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 CD as well as MP3 for iPODs and other devices. 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.
Cost for each tour as a download MP3 file is $12.95, while CDs are $19.95
For more information about this and other tours, including audio samples, check out SoundWalk.com
Reproduced with permission: Jewschool