“I got real happy.”
It was 1976. I had just moved into my 4th floor walk-up studio on West 88th street. I was walking home on Columbus Avenue from ABC TV on West 58th Street. It was 70th Street, January or February, and there was a New York City whiteout. 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 identical white parkas. As we got closer I got real happy. The parkas were worn by John and Yoko. As we approached each other the three of us smiled, nodded, and kept enjoying our walks in the snow.
— Alan Myers
“I never get used to it.”
After moving to the UWS from the Midwest in 1976, I broke the NY Code of Conduct when encountering celebrities (a smile and a nod will do).
One day while walking across Central Park South, I noticed the diminutive but larger-than-life Ruth Gordon approaching. I blurted out, “Hello, Ms. Gordon. I’m a big fan of you and your films!” To my surprise she reached out, graciously shook my hand, and replied with a proud smile, “Thank you.” Her 1985 obituary in The New York Times noted: “Yet for all her acclaim and achievement, Miss Gordon still relished being recognized on the street. ‘I don’t care who remembers me, or for what,’ she said in an interview last year. ‘I love it. I never get over it. I never get used to it.’”
What a relief to find out she wouldn’t have considered our chance encounter as an invasion of privacy.
— Randy Enochs
“…his determination was palpable.”
I was walking in my usual brisk manner down Broadway early one Sunday morning in the mid-90s when I came to 72nd Street — where the now-closed HMV Record Store had only been open about 1/2 hour or so.
The man who emerged from the store and crossed my path carrying two huge shopping bags filled with CDs nearly collided with me, and his determination to reach the waiting Mercedes sedan was palpable.
This scene has stayed with me all these years in a rather surreal fashion, as I continue to be a big fan of Elton John.
— David Heiss
UWS Encounters has taken an unexpected turn: it seems that everyone is or has been encountering celebrities! We’ll post’em as we get’em, but let’s just say that we also appreciate ORDINARY PEOPLE (no, we’re not asking for stories about Robert Redford or Mary Tyler Moore, the director and star of a movie of the same name, though we’ll certainly take’ em!) Just remember that the ordinary can be surprising and wonderful, too.
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I saw Meredith Vieira get out of a limo and buy some wine. In addition a lot of drunk actors roamed the streets of the UWS in the 80s.
Vieira is hardly a celebrity on par with Lennon and such.
I’ve seen Woody Allen with his wife on the UES, Dustin Hoffman on Columbus and 86th Street, Kathleen Turner in the Village, also Mike Meyers and Julianne Moore in the Village, Steve Martin in the Algonquin, Kevin Bacon on Central Park West several times, Alec Baldwin on CPW several times, Victor Garber, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in Cafe Luxembourg, Yoko One in Strawberry Fields (early in the morning), Hoda in Central Park, Bon Jovi in Cafe Bodrum, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in a deli above 96th street..oh and Chris Noth on 56th Street. I think that’s it.
Wow, that is a pretty impressive list. Some real A-listers in there for sure.:)
Yeah and I’m sure I’ve forgotten about quite a few as well. Oh, yeah..Brian Cranston on 72nd street filming a movie! 🙂 It was a lot of fun.
Regis Philbin walked into the former Nino’s Tuscany on W 58 Street and actually commented on the food on my table. The only celebrity that actually approached me instead of the other way around. He was funny and warm…exactly what you saw on his show. Jackie O sat at the table next to me at the now closed Les Pleaides on E 76 St in the 80’s. Then JFK Jr, sat next to me in the 90’s at the now closed Italian restaurant on 7th Ave in the Michelangelo hotel. Also, saw him on bike many times as he lived across the street.
Also, Bette Middler at the next table at the now closed Siro restaurant at the Pierre Hotel about 5 years ago.