March 2007


Chasing My New York Celebrities

It’s hard for those who have not visited The City to understand, but clearly New York becomes something special for those who have visited it.

I have to admit, though, that I get annoyed with all the touristy things and, often, have atypical wants and wishes for my time in the big city. Today, for example, once my meeting was over, I wanted to go shopping. Now, in retrospect, I should be glad that my signature was “too short” because I looked up Skechers on the web and discovered that they had a “factory outlet” type of store a short subway ride away.

Now for a whole lot less than what I was going to pay “Bad Software Timeout Shoe Store” for two pair of shoes, I have… two pair of shoes! Both are Skechers, and both are wide, like my feet (really, shoe shopping is an incredible hassle for me).

Anyhow, now that I am substantially done shopping, I am going to intensify the pursuit of my personal New York City Celebrities.

Yes, I have personal New York City Celebrities—all three of them come courtesy of the Internets: The Amateur Gourmet, Improve Everywhere, and the New York Hack.

The Amateur Gourmet I discovered sometime back in spring 2004—as a result of his famous Janet Jackson Breast Cupcakes—the ones he invented to give people something to munch on while discussing the “wardrobe malfunction.” Since then he’s reminded me of Home and talked about his experiences eating out and cooking for friends. I really cannot say enough about the guy—he’s fundamentally interesting and I look forward to reading his blog whenever he writes, plus buying his book when it arrives sometime in the relative near future.

Meanwhile Improv Everywhere is an improv comedy troupe that works its magic not on some stage, but rather on the streets of the city. Many of their stunts are quite magical—like the Look Up More (using backlit windows in a building to put on a show), Cell Phone Symphony (putting 60 phones in a bookstore’s bag check then setting them all off at once), and Romantic Comedy Cab (getting a cab driver to reconnect a couple on a date). Their work brings a smile to my face whenever I read their mission reports.

Finally, the New York Hack is a female taxi driver on the streets of New York City. She writes well—too well, apparently, because based on her blog she got a book contract and hasn’t updated her blog as frequently as she used to as she’s in a rush to finish her book.

So with each of these celebrities, I am pursuing them in slightly different ways. For the Amateur Gourmet, I have visited a few of his recommendations for meals—most notably Home, which was more of a homecoming for me, as it brought back so many wonderful memories of dinner with my Great Aunt. With Improv Olympics, I went down to Union Square and looked at the “Look Up More” building, plus went shopping at The Strand imaging a cell phone symphony from the bag check. With taxis I am looking for female drivers.

It’s cool viewing New York City through these lenses—lenses that make my view different from the average visitor giving me local insight that I would otherwise miss.

Meanwhile, tonight I’m off to see RENT!

8 comments to Chasing My New York Celebrities

  • Reko

    Hey, Adam! I’m glad that you’re in Nueva York, which places you much closer to Bloomington than when you are in Weimar/Jena. I hope that you enjoy the theatre, the cinema, and all of the cool cultural things that Nueva York has to offer.

    I’m REALLY looking forward to your visit to Bloomington!!!

    Love and best wishes,

  • You show us a wonderful window on the most exciting city in the world — Nooo YAWK!!

    Thanks so much for posting this. I loved the cellphone odyssey. I enjoyed the female cab driver’s blog.

    It is so good that you are there, soaking it up…buying shoes that FIT, even!


  • aww…i wish i could go with you to see le rent!

  • I wonder if this Home restaraunt you like is owned by the same people that run one by the same name in San Francisco?

  • @Reko- I cannot wait to ee you too!

    @Cameron- Improv Everywhere has amused me endless since I discovered them a couple years back. New York is such an awesome city!

    @koko- You missed a great show!

    @CQ- Probably not. I think this is a one restaurant family. They run a winery somewhere upstate, I think.

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