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!
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!
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.
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! 😉