When old friends find out that I live in DC, they all ask me a question that seems odd to me, since, as mentioned, I live in DC and not in Los Angeles or New York. They ask, "Have you run into anyone famous?" Yes, I know that famous people do live in D.C., but they are really B-list celebs if you ask me, since the odds of me running into Dubya or Ashcroft or Colin Powell are effectively nil. So I always answer "probably." Because I have been to bars on capitol hill where grey-haired ass monkeys in ugly suits walk in with the lips of young bouffant-ed ass monkeys in ugly suits firmly attached to their elder statesmen asses. But would *you* know Rep. Joe Bacca (R-CA) if *you* saw him and his ugly suit in a bar? I didn't think so. So if I did run into any celebrities here, it would be a singularly uninteresting experience. In fact, this is probably one of the few cities in the world, where you hope and pray that you *don't* run into a celebrity because 1) they're ugly old men, and 2) they might actually want to talk to you, heaven forbid, about your concerns as a citizen and what they are doing to actualize those concerns in responsible policy.
All this brings me to my point, which is: New York is so much cooler. I know that finding ways in which NYC beats the hell out of DC is really shooting fish in a barrel if you aren't discussing cleanliness, taxicab drivers, and the feces factor in public transport. But I'm talking about celebrities. So. Six months in D.C., unexpected celebrity run-ins - ZERO. I *did* have a chance to be an extra on the West Wing, but I'm not sure that would have counted since it's not exactly a run-in, and anyway, as much as I love the West Wing it still would lose out to being an extra on Sex and the City. Now, for comparison: One weekend in NYC, unexpected celebrity run-ins: ONE! (I'm not counting the time I was outside Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum and tried to take a picture of Samuel L. Jackson before I noticed A) He wasn't moving B) I'm standing outside the Palace of Wax, and C) I'm a fucking idiot.) I was about a block from my friend Mark's place in midtown when I notice a disgusting specimen of humanity oozing vileness into the air around him. Something sparked in my memory, but I just figured he looked like the housing-challenged gentleman on the subway who had tried to grab my leg. Then two young guys ran past me shouting "DUDE! We gotta have our picture with you!" So I turned around again, and gasped to myself in sheer joy, "A celebrity!" I don't know how it works out that my first celebrity sighting in New York should be Ron Jeremy, but you don't get to choose these things. They choose you.
Last night, aforementioned friend Mark called me to tell me his latest celebrity run-in. He was in the lobby of his building with his girlfriend, when a drunken man ran up and grabbed him. It was shortly established that this drunken loser was Stephen Jenkins, lead singer of Third Eye Blind. I don't know if he really is gay, or if he's just an Adam-Dorris-style drunk gay, but he went straight-up queen on Mark. When Mark tried to break loose, this guy pulled him back and started serenading him in the lobby. I can only imagine how amused Mark's girlfriend was. In New York, Mark has also seen (but not been serenaded by): Jon Stewart, Charlize Theron, and the Sex and the City ladies. Someone please tell me what's the point of living in a major city if I have NO stories that start with "So there I was, holding Britney's head over the toilet..."