NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Cloudy, chilly days in New York City aren’t just for movies and Chinese take-out anymore.
Metropolitan Walks, a group which offers walking tours of New York City landmarks such as Ground Zero and Wall Street, is now presenting a nearly entirely indoor tour, created especially for dreary days in the Big Apple.
The “Mostly Indoor Tour” creator, Andrew Smith, will launch the project by offering the tour on a regularly scheduled basis, with hopes of making it more of a rainy-day special going forward – basing the tour offerings on the weather forecast.
“I’ve spent a lot of time over the years poking my head into buildings, just to see what they look like and what goes on inside, so I know there are a lot of cool interiors that actually are open to the public, even though the public doesn’t know it,” Smith told CBSNewYork.
The tour goes from Grand Central to Rockefeller Center with only one 3-block stretch in the outdoors.
After beginning at Grand Central and taking a quick loop through the Chanin and Chrysler buildings, the tour heads north through the old Pan Am building, Bear Stearns, the Waldorf, the Villard houses and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
“I most like taking people through the Chanin building…and the Villard houses,” said Smith. “No one seems to realize that either of these places exist,” said Smith. “So they feel like secret treasures and people light up when they see them.”
In a city where walking tours abound, the it’s the indoor aspect of this attraction that makes it unique.
“To my knowledge, this is the only indoor tour that covers real ground and takes in more than a handful of buildings,” Smith said.
“I’ve always tried to incorporate as many interiors as possible into tours, but it wasn’t until I had endured three straight weeks of sub-freezing temperatures this winter and begun to despair of ever seeing walking weather again that I came up with the idea of an almost entirely indoor tour.”
New Yorkers may scoff at the idea of taking a tour in their own city, but Smith insists that the walk can be enjoyed by tourists and residents alike.
“The walk certainly works for tourists because it explores a handful of the greatest buildings in the city, places you really have to see if you come here,” Smith said. “Many locals will have seen a fair number of the spaces already — and for many folks, that’s enough — but very few of them will know the stories behind the buildings, and there are some cool stories here.”