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R2R ’23: Little Syria NY: Walking Tours of Washington Street w/ WSHS

Published: June 3, 2023; Author: Julia Sonrisa

 June 11, 2023    11:00 AM-04:00 PM EDT

Address: Battery Place & Washington Street New York, NY 10004 United States

R2R ’23: Little Syria NY: Walking Tours of Washington Street w/ WSHS

One of the best-kept secrets of early New York is the presence of the first Arabic-speaking community in the United States, located on Washington Street on the Lower West Side of Manhattan, first settled in 1880. Almost no buildings remain on Washington Street from the nineteenth century. Linda Jacobs, a scholar and historian will give in-person tours of the early Manhattan Syrian/Lebanese colony illustrated with stories, historical photos, and places of significance to the early Syrian colony.

Beginning at Washington Street & Battery Place (park-side) the tours walk past the last three remaining buildings, including the façade of St. George’s Melkite Church, which will conclude three of the tours. The fourth tour, on June 17th, will culminate in The Battery Labyrinth with a poetry recitation and performance of Arabic music celebrating the writers and poets of the colony.

June 11 tour departs from Washington Street & Battery Place at 11 am

June 13 tour departs from Washington Street & Battery Place at 11 am

June 15 tour departs from Washington Street & Battery Place at 11 am

June 17 tour departs from Washington Street & Battery Place at 3 pm. After the tour join us for the culminating Washington Street Historical Society event: al Qalam: Poetry in the Park ( for al Qalam)

All events in the River To River Festival are free and all are welcome. This event has minimal capacity. RSVP is required to attend the tours.

Access info:

To locate the tours, stay on the park side of Battery Place & Washington Street, across from the Whitehall building, and look for River To River staff.

These tours involve walking along Washington Street and crossing a large outdoor staircase over the highway tunnel entrance with numerous steps. The tour will be about 1 hour total of medium-paced walking with stops.

For have additional questions please reach out to [email protected]

Time: 11:00 am — 4:00 pm EDT



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