Rives Bros NYC Tours

June 20, 2012

We gave the last of our just-for-kicks Rives Brothers downtown tours today, to the best turnout yet. The group started at Grand Central Terminal and ended up in the footprint of the old Dutch state house. Along the way we stopped in City Hall Park for New York junk food—snacks that were invented and first manufactured in the city—with an emphasis on Tootsie Rolls.

Now, Tootsie Rolls were created by Austrian immigrant Leo Hirshfeld, who named the candy after his daughter Clara, a.k.a. “Tootsie.” In our shtick, we said that Clara weighed around 437 pounds—or somewhat more than her brother “Chunky.” This was mean-spirited slander but not, we think, totally improbable. And look: later I found out that the Chunky Bar was invented in NYC as well, by a Philip Silvershein—who in fact named it for his fat granddaughter. Why would I make this up.

The Rives Brothers will be giving special tours in other locations around the city this summer.