Saturday, October 20, 2012

Glimpses of fame, in the city

C ome on, you *knew* I'd have to share the low down on celebrity sightings, right? What's a trip to the city without looking around for the famous folk?

This small list is in addition to the Matthew Morrison/Kathie Lee/Hoda photo bomb moment on Tuesday morning, which doesn't really count, as they're rather like specimens under glass through the NBC window. And the other famous thespians we saw in the play on Tuesday night (Paul Rudd, Ed Asner, etc.) don't *really* count either, as they were paid to be present. The folks below, they were out in the wilds of the city, spotted in their natural habitat...

Walking in SoHo: David Allen Basche

I remember him mostly from Lipstick Jungle and The Starter Wife, but he's also now on a sitcom called The Exes. It was definitely one of those "I know I know who that is, but who is that?" moments that plagued both Corinne and I ALL day. I could picture him in a setting, but not WITH anyone, and so it was really difficult to get him in a context--it seemed like it should be a work-related sit-com, but not something currently on TV, what could it be? He looked very suited up--navy with fine pinstripes--and put together... seemed like he was in working mode, and was walking and talking on the phone before he ducked into a building down the street (probably to avoid the two strange ladies who did double takes and watched him walk away!). I finally latched onto his name, associating him with Kristen Johnson (from The Exes, but more notably Third Rock from the Sun), and sure enough, IMDB did the rest.

Late night in the East Village: Angelo!

I already posted about seeing Angelo Sosa, one of the finalists for Season 7 of Top Chef, but I have to mention it again, as it was probably my favorite sighting of all, and the least traditionally famous of the lot. He was someone who, if we hadn't been actually crossing the street in traffic, I might have said, "Hey Angelo, congrats on Top Chef," and he *seemed* like that would have made his day.

Sauntering in Rockefeller Plaza: Shaquille O'Neal

I was looking down at my phone texting or reading or something and looked up to see a bunch of people all looking in one direction, sort of in my area, but beyond me. Ah-ha, I thought. They see "somebody." So before I even knew who I was looking for, I did a (very natural, of course) 180 and started walking back toward where they were staring. I looked across one of the side areas of Rockefeller Plaza--before you reach the busy part--30 Rock, shopping, NBC, etc.--and there was a scrum of people, with one super-large person more than a head above. Yep, Shaq. He had a small smile on his face, but was otherwise completely mellow and saunter-y. The whole group went into a building, and I continued on my merry way.

Cool as a cucumber on United 0703 JFK>LAX: Gayle King

Did not expect to see Gayle King sitting in first class on my morning flight out of NYC. She was dressed very nice (purple!) and was in her seat checking her phone (good way to avoid eye contact with crazy gawking women!) and I obviously just kept walking on by to my seat a little further back from her spot.

Now, who I wanted to see, but didn't try very hard: Carole Radziwill

Carole is an author and former TV producer who was on the most recent season of Real Housewives of NYC. Yes, we've previously covered this as one of my guilty pleasures, let's not go over that ground again, shall we? She was indeed the one breath of fresh air to an otherwise tediously drama-filled season. I went in skeptical that she'd even give the show the time of day, but came away more of a fan than ever. She has style, grace and wit, and doesn't take herself too seriously (from what I could see).

Having returned from the city and now (didn't think of this beforehand, doh!) following Carole on every social media platform there is, I am confident that by the time I return to NYC: a) she will have a restraining order out on me, b) she will no longer be even semi-famous, or c) I will be able to perfectly time bumping into her at her favorite hat store on Thompson and we'll become fast friends. Ha ha, sure. That last one, definitely.

I know, there are many more important things to occupy my time than celebrity sightings; combined, the above viewings took about 2 minutes, tops. And goodness knows if I lived in the city these wouldn't even have made my radar, I suppose, I'd be so "oh, yeah, whatever" about it.

We did learn, Corinne and I, that we have little stamina for the papparazzi life. On the subway Tuesday morning down to SoHo, a guy with a beautiful camera and large lens was sitting across from us, catching a few zzzz's. I thought, gorgeous camera, but didn't for a minute consider what he'd be doing wandering around the city with it. A few minutes after we'd all gotten off the subway and had walked around a bit, we saw a group of men (including our subway companion) with cameras, all huddled around a corner. Across the street was Trump SoHo. Of course we wandered over (we were going that way anyway), and hung out for a minute... a couple of minutes of nothing happening and Corinne asked one of the guys, "Who are you waiting for?" He answered, "I don't know." Brilliant. Of course he's not going to tell US. We gave it about 30 seconds more, and were gone. It was cool and breezy and catching a glimpse of someone going from a hotel to a black Excursion didn't really seem like a good way to spend our day... we had lunch at L'ecole to get on with!

Sadly, this was the first time I'd been to L'ecole without seeing Jacques Pepin. The three times I've been there previously, he's been in the restaurant, teaching and then sitting up at the bar having a little meal after the main lunch service... no such luck this time.

Thus ends my celebrity sighting career for, well, awhile... until Tom Skerritt comes back to Walla Walla again (he was here last weekend and oh how the Facebook pictures got posted, poor guy).

Who's the most famous person you've seen? Curious me wants to know!


  1. When I was a kid, my mom and I were driving in the east End of Long Island and Dudley Moore stepped out in front of our car an waved very gratefully when we stopped short. My mom actually WROTE HIM to apologize about the incident and he wrote back! We still have that letter. He was very kind- wrote quite a bit.

  2. I love this! I can't believe you saw Shaq! Hahaha


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