Monthly Archives: January 2009

Pawn Shop to the Stars

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Another day, another pawn shop to write about.  🙂  Ironically, just around the corner from the now defunct Beverly Hills, 90210 pawn shop that I blogged about yesterday, is yet another local pawn shop that also has a  filming history.  Who knew that pawn shops were such popular filming locations??  🙂  Angelo’s Jewelry and Loan Company, which touts itself as the “Pawn Shop to the Stars”, opened up in 1984 and has the distinction of being Santa Monica’s oldest pawn shop.  Since it was around at the time, I can’t help but wonder why it wasn’t used as Dylan’s pawn shop in the “Anaconda” episode of 90210.  Or why there would be two pawn shops in such close proximity to each other.  Perhaps that explains why the “Anaconda” one is no longer in business.  Anyway, even though the tiny shop was overlooked by 90210 location scouts, it did get featured just last year in the Owen Wilson movie Drillbit Taylor. 

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  In Drillbit Taylor, a group of nerdy teenage boys hire con man Owen Wilson to be their bodyguard.  But instead of protecting them, Drillbit ends up robbing them blind and hawking their goods at a local pawn shop.  That pawn shop was Angelo’s.  And it looks exactly the same in real life as it did in the movie.   According to the owner Angelo’s has also been featured in other productions over the years, but he was unable to recall which ones – which boggles my mind!  LOL  My guess is that Angelo’s has appeared in one or more of the L.A. based crime dramas such as Without A Trace, Cold Case, or the CSI shows. 

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I found this location thanks to Mike over at MovieShotsLA, but the truth is I really should have recognized it myself. For over two years I took acting classes right around the corner from Angelo’s and would pass by the shop at least three times a week on my way to grab a coffee before or after class.  Every time I walked by I would laugh at the silly signs in the store windows (pictured above).  So when Mike told me that my acting class pawn shop was the very same pawn shop featured in Drillbit Taylor, I had to mentally kick myself for not immediately recognizing it.  And I call myself a stalker!!  LOL  Sometimes I really think all that blond dye goes straight to my head.  LOL  Thanks, Mike!

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According to this article, Angelo’s claim of being the “Pawn Shop to the Stars” is actually not a joke.  Apparently movie stars do stop in to Angelo’s from time to time, although the owner refuses to divulge which ones.  I didn’t see any while I was there, but who knows, while stalking the place you might end up spotting a celeb or two!  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Angelo’s Pawn Shop is located at 206 Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica.

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Anaconda!

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No, the above title does not refer to the 1997 JLo/Ice Cube action flick Anaconda (a movie I have never seen), but a Beverly Hills, 90210 episode of the same name.  The other day while I was hanging out on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Mike (from MovieShotsLA) called me and asked if I wouldn’t mind stalking a nearby location for him.  He was looking for the pawn shop that down-on-his-luck Dylan visited in that Second Season episode, which he could tell from the above screen capture was located somewhere on 2nd Street in Santa Monica. 

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While watching the pawn shop scene, Mike immediately recognized the famous Santa Monica Crocker Clock Tower in the background behind Dylan.  The Crocker Clock Tower is somewhat of a landmark building in Santa Monica, most likely due to its unusual art deco style and size – it is the second tallest building in the city.  The clock tower is also famous for another reason, though.  On January 17, 1994, at 4:31 a.m. the Northridge Earthquake struck Los Angeles and its surrounding area.  The 6.7 magnitute quake not only rocked the city, but the Crocker Clock Tower as well, stopping its hands at the precise moment the first wave struck.  For over six years afterwards the clock’s hands remained frozen in time at 4:31 a.m., a constant reminder to all who viewed it of the devastating quake.  In 2000, the clock was finally fixed for the meager cost of $75,000.

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Using the clock tower (and the above screen capture) as his guide, Mike was able to figure out the exact location of Dylan’s pawn shop, which I am sad to say is no longer in business.   Such a bummer!  Currently a sound design company named RMD Entertainment occupies the space.  “Anaconda” was filmed 17 years ago and in that time a lot on 2nd street has changed.  While I haven’t been able to confirm it, I do believe that filming took place at an actual pawn shop that was once located in RMD’s space.   Although it is also a possibility that a fake pawn shop was set up in a vacant storefront at that location strictly for the filming of the “Anaconda” episode.  But I believe the former is true.

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I am constantly shocked when locations Mike and I stalk look different than how they appeared onscreen.  Mike is always telling me that I need to remember that these episodes were filmed almost two decades ago and that the locations where they were filmed will have changed considerably in twenty years time.  But since Beverly Hills, 90210  is so frozen in time for me, I am always expecting the locations to be frozen in time, as well, and am always shocked when I find that they aren’t.  LOL

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The pawn shop featured in “Anaconda” is now RMD Entertainment which is located at 1418 2nd Street in Santa Monica. The Crocker Clock Tower building is located just around the corner at 225 Santa Monica Boulevard.

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Beverly Hills, 90291

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A few weeks back while I was out stalking the Californication  house, Mike (from MovieShotsLA) and I set out on a mission to find Kelly Taylor’s house from the new 90210  series.   I had been searching for the house for quite some time and on this particular day I called Mike at work (poor guy!) and said “We are going to find that house today!”  I’m nothing if not determined!  Mike and I knew the house was located in Venice from an article that appeared in Entertainment Weekly this past summer, and since I was already in the area, I realized it was now or never!  I was not leaving Venice without finding that house.  🙂

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 Kelly’s house has appeared on 90210 quite a few times, beginning with the pilot episode.  And each time it appears, a plaque with the numbers “2229” is clearly visible in the background.  But neither Mike nor I could seem to find any area in Venice with house numbers in the 2200 range.  We found blocks with addresses of 2100, 2300, and 2400, but for some reason 2200 was nowhere to be found.  Mike had become convinced that the “2229” sign was just a prop added to the house for filming, but I held out hope.  Something told me that sign was really there. 

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Since Google Street View does not cover the Venice area, I acted as Mike’s eyes and ears driving around Venice while he sat in front of his computer at work looking at aerial maps.  LOL  My boyfriend always says how amazing it is that Mike and I managed to find each other.   I mean who else in their right mind would do this stuff with me??  LOL  Anyway, after driving around for a while I was just about ready to give up hope.  Then all of sudden, an idea struck Mike and he told me to head to Glyndon Avenue.  He had remembered working once in a quaint little section of Venice and thought it might be the area where Kelly’s house was located.  So, using my trusty GPS, I drove over to Glyndon Avenue and sure enough, there was the house – “2229” sign and all.  See, you should always trust a woman’s intuition!  🙂 

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Many episodes of 90210  were filmed at the actual Venice Beach house and I also believe that some interior filming took place there, as well.  This is apparent in both the pilot episode, in which fellow teacher Ryan stops by Kelly’s house, flowers in hand . . .

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. . . and the episode entitled “Secrets and Lies” in which Silver’s house party gets slightly out of hand.

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Kelly’s house is very cute and very picturesque in person.  In fact, it is just the type of house I would expect to find a grown-up Kelly Taylor living in.  Especially since she is so obviously still carrying a torch for Dylan and this house is so reminiscent of Dylan’s Craftsman style home from the original series.  🙂  I absolutely loved stalking Kelly’s house.  In fact, driving around Venice that day while talking to Mike on the phone will always be one of my fondest stalking memories!

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Kelly Taylor’s house is located at 2229 Glyndon Avenue in Venice.

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CSI: Pasadena

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My dad is not a big fan of Hollywood.  And by Hollywood I mean the industry, not the town.  He can’t stand all of the overindulged, self-absorbed actors, even though his own daughter is one (minus the overindulged, self-absorbed part, of course).  🙂  He just barely tolerates my stalking and often asks me why I care so much about celebrities.  But there is one actor and one show that my dad absolutely loves – and that’s loves with a capital L-O-V-E-S.  That show is CSI: Miami and that actor is David Caruso.  My dad often walks around the house randomly quoting characters from the show saying “H is on it!”, he nicknamed his Harley Davidson “H”, and he has so many CSI: Miami reruns saved up on TiVo that he often burns through all of the memory causing my mom’s shows not to record.  Yes, my dad loves himself some Horatio Caine.   When we were in New York this past December, my boyfriend and I just had to snap the above photo of Horatio Street for my dad.  🙂

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So when I found out that CSI: Miami would be filming in Pasadena last Wednesday, I just had to drag my dad out to stalk it.  Except truth be told, there really wasn’t much dragging involved.  My dad, who normally hates stalking with me, was more than a willing participant this time around.  He was absolutely floored at the possibility of meeting his TV idol.  And so was I.  CSI: Miami has always been my favorite CSI and I, too, love me some Horatio Caine.  I also love me some Emily Procter.  I am absolutely obsessed with her cute little Southern accent – I want one just like it.  🙂  So on Wednesday morning, bright and early, we showed up at the Pasadena location where where they were filming.  And I have to say that it was an absolute dream day!

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The crew truly could NOT have been nicer to us.  When we arrived and told them we were big fans of the show, they welcomed us with open arms and invited us to take a seat to watch the crew setting up the scene.  One of the A.D.’s told us that David Caruso would arrive on the set within 45 minutes and that he was very fan friendly and would most likely take a photograph with us.  Let me tell you we were floored!  And I have to say that watching the crew set up for the scene was almost as exciting as watching the actual filming.  It was amazing to compare the real life overcast grey sky that was above our heads with the orange and pink sky that appeared on the filming monitors. It turns out that a special filter is placed on top of the cameras during filming to make the sky look more bright, sunny, and “Miami-like”.  It was eerie to see.

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Just before actual filming was to begin, a large water truck came by and sprayed water all over the street.  I had known from watching a director’s commentary on DVD a while back that streets are often wetted down prior to a film shoot – for some reason, wet streets look better on camera than dry streets – but I had no idea how it was done.  So that was very cool to see.  If you’ve never noticed this phenomenon before, you will now.  🙂   Start looking at streets in the background of your favorite television shows and movies – nine times out of ten they will be soaking wet.  One of the crew members was joking that while you never see it rain on CSI: Miami, miraculously somehow the streets are always wet.  LOL

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After the street was sprayed, a white van pulled up and out stepped David Caruso.  And I just about died.  There he was, Horatio Caine, in the flesh, aviator sunglasses and all.  He immediately waved to us and said “Hi guys!” while a make-up artist put the finishing touches on his face and hair.  Then he called us over and introduced himself.  It was unbelievable!   Last October, when my dad and I got to watch The Closer  be filmed, not one cast member came over to talk to us.  So this was quite a surprise!  And when my dad handed over his CSI: Miami  Season One DVDs to be signed, David seemed genuinely touched and told us how appreciative he was to meet fans of the show.  He also gave us little autographed pictures of himself.  Then the A.D. called him over to begin filming and David gave both my dad and me a hug!  🙂  A few minutes later while they were setting something up for the shot, David walked over to us once again and asked if we wanted to take a picture with him.  He really could not have been sweeter and I can honestly say that out of all the actors I’ve met in my eight years living in L.A., David Caruso was by far the nicest.  A crew member told us that on one occasion when they were filming in Long Beach, a large tour bus filled with 75 German tourists pulled up, and got very excited that David Caruso was there.  David stopped filming and proceeded to sign autographs and take pictures with each and every person on that bus!!!  My dad kept saying “I just knew  he’d be nice!”  🙂  I hope that when I become a successful, famous actress that I will be that nice!  🙂 

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After our pics, we got to watch David film a scene with Elizabeth Berkley (of Saved by the Bell  and Showgirls  fame), who play’s H’s ex-wife Julia on CSI: Miami.  I cannot even tell you how amazing it was to be standing less than five feet away from David Caruso as he filmed a scene.  And I just about died when he did his trademark putting-on-sunglasses-and-staring-off-into-the-distance move.  It was the coolest thing ever!  I was very impressed with how quickly filming moved, too.  I’d say David filmed his scene in less than forty minutes, which in Hollywood time is almost unheard of!  What I was most impressed with, though, was how happy the cast and crew seemed to be.  There was a lot of joking around between takes and A LOT of laughter in the air.  Everyone seemed to be really enjoying their jobs and like they were just happy to be there.

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When David was wrapped for the day he had a crew member ask for my address as he had some CSI  memorabilia in his trailer that he wanted to give us.  How nice is that!  Then, as we were leaving the set, one of the crew members told us to stop back by later in the afternoon when the rest of the cast would be there filming a different scene.  So, of course, a few hours later my dad and I headed back to the set.  🙂  As soon as we arrived, one of the A.D.’s ran over to us and handed me a large envelope from David Caruso.  Inside was the memorabilia he had planned to send me, including several photographs autographed to both me and my dad, a Horatio Caine bobble head, and some CSI: Miami postcards and buttons.  That was just such a nice thing to do, we couldn’t even believe it!!!  My dad was especially excited about the bobble head which is now sitting on his desk.  🙂 

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As if all that wasn’t enough, a few minutes later the same A.D. walked over with Rex Linn who plays Detective Frank Tripp on the show.  Rex introduced himself and, like David, seemed genuinely happy to be speaking with fans of CSI:Miami.  Rex signed my dad’s DVD’s, posed for pictures with us, and even let me hold his prop gun.  🙂  Like David, Rex could NOT have been nicer or more outgoingly friendly to us. 

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While we were speaking with Rex, Eva La Rue came out of the house where they were filming and Rex took us over to meet her!  Eva was also completely friendly and super down to earth.  And gorgeous in person – much prettier than she even appears on television.

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Then the most amazing thing happened.  Are you sitting down for this??  Rex asked if we wanted to go inside the house to watch a few scenes be filmed.  Did we want to go inside and watch filming with Detective Frank Tripp as our personal tourguide?????  Is he crazy?  Of course we did!  Rex then took us through the backyard of the house where a scene was being filmed, introduced us to virtually every crew member on set, explained what all sorts of equipment was, and what was happening during the filming.  Rex is an amazing man and I could not believe he was taking time out of his busy day to give us a tour of the set.  I mean stuff like this just doesn’t happen in real life! 

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Once filming began, Rex led us over to the monitors and pulled out Emily Procter’s directors chair for me to sit in.  I was like WHAT?  I can’t sit in her chair!!!!  LOL 

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After we watched a bit of the filming that was taking place in the backyard, Rex was called inside to finish up a scene he was filming in the house with Eva La Rue.  He told us we could come inside to watch, so we, of course, followed him.  That scene was especially exciting for us because we got to watch firsthand as Eva administered one of the flashlight tests that the CSI  shows are so famous for.   SO COOL!  After that scene, Rex was wrapped for the day, but he told us we could go back outside to watch more of the filming in the backyard. 

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Which we, of course, did. 🙂  And that is when we got to meet both Megalyn Echikunwoke, who plays the new medical examiner on the show and who was very sweet . . .

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. . . and my fave, Emily Procter.  Emily was a total sweetheart and she really does have Calleigh Duquesne’s cute little Southern accent in real life.  I love it!  Emily was wrapped for lunch at that time and we ended up walking out of the house behind her.  On her way outside she made it a point to stop to thank the L.A. County policemen who were on duty and she gave both of them autographed pictures of herself.  I was completely amazed at this.  Not just Emily, but the entire cast seemed to be just so appreciative, thankful, and friendly.  It was so heartening to see.  And it just made me love the show even more than I already did.  What a truly amazing group of people!  

Sitting back and looking at these pictures of me on the set of my favorite TV show makes me think about how much I love L.A.  As much as I say I want to move to New York, it’s days like this one when I realize I am right where I am supposed to be.  🙂  More importantly, though, being on the set was a truly extraordinary experience for my dad.  Especially since he just recently got out of the hospital and has been sick on and off for the past few years.   I believe having such a memorable encounter with the cast of his favorite television show brought him some much needed healing in a form he never would have found in a hospital or a doctor’s office.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂

Stalk It: CSI: Miami  was filmed at 887 El Campo Drive in Pasadena, right around the corner from the Brothers and Sisters  House.  Look for the episode to air sometime in March.

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s Former New York Digs

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While doing some stalking in New York this past December, I just had to snap a photo of Gwyneth Paltrow’s former Greenwich Village townhome, which just happens to be located right around the corner from SJP’s house.  Gwyn purchased this Greek Revival style townhouse back in 1998 when she was still a single New York gal.  She later lived in the four story, four bedroom home with musician husband Chris Martin and their produce-monikered daughter, Apple. The couple decided to put the townhouse on the market in February of 2005 in order to move to a safer building with a doorman – no doubt to help keep the paparazzi at bay.  The home ended up selling in June of ’05 for the bargain price of $6.995 million. 

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I found this location thanks to my go-to NYC stalking guide John’s Star Maps.  Gwyneth’s picturesque former townhome was built in 1899, is 2,800 square feet, and boasts a basement, 3.5 baths, a garden, a rooftop terrace and two washers and dryers.  Which begs the question – who does that much laundry??? LOL  You can view the home’s 2005 real estate listing here.  Gwyn’s house actually reminds me a lot of Kate Hudson’s New York pad which I blogged about a couple of weeks ago and is pictured above.  That’s somewhat ironic because Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson actually remind me a lot of each other, too. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Gwyneth’s former Greenwich Village home is located at 278 West Fourth Street.  She currently owns a 3,982 square foot condo in the River Lofts Condo building, located at 92 Laight Street in Tribeca.  Meryl Streep also lives in the same building. 

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The Object of My Affection

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The Object of My Affection is my least favorite of all the Jennifer Aniston movies.  I remember watching it in college and being thoroughly disappointed.  I mean, come on, it has to be one of the crappiest movies ever made.   But if we’re being honest here, has she ever made a good one?  LOL  But when the address of Jen’s sister’s house in The Object of My Affection  was listed in my new fave book Manhattan On Film: Walking Tours of Hollywood’s Fabled Front Lot, I just had to drag my boyfriend out to stalk it.  Good movie or bad, Jen’s still my number one girl!  🙂

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The picturesque brick townhouse showed up only once in the very beginning of The Object of My Affection, as the location where Jen’s wealthy sister and her husband, played by Allison Janney and Alan Alda, throw a lavish dinner party.  It is at this party that Jen meets Paul Rudd, a gay man who will soon become her roommate and the  ill suited “object of her affection”.  In the movie, Paul and his boyfriend are shown exiting the townhouse and arguing in the street on their way home.

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Not only was this townhouse used in The Object of My Affection, but it was also featured briefly in the Season Two episode of  Sex and the City entitled “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”.  In that ep, in order to take her mind off her recent break-up with Mr. Big, Miranda and the girls decide to take Carrie to a Yankees game.   On the way there they pick up Samantha, who is standing outside of the townhouse with her new boyfriend, James.  When I watched the episode recently I immediately recognized the building as The Object of My Affection  townhouse.  🙂  I get asked quite often how I recognize this stuff and my answer is that I have no idea.  LOL  When it comes to filming locations, for some reason I have a photographic memory.  For the life of me I can never remember where I’ve parked my car in a parking lot, but for some odd reason filming locations are forever branded on my brain.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Object of My Affection  house is located at 15 East 81st Street on New York’s Upper East Side.

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Harry’s New York Bar

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Every year while in New York, my boyfriend and I make it a point to stop into the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel located on 59th Street.  I love stepping inside the Park Lane’s beautiful lobby with its grand winding staircases, red antique rugs, and twinkling crystal chandeliers.  I don’t know what it is about the Park Lane that I like so much, as it is not the grandest of New York hotels.  Though I do believe it is the friendliest.  Despite once being owned by Leona Helmsley, aka the “Queen of Mean”, the hotel’s lobby is warm and inviting and the staff is extremely friendly.  Walking into the Park Lane feels more like walking into a friend’s home than a hotel.  I just love it!  The hotel was first owned by New York billionaire Harry Helmsley.  When he passed away in 1997, he left his entire $5.5 billion dollar fortune to his wife Leona.  Part of that fortune included the Park Lane Hotel.   After Harry’s death, Leona kept a duplex apartment at the Park Lane and would frequently be seen in the lobby and restaurant.  When Leona died, she left $12 million to her Maltese poodle named Trouble.  After it was made public that the dog was worth a fortune, Trouble started to receive death threats and security (for the dog) had to be hired at a cost of $100,000 per year!  LOL  I am not kidding. 

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 This year, on our last day in New York, I happened to poke my head into Harry’s, the Park Lane Hotel bar, to see if it looked like a cool place to grab a drink.  While poking around I struck up a conversation with a cocktail waitress who told me that the bar is somewhat of a celeb hang out.  So, of course, I dragged my parents and boyfriend back there later that night to grab a drink and do some star stalking.  🙂  Sadly, while stalking Harry’s we did not spot any celebs.  According to our cocktail waitress, though, both John Voight and Keanu Reeves had made an appearance at Harry’s the previous night.  Apparently John Voight is something of a regular and always visits Harry’s when he’s in town.  Unfortunately, as much as I begged her, our waitress couldn’t remember the names of the other celebs who had frequented Harry’s in the past.  New Yorkers crack me up – it seems that none of them really care all that much about celebrities.  LOL 

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Even though we didn’t spot any celebs, Harry’s was still a very cool place to grab a drink and I highly recommend stalking it.  With it’s dark wood paneling and long marble bar, Harry’s definitely evokes a feeling of Old New York and it was the perfect place to spend our last night in the Big Apple.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Harry’s New York Bar is located on the second floor of the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel which is situated at 36 Central Park South in New York.

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