Birth of a Nation (Walking Tour)

Rated 4.98 out of 5 based on 50 customer ratings
(50 customer reviews)

The “Birth of a Nation – The Story of America” walking tour covers Chinatown, Five Points, and Little Italy. This tour details the immigration of the Chinese, Irish, and Italians to the land of opportunities. Uncover the history of the Chinese in America; from gold to rails to the birth of Chinatowns. Learn why the Chinese migrated east from San Francisco to establish Chinatowns in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC, and New York.

The tour continues with Irish dominance of Five Points, and their gangs of New York. Follow Boss Tweed and his political machine “Tammany Hall,” which in 1850s seized full control of the city.

Finally trace the path of New York’s Italian immigrants. From the Mezzogiorno exodus to their American experience and the birth of Little Italy. This tour focuses on how the Chinese, Irish, and Italian exiles became the backbone of New York. The men would build the bridges and the tunnels. The women would be cooks and maids. And their children, raised in the values and language of their new country, would weave themselves into the tapestry of America.

Complimentary dumplings are provided. 

The meeting point for this tour is in front of Paris Baguette at 273 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013. All tours conducted by officially licensed New York City tour guides. Daily tour time: 3:30PM.  Private tours of 20 or more can be reserved for any date by emailing reservations@thermosage.com

 

 
 
 

Description




50 reviews for Birth of a Nation (Walking Tour)

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Elie

    Richard was fantastic, he know his material and neighborhood; he’s fun and has one of the most enthusiastic personality I have come across. My kids and I loved his presentation of the History of his old neighborhood and neighbors’. His tour is well planned, including hydration stops, photo moments, bathroom breaks and recommendations for places to eat. We’ve seen places, and corners we wouldn’t have ever thought of going to. Highly recommend his tours. Thank you Richard; and Frank for a very thorough and emotional 9/11 monument tour as well.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Richard was amazing! And the tour was fascinating! I learned so much about the history of the immigrant population of that area…and Richard’s own experience as a young Chinese immigrant. He gave a valuable list of his own restaurant recommendations…we tried two and they were amazing!! Richard has a great personality and was all about giving us the best insight and historical background of Chinatown, Little Italy, and 5 Points. I’ve been on various city tours in different cities and this one was very unique. I highly recommend it!! (Tina from South Texas)

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Norma

    Highly recommend!!!! Richard was very knowledgeable with a great sense of humor….

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Absolutely fantastic tour. Richard is very knowledgable and was able to answer all questions we had. He conducts his tour with great humour. He even walked with me to the Subway after and made sure I got to where I needed to be. Would recommend!

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Geneviève

    Richard is funny, witty, and informative. He is a great storyteller. He definitely took us off the beaten track. It was a fun and authentic way to experience Chinatown, Little Italy and Five Points. Highly recommend!!

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    My daughter and I had a fantastic time on Richard’s tour! We’ve been to NYC many times over the years, but this was the first time we’ve taken a walking tour. We loved hearing about the fascinating history of the area and Richard’s personal experiences growing up in the neighborhood. His upbeat attitude was contagious. Would definitely recommend!

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    LaQuanna

    If I could give Richard 100-Stars I don’t think it would be enough! From the moment I booked my family for this tour, I received his welcoming email that said to let him know if there was anything his team could do to assist us with having the best time in our lives while visiting New York. I told him this tour was a part of our daughter’s Sweet 16 Surprise vacation, and he promised a sweet treat to honor her. OMG, he was phenomenal! His knowledge and passion for the city, and his Chinatown where he grew up was so detailed and filled with fondness that only a true-eyewitness could recount…made us feel like we were invited to a birdseye view of his life! He uses real photos (time-capsules) that helps the visual learner (me!) to really see how the historical events developed and transformed the city over time. Rain or shine, we experienced both, it didn’t stop Richard. He made sure we were okay to keep going and he just kept bringing more and more funny and captivating stories to life! He is superfriendly, quick-witted and has a lot of friends around the city. Overall, just a first-class experience. Best 2 1/2 hours of the week!! I’m recommending him to my girlfriend who actually lives in Long Island, and will be taking a staycation soon with her teenagers. Thank you Richard!! From Cal, Q and Maliyah

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    Ronaldo

    Richard is an awesome guy, you should definitely check out his tour, no one’s gonna give you a better one than him, the experience from a local point of view is absolutely the best one!

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Mehroze

    Richard’s tours are amazingly informative. Touring with him feels like you’re touring with a friend rather than a ‘guide’. I started appreciating NYC so much more after this tour. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to understand NYC.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    AnneMichelle

    Richard is the most accomplished tour guide I have ever seen. He is warm and personable, extremely knowledgeable and generous with his time and information! He has crafted an amazing 2 hr powerhouse tour. You can tell he truly loves what he is doing. Worth every penny and more!! Thank you Richard.

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Richard is prompt, informative, flexible, well organized!

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    O In Paris

    Super visite de Chinatown et de Little Italy organisée par Richard avec une préparation parfaite. Les Time capsules de Richard et les (Website hidden by Airbnb) nous ont permis de comprendre comment ce quartier a vécu et vit aujourd’hui. Cela nous a permis d’avoir un regard très vivant sur l’immigration à New York. Merci !

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This was informative, and I love the use of visuals. Richard also has a comprehensive list of awesome locations to go to, and I regret not doing this tour first thing. It really fed my historical desire to get to know the city. Richard is hilarious and will also find ways to get you to eat delicious foods if you let him. He is very kind, helpful, and showed me a lot of great things to do.

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Amazing experience!! This was a great experience getting to know the history of Chinatown and Little Italy. Richard is a highly experienced tour guide and my girlfriend and I had such a great time with him.

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Well worth the two hours out of your time, Richard had so many little tidbits of information I never new before about American history

  16. Rated 4 out of 5

    Heeyeon

    You get to listen to Richard’s priceless personal connection with the China town.

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Fantastic tour of the history and current state of Chinatown, Little Italy, and Five Points. I visited Chinatown with friends last year and it was fun, but we had no clue where to go or what to do. Now I’ll always know how to get around this area. Richard came prepared with pictures to show us and restaurant recommendations around the city. The walk wasn’t bad at all since we stopped about every couple blocks to listen to a piece of history that he shared. We sampled the best dumplings Chinatown has to offer and stayed at the end to grab dinner in Little Italy. Highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to experience this area with a guy who knows it very well.

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    Timothy

    Richards passion and engagement during this tour was infectious! So much knowledge of the history of the city, I learned so much. I highly recommend this tour to those who plan to come to New York. Richard I appreciate your patience with us for allowing our time changes. Look forward to doing this tour again in the future!

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    An interesting way to see Chinatown, Richard was very informed and enthusiastic about the area of town he grew up in. If you are interested in ethnic enclaves, you would enjoy this tour.

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    Todd

    Richard is very charming! His decades of experience living in the area brings lots of deep and personal insight. He was able to expertly guide me to my next destination after the tour. The cultural landscape of New York is varied and complex. Richard weaved together how these particular areas took shape through perseverance and determination. I recommend this tour to anyone wanting to explore how distinct neighborhoods got their character.

  21. Rated 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    Richard gave our group an amazing inside view of Chinatown and Little Italy!

  22. Rated 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Richard was exceptional! He was MORE than accommodating when we got lost the first day on our way to meet him and he gave us a list of restaurants all over town that he recommended. He knew the neighborhoods so well and the history he told us was exciting to both me and my 15-year-old daughter. We both loved it- highly recommend!!

  23. Rated 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Richard is a great tour guide, I learned new info f st on the very first stop!

  24. Rated 5 out of 5

    Leena

    Highly recommend Richard’s walking tour! He is a great storyteller and livens up the tour with interesting tidbits about his own experience growing up in Chinatown in the 70s. The neighborhoods are rich with history and as a native New Yorker, I was pleasantly surprised to learn so many new things about the streets I’ve often walked by.

  25. Rated 5 out of 5

    Yesenia

    Richard, was the first tour we did in NY. Honestly, I always assumed tours to be boring in NY!!! But Richard proved me wrong! (I’m not saying there isn’t boring tour guys out there) But for sure I can say, Richard was amazingly the best experience we had in NY. I highly recommend this tour for everyone. Even for New Yorkers 😉

  26. Rated 5 out of 5

    Julien

    Super méga cool expérience with à Chino américain. I recommand dearly

  27. Rated 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    We had a great time touring with Richard. He had time capsules for us to look at when we toured both Little Italy and China Town. That way we could see what it looked like then, in comparison to now. Richard was very hospitable and fun to tour with!

  28. Rated 5 out of 5

    Martin

    We had an amazing time on our guided tour with Richard. We would absolutely recommend him. A more friendly guy is hard to find!

  29. Rated 5 out of 5

    Mykeshia

    Richard is a rockstar full of information! Great value for the money, he even brought photo examples. I throughly enjoyed the cheap eats (dumplings), so tasty.

  30. Rated 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Richard is extremely knowledgable about the history of Chinatown/Little Italy neighborhoods and I enjoyed learning about the history of Chinese/Italian/Irish immigrants to New York and their influence on the city. During the tour we would stop at certain points and pull out a laminated photo to show what the same street looked like 100 years ago (amazing to see the transformation). If you are a foodie like myself, he also provided a list of recommended restaurants to try out in the neighborhoods!

  31. Rated 5 out of 5

    Madhusudhan

    I enjoyed the trip very much. Richard with his sense of humor and knowledge of the area made it interesting. Highly recommended.

  32. Rated 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Our tour host was exceptional in that he had grown up in the neighborhood and knew it intimately. On top of that, he’s done extensive research and showed us many large format historical photos of the exact stops on our route. My young adult grandchildren agreed that it was very informative and they learned many new things. Our guide also was thoughtful in that he bought us hot lemon honey tea because I had cold symptoms and he wanted to help soothe my cough. He also treated us to a hearty serving of delicious dumplings. H s a charming and funny man who, as a final gift, shared with us a long list of his favorite eateries. I recommend this guide and this tour.

  33. Rated 5 out of 5

    Stewart

    Great tour, great guide , would recommend

  34. Rated 5 out of 5

    Nina

    Richard was an amazing guide making the history of China Town area really captivating! Grateful I was part of this tour, left cheered up despite the rainy weather. Thank you Richard!

  35. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sam&Freya

    Richard was thoughtful in his arrangements – he checked the weather forecast and moved the start time of our tour to avoid a HUGE rainstorm. His tour was well organised and he guided using the largest bag of laminated sheets I have ever seen. One of the stops was a small dumpling stand run by a lady who Richard explained is famously rude to customers. If you stop by, remember that this person speaks limited English and has to work very hard to make a living selling dumplings for a few dollars per portion. If you speak Mandarin, she’ll happily chat. And if you don’t, just be nice!

  36. Rated 5 out of 5

    Ella

    Tour guide is very knowledgeable and willing to answer questions.

  37. Rated 5 out of 5

    Wolter

    Had a great time – very informative tour. Richard is a very energetic guide, able to answer all your questions, including all things NYC that are not related to the tour. We learned heaps on the history of the area & broader NY. Would recommend!

  38. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kim (金)

    De tour geeft je een goed beeld van Chinatown en Little Italy. Richard vertelt veel en heeft heel veel archiefbeelden van de plekken die je bezoekt op de tour. Wij hadden een geweldige tijd en kunnen iedereen deze tour aanraden.

  39. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sifti

    I HIGHLY recommend making this tour with Richard a part of your trip! We were very impressed with his professionalism, kindness, knowledge and stories. We would have missed out on a whole cultural and historical understanding of immigrants in NYC if we didn’t do this tour! One of our favourite and memorable parts of our trip 🙂

  40. Rated 5 out of 5

    Filipe

    It’s a nice tour to understand better how these New York neighborhoods were formed, pretty informative. I recommend.

  41. Rated 5 out of 5

    Moritz

    Richard is an awesome person and I learned a lot about New York. He lived here for 40 years! He even had some spare time to show me around Central Park! I will certainly meet him again on my next stay in new york city!

  42. Rated 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Richard knew his stuff! This tour was very informative. If you like history or are curious about the changes that have happened in China Town and Little Italy over the last 100+ years, this tour is for you. Richard is a NYC native and not only showed us the overall history of these neighborhoods but also some of his personal history from growing up there. He pointed out some details that would be easy to miss and had lots fun information about little random things that we would have never picked up on. He had many “time capsule” pictures that he held up so we could compare the exact scenes from the past to today. Some of the changes are staggering! He took us into some fun shops and bought us some superb dumplings for a snack. He also gave us a handout with his suggested restaurants sorted by neighborhood. This was a really nice touch and we did try a few other restaurants on his list (all amazing). He was fun and easy to talk to. It was so nice of him to take our picture in front of all the interesting sites as we went. I highly recommend this tour for it’s personal touches and historic relevance.

  43. Rated 5 out of 5

    Joel

    Richard was a wonderful guide! It was very interesting hearing his experience growing up in the city along with the greater historical context. Richard was fun to listen to, helped us take pictures, and showed us some interesting sights. Definitely recommended.

  44. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jackewcyzer

    Our tour guide Joel deserves a high ranking than 5 stars! But that’s the highest we can give. He is funny, full of energy and knows New York City. We spent a great afternoon with him. I would definitely recommend Joel’s tour to visitors but also to locals who’d like to know more about Chinatown and Little Italy.

  45. Rated 5 out of 5

    SJewelsbuckx

    Fantastic tour with Andrew. Full of fun and historical facts. He showed us a lots of photos from the 1900’s of Five Points, Chinatown, and Little Italy! Definitely recommended.

  46. Rated 5 out of 5

    redmanjacket7

    We enjoyed our tour guide very much, but forgot his name. Sorry! He covered a lot of material and told us many secrets of Chinatown and the 5 Points. We learned about why the Chinese opened some many restaurants and laundries. We also learned about the Italian and Irish immigrants. Joel’s knowledge of these areas was fantastic and the pace of the tour was brisk. I would certainly be recommending this company to my family & friends.

  47. Rated 5 out of 5

    catanddogs5b3572

    We when on the 5 Pointer, Chinatown, and Little Italy tour with Joel. He was really funny, knowledgeable and professional. We were surprised how small little Italy was, just three blocks. My wife and I enjoyed our tour with Joel immensely. It was an amazing two hours of seeing where the Chinese, Italians, and Irish lived.

  48. Rated 5 out of 5

    Denise – Delaware

    My kids and I spent two hours with Joel in Chinatown, Five Points, and Little Italy. Had a lot of fun and learn lots of interesting history. He recommended a hole in the wall Chinese restaurant with salty and greasy food. To our amazement, it was delicious!!!! Thank you Joel for a great time and great eats!!! You Rock!!!!

  49. Rated 5 out of 5

    JDWalsh

    It is a wonderful cultural tour of the Italian, Irish, and Chinese. The tour begins on Broadway where Andrew explained the background and history of Broadway Street. After a short walk we arrived Chinese town, and he explained the history of Chinese immigration, which made the tour very interesting. At the end, we went to Little Italy, which was packed and crowded, but there’s a great Italian bakery. I am highly recommend anyone who go to NYC must go on this tour.

  50. Rated 5 out of 5

    mariner329

    My family and I love this tour. Our guide Andrew took as to Little Italy, Chinatown, and five points. It is a great way to visit these neighborhood while learning their histories as well! I would highly recommend this tour to anyone and everyone. It’s a great way to burn off some calories.

Add a review