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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Meet the Guide: Kerrianne

Meet Kerrianne, tour guide on our Original Greenwich Village Tour. Read on to out what brought Kerrianne into Greenwich Village long before she was a tour guide and what keeps her inspired today.




How did you get started with Foods of New York Tours?

In 2009, I was in between jobs and not sure what I wanted to do with my life. I decided to apply for graduate school, but needed a way to make some money. I had a friend who worked at gelato shop in the West Village and I thought that might be a fun thing to do while I was making some major changes in my life. It just so happened that was a stop on the food tour, I saw the tour guides coming in and I thought it was something I would be interested in doing. I love local history, working with people, and tour guiding was unlike anything I had ever done. My friend from the gelato shop encouraged me to go for the job. She got me in touch with Todd in August 2009, but there weren't any jobs available. The Nolita tour was being created so eventually they would need another guide. In March 2010, Todd e-mailed me to see if I was still interested. At that point I had already started grad school, but I was still interested, so I started training and gave my first tour April 17, 2010. Now I work as a full time public school teacher 10 months out of the year but choose to work as a tour guide on the weekends and in the summer months.

What do you think differentiates Foods of New York Tours from other tour companies?

The passion of everyone involved. For example there is no turn over, I have been with the company for 3 and a half years and I am one of the newest employees. It's a job that most people don't know exists and when people find it and have the right personality and interests it's a dream job. Todd and Amy are a pleasure to work for compared to everywhere else I have worked, I have never had such a supportive group to work for.

What do you think is the main part of keeping good relationships with the shops and restaurants on the tour?

I consider the the staff at Joe's, Faicco's etc. to be my coworkers. To have a successful tour, it's an effort, it's not just me, we work together and there has to be a mutual respect.

Are you a savory person or a sweet person?

A savory person, I even like my sweets with sea salt on them. Anything you can put salt on I really enjoy thats why I prefer vegetables to fruit because I want to put salt on them.

Do you cook? Or are you a consumer of food?

I do cook, but my food is not very exciting. It usually consists of rice and beans or something very easy. I do go out to eat more than the average person does, but it's because there are so many great options, so why cook?!?

What is your favorite NYC Neighborhood?

Greenwich Village, not just because I work here, but because it's the first neighborhood I really explored, outside of Floral Park, Queens where I grew up. In high school my friends and I would take the F Train to West 4th Street. We gravitated towards the Washington Square Park area because we loved the music stores in the neighborhood like Generation Records on Thompson Street. As I got older, I went to concerts on St. Marks Place, CBGBs, Coney Island High... something people may not expect about me is I was very much into hard core metal music, punk rock, now it's more of guilty pleasure.

Now I live in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and it is really growing on me. It's a little more suburban, so lots of families who have lived there for generations, but also a lot of newcomers, there is a large Middle Eastern population so there are a lot of great restaurants. I also love living right by the water, there is a great view of lower Manhattan and the Varazano bridge. It is very down to earth but has that classic New York diversity and I could definitely see myself raising a family there.

Editors Note: Some of Kerrianne's favorite Bay Ridge restaurants are: Tanoreen, Gino's and Petit Oven. Hmmm... maybe we need to check out the neighborhood for our next food tour ;-)

What's a place that's not on the tours that you are totally in love with?

I really like international supermarkets, like Euro Market in Astoria, Queens. I could spend hours looking at the different cheeses and the different beers. I also like Eataly, especially their rooftop beer garden, it is a little pricy but very fun. My fiancee Roy introduced me to a wine bar called Corkbuzz Wine Studio, it's a real wine lovers wine bar. We love to go to Corkbuzz then go to the nearby Strand bookstore afterwords.

What is one place, New Yorkers and tourist alike, has to go to?

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum! My background is Irish, but my family came to America later when the Irish were living in Upper Manhattan, still Irish heritage is a part of the tour so you learn a lot about your culture by visiting. I like the MoMa and The Met, but The Tenement Museum is a true New York Museum. I also love the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, the view is wonderful, the neighborhood is beautiful and there are great ice cream shops like the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and Jacques Torres.

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