Richard Schechner, Manhattan Passport – 7 Two Token Tours, 1995

“Years ago, theater innovator Richard Schechner got a job as a tour guide to prepare for an article on tourist performances. Creative Time’s 1995 Manhattan Passport – 7 Two Token Tours encouraged New Yorkers to rediscover their borough by “re-contextualizing typical tourist attractions with areas of the island other !than those in which you might live and work.” The seven cleverly titled excursions included “Take the A Train” (Harlem), “More Than Harlem on My Mind” (Washington Heights and Inwood), the “Melting Pot Tour” (the U.N. and Roosevelt Island), and the “Cultural Cornucopia Tour” (Lower East Side and East Village). The latter stopped at the Henry Street Settlement, Gus’s PickJe Stand, Liz Christie Gardens, the 6th Street Indian restaurant row, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, St. Marks on the Bowery, the Russian and Turkish Baths, and four yoga dens. This is cultural tourism at its liveliest, though it is unclear how
actively it addressed the problematics of gentrification, homelessness, redlining and other pressing social ills in relation to cultural issues.” [credit]