MHNA Tour Guides Are Cooking Up a New Menu
Thursday, September 3, 2020
By: MHNA Preservation & Design Committee Tour Guides
March 2020 began with The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association tour guides planning an impressive line-up of activities. The traditional monthly walking tours were to resume Sunday, March 29, with Robin Garr in the lead. Robin is also the star of the recently released DVD tour of our neighborhood. Barbara Sagan and Paula Thomson had planned to offer two tours for the annual, international event Jane's Walk the first weekend in May. Laurie Sexton was planning a tour and drafting a scavenger hunt for teenagers from Murray Hill Academy, one of the neighborhood high schools, as part of a school outreach initiative by the P&D Committee. By mid-March the growing threat of the coronavirus canceled all these activities.
Like other organizations, we offered a streaming version of our walking tour online for free. We hope you took advantage of this opportunity, but if you did not, the DVD or a streaming version of the tour can be purchased through our online catalog at murrayhillnyc.org.
With schools closed, it was decided to repurpose the scavenger hunt as an activity for all to participate in and safely explore the neighborhood as the city re-opened, and maybe even win a prize in the process. The winner, who will be announced at the MHNA Annual Meeting on October 1, will receive a one night stay at the Shelburne Hotel & Suites by Affinia at 303 Lexington Avenue (37th Street). The second place winner will receive a $50 gift certificate for a local restaurant. Details about the hunt can be found at this link. The deadline is Sunday, September 27th. You still have time to enter!
The confinement challenged us as tour guides to think more about how we can diversify the themes of our tours. On the drawing board are tours of the Gilded Age of Murray Hill, Exploring Murray Hill East of Lexington Avenue, and J.P. Morgan, the man, his life, and his impact on Murray Hill. The tour will be based on the book The House of Morgan by Ron Chernow. We welcome you to submit your own ideas for tours or themes by emailing us at email@example.com. We also are considering additional times for our monthly tours. Phase 4 of the covid reopening allows outdoor tours of up to eight people. The Association is waiting for guidance from the City in order to be able to offer tours with fewer restrictions which we expect to take place in Spring 2021.
Photo by a waiter at BKK Eatery on 34th Street. MHNA tour guides (left to right) (standing) Ashley Petrylak, Barbara Sagan, (seated) Paula Thomson, Laurie Sexton, Robin Garr.