Tag Archives: celebrity sightings

On the street where I live

Since I moved to New York City seven years ago, I’ve had a lot of celebrity sightings.

Actual meetings, though, are an event.

Yesterday, while out walking Rory Dog, I stopped to say hi to one of the doormen on my block who has become a good friend.  He was standing with a gentleman who I did not know.

castle season 3Once we started talking, I realized he was Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the actor who played Captain Montgomery in the first three seasons of Castle [pictured far left].

Turns out he has lived on my block for over 30 years.

Ruben has an impressive acting resume beyond Castle, especially on the Broadway stage, where he won a Best Actor Tony Award for August Wilson’s Seven Guitars.  And he has a new TV series premiering his fall on AMC called Low Winter Sun.

But the coolest thing?  He’s a really nice guy.

Sweet and spicy

Once is a coincidence.

Twice?  Well, that’s worthy of recommendation.

A couple of years ago I went to Ruby Foo’s in Times Square with some friends visiting from out of town. Comedian Larry David was at the bar, waiting for his carryout order.

The sighting was a big hit.

Tonight I ventured back to Foo’s with a different group of friends, also from out of town. Larry wasn’t there. No, tonight was even better.

Mandy Patinkin was in the house.

And these friends were ballsier. They walked up to Mandy, introduced themselves, complimented his work. All in a quiet, tasteful walk-by.

Now I’m thinking maybe Foo’s should be a stop on the tour for all my out-of-town visitors.  Who knows what array of celebrities are dining on Chinese there on a nightly basis?

I’m sure they’d love to have us bring them their fortune cookie.

Everybody poops

New York City prides itself on letting celebrities live their lives.

While you do see stars of TV and film out and about, you rarely see paparazzi trailing behind.

So I was particularly amused by this Huffington Post slideshow of stars picking up their dogs’ poop — all West Coast shots, mind you.

Everyone from The Office’s John Krasinski to Catherine Zeta-Jones to Paul Bettany are pictured with their pooch and that familiar blue baggie…’cause your dog doesn’t care what you do for a living as long as you take care of their business.

Personally, I haven’t spied any celebs in NYC picking up after their dogs.  I have had a celebrity spy on me and my dog.

(It’s a favorite story — a ‘greatest hit,’ as my friend Dan would say.)

My dog Rory and I had just stepped outside of my apartment, and — good dog that he is — he was relieving himself in the street.  During this process, I heard a small child’s voice from the sidewalk behind me say,

“Daddy, is that dog gonna bite me?”

A very familiar voice responded drily, “It probably won’t.”  That’s when I turned around and saw Jerry Seinfeld watching me and my dog.

But don’t worry — he didn’t take any pictures.

He’s a New Yorker, after all.

Kennedys on a plane

I read today that Bobby Kennedy Jr. filed for a divorce from his wife Mary.

That’s too bad.  They seemed like such a nice couple…when I met them.

Yeah, you read it right.  I met Bobby and Mary Kennedy.  They sat next to me on a flight from Denver to Aspen.  We were all en route to the 2nd Annual US Comedy Arts Festival. I was on a research trip for Hallmark Cards; Bobby was going to introduce Garry Trudeau, his good friend and creator of the “Doonesbury” comic strip, who was being honored at the festival.

The small jet had no first class; that’s why they were seated next to me.  I recognized them immediately when they boarded just moments before take-off — my mother loved the Kennedys like most Catholics of her generation — but I kept my mouth shut.

They were very friendly, though, and chatted with me during the short flight.  When they realized I was going to the festival as well, they mentioned their friend Garry — by first name only — and said ‘perhaps they’d see me there.’

It was a great story to share with my co-workers, who were seated elsewhere on the plane.

I attended the Doonesbury retrospective and only made the ‘Kennedy connection’ when Bobby stepped up to the podium to introduce ‘his friend Garry.’  After the event was over, attendees were invited to a gallery next door exhibiting framed “Doonesbury” cartoons.

As I was milling around with my co-workers, I suddenly heard shouts of  “Carla!  Carla!”

There across the room were Mary and Bobby Kennedy, smiling and waving.  Garry Trudeau stood at their side.

The rest of the evening was kind of a rock star moment for me.  I got to hang with the Kennedys for a little while.  I met Garry Trudeau, whose comic strips explained the entire Watergate phenomenon to me as a child…and I was able to get his autograph for my brother Kent.

And best of all?  The look on my co-workers’ faces.

Priceless.

No excuse

Celebrities have no excuse for bad hair.

None.

Actors, especially those who  have played a variety of roles and have seen themselves in different hair styles and hair colors and wigs and even different eye color and makeup combinations, should know — by the time a major event like the Golden Globes or SAG Awards or Grammys roll around — what hair style looks best on their person.

And yet, time and time again, celebrities turn up at these events looking either dowdy as hell or like they just got out of bed or so genuinely freaky, that I doubt they glanced in the mirror before they walked the red carpet.

I know these actors and singers hire stylists to present them in their best light.  But I have decided those same stylists are simply taking care of their own career…which apparently means dressing the actors in whatever label is best for their business and whatever hair style will get the most attention.

But bad attention is still attention.  So, hey — let’s make a bird’s nest out of Drew Barrymore’s hair and see if E! mentions her in their red carpet coverage.

You got your wish, Drew.  Your face is everywhere, but you’re getting slammed for your hairstyle instead of congratulated for your win.  Did your stylist really do her job?

A lot of these celebs would do themselves an enormous favor by cutting the size of their entourage and replacing them with a big ol’ dose of reality.

Look in the mirror with your own eyes and trust your judgment for a change.  Do you think you look like an idiot?

Chances are, you’re right.

Hi neighbor!

When I moved to Manhattan, my first celebrity encounter was with Michael McGlone, who co-starred in “The Brothers McMullen” with director Ed Burns.

I was riding the up escalator at the AMC theater in Lincoln Square — and he was riding the down — and I’m pretty sure he heard me report the sighting in my cellphone because he was smiling to himself as we ‘passed in the night.’

A few months later, the doorman at the building next door to mine — a very good friend of Rory’s — introduced me to Michael as he was walking through the lobby because he lived there.  Michael was extremely polite, kind of like a politician in his manner.  And from that day forward, if I saw him on the street, he always smiled and said hello.  He even invited me to a local club to see his band play.

Look at me — I’m a friend of Michael McGlone.

So as his friend, I have to brag and tell everyone to watch his new commercials for GEICO.

No, he’s not wearing a gecko outfit.  He’s in a brand new campaign playing a serious, suited announcer-type.  He appears on-camera posing questions about some very familiar faces — questions like:

“Does Charlie Daniels play a mean fiddle?”

“Is Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones too tall?”

“Does Elmer Fudd have problems with the letter ‘R’?”

He’s still sporting the same Wall Street, slicked-back ‘do from his McMullen days, but it works with the suit.  And his voice is filled with the appropriate sense of import.

Beats a gecko any day.

Go get ’em, Michael!

Run to NYC

Living in New York City, I see celebrities fairly often.

Sometimes they are simply walking down the street in my neighborhood.  Jerry Seinfeld, John McEnroe, and Kevin Bacon live within 2-3 blocks of me, so it’s not uncommon to see them with their kids.

Other times I see celebrities in the Times Square area in a bar or restaurant. I saw Daniel Radcliffe of “Harry Potter” fame get carded at a bar — by my friend Lucas, who was bartending — one of my favorite New York moments.  And, of course, I have seen them from time to time when I do extra work on a movie or TV show.

But this week, I have discovered a new venue for celebrity sightings, and I wanted to pass this along to anyone coming to Manhattan for a visit.

A great place to see celebrities in NYC?  The horse path in Central Park between 7-8am.

The past two mornings, the weather has been cool and brisk, and Rory Dog and I have been up early with all the other dogs and their people in the park.  On Thursday morning, I saw a group of four runners go by, and one of them — I’m darn certain — was actor James McAvoy, who starred in “The Last King of Scotland,” “Atonement,” “Becoming Jane,” and “Wanted.”

I’m guessing the other runners were a combination of trainers/bodyguards in case a fan like me decided to take chase.

I don’t know that I would thought much about it except this morning, as Rory and I were walking along in the sunshine, I noticed another group of four runners similarly dressed coming towards me, and I wondered if it might be McAvoy again.  But when I looked closer, I realized one of the runners was Adrien Brody, who won an Oscar for “The Piano.”

Maybe both actors are staying at the same hotel or working with the same gym;  I don’t know.  But they are sending the celeb’s out in the park on the Upper West Side for their early morning runs.

Just so you know.  In case ya wanna take a gander.

That’s New York City.  Always something to see.