New York City tour guide Jane Marx talks to her colleague Joseph Svehlak.
JM: I’ve been a tour guide 25 years June 1st and I’ve never not liked it. My genius is group dynamics. I can figure out when they’re bored. I can figure out when they’re paying attention, I need to change the subject, we got to get a coffee, we got to get something to eat– because I’m in sync with them. I speak in stream of consciousness. I’m just going to assume that people are in my living room and i’m having a conversation with them.
JS: What is the most important thing you’ve done for someone coming to New York?
JM: To wake them out of their sleep-walking state, and to become observant, curious, and appreciative of the environment. New York is very much a person. It has had depression, it has had failure, it has had joy, it’s real life in a nutshell. And I want them to appreciate the fact they’ve come to the center of the world and say, “my eyes are open, I’ve visited a place so far different than where I’ve come from, and thank you very much.”