Tag Archive | Celebrity Sighting

TMZ Tour NYC!

TMZ Bus Exterior Detail 2
All Photos By Gail

I’m going to go ahead and own the fact that on weeknights when I am at home, and also coherent, I’ll turn on TMZ and watch their low rent “news” on celebrity has-beens and wannabes that I’ve either never heard of before, or wish I hadn’t. I’m probably the least Star Struck blogger on the planet, but I consider TMZ to be my primary source of worthless celebrity pandering so that I can stay in the loop about what is “popular” – you know, for the kids. TMZ is also completely hilarious and boasts the least self-aware staff of any celebrity news program, so in that way it seems very down to earth and makes you feel like you’re hearing these crazy stories from people you know pretty well. That’s probably why the show is so popular.

TMZ Bus Exterior Detail

Fans of the show will be excited to find out that TMZ, in association with On Location Tours, now has a daily, two-hour bus tour you can sign up for that will take you all around the city from midtown to the tip of the island and back again, and point out dozens of places where celebrities hangout, pass out, get wasted, film their shows, actually live, used to live, got beat up, or were deeply embarrassed about something or other. It’s pretty fun!

You’ll board your luxury, air conditioned coach at the corner of 51st St. and Broadway, across the street from this diner:

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Our awesome tour guide was Matt Chadwick, an extremely friendly and equally hilarious and knowledgeable young man who cracked jokes incessantly but also revealed fascinating information such as:

  • Jim Carrey has an art Studio on Perry Street
  • Ed Burns is married to Christie Turlington
  • Macy’s not only has the oldest working escalators in the country (I’ve seen them!) but also the largest collection of shoes under one roof
  • Chris Brown beat up Drake at some club near the Holland Tunnel that I already forgot the name of, because I could care less about those two. Seriously who cares?
  • Columbus Circle is the spot from which all distances to NYC are measured

Matt Chadwick Tour Guide
Matt: Our Tour Guide and Former Australian Idol Finalist

What I enjoyed most about the tour was getting to see neighborhoods in Manhattan that I honestly never go to and driving down streets that I’ve never seen before in my life. And I’ve lived in Manhattan over 20 years! But, while I was on the TMZ Tour, I felt like I was visiting a foreign land, and it made me want to go to these neighborhoods on my own, and explore.

TMZ Bus Interior
Bus Interior with Video Monitors

The entire time that the bus is cruising around and your tour guide, who will be Matt if you’re very lucky, is pointing out places where Lady Gaga used to do burlesque, the loft where Beyoncé and Jay Z live, the apartment above the now closed Daffy’s (RIP) where Heath Ledger overdosed, and most recently, the park on lower 6th Ave. where Jonah Hill was recently spotted taking a photograph of a placenta (don’t ask), you will be entertained by hilarious and clever TMZ-produced video clips, that will further the action with additional graphics, interviews and explanations of what you’re seeing. It seems like the whole TMZ staff gets involved, so you will get to see all of your favorites, including Harvey.

During our tour, Matt hosted few rounds of fun trivia guessing games such as “Celebrity or Homeless Person?” and “The Finger or a Wave?” where the correct answer was awarded with a rare TMZ T-Shirt. So, Free Stuff! Matt really kept things rolling, and our driver was exceptionally skilled at taking very tight corners, and not killing anyone – because you know that pedestrians in New York City don’t stop crossing the street for anyone! The TMZ Tour is a fun way to spend two hours for locals who just want to get out of the house and also a good thing to take your out-of-town friends to. Despite the fact that we saw no celebrities, I had a great time!

Details
Where: 51st St & Broadway (exact location given upon purchase)
When: Weekdays & Sundays at 10:00 AM & 1:00 PM, Saturdays at 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM.
Cost: $49 + $3 ticket fee (Adult), $39 + $3 ticket fee (Children 11 & under)
Duration: Approximately 2 hours
Advance Ticket Purchase is Required so buy tickets at This Link!

TMZ Disclaimer

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Celebrity Sighting: Cristina Martinez and Jon Spencer at Bowery & Houston

Following a brief visit to the New Museum this afternoon (2nd and 5th floor galleries closed = brief visit) I decided to try and catch the M103 bus uptown at the corner of Bowery and Houston. It’s a rare warm day (40 degrees, woo hoo!) in the city, and while that’s considered to be fine weather for a long walk home, I was actually a bit over-dressed and wanted to cut the trip short. Waiting at the stop with me, I couldn’t help but recognize a couple of local rock stars: the very handsome Jon Spencer (of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) and his equally attractive wife, Cristina Martinez of Boss Hog, despite the fact that they were covered up by their “winter uglies” (i.e. bad beanies and, like me, too much outerwear). I have interviewed both Martinez and Spencer on separate occasions for publications that are surely long out-of-print at this juncture, and will confess that while he isn’t necessarily the easiest person in the world to have a conversation with, she is certainly quite lovely. After about 10 minutes of the sun beating down on us, they hailed a cab, piled in with their bags from Whole Foods and sped away. I waited a few more minutes before giving up on the bus and following suit: trudging up Bowery towards 14th Street, navigating sidewalks that had transformed into rivers between banks of rapidly melting snow, and feeling happy about life in general.

Celebrity Sighting: Nathan Thomas of Bravo’s Top Design!

Nathan and Fellow Designer, Ondine

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Bravo TV’s reality programming. Project Runway, Sheer Genius, Top Chef, Top Design – I love all that crap. So I got a little thrill this afternoon when Geoffrey and I were at the Museum of Modern Art and I spotted Nathan Thomas, winner of Top Design’s second season.  I was actually so excited that I forgot I am supposed be a jaded rock critic and I walked right up and asked if he was Nathan from Top Design, and he said yes, he was. I introduced myself and mentioned what a huge fan I am of the show and of his design work in particular. Then we made small talk about the art for about a minute before I excused myself and scampered off to find Geoffrey, because people are probably always recognizing  him in public and bugging him and blah blah blah. Anyway, he was REALLY nice!

Nathan and the Room he Designed for the Lighting Challenge

Celebrity Sighting of the Month: Bernadette Peters!

Bernadette Rocks!

BP!

Sharon and Stephen and I were at the Film Forum on Houston the other night to see Todd Haynes amazing new film, I’m Not There: the fact-based but still highly-impressionistic Bob Dylan biopic starring Richard Gere, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and the recently departed Heath Ledger, among others. I’m guessing that Blanchett’s Golden Globe Award-winning/Academy Award nominated performance, augmented by rampant, fresh sentimentality over Ledger’s passing, helped to pack the tiny theater to capacity. Beyond that, of course, I’m Not There is fucking excellent and deserves all the awards and praises that it’s earned. Some of my favorite parts of the film were those with actress Julianne Moore playing a character heavily based on Joan Baez. Because Joan Baez is awesome.

Anyway, after the film Sharon and I made a pit stop in the ladies room and who should walk in right behind us but the sensational Bernadette Peters! You know, what’s amazing about Bernadette Peters is how she manages to look like she’s still in her thirties, when I just looked her bio up on the Wikipedia, where it says she’ll be (wait for it) sixty years old on February 28th! Holy cow! She’s obviously had some work done on her face but someone needs to give her surgeon’s phone number to plastic surgery disasters like Joan Rivers because, damn, she’s done a nice job! You can also count on specialists like Miami-based Dr. Andres Bustillo to get the work done flawlessly.