By Debralee Santos and Adrian Cabreja
For many who come as tourists to New York City, the sights and sounds sought are more likely to be associated with Times Square, Central Park or a window-shopping jaunt down Fifth Avenue – the city as captured by Woody Allen, focused only on Manhattan Island, and only from 96th Street south.
That they would never step foot in the place where hip-hop was born, or visit the Little Red Lighthouse by the Hudson River, is something that John Rafael Peralta, founder, principal operator and tour guide for Dynamic NYC Tours, wants to change.
“There is so much more to this City,” says the first generation Dominican-American.
Peralta is focused on bringing newcomers to New York far beyond the well-worn path of the ubiquitous double-decker buses. He instead wants them to experience unique cultural experiences that speak to the city’s vitality – in all its corners, including The Bronx and northern Manhattan.
“I feel that many tourists miss out on a lot of culturally relevant things here in New York,” says Peralta, who grew up in Washington Heights.