Walking home Monday I noticed a few people taking selfies with a white haired older man who looked a lot like Bernie Sanders. Most people walked right past him in a hurry to get wherever they were going without a second glance. It turned out he was Bernie Sanders and he was making an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, which was filming at the nearby BAM theater. He had stopped to get a bagel at La Bagel Delight (73 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217) and was eating it at a sidewalk table. It seemed to have cream cheese. Possibly a poppy seed bagel.
When I first came to NYC, I didn’t think much of spotting celebrities. It was never my thing, but, even if I wasn’t looking they seemed to pop up now and then. One night heading down into the Times Square subway, I passed Henry Winkler who was coming up the steps. The man behind me gave him a “Ayyyyyyy!” doing his best Fonzie. I thought he was being a jerk doing something so stupid, but Henry Wrinkler responded with the same “Ayyyyyy!” and gave him a friendly hello. Next time I see Mr. Winkler, I’m definitely doing my best Fonzie imitation.
Once while walking with a friend who was an aspiring actor and or stand up comedian, she pulled me aside and said, “Oh God! It’s F. Murray Abraham!” We pretended to look in a store window as he walked by. “I took one of his classes.” She said sounding somewhat fearful. “I was an awful student. He hated me.”
Once while running in Manhattan I stopped at a light. Next to me I saw Colin Mochrie hanging out. If I hadn’t been a fan of Who’s Line Is It Anyway, I would have never noticed him. I stared at him a little too long as it took me a minute to figure out who he was. He stared at me, probably wondering if I was going to ask him if he was drew Cary.
My wife and I used to keep a silly little contest going where we kept track of who spotted the most celebrities. I’ve lost that list, But she used to spot Keri Russell at our local farmers Market all the time. I only saw her once. We both ate at a restaurant and sat at a table next to Vera Wang. I watched Eric Bana film scenes for Munich in my neighborhood. We were somewhat even as far as our little contest went.
But then my wife delivered the death blow to our friendly little contest. She used to work on 5th Avenue in the same building CBS has their morning show. One morning a few years ago she was walking through a crowd trying to get to the front door of her building, pushing her way past people like most mornings and ignoring anyone who got in her way like most mornings. Eventually, she noticed that people in the crowd around her seemed to be clapping and cheering. She looked in front of her and noticed that she had ended up accidentally walking behind the cast of Everyone Loves Raymond. They were headed to the Morning show to celebrate the finale of the series.
The building she works in now is also the building that
Hillary Clinton’s office is in, but her encounter with the
secret service and Ms. Clinton is a story for another time.