Greenwich Village's 'Secrets' Revealed on Tour With Native New Yorker

By Danielle Tcholakian on July 11, 2014 8:33am 

Slideshow
 Pamela Fisher does a tour of all the historic places and secret spots in Greenwich Village.
Greenwich Village Tour
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — This tour isn't just for tourists.

Pamela Fisher, 31, a lifelong New Yorker, recently launched New 2 NY Tours to give locals and visitors an insider's look at her favorite, often hidden, spots in Greenwich Village.

"Surprisingly, most New York natives don't know much about the city," said Fisher, a self-described foodie and graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education who lives in Midtown East.

"I dive deep into the heart of the community, talking about the history, culture and food that makes our city the melting pot of the world," Fisher said. "I talk about the old versus the new — how Greenwich Village has changed over the years."

Highlights of the tours — which last one to three hours and cost $25 to $45 — include the homes of famous historical figures like Mark Twain, plus quirky art studios and mom-and-pop businesses like comic book shops and a little-known "Big Lebowski"-themed store. Some tours extend into the East Village and West Village as well.

"There is an artist I'm friends with who does sand art creations," Fisher said. "It's pretty cool to watch him in action."

The Greenwich Village tour kicks off at Jefferson Market Garden and explores "secrets" passersby might not notice, like stories hidden in Judson Memorial Church's stained glass. Fisher also recounts the roots of street names, like MacDougal Street, named for a revolutionary war hero, and the cultural significance of places like Bleecker Street, where generations of performers got their start.

After all that walking, Fisher takes her clients out for lunch.

"My favorite place to eat has the most amazing peanut butter sandwich creations!" she said of Peanut Butter & Co., noting that everyone on her tour gets a free jar of peanut butter.

Fisher, a certified tour guide, eventually plans to do tours of the Financial District, Battery Park City and TriBeCa as well.

Planning the tours has helped her discover even more about Lower Manhattan, she said.

"I've lived in New York City all my life and I learn something new every day," she said.

Check out the map below for a preview of a few of the stops on Fisher's tour, as well as some of DNAinfo's local favorites, like the subterranean bar run by a former FBI agent and several of the city's remaining independent bookstores.

Have a favorite small business or historical fact about the neighborhood? Let us know in the comments and we'll add it to the map.

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