A List of Famous People I Saw in New York City, c. 1994-2001


1.  Chris Burke, “Corky” from the TV series Life Goes On, on the corner of Crosby and Broome on my first day in New York.  He was wearing tinted glasses and walked down the street, unaccompanied.

2.  Keanu Reeves, Lower Broadway near Prince, my sister ran up to him and took his picture on a visit. My mom thought he was someone from The Young and The Restless.

3.  Peter Bonerz, “Dr. Jerry Robinson” from The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978 incarnation), eating pasta at Fanelli’s at the corner of Mercer and Prince.

4.  Lewis Black, comedian/commentator from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Brooklyn, Soft Skull Bookstore, after a reading.

5.  Paul McCartney, Beatles bassist and singer-songwriter, Paris Review party for U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins, accompanied by then-new wife. I held the door open for them. It was September 10, 2001.

6.  George Plimpton, same party. He shooed me out of the room with all of the framed press passes to boxing matches from the 1970s.

7.  Ronnie James Dio, heavy metal front man, outside Waldorf Astoria, running toward cab.

8.  Fred Newman, host of Nickelodeon’s Livewire (1984) and cast member of A Prairie Home Companion, SoHo Guggenheim. He wore very tight pants.

9.  Steven Tyler, Aerosmith lead singer, Lincoln Center fountain, walking with lemonade, with a lot of makeup on.

10.  Billy Cruddup and Claire Danes, SoHo, on the street, walking. At Canal Street, we went on the same train, the downtown A.

Daniel Nester’s most recent book is the memoir Shader. His next book, Harsh Realm: My 1990s, is coming out from Indolent Books in the coming year. Find him online at danielnester.com, and he erases all his tweets every couple months at @danielnester.

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Shawn Berman runs The Daily Drunk. You can follow him on Twitter @Sbb_writer.

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