Sunday, January 24, 2010

Welcome to Know It All New Yorker

I'm a professional tour guide in New York City.

There's something you might have guessed about tour guides: more times than not, when we get together, the stories begin to flow. If you're not a tour guide, you probably want to steer clear of one of these situations -- they're pretty intense. Every once in a while I hear a story and am extremely skeptical -- I'm listening and I'm taking mental notes to do a fact check at home.

I pride myself on knowing the 'facts' before I start on a story. But a while back another guide asked me about the source of one of my tidbits. And I couldn't remember where I'd read it and started to wonder if I was right. Right away I went home and scoured the web and brought out a pile of books to review. I wished I had a site that I could rely on to do a fact-check. (And I still don't have confirmation that Roberta Flack and Yoko One live *next door* to each other in the Dakota...)

That's what I want this blog to be: a place for serious tour guides to find attributed facts to use at work.

If you're not a guide, that's ok, but if you're here on a regular basis, maybe you need to check out this page.

You won't find a lot of 'stories' here. Nor will you find information about museum hours or exhibits or the like. If that's what you're looking for, there are a good number of excellent sites I've linked to that are perfect for that sort of thing. They're the ones I read.

What I'm aiming for is an indexed list of useful facts and quick answers to often-asked questions. There'll be a bit of context included, but mostly it will be a direct quotation of 'just the facts' and there will always be a link (or book reference) to get you to the original material.

Feel free to make suggestions or ask questions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Jonathan Tourguide

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