So, after my Alias-Dad sighting earlier this week I said to myself "Man, Brigham, you're always seeing famous old men (Woody Allen, Tom Wolfe, Robin Williams, Tim Robbins, etc.) Why don't you start running into famous young actresses?" So I resolved to start running into young women of fame, and I was unexpectedly succesful . . . read on, if you dare!
Friday night I was standing around with about a dozen other kids in front of Bryant's place on Waverly, trying to decide on what restaurant to go to, trying to decide if we'd wait for the last couple of straglers who hadn't turned up yet when I look west to 6th avenue and my eye is caught by this pretty, yet tiny young woman and in a milisecond that lasts 1000 years I realize that the head on the tiny body is the head of Natalie Portman, so that would mean that the body is Natalie Portman's, so that would mean that Natalie Portman is walking right at me. I did the only thing I could do: gawk. And gawk hard I did as she passed through my group of amigos (all oblivious to her presence because they're too busy on their cellphones and whatnot) and I watch Ms. Portman enter Babbo (Mario Eats Italy's big-time Italian restaurant that Bryant lives right next to) and, well, for the rest of the night I had a pretty hard time saying anything besides "I can't believe I saw Natalie Portman, I can't believe I saw Padme Amidala."
And it would've been pretty sweet if my story stopped there, but the madness continues.
Headed back to Bryant after dinner in midtown, I'm sort of thinking: "I wonder if I'll see Natalie on her way out of Babbo, that'd be pretty cool." And when we get to Waverly there's this pack of Paparazzi hanging out outside of the restaurant. A little talking and it turns out they're there because word is Julia Roberts is having dinner inside, but when people ask them who they're waiting for, they just say "Diane Sawyer." So I stick around outside, because it's a nice night and it's sort of fun talking with the photographers and whatnot and sure enough, a little while later soon-to-be mother of two Julia Roberts (surprisingly small and eggplant-haired) slips out of the restaurant and into a waiting towncar with her husband. Yet, upon her departure, the photographers do not disperse, and a little while later Diane Sawyer (tall and rather handsome) does leave the restaurant and I step in to get a little closer and try to snap some pictures of her (why? I don't know, I was caught up in the moment) when a couple of my friends start yelling my name really excitedly and I turn around to see why and BAM! I bump right into Ms. Portman. She swerves around me with her head down low and slides into the car with Diane Sawyer and is followed closely by some dude. Don't believe me? Check out the photos below! (More are available at shutterfly, login is my email, password is "pictures")
But for real, as far as close encounters of the celebrity-kind go, I don't think I'm going to be topping this story any time soon. And maybe, just maybe, Natalie will always remember me as the idiot outside of Babbo that slammed into as she was leaving.
Oh yeah, and famous chef Mario Batali was chilling out across the street from his restaurant the whole time, if that matters. But he's out there on just about any given afternoon or evening.