As a NYC resident, I see a decent amount of celebrities. It’s not like Los Angeles, but still, famous people are sometimes around. Television shows and movies are often filmed in my neighborhood: there used to be a show “Person of Interest” which filmed one of it’s season finales on my block. We were treated to the glare of a light coming in our window at 11pm, which meant my apartment building was on TV…. So filming, celebrity sightings, are part of my actual day to day.

I do have one particular favorite celebrity sighting story though. Ric Ocasek lived in my neighborhood. He was pretty easy to spot, as he was tall, thin, and hadn’t change his hairstyle since his days fronting The Cars. And he lived in the neighborhood, which meant you might see him walking down the street, or at the dry cleaner, or at the market….

The market. This is where my favorite Ocasek story takes place. A few years ago I was doing my shopping, and I looked up from the frozen edamame to see him standing next to me. As only would happen in NYC, at that moment a Cars song was next up in the market musical mix.

That’s right. I’m standing next to Ric Ocasek and “Who’s Gonna Drive You Home” begins playing.

Now us New Yorkers, we try to be really blasé about celeb sightings- we try to be cool even if more often then not we’re jumping up and down inside.

But really.

They’re playing The Cars.

And he’s next to me.

So I actually look at him, establish eye contact.

He gives me a half smile, shrugs his shoulders and says “Figures”, and picks up whatever he was getting and walks away.

So RIP Ric Ocasek. I will remember your music fondly.

Eddie Money also passed recently.

I have reached that age when the celebrities of my youth are passing. It’s just another product of the aging process….and something else to get used to…


44 thoughts on “The Neighbors

  1. Love “Person of Interest” who played the main character: handsome actor! Husband was a fan of Ric Ocasek. When I lived in New York, I encountered some celebrity sightings. Also, in Florida, we have a few celebrities in the area. I enjoyed meeting Bruce Willis the most when I worked in New York.

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  2. I didn’t know Ocasek had passed yesterday until I read this. It’s never pleasant to hear such news, but having learned of it through this story of yours . . well, it was a proper way to say goodbye.

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  3. The news channel is playing The Cars as I read this post.
    When the iconic people we grew up with begin to leave this world it really does bring home the fact that my teens and 20’s were a long time ago. Eddie Money’s death gave me pause. My then new husband and I had picked out Two Tickets To Paradise as one of our special “first songs” after the wedding. I can’t hear that music without memories of that day…

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    1. That’s just it….this music was central to our youth….she nags elicit such memories. And when the musicians die…well…’s just hard to fathom


  4. That is such a cool story! About the closest I’ve ever gotten was to a local news anchor that used the dry cleaners I worked at when I was in my late teens. He was super nice. His wife… really not super nice.

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  5. Great story! I just recently got reintroduced to the Cars. Don’t know why but I had forgotten about them. Sad to see these guys passing and I think that’s one of the reasons we go to so many concerts. Gotta see them one more time. I’m kicking myself for not going to see Elton John when he was here this weekend. I have to get over the fact that sometimes we won’t be able to afford the up front seats but that it will be worth it to sit a little farther back.

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  6. I have no clue who either of the actors are that you mentioned, or the song. I live in a suburb of Los Angeles and I’ve never seen an actor or actress on the streets. Well actually, I might have seen one, and chances are excellent I just would not have recognized them 🙂 I do see movies now and then but I rarely pay attention to who the actors are, I just enjoy the movie. I do name the names of a few actors – Maggie Smith comes to mind, I really like her!

    I had a roommate once when I lived in West Los Angeles in my 20’s who moved to L.A. from Nebraska. She expected to see actors and actresses walking the streets of Los Angeles as soon as she got off the plane. Needless to say, she was disappointed …

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    1. They’re actually both singers, popular in the 80s. I’m actually surprised you never see any celebs. My LA friends see celebs a decent amount


      1. 😉 the funniest is when you recognize someone, but you don’t at firs5 get they’re a celebrity…you think, did I work with them, are the6 in my gym….

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  7. I shall look for your building on TV! I’ve never seen any celebrity ever although they film a lot in Toronto and filmed The Handmaids Tale in Guelph, which I don’t watch. I think it would be interesting to watch a movie being filmed. It does seem all our music idols are passing, but Mick Jagger is still hanging in there going on his final tour every year!

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  8. That right there, is the coolest story ever! Heartbreak City my very first CASSETTE TAPE (what the?)… played it til it mangled itself in my car stereo. We don’t get many of the big celebs down here in Oz, altho I once gave directions in a lift to Henry Winkler at a radio station I worked at in the 90s.
    What can I say….. ayyyyyyy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I knew two members of The Village People. I remember when the biker(Glenn Hughes) invited my young son and me to see them in concert in Seattle several years ago. Glenn took my girlfriend and her daughter plus my son and me to MC Donald’s for lunch the afternoon before his rehearsal. The concert was great and my friend and I were invited backstage to meet the guys. I still miss my friend Glenn.

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