I swear, I’m not a celebrity stalker.
Sure, the first week of this blog has spent an inordinate amount of time discussing my swing-and-miss with Naomi Watts and my, well, stalker-esque pics of Watts and Sean Penn. But what’s a man to do? That’s the hand I was dealt here in Cobble Hill, so I’m playing it.
Today I went to get some work done at my favorite little neighborhood cafe, Ted & Honey. When I walked in the door, I noticed a man sitting at the counter reading a newspaper. He looked … familiar. But I couldn’t put my finger on how I knew him; I recognized the face, but from where? Was he an actor? Or just a dude I’d passed on the street before?
Truth be told, my curiosity regarding the mystery man’s identity consumed less of my time than it probably took you to read that last paragraph. It was just one of those “hmm” moments, and like that, it was gone. I ordered my coffee and set up my laptop at a table in the corner and went about my work.
It wasn’t until I heard a couple of customers talking to the barista just moments after the mystery man left that my interest was truly piqued. I only caught part of the conversation, but they were talking about the man: the customers recognized him and the barista confirmed his identity, adding that he lived in the area.
One problem: I didn’t catch his name.
Ah, thank goodness for google. The man in question happens to be Brooklyn Heights resident Gabriel Byrne. Byrne, to me, is one of those “I know that guy!” actors. You know, the dude who you see in like a million things but you never really seem to know his name or where you know him from. Byrne’s biggest role was as Dean Keaton in “The Usual Suspects” and currently he stars in the HBO show “In Treatment.” Not sure what kind of neighbor he is, but according to an interview he did with The Washington Post, the Irishman’s not a big fan of his current home:
“People talk about the fabled energy of New York,” Byrne says. “I’ve never liked that energy. I’m not just saying this because I’m in Washington, but Washington seems to me to be immediately a more human-scaled city. I don’t like being dwarfed by huge buildings. I’ve never been a really big fan of those enormous skyscrapers. . . . So I wouldn’t say I’ll be long in New York.”
By the way, that interview was done nearly three years ago.
New York is a strange place. How many other cities can you think of where celebrities blend into the background, barely even noticed?
Even by a celebrity stalker.