Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Face Recognition

One of my special talents involves recognizing mediated faces or those that I haven't seen in many year. While riding the subway last week, I made eye contact with a woman who was seated across from me. Both of us said out loud that we knew each other. Ti-- moved over next to me and then we figured out our lives intersected ten years ago when she was a student at Syracuse University and I was her graduate student TA.

Don't be surprised that I am about to cite who I've spotted on the street. The worst of it is that I search their eyes as I am trying to place their mediated image in my real life, and I am not too discreet about it.

In late May, as I awaited to board a flight same Chicago O'Hare to NY LaGuardia I discovered that Anthony Bourdain would be flying first class on the same flight. At the luggage claim area, I stalked him while contemplating how I would deliver the following message to him: "F@3&% Rachel Ray, you're the best thing on cable." Needless to say I didn't utter such profanity in the name of emphatic respect for his work. Instead, I stared at his black sneaker shoes and leather jacket.

On the evening of August 22, after dinner in the East Village with Gavino, his former Dutch boss, and his wife, on our way back to Christopher Street/4th Street Station, a well dressed Jacqueline Bisset, along with her small entourage, emerged from a restaurant. My eyes locked onto hers. It was as if she mistook me for someone she knew. She was wearing theater makeup and a beige pantsuit. Little did I know that she has always been my father's favorite actress. I must have been the conduit for his unrequited love that night. I, however, have always respected her for remaining unmarried in an era of high divorce rates.

Celebrity sitings on rarely elicit name dropping above W76th street, but one day last week around W101st. Street, I passed a fast moving Kate Mulgrew in a long black, sleeveless summer dress. She was walking determinedly with a burly companion. I have never watched her on Star Trek: Voyager but remember her fondly as Mary Ryan on Ryan's Hope.

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