During my five month stint in New York, the universe regularly uncoiled a humorous turn of events before me. On an almost daily basis throughout my time in the city, I would see someone I knew or recognized from back in N.C (most often from UNCG), someone I had already seen or met in NYC, OR, a celebrity. One week, I had four consecutive celeb sitings and another week, I ran into an acquaintance from school (on my exact section of the train) and then again just a couple days later, I ran into that same acquaintance in a completely different part of the city (again, destined for my train).
At first these occurrences and their bizarre and frequent nature weirded me out. I mean, what were the odds that they would keep happening like this in a city with over eight million people? I’ve heard stories of people who’ve lived in NYC for their whole lives and never once ran into anyone. Here it was happening to me like it was a natural part of my every day routine! But then they just became so oddly normal I adopted the attitude of “who will I see today?!” It was a fun game and an exciting outlook to start each day with.
I kept track in my phone’s notepad—immediately tallying an ongoing, ever-changing number for every time I saw someone I knew or recognized and also keeping a separate list of celebs I’d seen, trying to note when and where I’d seen them. My friends laughed at me, in bewilderment of how this kept happening to me and never to them. I attributed it to my keen observant and curious nature and the vast amount of ground I covered, all over the city for various jobs and adventures. My final count for each, after five months was this:
-25 times I’d seen someone I knew
I saw the following (random) plethora of celebs: Keri Russell, Luis Guzman, Rachel Dratch, Lena Dunham, Kelsey Grammar, Suri Cruise, Katie Holmes, Chelsea Clinton, Jemima Kirke, Jim Caviezel, Ben Stiller, Jacinda Barrett, Gabriel Macht, Guy Fieri, Julianne Moore (my absolute favorite and the only sighting that really left me in a daze of pure star struck), Jennifer Esposito, Lily Cole, Blythe Danner and Adam Duritz.
One of my favored encounters (which was not on either list, because it was a sort of inevitable one), happened on my final day as an intern. My last day as an intern at Time Out was spent running around all over the city, picking up items on lend for the holiday gift guide issue. One of my assigned destinations was the Essex Street Market on the LES—I would be picking up some butter almond crescent cookies from Boubouki. Once I got there, I quickly recalled this market had been on my own personal list of places to visit because pastry goddess Dorie Greenspan had recently opened a cookie stall there—Beurre + Sel, and it was on my radar. Instead of tracking down Boubouki right away, my eyes scanned the stalls for Dorie’s acclaimed jammers and sables. There before me on a marble slab, stood about five rows of different kinds of cookies, irresistibly poised for purchase and consumption.
I selected a jammer, a world peace cookie and a butter sable and began chatting with a sweet gentleman with black rimmed frames about Dorie, the shop and her cookies. Then, he interjected, “Oh, speaking of, here she comes now.” I then realized I been talking with Dorie’s husband, Michael. Dorie, a petite woman with a chestnut pixie cut and a vivacious smile came forward and immediately introduced herself and inquired about myself. She asked if I was a baker, to which I replied yes and she asked if I was a writer or had a blog, to which I also replied yes. She asked me the name of my blog and then proceeded to compliment me on its name. We chatted for a few about her cookies, how she came to open her shop and how business had been going, Paris, David Lebovitz, the cover of the new Bon Appetit—(why were there blue sprinkles on the sables?! James Beard would be horrified)! I told her I’d made her world peace cookies last year and how delicious they were, even though mine were lacking in attractiveness.
I felt guilty and behind for not having ever read one of her books and made a mental red flag to amend that as soon as possible! It was a pleasant surprise to meet the talented woman and James Beard award winner, behind so many esteemed books on baking and her friendly, genuine nature was so lovely. Her cookies were devoured the next day, in the car on the way to Asheville. We particularly loved the jammer, a perfectly round, thick shape cookie with a blueberry jam center, framed by a crumbly streusel. It yielded a gentle, moist crumb that was both soft and crunchy and intensely, buttery.
My Dorie encounter was an appropriately sweet finale to my time at Time Out.