From guest blogger, Marsha Takeda-Morrison, of Sweatpantsmom.
Did you watch the Academy Awards? Did you enjoy hanging out with all the winners at the Governors Ball afterwards? Yeah, my invitation got lost in the mail, too.
But there are other ways of brushing elbows with the A-listers, without having to lie your way into the Oscars by telling the guard that you’re Nicole Kidman’s obstetrician there to administer an ultrasound. (Which totally would have worked, by the way, if Keith Urban hadn’t noticed that I was flashing my library card and not a medical ID.) Here in L.A. the celebs are everywhere – buying sweaters, having coffee, eating lunch – just like you and me! Except with more money and better hair.
Sure, you can go to the current hotspots: Villa, Les Deux, Katsuya – but prepare to be pushed aside by paparazzi as you try to get a closer look at P Diddy’s biceps or get a word with Lindsay Lohan about her rehab stay. These places are teeming with stars, but also with bouncers who won’t even let you in the door unless you can prove that your last record went triple-platinum. Also avoid pricey celeb-magnet The Ivy, even though star-sighting potential is huge. Personally, if I’m going to spend twenty dollars on a bowl of soup it better be spoon-fed to me by Brad Pitt while I’m sitting on his lap.
I suggest a day at The Grove, a huge open-air mall which is adjacent to the Original Farmer’s Market. This is where Heidi Klum and Seal grab lunch with their kids, and Katie Holmes takes daughter Suri shopping and spends Tom’s money. The Apple Store there is huge and particularly celeb-heavy; you might see Jon Stewart hitting the Genius Bar to ask questions about a MacBook Air. Actually, any Apple store is a celebrity-mecca; stars love spending their money on cool electronics. (And soup.)
Fred Segal on Melrose is another place where you’re bound to see at least a few celebrities – whether you’re browsing $300 jeans or having a cappuccino in Mauro’s Cafe, you’ll see lots of famous faces. Calista Flockhart once stepped out of a dressing room right in front of me as I browsed the $20 sale t-shirt rack. Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie and Samuel L. Jackson shop there and you can too – that is if you don’t mind spending $300 on a pair of socks.
The thing is, you may not always recognize celebrities when they haven’t just come from a three-hour makeup session. I was sitting right next to Teri Hatcher at Art’s Deli in Studio City, but didn’t recognize her until a gaggle of Desperate Housewives fans ambushed her on the way out. If I had known I would have swiped the remains of her pastrami sandwich and sold it on eBay.
Also in Studio City is Firefly, an incognito bar/restaurant that has, in my humble opinion, the best calamari on the planet. Kate Bosworth and Bill Maher have been spotted there, and I’m jealous to say that my husband, and not me, had the best star sighting there of all – George Clooney. Obviously, George likes the calamari too.
What is your favorite celebrity-spotting story? Is there a hangout in your neck of the woods that the rich and famous frequent? Let us know!