Famous people I’ve seen in New York City

I started a list once but I can't find it. I keep too many notebooks in too many places. One of my many faults.

I saw Joan Didion in Central Park a couple years ago. She looked like a garden gnome. Like a tiny woodland sprite, made of mushrooms.

I saw Yoko Ono in the park also, on a separate occasion. Would it surprise you to hear she was wearing dark sunglasses?

I saw Billie Jean King in the park on a perfect October day, coming from the public tennis courts with her racquet slung over her shoulder.

I saw Susan Sarandon outside a pet shop. We were standing at the window looking at puppies at the same time. Everyone's up in arms over the Bernie thing and former fans are now foes but I can't hate Susan Sarandon. She'll always be Annie Savoy to me, and we both like puppies. I don't have to agree with everything everybody says or does for whatever inexplicable personal reason. I never made that deal.

I saw Jon Stewart in front of the Barnes & Noble at Union Square. He was wearing a baseball cap.

I saw Elaine Stritch backstage at the opera, in the green room, while we were waiting for Renée Fleming. SarahB told her we had tickets to see her perform at the Carlyle and she said "How can you afford that?" We couldn't, actually: that night at the Carlyle cost almost $800 for three people. It was insane. Yet it's one of the happiest memories of my lifetime.

I saw Ted Danson exiting the Regency once, back when the Regency was still the Regency and we still went there to see Betty Buckley. He was the silver fox the term "silver fox" was invented to describe.

I've seen Jeff Goldblum and Neil Patrick Harris at the theater—both for different performances of Mary Stuart, I think. Smart move, if true. Also Kate Winslet with Sam Mendes—back in the day—and Maggie Gyllenhaal with Peter Sarsgaard, both at the same performance of Endgame at BAM, starring (of course) Elaine Stritch. There are more. Diane Sawyer, Mike Nichols, Dana Ivey, all at Encores!. Wes Anderson at Playwrights Horizons. I'm forgetting a lot of people, I know. SarahB would remember. She sees famous people all the time.

People eating at the same restaurant where I was also eating: Patti LuPone, Renée Fleming, Christina Hendricks, Bill Nighy, Alan Alda, Linda Lavin, Christine Ebersole, Donna Murphy, Raul Esparza. Harriet Walter, Janet McTeer, John Benjamin Hickey, Marian Seldes. Stephen Sondheim, Hal Prince. There are more. They escape me.

I saw Piers Morgan once, when my brother Todd and his then-girlfriend/now-wife Darcy and SarahB and I had dinner at Quality Meats. Todd surreptitiously took his picture in the mirror and then texted "I'm sitting next to Piers Morgan" to our brother Kyle, and Kyle texted back "I'm sitting next to Captain Morgan." No flies on Kyle.

I stood behind Rachel Maddow at the Rockefeller Center Starbucks once. Make that one of the two Rockefeller Center Starbucks, the one closest to 6th Avenue, with the door that's impossible to open due to the wind tunnel effect of being located in the bowels of Rockefeller Center, which connects to the terrible BDFM lines. Just kidding: there are no good lines. 

People I saw at the Bruce Springsteen show at the Apollo: Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, Pat Riley, Tommy Hilfiger, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Michael J. Fox, Tracey Pollan, Ed Burns, Elvis Costello, Andrew McCarthy. Bruce Springsteen.

Mark Ruffalo lives in my neighborhood (a lot of people live in my neighborhood). SarahB has seen him twice on the street. My stylist has seen him in her salon. She showed me a picture of him with her and her sister, who works at the same salon. He came in for a trim once and had to run back home to get money when it was done. Imagine having an I.O.U. from Mark Ruffalo! I'd probably stuff it in my bra. She said Keanu Reeves strolls past the shop a lot, too. I tend not to look up much when I'm out walking, which is a problem. I could be married to Keanu Reeves right now, for heaven's sake.

* to be continued *