UWS Encounters: Mick Jagger, The Hawk Lady, Julia Child, and a Unique Take on Traffic Lights

Photograph by David Baird.

“Mick in their midst.”

Years ago, I lived on the UWS and there was an exclusive men’s clothing store — can’t remember the name — on Broadway in the 70s. It had a big picture window and, as I walked by, I saw Mick Jagger in the store! I immediately walked in and started following him around the aisles. I was visibly excited and kept looking at the sales clerks to get an affirmation of how exciting it was to have Mick in their midst. No one took the bait — they were all incredibly blasé.

— Anita Aboulafia

“My encounter was with a hawk.”

About a year ago, I came across a hurt hawk on the roundabout walkway to Riverside Park at West 79th Street. The hawk’s feathers were in disarray, so I called the police and stood by. A squad car arrived quickly, and the police took it from there. The hawk jumped up onto a concrete wall and headed straight for a tree in the park. The police called the Wild Bird Fund and they got it down and helped it in the healing process, before freeing it back into the park. I later saw an article in the West Side Rag and they referred to me as a ‘lady’ who called the police to help with a hurt hawk. I have since been referred to as ‘The Hawk Lady’ in my Upper West Side neighborhood.

 — Judy Selter

“Always buy Saran Wrap.”

It was not too long after I moved to the UWS, 40+ years ago. I was grocery shopping in the Food Emporium on 68th and Broadway and heard a very distinctive voice the next aisle over say, “No, not that one. Always buy Saran Wrap. The cheap stuff doesn’t work.” I scooted my cart around the corner and, as surreptitiously as possible, pretended to be searching for something. I followed Julia Child, who was talking to a young man, for as long as I thought I reasonably could without interfering or arousing suspicion. No more words of wisdom were forthcoming, but Saran Wrap it was, for decades thereafter.

— Joan B. Nagy

“…only a suggestion.”

I was waiting at the crosswalk for the traffic light to turn. The light changed and I stepped off the curb, only to have to jump back as a car sped through the intersection. I was obviously a little shaken. The woman standing next to me gestured at the traffic light and said, “It’s only a suggestion.”

— Jean Teuteberg

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COLUMNS | 34 comments | permalink
    1. Mark P says:

      Might that store have been Charivari? I think by the time I got to UWS (1993) I walked by the Columbus and 72nd location, but never went in.


      • Marc Fleisher says:

        That was on Columbus Avenue and 81st Street as I recall.

        • old timer says:

          That location preceded the one on Columbus, which opened during the chain’s height. They had a store on W 57 by that time. They were Barney’s before Barney’s was Barney’s.

          The 81st street location replaced a wonderful yet typical second hand store from whom I bought original Fiestaware in the mid-70s.

    2. Bob Lamm says:

      I’ve known and know some people in the public eye, including a late and dear friend, an actor who was an Oscar nominee. Really bad form to follow around someone in a store.

    3. Bishop says:

      I bet the men’s clothing store where Mick browsed was Charivari.

    4. Robert Goodman says:

      The Charivari where I shopped was on B’way and 84th. Still have, and almost fit, the jackets I bought there.

      Jagger lived in the San Remo until he moved to a townhouse which is now an administration building for Calhoun and is immediately west of it. This dog walkers impression is that the main floor parlour room had a ceiling painted with the Union Jack and I think a Hockney on the wall. Maybe a Lucien Freud. Didn’t look as wholesome as a Hockney. He was occasionally seen with his and Jerry Hall’s kids on Riverside Drive and shopped at Shakespeare and Company.

    5. UWS_lifer says:

      Haven’t thought about Charivari in years! Wow, that’s a blast from the past. I also have a celeb sighting from there.

      Maybe 1988 or 1989 I was walking by that corner on 72nd St. and I saw the 2 most stunningly beautiful blonde women imaginable emerge from this store. Like I was stopped in my tracks from shock.

      I immediately recognized Michelle Pfeiffer but not her companion who might have even been MORE beautiful, if that is even possible. The friend that I was with said it was her sister.

      Haven’t thought about that in years.:)

    6. George CPW says:

      Mel Brooks agreed with Julia Child. In “The 2,000 Man” dialogue he did with Carl Reiner he declared that Saran Wrap was mankind’s greatest invention.

    7. ERRRskate says:

      I often see Tony Shaloub walking his dog at night while I’m doing my last few nights for life.

      Ran into Dann Florek years ago with a group of my friends and he took a less than polite photo with us.

      Mariska Hargitay and other celebs are regulars at my friend’s Wine shop.

      You can’t throw a stone without seeing famous people on UWS

      • stevieboy says:

        No offense but these are all just normal working NYC actors. I’m actually a huge L&O fan from the beginning.

        Mick Jagger and Julia Child are freaking ICONS and international phenomenon. It’s a little different. We all see celebs, even so-called A-listers, all the time on the UWS but these folks are legends.

      • Julia says:

        I can. I have seen about 3 celebs in over 40 years on the UWS, all pointed out by others. Once I personally recognized Judy Collins, but only because she had just been on the cover of MS. Obviously I completely lack the celeb radar.

    8. Adam says:

      I see Billy Jean King often, as she lives on my block. The entire cast of Footloose all live on the UWS, Kevin Bacon, John Lithgow, Diane Wiest & Lori Singer. (I’m sure they all get together for dinner parties & to rewatch it together. LOL!!) I also see Bobby Cannavale, Frances McDormand & Hank Azari every so often as they seem to be UWS-ers as well. And a few weeks back as I rode up the elevator in my building my neighbor, who had just gotten back from Zabars said Michael Douglas was shopping in there.

    9. Erica says:

      A lot of actors live on the UWS. I’ve nodded heads with Lin-Manuel, Tim Daly, Tea Leoni, Tyne Daly, Richard Kind, Matt Damon, Kevin Bacon (who hasn’t) & Kyra Sedgwick, Mariska Hargitay, Rachel Brosnahan, Amy Schumer (lives around the corner from me in a MUCH nicer apt), John McEnroe, Debbie Harry (that was a cool one!), and I’m sure I’ve left a few out. But they like it up here precisely because people don’t stalk them. Unless you’re the guy that followed Mick Jagger around a store.

      • Bob Lamm says:

        Thank you for the comment on stalking celebrities. Exactly right.

        • lynn says:

          Sheesh, what’s with the judgmental comments?! The person who followed Jagger into the store was female, and who knows, maybe she was a very young woman at the time, and that was an exciting moment for her. It doesn’t sound like she was laying in wait for him. Unless you know what it’s like to stalk or be stalked plz don’t use that label!

      • Liifeoong UWS says:

        I saw David Dichovny at the gym and just about lost my name.

    10. Neena R. says:

      I saw Billy Jean King, Tina Fay, Alec Baldwin
      ( though does not live in UWS), Caroline Rhea, Hank Azari and Tim Gunn. A lot of great artist
      A lot of writers here too–a lot of intellectuals.
      The West side is the better side.

    11. Emily Altschul says:

      Mick Jagger‘s daughter Jade went to my elementary school. On Father’s visiting day Mick had a very large group of girls following him through the halls. Not sure I would follow him today. But a glimpse would be fun.

    12. Frank Irizarry says:

      Store was Charivari, not sure this is the correct spelling

    13. VJC says:

      For several years Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall and family lived in a brownstone on W.81st St.that is now owned by the Calhoun School.

      One day I found my baby being watched by my doorman- babysitter gone. When she reappeared, it seems she had been following him home!

    14. Barbara says:

      Can not recall the year, but while walking north on Columbus Avenue across from the museum of Natural History I spied Mick Jagger coming directly at me. He was with the kids and a nanny. As he passed by my friend and I looked at each other and pointed backwards at him. We noticed that everyone else was doing the same. It was like the parting of the Red Sea. Not one person bothered him. Such civil people on the upper west side!!!

    15. Jane says:

      This is why I did not want to become a celebrity. I just wanted to go to work and live quietly in my studio on W. 90th Street. Most of you have probably seen me many times, not knowing who I am.

    16. Alan Myers says:

      It was 1976. I had just moved in to my 4th floor walk up studio on 88th street. I was walking home on Columbus Avenue from ABC TV 15 on 58th street. It was 70th street, January/February and there was a NY white out. Not a car on the street, no one walking except me and a couple of dog walkers. In the distance I saw two people walking toward me. All I could see were these two wearing identical white parkas. As we got closer I got real happy. The parkas were being worn by John and Yoko. As we approached each other the three of us smiled at each other, nodded and kept enjoying our walks in the snow. The UWS is great no matter when!

    17. Anna says:

      I saw Carly Simon walking down Central Park West once when I was a teenager and it was like a movie scene. She had such extraordinary charisma it was almost impossible not to look at her. Of course she was also quite tall.

      I saw Molly Ringwald and Robert Downey Jr. around the West 70s a few times when they were filming that awful movie The Pickup Artist. Movie filming quickly becomes annoying if it’s on your street. I don’t think anyone really knew who Downey Jr. was then, but it was exciting seeing Ringwald at the corner market.

      I saw Martha Plimpton in a bus on Columbus avenue. In my experience female celebrities are better-looking in person than on the screen. The young ones usually look like the most popular girls at a prep school – beautiful, very thin, very well-dressed, and very haughty.

      My very favorite UWS celebrity sighting was Carrie Fisher right after Star Wars came out. She appeared to be with a bunch of friends and she was peering into a pet store window with a lot of interest. She looked surprisingly approachable and it was all I could do not to follow her down the street. I adored Princess Leia when I was a kid.

    18. Diane Lodise says:

      The store was Charivari on Columbus Avenue

    19. UWS_lifer says:

      OK, now this is getting fun. This should be a regular feature. UWS Celeb Sightings. Now that I think about it, maybe not. I think NY’ers are too cool for school when it comes to celebrities, which is good. That’s why they like it here. No Paparazzi or gawking fans all over the place, etc.

      I have to admit though…I still get excited when I see a real A lister/legend. It takes a lot to impress me after a lifetime on the UWS and in NYC in general. Here’s a good recent example…

      About two years ago I was leaving the park and crossing CPW between 72nd & 73rd St. I was standing in the empty bike lane waiting to cross and I saw someone on a Citibike heading toward me, about a block away. So, as I took a few steps back to get out of his way, our eyes met and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…it was Steve Martin! As he realized I recognized him, he smiled and nodded at me as if to say “I know, I know, it’s crazy, can you believe it?.”

      • lynn says:

        I love that brief moment when celebs make eye contact and realize that you recognize them. I don’t know if he lived on the UWS, about 15 years ago, but I got in the elevator with a guy and automatically said ‘good morning,’ and then realized it was Al Pacino and I think I stopped breathing. He just smiled and didn’t say a word. I’d have to say that he was really striking in person. 🙂

        • UWS_lifer says:

          Wow!! I think you win with Al Pacino.

          He is a living legend and practically a God to so many people around the world. It would be like running into Brando, Bogart or Sinatra or someone on that level. Just larger than life.

          Having said that, Lenore’s Lauren Bacall sighting is pretty close. Maybe it’s a tie.:) I mean, she was a movie star when that really meant something.

    20. Lenore says:

      Not mentioned yet and my best celeb sighting ever: walking out of Central Park to Central Park West at 81st street, I saw coming into the park with her party, absolutely radiant, ravishing, Lauren Bacall.

    21. Mark Horn says:

      When I worked at CakeMaster’s on W 72nd street in the 70s, occasionally I would see John & Yoko pass by on the street. I always waved. Sometimes they’d wave back. And I decorated a cake for David Bowie’s son (still called Zowie at the time) even though they were on the east side.

      Saw Jackie O. on the bridle path at around 77th street.

      Literally walked into Michael York, and when I looked up to say sorry, I recognized him immediately and just kind of stuttered with shock. He could see that and simply laughed and kept walking.

      Isaac Bashevis Singer in the park as well. And in my book, he was the real deal.