Michael Roper: The Man Who Walks the Walk
A good History teacher brings alive the events in our nation’s past, and a good tour guide can point out the places where they actually happened. At York Prep we are very fortunate to have both—in the same person. That person is Mr. Michael Roper, who illuminates subjects from World History to Constitutional Law and is also a licensed New York City tour guide.
Weekends in autumn and spring find Mr. Roper leading groups of students (he often hosts teachers and parents as well) on tours ranging from the Battery in lower Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights to as far north as West Point and Hyde Park. His “Little Old New Amsterdam” tour includes the Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington resigned his commission after the Revolution, as well as the oldest Jewish place of worship in America. “Little Italy to Cooper Union” is just that, including the Cast-Iron District, Washington Square, and the place where Abraham Lincoln gave a speech that many say “made him president.” Both tours end with a sumptuous lunch at McSorley’s Tavern.
When Mr. Roper’s class visits the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, each student reports on one of the historical characters who found their final resting place there, from “Boss” Tweed to Horace Greeley to Leonard Bernstein.
Quite apart from the rich history Mr. Roper reveals to be right under our noses, he shares a wealth of intriguing facts about the Big Apple. Did you know that the Brooklyn Bridge is further west than the George Washington Bridge? Or that the East River is not really a river? How did Wall Street get its name? And where in New York City will you find a gravesite that contains more Revolutionary War soldiers than anywhere else in America?
A delightful and physically invigorating way to find out is to sign up for one of Mr. Roper’s extraordinary trips. Check out the tour schedule listed in Edline > Activities > New York City Tour Club.