Let us take you back to the halcyon days when 42nd Street was the Deuce, Eighth Avenue was the Minnesota Strip, the Great White Way was a red light district, and the Crossroads of the World was XXX-rated. We will see former peepshows, grindhouses, adult book stores, dive bars, hotsheet hotels, sex clubs, porno theaters, and massage parlors–not to mention all three locations of the New York Times. We will discover the personalities who made Times Square what it was: the King of the Peeps; the reclusive genius behind the McDonalds of Sex; the woman who built a gay and S&M porn empire; the slumlord with two suitcases filled with gold and five wives; and the Catholic priest who flew too close to the neon sun and crashed and burned.
• Learn about about the largest sex emporium in New York City (and maybe the world), the freak show where Diane Arbus found her inspiration, as well as the last remaining hot sheet hotel and live peep show in Times Square
• Discover the dirtiest hotel in America, the oldest building on 42nd Street (it’s not what you think), and the most dangerous block in New York City
• Visit sites for classic films like Midnight Cowboy (1969) and Taxi Driver (1976)
Price: $35 (+fees)
What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes
What to know: The tour is two-hours long and will show some graphic vintage photographs which may not be appropriate for all ages. Please consult with the MTA for weekend subway schedules and routing changes.
ABOUT YOUR TOUR GUIDE: This tour is led by Robert Brenner, a native New Yorker and licensed New York City tour guide. Brenner squandered his misspent youth in the fleshpots of Times Square. He witnessed firsthand the demimonde in all their sordid glory. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he lived to tell the tale—and is unashamed. Brenner is also a member of the Guides Association of New York City, and a docent for the Municipal Art Society of New York City. He has led walking tours of Times Square for the Times Square Alliance, the New York Public Library, and Jane’s Walk.