New York abounds with tales that lay behind the surface.  Guide books can be very good, but your experience is greatly enriched by hearing the stories that lay behind the facts. An excellent tour is not just informative, it’s entertaining, and engages you in a way that you want to hear more. My sensibility, background, and personal manner revolves around telling stories. I want you to learn from and enjoy my tours.

You see here a number of tours which cover areas or themes of the city, but that might just be a starting point for you.  I am happy to combine elements of tours that align with your interests, add locations, or design a custom tour exactly to your specifications.

My tours are walking tours. I believe that’s the best way to experience the city. Our pace is adjusted to your preferred speed. If we need to travel to another part of town we take the subway or a cab. If we take the subways, you will hear subway tales along the way. If you prefer to move around by taxi, I‘m happy to travel that way. Your preference decides.

I meet you either at your hotel or at the starting point of the tour, whichever you prefer.

My tours are enhanced by, photos, video and graphics on my trusty iPad.

I am a licensed New York City tour guide.

My story

Robert Maass

Robert Maass


New York is a rich, multi-layered feast of all the senses. Whether strolling through our neighborhoods, eating in our restaurants, looking at our buildings, attending the theater, listening to music, riding the subways, or shopping in our stores, we offer some of the best in every category. We are a welcoming place, whose history, culture and reputation spring from the embrace of people and ideas from far and wide. You feel that as you walk the streets and meet New Yorkers. I’m a native New Yorker with a love of the city’s daily pulse and history. Our extraordinary history is not only fascinating in it’s own right. It also informs our present in countless ways. Current issues of growth, immigration, transportation, style, innovation - you name it - could be ripped from the headlines going back hundreds of years here, where we’d recognize the issues in our own lives. Many essential urban issues were first confronted innovatively in New York. It is a path-finding and aspirational city and in some ways, as much an idea as a place. Billy Joel’s song title expressed it well as a ‘ New York State of Mind’. I’ve been a photojournalist for most of my career, and it’s also been my professional privilege in last few years to take visitors around New York. My photography career is very relevant to my guide work, as it is based on a way of seeing. My ‘training’ has been finding creative, convincing ways of seeing. As a photojournalist, I was also schooled in capturing decisive moments that tell a story. In short, it’s about being aware and observant. One example of my particular way of take on New York is a documentary film I made called Gotham Fish Tales. I became fascinated by city fishermen, and it led to s film which tells the strange and unexpected story of what turns out to be a very productive fishery. Perhaps most intriguing was the disconnect between the perception of what’s in our waterways, and the reality. We have well over 500 miles of coastline, yet until recently, New Yorkers were largely divorced from it, and didn’t find it worth visiting. Fortunately, this is all now changing. And change is most accurate characterization of New York. It’s always changing, and I connect you between what was, to what is. I offer both fixed tours of the city and custom tours, which are fashioned according to your specific interests and needs. You may want to take a little from column A and a little from column B, or I can work with you to create an itinerary exactly to your specifications.

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