Famous people go to restaurants and eat.
I know this may surprise you, but live long enough in New York City, and you will discover that this truth makes for occasionally great people watching and also events that, in the long run, are pretty mundane. When I saw Molly Ringwald at a birthday dinner for one of her friends, I was struck by how ordinary, how simply New York she seemed. It's who we are. It's what we do.
Similarly, when my friend Jennifer and I ate a late lunch one day at Fred's, the restaurant atop Barneys on madison Avenue, we were both surprised and yet unfazed to discover we were sharing the otherwise largely empty restaurant with Chris Rock, his wife and kids. Nice, fun to share... but mostly we were there for the food (although, while the food is good - and pricey - in the end, I keep going back to Fred's because you never know who you might see).
So Friday night I got to spend a little leisure time in Manhattan, with Michael, my other red headed pal. Michael have been friends for several years, and he remains my truest connection to gay life in Chelsea and Manhattan generally. Edward, his especially stylish, and youthful, boyfriend is also a big part of my keeping up with the absolute latest.
Anyway, the three of us share generally fancy food tastes, though Michael and I also share a common love of cheap Chinese (indeed, it's kind of a litmus test for friends that we share an appropriately cheap Chinese meal), Edward will have none of it. So instead of finding a fairly fancy Asian, we decided to go with Le Grainne, a charming French bistro at 21st and 9th, where we've dined before - mainly crepes and sandwiches along with some pasta, this is one of those "little places" that's more about being known to the locals than being one of the top spots. From 23rd down, you can really find tons of these (something similar up the East side, but I find the Upper West more about trendy and less about quality).
Anyway, it was a night of lovely food and our usual outrageous and funny conversation - we share similar dark and witty senses of humor - and wonderful all on its own... but then Edward looked over and spotted Evan Rachel Wood. Now, I know enough about movie stars to be able to identify Evan Rachel Wood by name, but not really by face. But Edward pulled up her pics on his iPhone and confirmed.
Apparently, Ms. Wood is best known these days for playing the Vampire Queen of Louisiana on True Blood.
But really, it wan't like we were stalking her, and I made Edward come away from staring at her through the side window (but really, he was just checking out her date). But it was a genuine sighting.
And she's lovely. But mostly, I think we just appreciated her good taste, as well as our own. And anyway, Ethan Hawke lives just across the street, so that really doesn't count.