Random acts of celebrity (and jazz)

Only in New York: yesterday, the unlikely combination of Lil Jon and Gary Busey were randomly serving pizza to lucky patrons at the Famous Famiglia in Greenwich Village. It’s not that far from my office, and had my coworkers and I not been deep into projects at the time, we totally would have gone.

I was sorry to miss it, but I’ve been privy to other great acts of celebrity spontaneity in this lovely neighborhood: walking from work to the subway only to hear the not-so-dulcet tones of Bon Jovi blaring from somewhere (it was a rooftop concert at the nearby EMI office building with the man himself), finding out Joseph Gordon-Levitt was filming his new movie nearby and stalking him, passing by Demetri Martin and Eddie Kaye Thomas (that’s Finch from “American Pie”) walking around when on a lunch break. And that’s just in the 5-block radius around work. Perhaps my favorite walk home was one interrupted by Lou Dobbs and a Manhattan Tea Party rally taking over 8th Avenue with speakers yelling about actual teabagging. Yes, Virginia, even liberal elitist Manhattan actually has its own tea party…

My point is that New York is incredibly varied — and I’m not just talking about running into celebrities here — and you can almost always see something memorable just by walking out of your front door. I came home one evening to find that my street had been blocked off because a jazz band had taken up residence in the middle of it and was performing for a crowd of 100 of so people. Some were my neighbors, many I’d never seen before, all were sitting in chairs or on the sidewalk, just hanging out and chatting. Block parties like that remind me that you can always find that great small community feeling even in the most populous city in the States.

That said, and at serious risk of sounding like a total starf**ker (swear I’m not, just a big pop culture fan), it kind of made my day when I ran into Mr. Darcy himself outside a movie theater just a few blocks from here.

Colin Firth signing the only piece of paper I had on me for my dear sister and Friend of Firth Jaya -- a swine flu travel notice. Classy!

Only in New York! And probably L.A., too, but let’s be honest, at least we have personality and culture.


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