Nicolas Cage

POLITICS: Walking on the wild stride with an NYC historian-turned-tour guide

Kevin Draper. NY historian. Born, educated, lives and works here.

“Hell’s Kitchen became so-called long back when a cop reported which building had the highest number of murders. Journalist replied: ‘Boy, this place is really hell.’ Then, said the cop, ‘Its hottest spot is always the kitchen.’ Came the name Hell’s Kitchen. They’ve tried renaming it but it stuck.”

What kind of tours does a New York historian handle?

“Central Park walking tour. Fifth Avenue remembering its Gilded Age. Lower Manhattan talking about the founding fathers, where Hamilton lived, where George Washington was sworn in as first president.

“We historians pride ourselves on our research. A private walking tour for up to six people is $299. Each added person is $30.

“Our island’s 13 miles long, 2 miles wide. Walking every 20 blocks is a mile. When the Dutch came here everything south of Wall Street got named New Amsterdam. Its land couldn’t be farmed so another side of the East River — also honoring a Netherland region — was called Breukelen.

“Mannahatta means island of many hills. A small area named for a place in the Netherlands turned into Harlem. Spellings, pronunciations have since changed.

“There’s 700 languages spoken in New York because our city developed into a magnet. In other places society was closed. This became the immigrant experience. New people, new businesses couldn’t break into Europe’s closed high societies so even the wealthy immigrated to America. It’s how we osmosed into the financial, cultural, fashion capital of the world.”

Nicolas Cage says the best preparation for a role was getting drunk in Ireland.
AFP via Getty Images

Cage’s spirited acting

Nicolas Cage: “Best research ever done was when I got very drunk once in Ireland. It was for my 1995 role in ‘Leaving Las Vegas.’

“I played an alcoholic and drank a ferocious amount of Guinness to study my inebriated footage later. It won me an Oscar. That’s the beauty of staying in a hotel. You can drink and drink until you fall over and nobody sees. It was the most enjoyable research I’ve ever done.”

Kevin McCarthy
The Republicans’ new budget will remove the gravesite benefit for veterans.

Un-vetted benefit

From a senior citizen VIP: “I am entitled to be buried at a VA cemetery. My benefits include a gravesite, headstone marker, burial flag and Presidential Memorial Certificate. All at no cost to my family. Those benefits were eliminated from the newly proposed Republican budget,” he claims. “It wouldn’t even cost the GOP any votes because those expecting such benefits will all be dead by the 2024 election.

“As a result, I have decided not to die.”

Anchor on board?

Question: Has billionaire John Malone totally taken over CNN?

Court vs. world

Michael Gianaris, the zero who helps lead NY’s Dem-controlled State Senate, says our court has a “serious corruption problem” and blames all — from tenants’ woes to the lousy bail system he helped create — as the fault of our judges. One hundred-forty progressive groups are doing ditto. Watch. This progressive Dem wing will soon join Trump in condemning NY’s court system.

Not fair to knock the Lopez-Affleck union. Every morning she devotedly pours his coffee. In bed. No cup.

Only in New York — and anywhere else, kids — only in New York and everywhere.

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