The day I saw Paul Giamatti

In the summer of 2006, I went to New York City with a friend. Since we had both done the Big Apple many times before, we thought it would be fun to try some new places and new neighbourhoods. I suggested Brooklyn Heights and my friend agreed.

Ok, I’ll admit that I knew that Paul Giamatti lived in Brooklyn Heights, and I had a recent New York Times article listing some places that he enjoyed and that I wished to go to. I didn’t tell my friend at that point ’cause I knew she would call me “STALKER!” 😉 I sincerely had no expectations of seeing Mr. G, him being a big Oscar nominated star, he was likely out of town. Little did I know…

As we came out of  Clark Street station (Red Line, for those amongst you who wish to repeat my journey), I am admitting to my friend that I suggested we come to Brooklyn Heights because of my favorite actor… when WE SEE HIM! 

We passed through these doors seconds before seeing Paul!

All of a sudden, it’s like time stood still. I poke my friend, who was walking ahead of me, and sign with my head to look to her right. I could’ve very well spoken to my friend in French, which presumably is not understood by Mr. G., but I was in a different mental state that I was unable to think logically. My friend then looked to her right, realised that Mr G was walking next to us, and we both froze, staring at the greatest actor on earth as he entered Eastern Athletics Gym with his son. I don’t know what was more shocking: that we saw him or that he was going to the gym. 😉 As Mr Giamatti descended the stairs leading to the gym, logic came back to me and I took out my camera. By the time I got it activated, it was too late: he was gone!

it was here, at the entrance of Eastern Athletics in Brooklyn Heights, that I crossed paths with the great Giamatti.

The person I was back then chickened out of doing much after that except wait outside in the hopes of him coming out of Eastern Athletics. Our theory was that he wasn’t going to the gym for himself but rather for a swimming class for his son, and thus should be out within an hour. An hour passed and no Paul!

So we went to eat at Teresa’s Restaurant on Montague Street, which is a beloved Brooklyn Heights staple of Mr G; but of course, there was no Mr G! We roamed the streets, took in the sights, and still nothing.

Teresa’s: home of the greatest chicken noodle soup I have ever eaten (aside from my own) !

Though I was disappointed not to have seen him again on that day (nor up until now, 6 years later!), I was happy to discover one of the most beautiful, relaxing (yes, relaxing!) and friendly (yes, friendly!) areas of the greater NYC; which has been a staple of every subsequent NYC trip. And I really mean that! At least the time that has passed since then has made me think of the ideal thing to say to him; I know now that I will not freeze in his presence and what I’ll say will be better than just “I’m your biggest fan!” But then again, we’ll see how I react if I do see him again! 😉 


11 thoughts on “The day I saw Paul Giamatti

  1. Il faut quasiment se préparer pour ce genre de rencontre! par exemple avoir un feuille avec une dizaine de scénario possible de rencontre et de prise de contact….on ne le dit jamais assez…dans la vie il faut être préparer à l’avance 😉


    • C’est vrai! Mais je crois quasiment qu’il fallait que je vive ceci pour savoir quoi lui dire. J’ai essayé de penser à ce que je peux dire à d’autres acteurs ou réalisateurs que j’aime bien, mais en vain… il n’y a rien de mieux pour le moment que “I’m a big fan!” :S


  2. For SHAME! Aren’t you aSHAMEd? So SHAMEless of you for not spoken to the greatest, most fantastic human being on this planet!

    It’s SHAMEful and I regretfully inform you that this SHAME-ing article makes me realize that the SHAME you bring on being the biggest fan for HE WHO SHALL NOT BE SHAME-fully NAMED is just a a SHAME.




    • Had it been Fassbender, the encounter would not be published on my blog. It wouldn’t pass the MPAA’s guidelines for a PG-13 rating… what a SHAME for you 😉
      (Gosh, you had fun writing this didn’t you? You should have a blog so we can blog on each others’ blog! No SHAME in that! LOL)


  3. Pingback: The day I saw Jay Baruchel « WATTS AT THE MOVIES

  4. This is unexceptable Johanne, This was obviously or will be a once in a life time occurance. I would have poked him, Oh yeah, definately a poke seems like the appropriate action to do. Yet, Madame, Watts here just stands there. Like I said, UNEXCEPATBLE. Enjoy!


    • Audrey! How lovely to see you on my blog 😉 What possessed you to finally write again? Social pressure perhaps? 😉

      LISTEN!! I wasn’t going to poke my favorite actor; I might’ve gotten a restraining order!!! NOT GOOD!!

      And I should add that your spelling of “unexceptable” is UNACCEPTABLE!!! HELLO??? Did you go to Concordia or something??? Hahaha!!!

      (I shouldn’t be mean, you finally wrote after all… and I also went to Concordia!! 😉


  5. Alors la prochaine fois que tu traqueras Paul Giamatti. Moi je te recommande de l’inviter à prendre un verre de Merlot!


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