UWS Encounters: Tina Fey at the Bus Stop, Perfect Definition, and the Raccoon Man


Photo via Red Carpet Report.

“Tina, if you’re reading this…”

It is early in the morning. I’m alone at the bus stop listening to music and waiting for the M5 on Riverside to take me to work. Out of the corner of my eye I see an adorable little girl run up to the bus stop wearing a Second City dress. I smile at her and think what an odd outfit choice for a little kid and go back to my music.

Then I look up to see Tina Fey talking to her daughter and telling her not to run. The M5 pulled up and they got on ahead of me. The bus driver told Tina how much he liked her work. I was too shy to say anything.

Tina, if you’re reading this, you’re amazing and your daughter seems like a great kid. Major props for proper bus etiquette: not sitting in the reserved elderly/handicap seating and sitting your daughter on your lap when the bus started to get crowded.

— Stephanie P. Strout

“There she was, in perfect definition.”

On my walk home one night recently, I noticed a man with a large telescope set up on the corner of 95th and Columbus. I imagined something out of the ordinary was happening, a meteor shower, a planet visible. “Would you like to look at the moon?” the man asked me. “I would love to look at the moon!” I said, and bent to the eyepiece and there she was, in perfect definition.

— Eleonore Condo

“Suddenly, I was getting in my head…”

I find solace strolling through Central Park as the weather gets chillier. Nobody’s around so I can bust some ill dances without getting in my head that people are staring at me. It’s a beautiful head space for a lovely park place as I bop through the mall, into the Mosaic of Bethesda then around her fountain into the Ramble.

HOLY BAJOLY! I always wondered if I’d see this person again. He uses a red light to attract raccoons and feed them. A gaze of raccoons took turns eating! So well behaved. What a sight!

The man never turned around while the raccoons starting checking me out to see if I was suspicious. Suddenly I was getting in my head as I wondered if I was in theirs. So I cranked up Top of the World by Brandy featuring Mase and kept boppin’.

— Bobby Panza

The Raccoon Man.

“I adore my mug!” wrote Helane Rosenberg, who got a WSR mug by submitting an UWS Encounter that was published. “So far, none of the subjects in my story have been permitted to touch it!” she joked. “It’s mine!!”

They are pretty cool, and you can have one, too. Write an UWS Encounter of 150 words or less, real names required, and send it to westsiderag.com — if we post it, a mug is yours.

COLUMNS | 20 comments | permalink
    1. Johnny2020 says:

      To person that photographed from behind man feeding racoons there is something unseemly about it. You go to park for peace and quiet and maybe he does too. By exposing him online and something he does anonymously you are violating his privacy and also just crossing a line for exploition. One person’s opinion.

      • tailfins says:

        What a bummer to scroll down to the comments and immediately see complaints.

      • ben says:

        If you go to a public space, ie a park, there simply isn’t any reasonable expectation of privacy, at least not in terms of getting photographed. No need to get all worked up here.

      • mkmuws says:

        Some might refer to it as community.

      • Bodhivata Dharmashanti says:

        The privacy you so much boost about should first concern you and your irrelevant comment.
        There is something in life called “The pleasure of Living” that goes beyond rules and regulations that were setup for totally different purposes but that people like you, and many others do-not-worry-you’re-not-alone, expand to suit their psychological or spiritual limitations. Try this.
        On a Sunday morning go to the park with no agenda. Just walk and every person you encounter smile to and say “Good morning”.
        You may get back home feeling rewarded that humans DO LOVE EACH OTHER.
        Bodhi

    2. Jonathan says:

      Racoons can carry rabies & should not be fed in Central Park.

      • geoff says:

        And now, some facts:

        From the website of The Humane Society of the United States:

        “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only one human has ever died from the raccoon strain of rabies.

        A rabid raccoon is usually dead within 1-3 days of becoming infectious, and even if you’re bitten by a rabid raccoon, effective post-exposure treatment is available.

        •Staggering gait

        •An animal seemingly oblivious to noise or nearby movement

        •Erratic wandering

        •Discharge from eyes or mouth
        Wet and matted hair on face

        •Repeated high-pitch vocalization

        •Self-mutilation

      • Paul says:

        Feeding wild animals is a bad idea.
        Nothing else needs be said.

        • Ish Kabibble says:

          Exactly. To Regardless if there is “post exposure treatment” available, don’t feed them! Geoff, your points are meaningless to the majority of folks. If you want to feed raccoons, may I suggest moving to the suburbs?

    3. Doug Garr says:

      The president of the management company that manages our building also manages the one that Tina Fey lives in. He told me that she’s very nice; doesn’t live like a privileged celebrity. So her taking the bus with her daughter is not surprising.

    4. HelenD says:

      Cute story about Tina Fey, thanks for sharing! I always get a kick out of seeing celebs in the neighborhood. May I ask what a ‘Second City’ dress is?

    5. RWc says:

      I can’t Believe I have to write this to grown-ups.
      PLEASE Don’t feed the wild animals in Central Park!!!
      What that cute squirrel or raccoon doesn’t eat the rats will enjoy. Plus the wild animals become dependent upon humans to give them food.
      There is plenty of nuts, berries and plants for the animals and birds to eat that live in the park. And the hawks can enjoy eating the small creatures.

      • Tanya says:

        Soooo glad you wisely shared this information, as I was thinking it. I’m sure this man is well intended, but we should all respect wild animals and let them continue to use their instincts to find food in all seasons.

    6. CCL says:

      Our recently departed (at 94) beloved Mother lived on West End. One day she was waiting for a cab outside the building with her walker. A cab stopped and a couple got out. The woman helped her into the cab as her husband put the walker in the trunk.

      Our ever-astute Mother looked at the husband and said, “Is that …?” And. He smiled and said yes. It was Tina Fey. And they were on their way. She loved that encounter in her friendly neighborhood.

    7. Maryann says:

      I totally get it .
      I’m also from 93th and Columbus and saw tina fey with her daughter 7 years ago on Broadway 90th street fair on a sunday afternoon.
      And thought to myself i love where i live and not because of her but because of all the beautiful things i have here the people the park and best of all realism of the upper west side.
      I just moved to be closer to my son on the west coast and close my eyes and wish i was back home.

    8. Diana says:

      I just saw Tina yesterday at Universal Studios Hollywood 11-13-2019, I really wish she moved over here at least for a little while… if not I guess I’ll have to move to NYC.