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Who is Timothy ‘Speed’ Levitch?

If any individual could be considered a product of their environment, Timothy Levitch is, most assuredly, that person. Born in 1970 at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Levitch entered the world just a few yards from the famed Fifth Avenue—the geographical spine of Manhattan. Originally from Kansas City, Levitch's parents settled in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. As he recalls, young Levitch's affection for New York City most probably began the first time he glimpsed the breathtaking views of Manhattan down the Hudson River. Clearly, it was the beginning of a “beautiful friendship.”

As an undergraduate, ‘Speed’ (a nickname bestowed on him by a high school classmate) began an internship for Penthouse Magazine serving as a proofreader with the editorial department. It wasn’t exactly what he was looking for and he and Penthouse soon went their separate ways.

In May of 1992, with graduation one week away, Levitch learned that the Central Park Conservancy was holding tour guide auditions. Here was the perfect opportunity to meld his two great passions—his love of New York City and his desire to be a creative performer. He “seized the day,” took the test, and passed. After securing his tour guide’s license, he knew he had found his niche and was on his way to doing exactly what he wanted.

He next secured a position with the New York City bus tour operator, Apple Tours. Unlike the Central Park tour, this was a full time job. While embarking upon his tour guide career, Levitch was reminded of the time when, as a ninth grader, he shamefully confessed to his grandfather that he wasn’t going to become a doctor or a lawyer. The young Levitch was both surprised and relieved when his grandfather readily agreed with his decision. In fact, Levitch remembers him saying, “you’d make a terrible doctor or lawyer.”

Levitch brings his uniquely personal philosophy to all aspects of his life and seizes any opportunity to understand his fellow creatures, or, in his words, “get into people’s souls.” Seeing life as “living theater,” he is intoxicated by the perspectives of others—and not just human beings. When he passionately states, “I refuse to become enslaved by any singular point of view,” it becomes clearer why Levitch so revels in life’s diversity.

“Life is more about emotion than facts. History should be viewed not as a destination but a launching pad” and “My job is not to impart knowledge but to help others appreciate beauty.” These statements would sound odd coming from any tour guide but coming from Levitch, they make perfect sense and help to define just what this remarkable personality is all about. When asked what his goals in life are, one of Speed’s lighter responses was, “to fall in love with every person I meet.”

Bio from www.thecruisemovie.com/speed.html

Timothy ‘Speed’ has appeared on Integral Naked:

Cruising the AQAL Map5/8/2006

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