I am terrible at spotting celebrities on the streets of New York City. My office is in an area known for celebrity-spotting, so it’s not that I don’t have the opportunity. I think part of it is due to the fact that I’m often clueless when it comes to pop culture, and part of it is due to my tendency to put my head down and barrel through the crowds to make it to the subway.
The credit for the few celebrity sightings I’ve had belongs entirely to my friends. One spotted Dakota Fanning going into Dean and Deluca. He went in to get a picture; I followed at a discreet distance to confirm that it was, in fact, Dakota Fanning. (It was.)
Another friend spotted Jake Gyllenhaal, with beard, baseball hat, and sunglasses, walking down the street, and I turned in time to see his profile and agree with her that it was him. If I’d noticed him on my own, I probably would have just thought, “Cute guy,” and left it at that.
The worst, though, was my non-sighting of Anne Hathaway. I took my friend who was visiting from out of town to check out Brooklyn Bridge Park. A pair of women walked past us and my friend turned to me and said, “I was about to say that woman looked like Anne Hathaway, but I just heard her voice, and it was Anne Hathaway.” By the time I looked, all I could see was the back of the woman (who could’ve been anyone) walking away.
Does it count as a celebrity spotting if you didn’t see enough of them to know for yourself who it was?
At any rate, I also think it’s good to allow celebrities their privacy on the streets. I’d rather meet them in a controlled setting where I’m expecting to see them, and they’re expecting to see me. My favorite legit celebrity sighting: meeting Julie Andrews at a book signing. I’m a huge musical theater nerd, which means I was so nervous I could barely look at her while she signed my book.
As my friend and I walked away, Julie Andrews said, “See you soon.” Yes, please, Julie. Can we meet for tea sometime?