Explore Historic Williamsburg

…and I don’t mean Virginia!
Going on a tour generally blows; especially if you’re with a large group and your guide is a dunce. However, today there is an alternative: Soundwalk. Rather than having to troop along with a circus troupe (read, “a bunch of assclowns), and deal with all attendant inanity (if I sound bitter it’s because I spent the last year touring Israel & Eastern Europe with a group of 15), Soundwalk enables the individual to strike out on their own, by offering walking tours on tape (well, on iPOD really). Just queue the sucker up on your whirlymagigabite, arrive at the specified starting point, and press play. The program will then whisk you around the area of your choosing.
Amongst Soundwalk’s offerings are hip-hop and graffiti tours of the Bronx, cultural walks around DUMBO and the Lower East Side, and even one of Ground Zero. Their latest offering, however, is a tour of Hasidic Williamsburg: Available in both men and women‘s editions (no kidding!), the program will lead listeners on a excursion through Brooklyn’s famed clandestine Hareidi community. (I wonder if it comes with a mekhitza!)
Thankfully, Soundwalk didn’t slack on their narrators. The male edition is hosted by Joseph Piekarski, the Chabad Lubavitch star of Waiting For Woody Allen, and the female edition by Pearl Gluck, director of the critically acclaimed Divan: The Couch. Each offer a humorous and informative take on Satmarland, including restaurants, shops, shuls and —dunh dunh dunh!— The Rebbe’s House.
For more information about this and other tours, including audio samples, check out SoundWalk.com.

8 thoughts on “Explore Historic Williamsburg

  1. I work in Williamsburg (the hassidic southern portion) and frequently walk through the Northern section to soak up the Hipness (sic). I find it hilarious that there’s a Chabad house over Earwax records on North 5th and Bedford… maybe they’re hoping the Lubabity permeates through the floor.
    All the bands I love can be seen frequenting the streets, in fact it’s rumoured that Kyp from TV on the Radio owns that coffee shop on Bedford and North 6th… I forget the kitchy name it goes by.
    I think I might try this out even though I know it so well and work for one of the longest standing communities there.

  2. I should add that the organization I work for owns the Rebbe’s house and will be renovating it for our new offices. So get there while it’s still up. You prolly have another year.

  3. yehuda, pearl here. i’d love to talk to you about the hood and the house, for sure… can you write me at [email protected] om?
    thanks! glad you wrote here, and doubley glad daniel added this post… hey, come to the party on sunday to celebrate the release of divan on dvd… (see events below)

  4. Pearl I’ll be sure to get in touch with you. With regards to making it out to see the DVD release I am sorry but I’m actually the organizer behind the Hurricane Benefit show occuring that same night, so I sorta kinda need to be there.

  5. Say Yehuda, in case you may not have noticed there are many unaffiliated Jews in and around Wburg/Gpoint/LIC. The Chabad of N Bklyn has been of service to these and other Jews primarily during Kabbalat Shabbat, Shabbos and Holidays since they opened up in the mini mall. The chevra is about as tight as you’ll get anywhere else.

  6. Hey hey hey…
    I *really* wasn’t knocking it. At all. I am a firm believer in the good Lubavitch has done *and* know of the many unaffiliated Jews in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint /Bushwick/Long Island City area…
    If you reread my post I merely was entertained by the location they had chosen. Sorry if you misunderstood. My Rabbi is actually lubavitch and I found out about the location from a man who gives a shiur through this Rabbi’s shul… you might have heard of the Rabbi his last name is Vigler.
    P.S. Very cool website you link to there… is it yours? I am trying to form a more ambient jewish prog-folk band sort of like Chaim Dovid meets Sigur Ros/Radiohead. Got any connections to anyone into that sorta stuff?

  7. Its a group of us from Wburg. I do something called Hasid meets Hipster every 3 wks on Sun. here. Swing by > the WSIS gig we usually go late. Its @ Van Gogh Radio Bar 147 Franklin St (Java/India Sts) Gpoint
    PS. send some yids over to Chabad unless they’re on the wagon !!

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