Category: celeb sightings


Celebrating 100 Years of Grand Central

February 3rd, 2013 — 4:13pm

One of my many favorite things about my job is it’s given me the opportunity to get to know Grand Central Terminal a little more. Thanks to the Westin’s partnership with GCT, I had the pleasure of taking part in the celebration of this New York icon’s 100th birthday on Friday.

It was standing room only for GCT's Centennial celebration

The Centennial festivities kicked off with a rededication ceremony on the Main Concourse. Speakers included Mayor Bloomberg (who also paid tribute to the late Ed Koch), Caroline Kennedy, Mets MVP Keith Hernandez and Cynthia Nixon.

Cynthia Nixon spoke fondly about GCT and its storied history

Cynthia shared her fond memories of Grand Central, from her 20th high school reunion there to sending off her kids on a school trip. She also shared some poignant words from her dad. He once told her that it’s easy to forget how beautiful New York is because of its fast pace, but remember once in awhile to take a moment to appreciate it. Well said.

The ceremony ended with a rousing performance from Melissa Manchester and singers from Celia Cruz High School in the Bronx — but festivities continued throughout the day.

Me, Kristin and Jenn at GCT’s Centennial gala

Friday evening, I joined my boss Kristin and colleague Jenn at Vanderbilt Hall for a gala event that included cocktails, hors d’oeuvres (including macaroni and cheese balls….delish!) and a few celebrity sightings. Among them, former Mayor David Dinkins and Martha Stewart. We couldn’t resist saying hello to Martha and, much to our surprise, she was gracious and chatty.

Me and Jenn with Martha Stewart

Dinner was at GCT’s iconic Oyster Bar, where the three of us joined staffers from WABC-TV for a three-course meal featuring (of course) oysters, salmon and a pair of desserts (red velvet cake and key lime pie). We talked about things related to work and not, and it struck me all over again how profoundly fortunate I am to spend my workdays with smart, talented women I am learning so much from.

Happy 100th, Grand Central!

Comment » | celeb sightings, Cynthia Nixon, Grand Central, Martha Stewart, Westin New York Grand Central

CastleCon: Day One

November 22nd, 2012 — 1:59pm

As I mentioned, my trip to L.A. last weekend was for the Castle Fan Charity Convention.

All smiles in front of the CastleCon agenda for day one

Many of you are probably wondering–what is Castle? Because despite being one of ABC’s most popular and highly-rated shows, Castle tends to elicit two kinds of responses: love it or never heard of it. Any longtime viewer — myself included — is mystified by this considering that Castle is now in its fifth season.

The police procedural is a unique hybrid that moves seamlessly between drama and comedy, fueled by the fantastic chemistry between actors Nathan Fillion (who plays writer Richard Castle) and Stana Katic (his homicide detective muse Kate Beckett). It is also that rare show which delivers every single week, so I was truly excited to meet some of the people who bring it to life as well as, of course, fellow shippers.

Both days of CastleCon kicked with a spirited auction of autographed items, that ultimately raised about $35,000 for charity (including Hurricane Sandy relief). Headlining the agenda — members of Castle’s cast and crew.

First up for Q&A were husband wife editing team Marta Evry and [Warren Bowman] along with camera dolly grip Chris Brown.  Of Castle and Beckett’s long awaited love scene, Marta assured us no kissing footage was left on the cutting room floor. She also shared how emotional it was to edit another iconic series moment — the military funeral of Captain Montgomery — after her veteran father’s passing the year before.

During the lunch break, I got to know a handful of other Castle fans including Denver-based Colleen and Utah-based Susan.

“We’re gonna interrogate you like Beckett,” Susan quipped when I joined them.

Best introduction ever.

Castle cast members Tamala Jones (Lanie) and Penny Johnson Jerald (Captain Gates) dazzled the crowd

After lunch, cast members Tamala Jones (Lanie) and Penny Johnson Jerald (Capt. Gates) — both gorgeous and down to earth in person — delighted the crowd with sassy banter and behind the scenes scoop. Tamala would love to be in Beckett’s “supermodel” shoes this season and promised some great upcoming scenes between them about Castle. Penny revealed her alter ego knows Castle and Beckett are involved, and that she’s a real life fan of their love story.

Penny and me: Loved her!

The complete opposite of her tough cop character, Penny brought her zumba instructor and led about 50 of us in a fun zumba class. She stuck around afterward to hug each person goodbye. A true class act, just like all of her co-workers.

Up next…the scoop on CastleCon day two and what I’m thankful for this holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving all!

Comment » | Castle, celeb sightings, fan events, favorite TV shows, travel

Fashion’s Night Out

September 9th, 2012 — 3:06pm

Thursday evening, I joined throngs of style savvy New Yorkers for Fashion’s Night Out. The annual event has become quite the party since it launched three years ago. And I was especially excited to have my fashionista friend Stacy call me late in the day and suggest we do FNO together.

The FNO scene at Uniqlo's flagship Fifth Avenue store

Our first stop – Uniqlo’s Fifth Avenue flagship store, where a line snaked around for complimentary makeovers. Stacy and I opted for the sake shot instead. I also treated myself to a buttery soft deep pink fleece for $20, which ended up being my splurge for the night. What can I say? I love a seasonal bargain.

Next, we walked over to Henri Bendel’s, which was packed on every floor and buzzing with everything from DJ music and food truck purveyors to lobby performances from members of Cirque du Soleil.

Performers from Cirque du Soleil's "Zumanity" took center stage at Bendel's

We especially loved this guy’s costume…

Vogue: This character knew how to strike a pose

After sipping on watermelon cocktails served up by mixologists from Mulberry Project, we made our way upstairs for some heavenly bites: mayo-free buttery lobster rolls from Urban Lobster Shack and melt-in-your-mouth cannolis from La Bella Torte. Yummm.

Stacy got the scoop on La Bella Torte's delicious cannolis before we sampled some

The crowd at our third destination, Bergdorf Goodman’s, necessitated barricades and we had to queue briefly to get inside. Stacy and I couldn’t help appreciating this distinctively New York moment – lining up to go shopping.

Windows at Bergdorf's celebrated the legendary stores 111th anniversary

Inside, we caught a glimpse of the drag queen spinning pop music before browsing in a salon of evening gowns that made us both fantasize about being 1) size 4 and 2) celebrities routinely outfitted by marquis designers.

The evening gowns salon at Bergdorf's had us enthralled

On our way out, we noticed two big, friendly dogs. Their owner proudly introduced them as Max and Prince and informed us—

“They’ve been to 25 stores tonight.”

Again, only in New York.

Stacy and me at Louis Vuitton

After spotting supermodel stunner Selita Ebanks graciously posing with a few fans, Stacy and I headed to our last stop of the night, Louis Vuitton. Famed stylist and Vogue magazine contributing editor Andre Leon Talley was holding court in a red caftan. with the way he imperiously presided over everyone ogling him, he reminded me of a human version of Jabba the Hut.

Andre Leon Talley held court upstairs at Louis Vuitton

As Stacy and I walked out of the store and we parted company, I thought how our action-packed night out was the perfect way to celebrate what has been an amazing week for me. I am absolutely loving my new gig at the Westin New York Grand Central. Smart, talented, welcoming colleagues, stimulating work – I forgot how it feels to be truly happy on the job.

Life is good. Especially when you have great friends to share it with!

Comment » | celeb sightings, Fashion's Night Out, Girls Night Out, new jobs, Westin New York Grand Central

Summer Fun In The City

June 28th, 2012 — 9:10pm

Heat waves notwithstanding, summer is a great time to be in NYC – especially when it comes to free activities. Last weekend, I took advantage of the seasonal fun during a day out with my nephews Eddie, 9, and Dylan, 7.

This marked the first time I took both boys for a full day. Like most kids at their age, they can be a bit of a handful so I was a little concerned about keeping up with them. Thankfully, the Big Apple served up plenty of entertainment.

Dylan (left) and Eddie loved the rides

Our action-packed afternoon began in Midtown, where eagle-eyed Eddie spotted a public school-sponsored block party. Along with three inflatable kids’ rides, magicians and art projects, we enjoyed DJ music and food truck fare.

Once the party winded down, we went back to my place and up to the roof deck, where Eddie and Dylan cooled off with a water gun fight. And yes, I happily took part!

After a quick bite at Utopia diner on the UWS, the three of us headed over to Pier One at 70th Street for US Weekly and Schwinn’s awesome Bike In event.

Eddie, Dylan and me with DWTS’ hunk Derek Hough

Though we didn’t win any of the bikes given away, there was plenty to smile about – free ice cream, popcorn and bottled water…and an appearance by “Dancing With The Stars” cutie Derek Hough. Charming and adorable in person, Derek happily posed for photos with everyone who lined up to meet him.

At sunset came the main attraction, a screening of “Puss In Boots.”

Puss In Boots with the Hudson River as a backdrop: Delightful

Eddie, Dylan and I settled onto a blanket and some free seat cushions (Schwinn really thought of every detail here). As I took in the moonlit river view and listened to my nephews’ giggles, I couldn’t help thinking – this is exactly what summer is all about.

There are plenty of fun, free activities coming up as part the Summer on The Hudson series. Click here for more info.

1 comment » | celeb sightings, Dancing with the Stars, summer fun

Ghost The Musical: Five-Star Otherworldly Entertainment

May 6th, 2012 — 2:33pm

There are some nights that remind me how lucky I am to live in a vibrant, exciting city like New York. Friday was one of them.

It began with dinner at Victor’s Café with my longtime galpal Sara and her friend Emily. A fixture for nearly 50 years, Victor’s serves up delicious Cuban fare complimented by swift, attentive service and live music. We shared Bartolito to start — sweet plantain filled with roast Berkshire pork, olives, and raisins over black bean sauce and goat cheese – and then all enjoyed ropa vieja. Yum.

Otherworldly Chemistry: Cassie Levy and Richard Fleeshman in GHOST The Musical (Photo: The Hartman Group, Joan Marcus)

After our delightful meal, we walked over to Times Square and the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre to see Ghost The Musical. The classic 1990 movie about a banker who’s killed but stays behind to take care of some unfinished business translates well to the stage, thanks to charismatic leads, beyond thrilling special effects and a book written by Bruce Joel Rubin, who won an Oscar for his original screenplay. Having seen the movie multiple times, it was great fun seeing classic scenes – including, yes, the pottery wheel moment — brought to life once again.

Richard Fleeshman (Sam) and Caissie Levy (Molly) bring their own distinctive charms to the roles so  famously inhabited on screen by Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. Having originated the roles in London’s West End, they have a sweet, believable chemistry together and powerful, dazzling singing voices. Tony Award nominee Da’Vine Joy Randolph is a scream as Oda Mae Brown and Bryce Pinkham rounds out the ensemble well as duplicitous Carl.

Ghost’s score, written by The Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, is pitch-perfect pop and I loved how the ubiquitous “Unchained Melody” is woven through the show. The special effects are amazing – huge digital projections capture everything from larger than life silhouettes of the cast to NYC subways and neighborhoods racing by, and bring an epic feel to the afterlife transitions that are so much a part of Ghost. One of my favorite musicals this year, for sure, and definitely worth seeing.

The show ended just in time for me to walk across to the Marriott Marquis, where a huge crowd had lined up to see Ricky Martin after performing in Evita. Within a few minutes of nabbing a spot, I caught a brief glimpse of Ricky, looking adorable in a black Members-only style jacket, sign a few autographs and wave before getting into his SUV.

Sigh. A truly perfect night in NYC!

Comment » | Broadway reviews, celeb sightings, Girls Night Out, Ricky Martin, Times Square

Boy Meets Girls Show: Part One

February 18th, 2011 — 11:53am

Tuesday night, I headed down to NYC’s Metropolitan Pavilion for Boy Meets Girl’s show, co-sponsored by luxury extended stay brand AKA Hotels.

Caroline and me beside the runway

Joining me for the Fashion Week festivities were my good friend Caroline, her style savvy pal Telo and my former colleague Meg. As we took our seats in the second row, we spotted pop star Kat DeLuna and Real Housewives of New Jersey star Danielle Staub.

Danielle Staub and Kat DeLuna

The show opened with a rousing performance from singer Natasha Bedingfield.

Natasha Bedingfield wowed the crowd

Of the handful of Fashion Week shows I’ve been to over the last few years, Boy Meets Girl was by far the best. Chic yet wearable clothes and a diverse group of models that looked like real women and not the androgynous waif type that’s so popular on the runway.

BMG models strutting their stuff

Coming up…rubbing shoulders with celebs at the show and catching up with a Sydney-based friend who’s taking the blogging world by storm.

Comment » | celeb sightings, Fashion Week

Eat, Pray, Love: NYC Premiere

August 12th, 2010 — 8:23pm

Tuesday, I headed over to NYC’s Ziegfeld Theater in Midtown for the premiere of “Eat, Pray, Love.”

Before The Stars Arrived: Me on the red carpet

Having covered a few red carpet premieres before, I knew what to expect — swarms of media and quick celebrity sightings as stars rush past to get into the screening. All I wanted from this one was to see Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem.

Lights, Camera Action: celebs and media packed the tented carpet

Not surprisingly, their co-stars and a handful of other celebs preceded them on the carpet. Arlene Tur (Armenia), stunning a pink Ferragamo gown, praised Julia for balancing work with family life and raved about shooting in Bali, which happens to be one of my favorite places on earth.

Arlene Tur: Ready to return to Bali

Adorable Aussie actor David Lyons (Ian) called Julia’s performance a tour de force and said he was amazed by her humility off screen. He’s about to start working on a new NBC show called “The Cape.”

David Lyons: Gave props to Julia Roberts for being down to earth

Sunny Anderson, host of The Food Network’s “Cooking For Real,” shared her favorite moment in the book — when author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to the same gelato place multiple times in one day.

“When you find something you love and adore, it’s an experience trying to relieve that first moment,” she said. “It was validation for me as a food person.”

At long last, 2.5 hours later, I spotted the evening’s biggest stars. Elizabeth Gilbert floated down the carpet, looking ethereal in a long flowing dress.

Elizabeth Gilbert: the Eat, Pray, Love author shined on the red carpet

She was followed by Julia and Javier, who greeted each other with a hug before facing the cameras. They are both stunning in person, and Julia’s megawatt smile is irresistible — even when you only catch a fleeting glimpse of it.

Coming up…a girls night out to celebrate the opening of “Eat, Pray, Love” and the final preparations for my European Dating Blitz.

Comment » | celeb sightings, Eat Pray Love

Hello Again Mr. Smits

January 9th, 2010 — 9:35pm
2009 was a good year for celebrity sightings, and it looks like this year will be no different. Today, I had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy Smits after his performance in the Broadway hit, “God of Carnage.”

Hello Again: Jimmy Smits and me after the show

It was my second encounter with the tall and charming actor — the first being almost fifteen years ago on the set of “NYPD Blue.”

On Location: Jimmy, me and co-star Kim Delaney during a shoot for “NYPD Blue,” August 1995

At the time, we chatted about Jimmy’s lingering affection for his hometown of Brooklyn and I was impressed by how soft spoken and down to earth he was. He smiled today when I mentioned meeting him then, instantly recalling that particular shoot at the borough’s legendary River Café.

“You haven’t aged a bit,” I told him.

“I don’t know about that,” he said graciously. “Nice to see you again, thanks for coming out.”

Sigh. A decade and a half later, Mr. Smits is still a charmer.

Up next… a review of “God Of Carnage.”

2 comments » | Brooklyn, celeb sightings, God of Carnage, Jimmy Smits, Kim Delaney, NYPD Blue, River Cafe

Hello Again Mr. Smits

January 9th, 2010 — 4:35pm
2009 was a good year for celebrity sightings, and it looks like this year will be no different. Today, I had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy Smits after his performance in the Broadway hit, “God of Carnage.”

Hello Again: Jimmy Smits and me after the show

It was my second encounter with the tall and charming actor — the first being almost fifteen years ago on the set of “NYPD Blue.”

On Location: Jimmy, me and co-star Kim Delaney during a shoot for “NYPD Blue,” August 1995

At the time, we chatted about Jimmy’s lingering affection for his hometown of Brooklyn and I was impressed by how soft spoken and down to earth he was. He smiled today when I mentioned meeting him then, instantly recalling that particular shoot at the borough’s legendary River Café.

“You haven’t aged a bit,” I told him.

“I don’t know about that,” he said graciously. “Nice to see you again, thanks for coming out.”

Sigh. A decade and a half later, Mr. Smits is still a charmer.

Up next… a review of “God Of Carnage.”

2 comments » | Brooklyn, celeb sightings, God of Carnage, Jimmy Smits, Kim Delaney, NYPD Blue, River Cafe

Meeting The Romantic Comedy King

December 17th, 2009 — 1:34am

Readers of this blog know I’m a big fan of celebrity encounters. I’m also a big fan of actor Hugh Grant — especially after having the pleasure of meeting him last night.

What A Charmer: Hugh Grant and me at Soho’s Apple Store

My photo opp with Hugh happened after a Q&A with him and co-star Sarah Jessica Parker, about their new romantic comedy, “Did You Hear About The Morgans?”

I’m happy to report that the British actor is just as charming and witty (and yes, adorable) in person as he is on screen.

Coming up…a full recap of the lively Q&A, including what made Hugh compare SJP to a locust and the dish about who was the movie’s biggest on-set diva.

I think my favorite Hugh Grant rom coms are “Love Actually” and “About A Boy.” What’s yours?

3 comments » | About A Boy, Apple Store, celeb sightings, Did You Hear About The Morgans, Hugh Grant, Love Actually, romantic comedies, Sarah Jessica Parker, SoHo

Back to top