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“The best history class you ever took”

Harlem Heritage Tours
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Ranked #87 of 620 Tours in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Harlem Heritage Tours was founded in 1998 to use the industry of tourism as a tool to preserve Harlem's history and to contribute to the development of our local economy. Tours are conducted by those who were born and raised in Harlem, providing visitors with and nsiders view of our culture. Harlem Heritage Tours strives to provide the most innovation experiences in tourism and with the tech advances of modern day, it's been fun to create new tours. We look forward to seeing you in Harlem.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The best history class you ever took”
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Half poet, half performer, Harlem Heritage Tours founder and lead guide Neal Shoemaker offers an extraordinary, thought-provoking glimpse into US black history via his two-hour guided walks around the New York streets where it really happened.

Born and raised in a housing project sited right across the road from Malcolm X's old stamping ground and mosque on Sixth Avenue, Neal clearly knows more about Harlem than most residents have forgotten. And how he loves his patch - it is his evident affection and enthusiasm for the place that makes his sidewalk storytelling feel so real.

The late Steve Jobs himself could not fail to be impressed by the home-customised Ipad Neal carries strapped to his palm, hooked up to a powerful speaker in his backpack.
'Let's go right on back to 1963,' he says, flashing up a short film clip on his iPad. It is Malcolm X, speaking, on the very spot we are standing and we are for a moment transported back forty years.

So, full marks for innovative use of multimedia but what really makes this tour special are Neal's exceptional speaking skills. I'd call him a raconteur, except this term does not do his stylish blend of rhetoric and rap full justice.

Take your kids and teens on this tour - his delivery will draw in even the most jaded. And let the uncertain be reassured, it was as safe as houses, not so much mean streets as main streets. There may be an irony in this - standing on 116th Street Neal played us some of Bobby Womack's 1973 soul hit Across 110th Street, explaining that in the bad old days 110 was the crime line no-one dared breach.

Bringing the present into focus like this, with a colloquial yet exceptionally clever rendition of the past, delivered on the street, with Ipad at the right hand - is this actually a new form of history? You decide - take the tour.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank karentriggs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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694 reviews from our community

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Sarasota, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Taste of Harlem Walking Tour”
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Outstanding Taste of Harlem Walking Tour with Neal Shoemaker, owner of Harlem Heritage Tours. Began at noon and we ate our way through Harlem until 3 pm.
We have visited NYC at least 15 times and have never been to Harlem until this tour. Great way to learn about the area and taste some of the foods that are served in this very diverse community. We even got in a quick stop at the Apollo when we mentioned to Neal that we were going to see Motown that evening. Have participated in a lot of walking tours all over the US and abroad; this was the first that included an audio visual presentation. Neal had an iPad that he used to show pictures and to play music, etc. Very well done presentation on Harlem. I think it made it even more special that Neal was raised in Harlem and still lives there today. Authentic.

Visited March 2013
Thank 1117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Tour of Harlem - Great tour, Great value!”
Reviewed April 6, 2013

Took the general walking tour. Excellent look into Harlem. Neil the tour guide was extremely knowledgable and entertaining.
A must for visitors to NYC.

Visited March 2013
Thank richyhart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
“The Real Harlem Tour”
Reviewed April 4, 2013

I have to begin by stating that this was my first official visit to the East Coast and my tour of Harlem did not disappoint. First of all my tour guide Neal was fantastic, a Harlem native, HE KNOWS HARLEM! Because of his knowledge that he freely shared, I now feel like I now know enough to say I know Harlem a little also. Because it is a walking tour you really get a feel for the neighborhood and the people that make up the neighborhood. It was during spring break when I took the tour and so children were out of school. Some of the neighborhood kids came up and introduced themselves and our tour guide knew them by name and he knows their parents. That meant something to me and it provided for a very memorable experience. I recommend this tour to anyone that wants to really experience Harlem, my life is richer because of it.

Visited March 2013
Thank 292richardb292
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“One Word: Amazing!”
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Just recently came back from NY and I had to rush to the computer to tell my experience. The man who led the tour ( forgive me, I forgot his name) knew NY like the back of his hand! He was very informative-I've learned so much- he was hilarious and extremely friendly. I would definitely recommend them. If you want to experience NY like a New Yorker, use the Harlem Heritage Tour.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Washingtonian28970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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