Monday, January 14, 2008

NYC's Celeb Magnet

Move over Perez Hilton! There is a new celebrity magnet in my life. My friend Michael has yet to fail me. I never told Fred specifically about Michael constantly ending up in the same place at the same time as various celebs. I only mentioned a few stories here & there in fear of getting his hopes up. I should have known that this day was going to be no different than any other trip to visit Michael in NYC.
It was sheer pleasure right from the begining. We hit no traffic and made it into Manhattan in great time. Threw the car in a garage and headed up the 4 flight of stairs to Michael's apartment in the sky. Ok, well everything but the stairs were sheer pleasure. When I called him from downstairs to get the code, I exclaimed, "See you in half an hour". I take my time hoofing it up those bad boys!
We hungout at the apartment for a bit then cabbed it over to see the Blue Men. Originally Fred & I were sitting in Row 2 and Michael in Row 1, but he switched with some kids so we could all sit together. This worked out great becuase Michael was able to sneak some pictures. I attempted but my Catholic schoolgirl guilt got the best of me. So Michael snapped this shot of Fred & I in our "Blue Man Group Attire"-ponchos and headbands made of streamers.

After the show we had photo ops with the Blue Men. Surprisingly we walked away with no paint stains on us!! Although some mushed bananas did get under my poncho somehow. Luckily we were going back to Michael's house to change before dinner.

But, not without a stop at Crumbs of course. Yummy!! Cupcakes in all sorts of flavors!! Ok, back to the story. Up the stairs to hell again. Change for dinner relax for a few minutes then on to Becco. All day we were joking around about having dinner "with Lidia". Michael used some silly accent carrying on about ridiculous things he would say to her. Finally Fred told me to stop becuase she wasn't going to be there. I knew otherwise. I just had that feeling and my celebrity lucky charm. I also had a great deal of hope becuase I knew meeting Lidia would make Fred's night. And it certainly did!
I was talking to Fred shortly after we sat down and happened to glance over his shoulder. I noticed her immediately. Lidia Bastianich was standing there talking to a table of people. I grabbed Fred's arm, shaking and just kept repeating his name until he looked in her direction. Sad to admit, we were both completely starstruck. I was more excited for Fred becuase I know the feeling. I was lucky enough one day (when in NYC with Michael of course) to meet my favorite living artist, Chuck Close. It was such an overwhelming experience. Fred went up and got Lidia's book and when she finished at the table next to us, I asked her if she would sign Fred's book, excitedly explaining that it was his birthday and he is also a chef. She was very nice, even asked where he was a chef. The only words he could manage to speak were "New Jersey". I give him a lot of credit though, when I met Chuck Close I had tears coming down my face. She posed for a picture with Fred and just as she was about to step away, Michael (who had a little wine in him) exclaims "Well we are starving so I hope the food is good!". Leave it to Michael! Attract the celebrity than say something like that! I have to admit, it was pretty funny. She smiled politely and said, "Well we have plenty to eat!" Needless to say that euphoria lasted the rest of the weekend. When we woke up Sunday morning, the first thing we said was "We met Lidia yesterday". The best part for me - making Fred's birthday special.

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