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Why New York, Jeremy Wilcox?

A couple of days ago I asked my network of licensed NYC tour guides to answer a couple of questions about their relationship to New York City. The questions are not neccesarily indepth but I am hoping it’ll throw a little light over the personalities behind the title of “NYC Tour Guide”.
I am all for highlighting fellow guides that has a great passion for what they do and can offer. Why do people travel? To experience something great, something amazing. To make memories that can last a lifetime, right? While the internet offers several ways of creating some of these experiences yourself – the internet can not replace a human being.
If you haven’t read the previous post about this subject, I hope you will before you read this: https://danishtourguide.com/2018/11/why-new-york-a-look-into-nyc-tour-guides/


#WhyNewYork

Let’s take a look at the first tour guide; Jeremy Wilcox the owner of Custom NYC Tours. I’ve known Jeremy for a couple of years and have attending two of his unique walking tours, that takes you through neighborhoods off-the-beaten-path.  Jeremy is a kind and very smart person!
Here’s his answers to my questions under the subject: #WhyNewYork?

Q: Name and year born
A: Jeremy Wilcox 1979

Q: Where were you born?
A: New York, USA

Q: If NYC born, did you ever leave the City for more than a year?
A: No
Q: Why did you move to NYC? Did you ever regret it?
A: I was raised here in New York, and choose to stay because the energy of the city is addictive. I love to walk and most of America is not very walkable.
Q: When did you become a NYC licensed tour guide?
A: 2016
Q: How did you become a tour guide? What made you go into the profession?
A: I used to run a club with some friends, similar to a book club where someone would pick a new neighborhood every month, and I’d plan a tour around it. That led me to becoming a guide professionally. I wanted to have that experience, but with visitors both local and tourists.
Q: Tell me the worst thing that ever happened on a tour, and how you handled it?
A: I had a customer very early on that had misread the tour description, didn’t realize it was a walking tour, and was very vocally angry about this. I attempted to smooth things over and keep going, but they continued to be angry and disruptive. I learned that, in that 1 out of 100 worse case scenario, you just have to offer them a refund, quickly send them on their way, and continue the tour without them.
Q: Tell me about the best experience you ever had as a guide, that may have changed your perspective and made you an even better guide?
A: I did a private tour for a family looking to discover Queens. The tour went so well, and they said it was the highlight of their trip. It reminded me, in a more visceral way, that our tours are a part of someones vacation, and people work hard to earn these vacations. We have a responsibility therefore to make these tours and experiences count.
Q: If you could no longer work as a tour guide, what profession would you seek?
A: Writer.
Q: What kind of tour do you prefer giving? Walking, mode of transportation? Neighborhood? Theme?
A: Walking tours are the best way to see New York. Seeing it by vehicle is a fairly artificial experience. My favorite kind of tours cover a specific neighborhood and cover all the aspects that make it unique: history, architecture, art, and fun stories. I also love doing street art tours.
Q: What do you want tourists to know about YOU?
A: The real fun of New York is, after seeing the major sights, going to the outer boroughs and sightseeing the lesser-known attractions, landmarks, and neighborhoods of the city.
Q: Tell me a thing you don’t like about NYC?
A: The high cost of living can keep many talented people from permanently staying here.
Q: Where do you buy your coffee/tea?
A: Kusmi Tea
Q: What’s your favorite NYC food?
A: The recession special at Gray’s Papaya (hot dogs).
Thank you, Jeremy, for answering these questions! I liked your points about walking tours over vehicle tours (unless of course you make sure to take multiple stops, and have several hours at your disposal! And also, what you dislike about NYC. I know this firsthand … while it wasn’t the primary reason for me leaving NY, it did have something to do with it.
If you want to meet Jeremy, and experience one of his tours feel free to email him at: [email protected] – you can say you read this blog about him! It would be cool to see if it might inspire some of you.
Also keep in mind that when I can not personally be your tour guide I may reach out to my network of guides – Jeremy being one of them.
Design your own tour – experience the City the way it’s supposed to be experienced!