street signs signifying which neighborhood your in by side of the street.
In the end, it was a really fun day exploring parts of New York I had never seen and may never see again. For me it was a 21 mile adventure in a city I love more and more every day. It’s a pretty crazy ride when you look at it on a map but in the end, 21 miles ain’t that long. I can’t say I would do this ride again but you will definitely find me on another Levy’s Unique New York sometime in the future.
I laughed when I said to Matt at the end of the tour, “this was the most unscenic sight seeing tour I have ever been on!” We all laughed and admitted that sometimes you need to do things just for the sake of doing them. Speaking of which …
It wouldn’t be right to write up a post on the good old Burger Conquest without eating a Burger, nor could I go a day without eating one for National Hamburger Month. So I did, what I had to do. I rode my bike over to the White Castle on my way home and popped in for a slider. I love, Love, LOVE me some White Castle sliders. They’ve been a family favorite since I was a kid and when I’m in a pinch to stay on topic for the site, it’s always there for me.
At a massive, whopping 100 cents, this was the LEAST expensive Burger Conquest of all times. (the most expensive, by comparison, was the Iron Horse on the day of my wedding which clocked in at $718.31.) Even with the the Spanish Food and the cost of the tour, this entire day only cost me a whopping $9.75. God bless. You’ll also notice, as you look closely at the picture of the receipt below, that the day of the week, much like “Good Fellows” and “Elderts,” is spelled incorrectly.
Click here to read the official Burger Conquest review of White Castle.
THE BURGER COUNTQUEST
May 22, 2011 – 7:05 pm
The Rev Meter for Social Community
“The Rev Meter” is a social community meter for assessing how optimized a bar or restaurant is with social networking. By taking what he considers to be the 10 most important social networks and creating a point system, The Rev can accurately asses how well the business is using social networking as a tool. His goal here is to educate and assist great business to better effectively use these tools
4 points or less You’ve missed the 5 basics and are less than optimized
5 points You’ve covered the basics, which is better than most but far from optimized.
6 to 9 points You’re doing better than most and on your way to becoming a well respected social community whiz.
10 points Congrats on a perfect score! Are you hiring