Little Island’s History Audio Tour

The Story of Our Pier and Neighborhood

Narrated by Tony Award Winner André De Shields

Take a walk through the park and immerse yourself in the history of the iconic Meatpacking District and Hudson River waterfront.


André De Shields


In a career spanning fifty-five years, André De Shields, at age 77, has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, activist, educator and philanthropist. As Actor Mr. De Shields’ mission is to fill intimate spaces with enormous beauty. He defines intimate spaces as the hearts of humanity. As Activist he endeavors to restore majesty, elegance and literacy to the Black Thespian toolbox. His legendary career has resulted in a treasure trove of accolades, among them Doctor of Fine Arts honoris causa from his Alma Mater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has founded THE ANDRÉ DE SHIELDS FUND. His other marks of esteem include having been the triple crown winner of the 2019 awards season, garnering Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Grammy Awards for his universally acclaimed role as Hermes, messenger to the gods, in Hadestown. Mr. De Shields transitioned from 2022 into 2023 with a paranormal portrayal as Ben Loman in the searing production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, starring Wendell “The Lion” Pierce. Perennially known for his idiosyncratic, show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions—The Wiz, Ain t Misbehavin (Emmy Award), Play On! and The Full Monty—Mr. De Shields has achieved the status of “Broadway Deity.”

Grandmother Clara

Featured Voice

Grandmother Clara Soaring Hawk is presently Ambassador – Ramapough Lenape Nation NY/NJ . She is an Elder, Spiritual Advisor/Mentor, Public Speaker, Activist, and Teacher of all Truths as they are received from the Creator and the Ancestors. Grandmother Clara has been facilitating ceremonies both nationally and internationally since 2013. She has supported and taken an active role in the youth of today. Attending with voice, past protests of Climate Change in D.C. and on the steps of City Hall in NYC. Grandmother Clara defines herself as a “Spiritual Ecologist”, “In this time of Global turmoil, we must be open to a new level of consciousness. I stand for the Water. I stand for the Land. I stand for the People. I RISE for the next SEVEN GENERATIONS!”

Tree Sequoia

Featured Voice

Fredd E Tree known as TREE is a Gay Rights Actives, speaker and lecturest around the world. Representing The United States State Department, the Stonewall Inn and representatives through out the world.  Tree is a veteran of the 1969 Stonewall Riots and still works there at 83 years young. He was a bartender at the infamous Ninth Circle and one of the oldest gay bars; Julius. Grand Marshal in Vienna, Austria’s Euro Pride, Cologne, Germany’s Pride amongst Naplels, Italy, and Madrid Spains to name a few. He was the host on the first all Gay Flight from London England. Bringing over 289 Londoners  to march in the World Prides 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. He recieved many accolades including the Attitude Magazine Award presented by Dustin Lance Black. He is still very active and expects to live to 100 years young Education, stop smoking and safe sex are his creed.

Robert Westfield


Robert moved to New York in 1990 to attend college at Columbia and has called the place home ever since, bouncing around from neighborhood to neighborhood in several Heights (Morningside, Brooklyn, Prospect, and Washington),one Village (East), and a Kitchen (Hell’s).

He has written about New York in essays and articles, in plays like A Wedding Album and This Blessed Plot, and novels like Suspension and The Sightseers as well as three other upcoming books. For several years, he blogged about New York in conjunction with 74 video tours of the city (Little Bytes of the Big Apple) and has been featured on the Travel Channel as part of their Monumental Mysteries series.  Since 1997, he has given tours to (literally) tens of thousands of people, on buses and boats, on foot and by bike, in limos and on subway trains.

For more information about the history of our pier, click here.