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Big Apple Greeter

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Business & Industry, Economic Development, International, International Cultural Exchange, International Exchange, Philanthropy, Voluntarism Promotion

Mission: Big Apple Greeter's mission is to enhance New York City's worldwide image and enrich the New York experience by connecting visitors with knowledgable and enthusiastic volunteers. The mission was created to accomplish the following goals: to promote New York City as friendly, inviting, and manageable; to bolster tourism and foster economic development; and to create opportunities for New Yorkers to show pride in their city and give back to their city.

Target demographics: International tourists seeking to explore New York City through the eyes of locals.

Geographic areas served: New York City

Programs: Support Big Apple Greeter www.bigapplegreeter.org

Community Stories

295 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a Canadian who only had one single day to visit New York City. I called on Big Apple Greeter, and the cheery woman who met me in the hotel lobby was a wonder! She interviewed me first, then we set off to explore by subway -- parts of Harlem, St. John the Divine Cathedral, a Puerto RIcan Cafe, and Central Park, the area where few tourists visit. It gave a whole new perspective to the city, and my Greeter was knowledgeable and friendly. Definitely an experience to remember and a wonderful memory of what New York City means to its residents.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We visited new york in august 2010 and were met by Chafin Elliot. we had a great and very full day taking in the sights and sounds of New York. He took us to see where the real new yorkers live in Harlem. Then on to Columbia University site- really such a cultural change from Harlem. Then down to Columbus Circle dropping in on the 5* mandarin oriental hotel FAB!!! with the most amazing viws of central park. Sheer luxury...Then on to Hudson Hotel amazing place well worth a coffee stop!! fab roof top area and superb views.
Then to ground zero and a real New york deli stop for lunch.
(we also got on the tube which was much easier than we expected with a new yorker to show us the ropes) Then to the financial district calling in at the American express building to see their memorial to 9/11 very moving. Then to a river side jaunt nearby with a view of lady Liberty herself. He wanted us to meet his wife but we were absolutly bushed (it was day 1 of a 5 day adventure in New York) truly a day we will never forget and will cherish forever. Top tip - get a greeter if you aregoing to New York its a sheer pleasure and an eye opener!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am from Australia and visited New York in January 2011 where I was met at my hotel by Big Apple Greeter, Caroline. I discovered things about the city that I could only learn from a resident of this fantastic metropolis. Seeing the city through the eyes of a local was a wonderful experience and I would recommend the service to anyone whether they are first time visitors or lucky ones who have visited many times.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

We are from Australia and were on our first trip to New York. We read about the Big Apple Greeter in a review in a Melbourne newspaper and decided it would be a good idea. We registered and were allocated a Greeter by the name of Al. He met us at our hotel and proceeded to take us on an excellent walking tour of NYC. What a fabulous experience. We were shown things we would never have seen and enjoyed a lunch in Chinatown. We had a quick trip on the subway but most of it was walking. Sights included the New York Public Library which was fantastic, Grand Central Station, Central Park, Ground Zero, Chinatown, Little Italy and a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. Our guide was absolutely fascinating and his knowledge of New York was bottomless. We would do it again in a flash. Thanks to Big Apple Greeters and of course Al, for a fabulous, informative and really interesting walking trip through New York.

Review from Guidestar

Gill G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We couldnt have navigated New York without the help of out Big Apple Greeter, S, was very friendly and extremely knowlegable about his area. He showed us how to use the subway and also the best shops to buy food as we were self catering in a Hostel.
S was never in a hurry, he took the time to show us everything we could have possibly found interesting and always managed to answer our questions no matter how confusing....Thank you S

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

it was our first trip to NY from Australia and we were absolutely delighted to be met at our hotel by Irene and taken to parts of the city we would never had the confidence to visit. We were taken to parts of Manhatten and shown the best bagel bakeries, lunch by the Hudson River and trips on the underground and buses. It opened our eyes to the friendliness of New Yorkers and we always felt safe and welcomed as visitors. We would love to return one day.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm from Australia and it was on my second visit to New York that I was guided by a Big Apple Greeter. Charles was a fantastic guide and took my daughter and I off the tourist track so we learnt so much more about this vibrant city. He was extremely knowledgeable, pleasant, entertaining and a great example of volunteerism. I only wish I could volunteer for such an organisation in Sydney, but there isn't one - yet!

Review from Guidestar

Pat O.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

For a city with a reputation of people who are not too obliging it was a pleasure to be greeted by a Big Apple New York greeter who was so friendly and helpfuland refused any suggestion of a tip! Full marks!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Am so pleased I found out about Apple Greeter! It's the best way to learn more about NYC & the surrounds from friendly & knowledgeable volunteers.
Have been ' Greetered ' twice :
The first time , was brought through Central Park as requested & though I'd been many times before on my own & with friends , that time I got to know more details & interesting history - really appreciate this beautiful ' green lung ' much more now.
Then we got to explore the then new Time Warner Center & "discovered " Wholefoods there where we went ' dutch ' for a snack since we cannot ' treat' volunteers to a meal. The Greeter also introduced me to 58/59 Sts and to the museums, shops there - I would not have gone if the Greeter had not mentioned. I got to explore on my own after our ' tour ' and really had a fabulous time.
The second time withApple Greeter, I requested to check out SOHO & discovered more interesting shops & galleries ..rode the subway!
Will explore another area the next time ..looking forward to returning !
Keep up the excellent work Apple Greeter!! Thank you

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Charles Schwartz was our guide to all things New York. Charles is a volunteer with Big Apple Greeter. This organization opens the city to the world with volunteers giving guided tours to the burrough and/or place of your choice. You are matched based on your preference of sites with someone who has personal knowledge of the area. We requested a tour of the Lower East Side and Charles took us beyond the basic sight seeing experience. We entered into a time warp, through tours of buildings that had not changed for over a 100 years! He was a wealth of information as his grandfather had come to America, landed in NYC and lived in the Lower East Side. Both myself and my travelling companion found our experience with Big Apple Greeter to be the highlight of our trip. We took home the experience of feeling we had witnessed history first hand.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Walking and talking with Ruth in and around Brooklyn was the best day of my family´s trip to NYC! With our two teenagers we had breakfast in Ruth´s neighbouring diner and met some of her friends. We watched the brownstones and the high-rises, we talked about the history and the gentrification and we marvelled at the development of the Dumbo area. We drank coffee at the local ice-cream makers and walked the stretch between the bridges. We visited her favourite shops and got to know a little about the people who lived in the area, how they lived and where they came from. We finished the day at Ground Zero, where she showed us around the humble but magnificent church and told us of both her own experiences from those days, and of what happened at the site. Above all, she managed to convey to us her personal love of the city, its people and history. I recommend Big Apple Greeter to anyone visiting the big apple!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My partner and I came to spend my 50th birthday in New York last November and we had an excellent time with our greeter, Betty who showed us round Downtown Manhattan. We found her extremely knowledgable and interesting. We were so pleased to meet her. She made our trip !

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are a couple from Barcelona, last November we spent our honeymoon in NYCity. It was our second time in the city and we would like to share a visit with a greeter.
It was fantastic and funny for us because we could see lots of places that we couldn't do without his help
It was a fantastic experience

Review from Guidestar

Roger B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

on our first trip to NY me and a friend discovered big apple greater in the internet and asked for their service. We didn't really believe that it works and that it is for free. Finally we got picked up at our hostel and had an interesting and exciting first day in the city. We saw a lot of things that we wouldn't have seen without the very friendly and patient "greater". He refused any tipping and even invited us to a coffee. It was a great day. We learnd a lot and still remember the warm welcome.
Thank you very much!

Review from Guidestar

Stephanie H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I visited NYC with my parents last year. THis was their first trip to the USA, and they were a bit worried, didn't know what to expect in such a huge city as NYC. Plus, being French in their 60s, neither spoke English.
I contacted Big Apple Greeter, and we were assigned a wonderful guide, who not only had prepared a route based on my parents' passion for architecture, but also helped my parents ease into the NYC spirit. She even spoke some French, and after this morning spent together, my parents were much more at ease in NYC and we benefited from great tips to enjoy the rest of our stay.
I would say that Big Apple Greeter really helped us discover NYC's hidden treasures, and made this trip a success.

Review from Guidestar

Anja K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had a great time with our Big Apple Greeter. With 2 adults, a teenager and an 8 year-old, our family represented a variety of interests, and our fantastic guide managed to include something for everyone. From the financial district and Ground Zero to walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, the best hot chocolate ever, an indoor fleamarket and all sorts of interesting and fun spots we would have never discovered on our own, this was a wonderful experience and a memory that we will cherish forever!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2005 I decided to take two of my Aunts to New York City. I wanted to give them a trip that they would always remember. As the time of our departure approached I realized that I really needed help if they were to see and experience New York in the way it should be experienced. In my search for a possible city tour I found a reference to Big Apple Greeter and proceeded to research them. I decided that we would take a chance and ask them to assign us a guide. Bernie met us at our hotel and from the first moment I knew we had a winner. He was so gracious to three southern ladies, we relaxed immediately. We gave him our list of things we would like to see and do and then set out for one of the most enjoyable days we had on our whole trip. By the end of our time with him, Bernie had taught us how to read the Subway map, purchase our Metropass, and navigate around the city. He gave us so much great information which we used during the rest of our stay in NYC. Our trip was a success due to the time we spent with Bernie, he was a delight. Thank you Big Apple Greeter, I will defintely use your service again. Outstanding!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've taken tourists around favorite parts of Manhattan(mine, not theirs!) as a volunteer for two years. This is a delightful way to show the city that I love to highly interested, curious, knowledgeable tourists. They always say that I showed them a New York they would not have found themselves and they get to meet a native New Yorker as well. I have uncovered Dutch New York for visitors from Holland, done a food-centered tour for visitors in the culinary trade, and gotten invited in to places like the Gramercy Arts Club as well as Pete's Tavern although both were officially closed at 10 AM when we passed by and looked in the windows. We also got an impromptu, private tour of the historic murals in Washington Irving High School's lobby. An advantage for the volunteer - and there are many - is that I get to pick who I want to take out. I've also made some very good friends in France who love being hosts on my trips to France.

Review from Guidestar

Cindy N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have taken two tours with Big Apple Greeters, both of which were excellent. During the first tour we walked through lower Manhattan near the courts buildings and then walked over the Brooklyn Bridge and into parts of Brooklyn. The volunteer who guided our tour was extremely knowledgeable and very interesting. There were two of us on the tour. During the second tour we walked through parts of the lower east side and then into Washington Square Park and areas nearby. The woman guiding us on this tour was also very knowledgeable and interesting. We had four people on that tour and at times it was a little difficult to hear the guide speak. I recommend groups of two if taking a tour - it's much more personal that way and is easy for everyone to hear. It's nice that you get to choose what areas of the city you'd like to tour and what about those areas interest you. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND BIG APPLE GREETER!!!

Review from Guidestar

Vincent E.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Big Apple Greeter serves a unique role in New York City's life. For so many visitors Big Apple through the years has been able to show the sunny side of the Big Apple. Manhattan is of course a shining gem and a World capital with world class delights, cultural attractions, educational and entertainment opportunities but Big Apple Greeters through it's volunteers and programs has opened up the rest of the city to visitors, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx and Staten Island and because of their efforts folks walk away with a special personalized experience. Folks carry with them a love an affection for New York they would not have otherwise.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My partner and I visted New York for the first time a couple of years ago. A girlfriend of mine had highly recommended that we do a BIG APPLE GREETER tour and I am so glad that we did. We spent a fabulous morning and afternoon wandering around the Upper East Side, through Central Park and then through some of the most amazing hotels I've ever seen. It was an absolute highlight of our trip, we loved it. We're heading back to New York in December this year and can't wait to do another tour and explore another part of this fabulous city.

BIG APPLE GREETER is an absolute must for any person visiting New York. I only wish more cities in the world had this service.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Big Apple Greeter is THE WAY to discover NY by the hand of a real New Yorker. We used the service of B.A.G. one time and for us it was a life time experience. A very enthousiastic retired man who tells us a lot about life in the big apple and some interesting stories. He even didn't accept money for the coffe we drunk.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We visited NY in 2004 for my husbands 40'th birthday and we wanted to visit places that local New York people would go to. We had a wonderful volunteer for the day who took us all over NY, and we saw places that we didn't even know exist, we were also given tickets to travel on the subway and buses. But Big Apple Greeter support and interest doesn't end there, when we had the bombings in London in2005 BAG contacted us hoping we were OK and sending their wishes to us. BAG are an amazing organisation, we would definately access them again when we return to NY and any support we can give we will.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have used the services of the Big Apple Greeter twice in the last 2 years, each experience has been much more then expected. We were taken to places that I would not have seen had I not gone with the Greeter. I have been told by people that have lived in NYC that I have seen more than they even knew existed.
If I ever have the opportunity to vist NYC again I hope that there is a greeter available to show me more of your wonderful city.
I tell everyone about this service in hopes tht they will contact you and be able to have the same experience.
Thanks to you all and to Chaffin Elliott, for make all of this possible.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Several years ago I tagged along on a business trip with my husband. I had heard raves from a friend who had used Big Apple Greeters and decided to try the service. It was WONDERFUL! Anna gave me a private tour geared to MY interests. I experienced many parts of Manhattan not on public tours. They even provided the subway tokens! We went behind the scenes at the Lower East Side museum where she was also a volunteer.
The whole experience was warm and welcoming, a highlight of the trip!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recommend Big Apple Greeter to everyone that I know is going to New York City. They are an amazing organization and the highlight of my trips to New York City. I have used Big Apple Greeter on two different occasions and both times I had amazing people showing me around their city. I cannot speak highly enough of the organization because their volunteers are top notch with such great insight into this amazing city.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am lucky to run the two all news radio stations in New York City. They are an integral part of the fabric of the Big Apple. AND SO IS BIG APPLE GREETER. A news station spends much of its time delivering news that is usually not too happy. But one of the stories we have been able to report on is this great volunteer organization that is devoted to showing people who visit our city just how GRAND it is. There can't be a better way to make the image of NYC glitter than the personal touch that Big Apple Greeters have with visitors. I know that visitors leave our city with a warm glow and memories they will always cherish because of the caring, personable and attentive sharing provided by the Big Apple volunteers. And, now being on the Board of Directors, I see first hand the caring, passion and enthusiasm the volunteers have. It is an honor to know that New Yorkers care so much about showing off their city and spend hours of their own time making wonderful experiences for those who visit New York.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

HAVING BEEN LOOKED AFTER BY A BIGGLE APPLE GREETER ON THREE DIFFERENT VISITS TO NYC I CAN ONLY RATE THEIR SERVICES AS OUSTANDING.

Meeting a greeter should be an absolute must for any visitor to this great city.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a german travel journalist writing guide books and travelstories for major german travel magazines from around the world. Every time I am lucky enough to be in New York City for some days I try to meet a Big Apple Greeter to get to know those parts of the City that are out of the general focus of tourism. And each and every time I do not only have a great day and get to learn a lot of unknown places but also get to know wonderful people - always a great experience, uncomparable to any other experience I had in other cities.
Last time - only several weeks ago - I spent my day with "my" wonderful greeter in Queens and I discovered a whole new, multiethnical universe! We visited places of many different cultures, had lunch in a Hindu temple that I would have never ever discovered by my own and we ended up - after miles and miles of walking - at the famous Lemon King, a place I had read about in an NYTimes-article. "My" greeter was not only knowledgable and charming but also incredible thoughtful, gave me brochures and maps, and even a raincoat when it started pouring down! A day I will never forget. And the adventures we had I will use extensivly for the update of my New York City Guidebook. So hopefully lots of readers will discover what my Greeter showed me - a long lasting effort of a bright and memorable day. Thank you Fred!!!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Where to start? What a way to experience the city! Our tour guide went with us to Brooklyn and I never expected to fall in love with this part of New York City! We met really nice people and "found" a lot of hidden spots we would never have visited on our own! Our tour guide even explained how to use the bus lines and subways... After this tour we were a lot more confident to find our way aound the City.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter and I were visiting New York City and I had heard about this service from a public radio program. So I arranged for a tour. We had the most lovely tour guide who did exactly as I had hoped. My daughter was too young to remember the events of 9/11 and I wanted someone to talk to the both of us about that event, how it affected the city and to show us how things were being rebuilt. Our guide met us as arranged and was so very good to both of us. She was a former teacher, talked enough, didn't talk too much, spoke most specifically to my daughter and gave us so much information but not in a preachy or overbearing way. She dropped us off at the zoo, as we asked, gave us a tutorial about the subway system. She seemed to enjoy our company (I hope so as we enjoyed hers!) and before I knew it, the morning was over.

I highly recommend this service and would love for them to receive this prize. I have recommended this service to anyone I knew who was visiting the city and will continue to do so.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

in the june 2009, we walk around Manhattan. The Big Apple Greeter show us Manhattan whit the eyes from a New Yorker and we can feel us as New yorker too

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Big Apple Greeter:- The best service that NYC could offer to its visitors. we had an amazing "made to measure" tour of downtown Manhattan. It opened my teenage children's and my eyes to how friendly and accessible the city is.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Where to start !. The irony was that our big apple greeter was infact British, originally from a town 20miles from where we live in England. We'd read a review in the Sunday Times newspaper and it seemed a fun and different way to get under the skin of one of the great cities of the world. Our greeter turned up on time and was genuinely interested in us as visitors to his great big city. He took the time to find out what we were interested in and what the kids were interested in and off we went ! Despite his great age ( our greeter was about 80) he really went the extra mile for us. We were treated to an insightful and personal view of Manhattan, no question was too trivial or silly and we were treated at all times with great personally courtesy and the most beautiful manners( you can take the man out of Britain but never the Britain out of the man!). We were taken right into Trump towers and to the top of the the shops at Columbus circle. We saw Strawberry fields and took a stroll in the park. The time flew by and it was all to soon to say cheerio to Donald, who invited us to hear him play that night in a jazz bar as his guests. For me it was a personal highlight and if i ever meet anyone going to NYC then i always always encourage them to give the greeters a try. I have no hesitation inrecommending them for an award, they really are the best of the city.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

It was a sunny but bitter cold day on Jan 6, 2011 when the greeter met me at the YMCA. She escorted me on a historical walk through lower Manhattan. She was pleasant, witty, informed, and withstood the weather well beyond expectations. After our time was up I continued for a few more hours. I was more confident in my explorations after the greeter had shown the way around.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

How to amuse 5 young frenchmen on a rainy morning in Manhattan?
Firstly, hand them mini- umbrellas and lead them to Central Park to see the statuary and to regal in the history and beauty of the wondrous Central park in Spring.
As I photographed them draped all over the magnificent Alice in Wonderland statue , next to the sailing pond, I hardly realized that I would still have contact with them 5 years later.
Recently, in Lyon I reconnected with one of those travelers and was pleased to be invited to share the beauty of his city.
We Greeters realize how we become true ambassadors as we share the love of our city. I always feel that our services our much appreciated and the visitors return home to sing our praises.


Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a great time with my volunteer who took me to areas within the city which I would never have otherwise visited. This is exactly what I wanted as I wished to see the real NY behind the sky scrapers and Statue of Liberty. It was a great day where I got to learn about the city and it's people, all for free which made it even more worthwhile.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had so much fun being a Greeter with Big Apple Greeter. I've met people from all over the globe and have introduced them to some of my favorite places in the city. It's amazing how much they enjoy seeing an insider's perspective to the city.
I've been Greeting visitors for 3+ years!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my brother and I visited New York, one of the things we loved most was our day with the Big Apple Greeter. For both of us it was the first time in NY and for my brother it was also the first time in North America (we are from Germany).
When we met our Greeter, he first asked us to tell him a bit about ourselves and what we would like to do. He then suggested a tour along various places and it turned out to be just perfect for us. He took us to historic places we would have never found on our own, showed us the diversity of different neighbourhoods and had us try all kinds of food. He was interesting to talk to and knew so much! He obviously had a lot of experience, both as a New Yorker and as a Greeter, and we greatly enjoyed his company.
Spending a day with a Big Apple Greeter was a splendid experience we would not want to miss - he made us fall in love with New York!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My first trip to New York City was made even more special by my trip to Harlem with my Big Apple Greeter guide, Jules. I learned so much, seeing parts of Harlem that I would never have seen if I'd tried to do the tour myself. For example, Ulysses Tomb and the Harlem Library (the library's exhibition on African American culture was excellent!).

I felt comfortable in Jules' company, and giving him a big hug as I got off the subway when our day came to an end seemed like the natural thing to do after a fantastic day.

I have recommended Big Apple Greeter to a number of friends who are visiting New York City.

Review from Guidestar

Sheila F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My teenaged daughter and I visited NYC in February 2006. It was our first visit and we really wanted to make the most of it. I became aware of Big Apple Greeters during a web search for things to do in NYC. Via our application, we were thoughtfully paired with a lovely Greeter. Her name was Ellen and she showed us how to use the subway system, she took us to a famous Deli for lunch (from When Harry Met Sally fame), and she showed us all around Chinatown. We enjoyed her company very very much. Apart from her and her most genuine love for NYC (and people in general), I think the most valuable service provided by Big Apple Greeters is to take the mystery out of NYC (especially the transit systems) and allow visitors to make the most of their trips. I now recommend them to anyone I know who is travelling to the city (first tiem visitors or not). We cannot wait to go back!!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

As first time visitors to NYC from Australia, our Greeter was wonderful. We found out about the service via our local newspaper. As we were delayed in LA because of the blizzard, our greeter was more than happy to change the date. She was very knowledgeable, helping us with subway, areas to or not to visit. Her history of NYC was quite broad. Very friendly. She spent the whole day with us & not once did you feel she wanted to leave.
Highly recommend this experience as a must to any visitor to NYC.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

It was my first trip to the US, and I did not have a lot of money to spend there... I really appreciated Joseph's help and stories, it was a great moment. I could not have afforded paying for a city visit, and it is wonderful to find such a service FREE in 2011!!!I really liked this moment, I learnt many things on the US and NY, and I will remember that all my life!!Thanks again and good luck to Big Apple Greeter!!!Moreover I had the chance to make a visit in French!!!Quel luxe!!!

Review from Guidestar

Petra A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I went to NYC a few years ago. It was his first trip, while I had been there a few times already. We wanted to see something aside from the usual touristy highlights and had a fantastic time with our Big Apple Greeter. He was a wealth of knowledge and had so many interesting little anecdotes. I am so glad I found the organization, and I would take another trip with them anytime!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I spent my honeymoon in the place I had always dreamt to: New York City; my wife and me didn´t know anybody there before, and we came back to Spain with a friend for all life: our Bigapplegreeter, a lady called Linda, a nice person full of enthusiasm for making us feel well, showing us her loved city, and make our experience not just a touristic one, but human one. By staying with us for a few hours, she not only showed us nice places that cannot be found in the guides, but she made us feel more connected to the newyorkers, that now we remember with great affection.
It was nice to have a service like that for free, and we could understand that the people that do it, do it because of two things: they love to help others, and they love New York. They must know that they made us love New York too.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has so many KNOWLEDGEABLE volunteers who are willing to go all out for visitors. Recently, the day after a blizzard, I had been scheduled to take a lone visitor from Australia out. I felt it would be terrible to cancel even though the city was totally snowed in.
She was willing!!!! We walked the West village, Washington Square, Union Square, Madison Square to Chelsea. There I left her after 4 hours to shop at a store that had just been able to open.
We had stopped for cocoa (the only thing the restaurant had was drinks as no deliveries could be made) and stale pastry and heat.
But we had such fun in the snow and watching the attempts at shoveling out and plowing out. Glad I could show her a special day in New York

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We spent with Christmas 2010 13 days in New York and were the first day (december 23) introduced on a 4 hr walk by a bigapple greeter. This was the best introduction to our stay in New York an we are very grateful we got this tour. He gave us maps from bus and subway and told us how to use ths transport. Furthermore he showed us a bit of Brooklyn and part of Manhattan 14th str surroundings.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past 10 years I have served as Greeter Trip Coordinator. I plan tours for the Greeters to familiarize them with neighborhoods, museums and venues that they may not be acquainted with. This also provides the Greeters an opportunity to meet one another and share experiences and tips on neighborhoods that they know well .
I have also taken out visitors who are so grateful to learn how to manipulate our subway and bus systems. It is a wonerful way to meet people from different cultures.
It is also a privilege to work with our dedicated full time office staff and the office volunteers.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We had our trip to NYC in 2008 and we used Big Apple Greeter. It was honestly the best experience of our trip to NYC. The knowledge and love for the city that these volunteers have and share with you is truely amazing. You get to experience New York in a different light and get the true beauty and life of the city through these individuals. I have recommended Big Apple Greeter to everyone who visits New York.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

In 2008 I visited NY with a friend. From another friend we got the tip to use Big Apple Greeter. That turned out to be a real good tip. With our greeter we walked through SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown. He showed us not the things you would find in a city guide, but the things that are only known to someone who lives in the city. We especially liked to visit Capitale, an old bank where the Italian immigrants put their money in the bank. Now the building can be rented for business parties. Our greeter also gave us usefull advice about the subway, about the public spaces in businesscomplexes that can be visited.
The best advice our greeter gave us was: loose yourselves. So instead of always following the map, we just wandered around NY without a real purpose. A great way to discover NY.
We remember our trip with many good memories and we recommend the Big Apple Greeter to all our friens, family and colleaugues who go to NY as well. So far all of them have taken our advice and used the service from Big Apple Greeter with joy.
I will definetly and gladly make use again of Dig Apple Greeter on my next visit to NY.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I would certainly recommend Big Apple Greeter to anyone - it's a wonderful way to see a part of New York City you might not see otherwise.

I spent a wonderful day, in June 2008, with greeter Joseph Briller and fulfilled one of my bucket list items - walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. Joesph was a wonderful guide and was very knowledgable about Brooklyn.

Joseph met me at my hotel, we took the subway, walked across the bridge, did some sightseeing in Brooklyn and had a great meal at a wonderful Polish restaurant. We packed a lot into our time together.

Big Apple Greeter is a wonderful organization providing a very beneficial service to visitors to New York. It also provides the vehicle for greeters like Joseph to share the love of their city with visitors to their city.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Big Apple Greeter since May 2010. It has been a wonderful experience to work with the organization's caring and committed staff, who take great interest in ensuring that their volunteers feel both empowered and challenged by their work. I always feel welcomed and appreciated in my role as a communications and marketing volunteer, and delighted to have a role in enhancing New York City's reputation here and abroad.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter and I spent a wonderful day in New York with Big Apple Greeter Joseph Briller. We met Joseph in the lobby of our hotel on Sunday 15th August 2010, a day that also happened to be my daughter's 21st birthday and we couldn't have celebrated it in a more enjoyable way and that was all thanks to Joseph and his wonderful friendly personality, personal knowledge of New York, especially Brooklyn, and talent at bringing the city and it's history alive. Since returning to Scotland we have very fond memories of our holiday, especially the day spent with Joseph on Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights and Coney Island and I have told everyone about the fantastic service Big Apple Greeters provide to visitors. Apart from my own reasons for wanting this service to continue, I think you also have to consider the benefits to society - without this service people like Joseph who have so much to offer would probably never come into direct contact with tourists, what a waste! I hope B.A.G. win the prize, they deserve to be given the opportunity to thrive and develop so that more and more people can hear about this fantastic city from people with a genuine love for it. In my opinion your Mayor should give every greeter an award for the great job they are doing for the city. If Mr Bloomberg would care to invite me over, I would be delighted to present Joseph's !!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had visited New York once before but this time my sister came with me an she had the impression that New York was a Bad Ass City where murder, crime and drugs were on every street corner. I wanted to dispell this myth and see the city through the eyes of a local and past all the usual commercial tourist hype. We struck gold, our Big Apple Greeter was brilliant and showed us around His city with fun and no fuss. It was like having a day out with a friend and I was able to use the information later when my daughter joined me and we retaced much of the walk/ shops/ cafes/ points of interest again. I gained great insight into the Jewish religion and a Synagogue which I would never have gone into or even noticed on my on. We went into various hotel foyers and atriums to see artworks or structures hidden away and were told the reason why builders have to plan to leave open spaces fo residents. We had a great coffee at a Nespresso shop down a back street which knocked the spots of the usual Starbucks. And though it may seem cheesy, I realized that New York isn't just an iconic city, it's also a home to real people. Want constructive feedback? Keep the Big Apple Greeter scheme going for all these reasons but keep it free so that anyone can use it.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

A friend and I had the delightful opportunity to spend a day in NYC with a Big Apple Greeter. Although we have been to NYC in the past, we learned so much more about the real life and real people who live and work in the city. Especially since 9/11, I think the volunteer greeters are essential to the city's rebuilding of its image, safety, and history. We would never have ventured out alone to explore more than the main shopping area. With the Greeter we were guided on the buses and subway to all of Manhattan. We walked a few miles through the village. We enjoyed a small local restuarant for lunch and stopped at a bakery for dessert. We would never have known about these local delights.

Review from Guidestar

Michael H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My partner and I spent two days in New York and we both agreed that our favorite part of our time there was the time we spent with our Big Apple Greeter, Annick.

She friendly and knowledgeable. I thought she would just take us on a little walking tour and we would be done in two hours. We spent nearly four hours with her that day and truly felt more like we had just spent time with our friend in New York than we did with a stranger her was just doing her "job".

It was an experience we will remember the rest of our lives and we feel as if we made a friend that day. We even wrote her afterward to say thanks and to share some of the photos we took that day.

Big Apple Greeters is a program I would recommend to anyone thinking of going to New York. Our guide helped us fall in love with the City and want to return as soon as possible.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I enjoy meeting new people, exploring different cultures and I love New York. As a volunteer with Big Apple Greeters I show visitors to NYC the NY I know and/or the NY they want to explore. I especially like being with first-time visitors. Their enthusiasm is contagious and they say the same about me. At the same time, I feel I am helping the NYC economy; tourism is a very important part of the economy and the tourists I take on visits state that they will surely return and will tell all at home to visit NYC now!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Big Apple Greeter for almost five years. I spend one full day a week in their office, doing data entry, online research, and other support work. I love this organization and its mission to further enhance the international reputation of New York City. Everyone who volunteers at Big Apple Greeter, whether as a greeter or as an office volunteer, or both, loves this city and is enthusiastic about showing if off to visitors. And so many of our visitors give us rave reviews that we must be doing something right!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We first met our Greeter, Joseph, in 2009 when he took us on a Greeters visit around Brooklyn. He was fantastic and we never would have seen or discovered so much about Brooklyn without him. His knowledge was vast and he enriched our holiday by making the visit extremely enjoyable and interesting. We have since become very good friends with Joseph and his lovely wife and meet up with them in both New York and the UK whenever we can. The Greeters organisation gives a wonderul perspective on New York as it is seen through the eyes of one of its residents. Long may it continue!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife and I visited New York in July 2010. This was my third visit to NY and my wife's second. This time we were priveledged to spend a morning with a Big Apple Greeter. We obtained an understanding of a part of lower Manhattan that we otherwise would not have and did this is the company of a very pleasant gentleman. In addition Richard showed us how to us the Subway - what a boon that was! Since we returning to our home, which is in Port Macquarie NSW Australia we have related our experiences with Big Apple Greeters to friends, family and aquaintances. Big Apple Greeters we good to deal with. We had no problem making and excuting plans with them.
We intend to return to NY later this year and will seriously consider getting in touch with them again.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family visited NYC in April 2005. I read about B A G in a guide book and thought it would be helpful to have a greeter. I'm sorry to say I can't remember our greeters name, but she was wonderful. She had complimentary subway tickets and had us hopping on and off the subway in no time. She took us to Chinatown where we weaved through the mazes of streets and small shops, stopped at historic cemeteries and walked up wall street, all while pointing out architecture we surely would have missed. We had two children and she managed to make it interesting for us all. The tour ended with a city view from our greeters apartment rooftop. It was the best way to experience NYC for the first time! I would highly recommend it.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is the 2nd time I have used the Big Apple Greeter service, but I was with different people the first time. We were met by Richard proptly at 10am at our hotel, The Grand Hyatt on 42nd Street, New York.
After a short discussion on where to go (we didnt mind!) the 5 of us set out.
We were taken by foot to Chelsea Heights and market and then into Grenwich Village. It was Fantastic!
What a wonderful insight to parts of New York we would never have known about, or seen, if it hadnt have been for him.
3 hours later we ended our tour but the memories will be with us forever!
Thank you.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Although I never joined the diplomatic corps, I have become a proud ambassador for New York City through my service to Big Apple Greeter. I find it totally inspiring to welcome visitors to our city by talking them on neighborhood walks and showing them wonderful aspects of the city that they might otherwise miss. I do all I can to make them feel most welcome and comfortable and many tell me that my visit with them was the highlight of their stay in New York. My second role is in the office as a volunteer visit coordinator arranging visits for Greeter colleagues, many of whom get the same "highlight" reaction from their visitors. 17 years ago, my wife heard a pro bono ad for us on the radio and said, "Joseph, that's you. Call today." I could not have made a better call. I think not only of myself but of my devoted colleagues who make this ultra New York welcome every day of the year. I think of so many wonderful visits I have had and people whom I have met, among them a lovely family from Colorado including a high achieving son with Down Syndrome, of an awesome French young lady of 17 who arranged everything for her parents and herself and of a VIP visit from England that yielded two life-long friends. So many lives have been so positively touched by this wonderful organization. There is none better!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became a volunteer with Big Apple Greeter over two years ago and have found the experience to be mutually rewarding. I am a native New York who loves the city and enjoys showing visitors from all over the world neighborhoods and hidden gems that visitors might not find on their own in a guide book.

I have established friendships and connections with many visitors who love the idea of Big Apple Greeter. The program is a win win for both the visitors as well as the greeters.

Additionally, beneficiaries of the program are NYC Tourism as well as the many restaurants and retailers within neighborhoods that Big Apple Greeters bring visitors to. I have yet to have a visit where my guests did not have fabulous things to say about our city.

Review from Guidestar