Gossip Girl here…

Gossip girl here.  Your one and only source into the mildly interesting lives of Brooklyn’s slightly embarrassed celeb-stalkers/teen soap fiends.

One of the exciting things to do in New York is celebrity-watching.  It’s like bird-watching, except instead of birds, you watch skinny and attractive people engage in a range of human activities.  Yup, it’s true: there are celebrities here, and anyone can watch them walk, talk and do things. But once you’ve seen a few celebrities walking their dogs, drinking coffee, or tripping on the curb, and  you’ve learned that they really are “just like us,” what’s left to do?

Photograph them without their knowledge or consent.

Blog about them.

Try to become one of them.

I should be upfront about the fact that today’s celeb-sighting wasn’t the first since my recent move to New York.  While lunching at Chelsea restaurant Cookshop with filmmakers Morgan Faust (Shout it Out, The Treasure of Thomas Beale) and Max Isaacson (Banned German Sprite Ads), we spotted Martha Stewart eating with a young man.

Martha Stewart, young buck, my creepy reflection.

Martha Stewart, young buck, my creepy reflection.

Who was he?  We have no idea.  What did Martha eat?  Deviled eggs followed by some sort of salad with meat in it.  Max, too, ate the eggs (Ever the vanguard, Max actually ordered the eggs before Martha did, and proclaimed them the best deviled eggs ever).  I surreptitiously snapped a photo with my trusty iPhone, and sent it to several people I thought might enjoy it.  Husband, mother, and culinary goddess/dear pal Chrissy.  Mom’s response: she enjoyed my ridiculous open-mouthed reflection more than the picture of Martha.  So much for my first attempt at life as a paparazza.

But I am not one to be deterred.

So when the fates handed me a golden opportunity to once again insinuate myself into the celebrity world, I took it.

Spotted: Which Brooklyn newbie had a bump-into with Gossip Girl star Connor Paolo?  Better watch out big J: L could be shopping for more than corn at the farmers market.

That’s right.  It’s 10am, and I’ve just sat in the car for an hour so I could hold onto my space during the weekly street-cleaning.  I’m on my way to the farmers market.  My teeth are unbrushed, and I haven’t showered since Friday.  Suddenly, bam! There’s Connor Paolo, better known as Eric Van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl.  He’s wearing the St. Jude’s blazer, which means that GG is actually filming in my ‘hood!  So after buying my farm-fresh local produce, I scurry home to strategize.

Upper East Side Leda. Also the outfit I will wear for my anniversary dinner tomorrow, which will, in fact, take place on the UES. Coincidence? I don't think so. A key part of living in New York is dressing the nabe. And by nabe I mean neighborhood, not something dirty. It sounds kind of dirty, doesn't it?

Upper East Side Leda. Also the outfit I will wear for my anniversary dinner tomorrow, which will, in fact, take place on the UES. Coincidence? I don't think so. A key part of living in New York is dressing the nabe. And by nabe I mean neighborhood, not something dirty. It sounds kind of dirty, doesn't it?

I decide it’s best to put on an Upper East Side disguise, rather than my usual Brooklyn wear.  (And I even shower!)  My ensemble consists of a white dress from JCrew (circa 2002), a black belt with a big patent leather buckle from Target, a black cardigan from the JCrew outlet, and red patent leather pumps (Chinese Laundry).  I pick the pumps because on my first walk-by, I’d seen several teenage extras sporting bright red shoes.  Clever, huh?  And no, these aren’t exactly UES brands, but wouldn’t  Michelle Obama be proud?  Plus, I top it off with a pair of Dior sunglasses, so that helps.

I’m obviously hoping that by looking like a UES lady-who-lunches, maybe I’ll get to be an extra.  Let’s just take a moment and acknowledge how ridiculous it is that I put on a costume to visit the set of Gossip Girl in the hopes that they’d let me walk by in the background.  Remember, I’m thirty-one years old.

So I get to set and loiter around, trying to look like I belong there, and like it’s totally normal that I’d be wearing this outfit at 1:30 pm on a Tuesday.  They haven’t started shooting yet, so no celebs in sight.  That looks something like this:

Set of Gossip Girl, aka, Packer Collegiate Institute.  No celebrities yet.

Set of Gossip Girl, aka, Packer Collegiate Institute. No celebrities yet.

Then, after much shouting and fanfare, the shooting begins, and I’m kept outside the margins of the shot. Although I’m on the side of the street with the background actors, I’m not asked to jump in as one of them.  Bummer.  Costume strategy fails.

But I do manage to strike up a conversation with a young man in a St. Jude’s blazer.  He’s been here since 5:45 this morning.  And although he’s been focusing more on his own career as an off-Broadway actor, it’s not his first time working on GG.  So, what kind of gossip does he have?  I tried to get the inside track by asking him how many times he would have to walk back and forth (obviously envious of the fact that he got to be in the background of the shot).  He replied, “Between seven and thirteen.  It depends on how well the actors know their lines.  And on this show, forget it.  We could be here forever.”  Then, on the next take, the PA scolded him for talking to me, so I got no further gossip.  But I can tell you that they have people repeatedly drive by in Mercedes and Lexuses to give BK Heights a bit more of that UES feel.  Oh, and it barely merits pointing out, but isn’t there a bit of gleeful irony in the fact that Constance/St. Jude’s is actually shot in Brooklyn, a place in which Blair would shudder to set a Jimmy Choo clad toe?

So here are the money shots: Chuck and Jenny, chatting outside his limo (which is dinged up on the non-shot side and has…gasp!…Jersey tags).

Ed Westwick and Taylor Momsen.  Small and far away.  I only had my phone with me, not my camera.  Bummer.

Ed Westwick and Taylor Momsen. Small and far away. I only had my phone with me, not my camera. Bummer.

Ed and Taylor again.  By which I mean, Chuck and Jenny.  Looks like she's (thankfully) changed her hairstyle.  But his took more work from the stylists!

Ed and Taylor again. By which I mean Chuck and Jenny. Looks like she's (thankfully) changed her hairstyle. But his took more work from the stylists!

Last one.  Guess I shouldn't quit my day job(s).

Last one. Guess I shouldn't quit my day job(s).

So, having failed to become an extra or get a good picture with my phone, I set off for Trader Joe’s, where I learned that looking like a UES lady-who-lunches at the Cobble Hill Trader Joe’s earns you plenty of attention.  But not so much that I won’t try again next time…

You know you love me.

Xoxo

Awkward Girl

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12 comments so far

  1. Nina on

    You crack me up. Do you want me to find you an agent?
    xo Love, Nina

  2. Jenn on

    This is HILARIOUS!!!!

  3. Karen on

    Excellent work, L. Not even going to ask how, upon seeing little Eric in his school jacket you knew EXACTLY where to go. =)

  4. Chrissy on

    OMG, OMG, OMG! I’m *in* this blog post! I feel so fake-famous for being mentioned by soon-to-be famous Awkward Girl in her story about famous-for-what-reason? Gossip Girl. I guess that makes me Weirdo Girl. I am forever indebted… especially because you called me a culinary goddess.

    So glad Doubleawk is back. Oh, how I’ve missed you.

  5. Chrissy on

    P.S. Try as I might, I can *not* see the open-mouthed reflection in the Martha pic.

  6. Kara on

    Yeah, Chrissy, I can’t see the reflection either. But the post is hill-ary-us!

  7. doubleawk on

    Tips for finding my reflection in the Martha Stewart photo:
    1. Look in the top right corner of the photo. My giant head cuts off the waiter at around eye height. I’m in profile.
    2. Follow the shadow down and slightly to the right from there, to the young man’s shoulder/back. You can see my nose.
    3. Just down and to the left of my nose is my open mouth.
    4. It took me a while, too, but was worth it.

  8. Allison on

    This is hysterical. I can actually picture you figuring out what to wear. You are too funny!

  9. Danielle Cotton on

    Great post… very funny!

  10. nick a on

    fyi i think the young guy with martha is kevin sharkey, her interior design editor for MS living. they are good friends and are frequently out together… and i secretly want to be him.

    • Leda Eizenberg on

      Ooh! Fantastic! Thanks, Nick! Good eye! I’m going to have to go research him further…

  11. […] Such waiting is a lot easier to do if you live nearby, so you can run upstairs and pee, or change your outfit to blend in on set and maybe get cast as an extra (see my post on Gossip Girl). […]


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