Reasons Why You’ll Hate Living in the Suburbs: You Don’t Get to See Celebrities Out in the Wild

You know what you’re going to lose when you move to the suburbs?  Celebrities. You’re going to miss that moment when you’re on line at your local Starbucks and realize that —  HEY, the guy trying to order a coffee while corralling a couple of kids is John McEnroe!  Hi John! You’re getting a cinnamon latte?  Really?  YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!  HAR!  See what I did there?

If you live in Manhattan, you can’t help but run into celebrities.  The city is lousy with them. Unlike LA, where celebrities live in upscale enclaves, Manhattan is incredibly dense and integrated, so even if you live in a 500 square foot studio walkup, you can still live on the same block with some zillionaire movie star. You don’t have to be a star-effer to feel a certain validation – “I might be a total loser, but I live right next door to Howard Stern.  I must be doing SOMETHING right.”

Now, I’m not talking about when you’re at some hot club and see Chris Brown and Drake throwing glasses at each other or Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg.  Or when press up against the rope line at some move premiere like  star-struck out-of-towner at Rock Center waving a sign at Matt Lauer so your cousin from Des Moine can DVR you.  No, it doesn’t count when you actually TRY to go see a celebrity, or when you run into them in their natural habitat.

Rather, the fun celebrity sightings are when you see them out in the wild, doing the same everyday crap that you have to do.  For example, I once saw Jerry Seinfeld walking down 83rd street toward Broadway.  That wasn’t particularly unusual, since he lived in the neighborhood (as did the “Jerry” of the Seinfeld show – COINCIDENCE?).  What was interesting was that he was carrying a Banana Republic bag, and there’s a Banana Republic store on 86th and Broadway. But he wasn’t coming back from the store, he was going TO the store.

In other words, JERRY SEINFELD WAS SCHLEPPING OVER TO BANANA REPUBLIC TO RETURN A SWEATER. I love that. I mean, seriously, wouldn’t you think that Jerry Seinfeld, when he gets a sweater that doesn’t fit, would just toss it in the garbage?  It’s like the old joke about whether it makes sense for Bill Gates to take the time to stop and bend down to pick up a hundred dollar bill.  You would think that it wouldn’t be worth 45 minutes of his life to save a few buck, but there he was hoofing it over to beg for his money back..  Good for him!

That’s one of the great things about living in the city. I used to live next door to Bobby Cannavale, who would sit out on his stoop chatting with the neighbors and couldn’t have been a nicer guy.  On the day after 9/11, I shared some hard-to-find copies of the NY Post with Billy Baldwin.  I once asked Barbra Streisand to move down a seat at the movie theater so I could sit next to my date (Streisand was NOT happy).  I hit on Jane Krakowski, back before she got Ally McBeal and got even further out of my league.  All very cool.

So I sort of miss that stuff now that I’m in the suburbs. Not to say that we don’t have our celebrities.  After all, I’ve made it my mission to catalogue the various celebrities who are rumored to joining me in suburban idyll, like Tom Cruise and Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Jay Z.  And just in my village of Nyack, we proudly count Rosie O’Donnell, Jonathan Demme, and Stephen Baldwin, who has been working very hard to keep my village free from porn. I’ve actually run into Bill Irwin on the streets and William Hurt on a golf course, where he thought I’d stolen his friend’s golf bag (I admit NOTHING!).

But it’s not the same. Really, it’s just because you don’t run into people as easily in the suburbs – whether those people are celebrities or commoners.  You’re in your car all day, you park in a lot, you come in and out of stores. You don’t really wlak the streets. And on top of that, you don’t go out as much at night. After all, I’m very unlikely to run into a celebrity when sitting on the couch in my family room, which is where I spend most of my time now.

So that’s one of the things that you’re going to hate about living in the suburbs. Unless, of course, you’re a celebrity, where you can relax in your suburban anonymity behind the blacked-out windows of your SUV and return a stupid sweater without some jackass writing all about it…..