NIIC Immigrant Tours 2015


Join a tour and experience diverse immigrant communities across New York City. Whether you are interested in an ethnic food crawl or a private museum tour, the tours are a terrific way to see more of NYC and some of the unique cultural opportunities for which the city is renowned.

NIIC Immigrant NY Tours are curated exclusively for NIIC 2015 attendees and anchored by immigrant groups across the city. You will learn about the rich history of NYC’s many immigrant communities, enjoy amazing food, experience neighborhoods, historic landmarks, and cultural institutions and offerings. Each tour is led by an expert on the neighborhoods you will be exploring.

All take place on Sunday, December 13. Meet at the NIIC Registration Table to depart for the tour; please arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. All tours return to the Marriott; exact return timing may adjust slightly based on transit and may slightly overlap with NIIC sessions taking place at the Marriott.

All tour prices include food, drinks and transportation to and from the neighborhoods and locations on the tour. Once you sign up for a tour, you will receive additional information about logistics and transportation via e-mail.

African Diaspora: African Dance, Kwanza Market & West African Brunch


Meet at Registration 10:15am, Depart 10:30am, Return ~2:00pm

This tour will begin with an African dance workshop led by Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance, which includes both a traditional African dance performance and lesson and live musical accompaniment by an African drummer. This is a terrific opportunity to learn about a dance tradition that goes back thousands of years.

Following the workshop, we will travel to the Caton Market in Flatbush, a hub for Brooklyn’s African and Caribbean communities. We’ll have a private tour of this market and its special Kwanza displays. Tour stops include an African spa, where attendees will receive a brief massage; a tutorial on how to wrap a traditional African headpiece; a Caribbean jewelry beading tutorial; and, an African hair braiding tutorial. Afterwards, we will sit down to a buffet-style brunch featuring traditional West African and Caribbean dishes. Dietary note: Brunch will include vegetarian options.

Bushwick: NEIGHBORHOODS IN TRANSITION – Walking Tour & Lunch

Meet at Registration 10:15am, Depart 10:30am, Return ~1:30pm

Bushwick is one of New York City’s most interesting and rapidly changing communities. A hub for immigrants – 35% of its residents are foreign-born – Bushwick is at the frontlines of the gentrification story in NYC, with one of the largest and growing “hipster” communities. Three quarters of Bushwick’s immigrant population are from Latin America and the immigrant community faces unique challenges as new landlords move into the neighborhood, long-time residents are displaced, and significant shifts in race and class demographics take place in the neighborhood. This walking tour, led by Make the Road New York, will focus on the Latino immigrant community and how gentrification is changing the neighborhood. We will conclude with lunch at a local Latin restaurant. Dietary note: Lunch will include vegetarian options.

Jackson Heights: Tastes of South Asia Tour

Meet at Registration 6:16pm, Depart 6:30pm, Return ~9:30pm

Jackson Heights, Queens, is one of the most diverse communities in New York City. Home to large communities of immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Thailand, Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia, walking the neighborhood is like a mini world-tour. Noted foodie and ethnic cuisine specialist Jeff Orlick is leading this special food-focused tour for NIIC attendees. Jeff has been featured in publications worldwide for his exciting, fun, educational and delicious tours that shine a spotlight on Queens’ immigrant communities through cuisine.

The experience includes a short walking tour around the Little India section of Jackson Heights before sitting down to a multi-course dinner at a Nepali restaurant with special guests from immigrant organizations and the South Asian community. Dinner includes bottomless specially-crafted cocktails. This tour is limited in size to allow for a more intimate setting and conversation together. Let us know in advance if you have any dietary restrictions and we will accommodate you.

This tour is made possible through a generous partnership with Adhikaar, Students for a Free Tibet, Chhaya Community Development Corporation and New Immigrant Community Empowerment.

Flushing: Dim Sum Walking Tour

This tour has been CANCELLED, with regrets. Please consider another of our fantastic tours.

Lower East Side: Tenement Museum Private Tour & Reception

Meet at Registration 5:45pm, Depart 6:00pm, Return ~10:00pm

In the early 20th Century, during one of the largest waves of immigration to the U.S., the Lower East Side was home to some of New York City’s most extensive and diverse immigrant populations. Immigrants of multiple faiths, nationalities, and political beliefs lived side-by-side. Beer halls were adjacent to synagogues; Russian, Yiddish, German and Italian were spoken within the halls of the same buildings.

In this private tour of the renowned Tenement Museum, you will travel back in time and experience the tenements where immigrants lived and learn about the immigrants who called them home. You will also get a taste of today’s Lower East Side immigrant community, as the evening features food from local immigrant-owned restaurants ranging from house-made pickles to Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches. The tour includes an open bar serving beer and wine. Dietary Note: food includes vegetarian options.