LUNY! was just named Best Private Tour of NYC with US News and World Report!

TGoTM – Matthew Cummings!!

Full name please!   Matthew Cummings
 
Where did you grow up?   The Fabulous Five Towns on the south shore of Wrong Island. 
 
Where do you live now?   I now live in Forest Hills, Queens. I was born in Far Rockaway, Queens. I’ve returned to the county where I was spawned! 
 
When did you move to NY and why?Well I grew up just outside the city, literally a 5-minute walk to the Queens/Nassau county line. Moved into East Village, Manhattan when I was 20 to be close to the punk rock scene. 
 
Where would you live if money were no option?   My primary residence would always be New York. Fer crying out loud, it’s the World’s Capital City! But if money were no object I’d have homes in Ireland, Hawaii & California as well! 
 
Could you ever live anywhere else in the world?   See above, I’m like Woody Allen or a Neil Simon character that way, I can’t imagine living anywhere full time without a subway and a 24-hour deli down the block. 
 
What don’t your tour groups know about you?  Not much, I’m pretty open about myself and my history, age appropriate of course. I guess that, while they likely perceive me as avuncular, I’m also dead sexy. But I’ve never been employed as an exotic male dancer, as often as I’ve been asked. 
 
What’s your favorite neighborhood? After all these years, still the lower east side of Manhattan. 
 
Your favorite restaurant?  Best restaurant I’ve eaten at is Esca, Mario Batali Restaurant in the theater district. My favorite when working, and ending up in Times Square at the end of an early evening tour is DXL on 43rd Street. Great hangar steaks and Belgian beers. 
 
Your favorite tour?  A short one that overpays and includes a ridiculously large tip!  But seriously, the most fun tour I run is a Rock & Roll pub crawl from the West to East Villages. 
 
One piece of advice all NYC tour guides must know!  It’s all about the story, ya gotta be entertaining, engaging and funny! They’re just not that interested in a whole lot of historical facts. Keep stories short & pithy.  Have a through line for the whole tour, consider a theme, you don’t have to tell the guests that your working on a theme, keep that to yourself.  Make connections between different sights/sites, like Harry K. Thaw/ Stanford White/ Evelyn Nesbit story at Madison Sq > Jefferson Mkt Library/ Courthouse in GV where Thaw was tried for murder of White. But keep it funny. 
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