Tag Archives: Tom Cruise

I’ve Got the Hippy Hippy Shake!

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I have been a fan of Tom C. Ruz  ever since my early teens and during that time Cocktail  was, of course, one of my very favorite movies.  So I was floored when I found the address of the bar Tom Cruise first worked at in the movie in a book I picked up just before my recent New York trip called Manhattan On Film: Walking Tours of Hollywood’s Fabled Front Lot.  So, while in New York last month, I of course dragged my boyfriend out to stalk the Cocktail  bar – also known as Baker Street Pub and Restaurant.  🙂

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At the time Cocktail  was filmed back in 1988, the space was occupied by a T.G.I. Friday’s Restaurant – the very first T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant, actually.  Friday’s was opened up in 1965 by Alan Stillman, a single New York perfume salesman and wannabe singer who was dying to meet the many stewardesses and models who lived in his Upper East Side neighborhood.  The solution to his single woes?  Buy an old dive bar on the corner of 1st Avenue and 63rd Street, dress it up with what would come to be known as the typical Friday’s decor, and hope that the ladies would follow.  The bar would soon became a smashing success.  So much so that only a week after its grand opening police had to be called in to control the lines outside!  The original Friday’s moved out of the space on 1st Avenue and 63rd Street about thirty years later and an Irish bar named Baker Street Pub and Restaurant moved in.

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Sadly, we didn’t get a chance to grab a drink while we were stalking Baker Street, but I did poke my head inside for a quick peek and it looks like a very cool place to grab a drink and a bite to eat.  🙂  And amazingly, even though Cocktail  was filmed over twenty years ago and the bar has since changed hands, it still looks almost exactly the same today as it did during filming – minus, of course, all of the T.G.I. Friday’s “flair”.  🙂  You can see interior photographs of the bar as it appears today on the Baker Street Pub website.  Supposedly an exact replica of the interior of the bar was built on a Toronto soundstage and all of the filming of Cocktail  took place there, but after watching the movie earlier today it is obvious that at least some filming did actually take place in the real Manhattan bar.  Interestingly enough, the bar named Cell Block that Tommy Boy worked at towards the middle of the movie was an actual Toronto jail that was dressed up to look like a Manhattan Night Club.  You can see pictures of the interior of the jail on MovieShotsLA.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Baker Street and Restaurant is located at 1152 1st Avenue on New York’s Upper East Side.  You can visit their website here.

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Billy’s Bakery

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 At the risk of looking like a total and complete dork (not to mention a fool!), I thought I’d post some pretty idiotic photographs that I took on my very first trip to New York.  At the time I was completely obsessed with Katie Holmes.  This was in December of 2005, in the pre-Suri days, before her Jackie O. transformation, back when she was known as Katie, not Kate.  A few months before my trip to New York, Katie was featured in a cover story for InStyle Magazine which chronicled her new single gal status, her life in Manhattan, and her favorite NYC hangouts.  Most of the photo shoot for the article took place in Chelsea at Katie’s favorite bakery and cupcakery, Billy’s – a place she frequented almost daily at the time.   As Tom once said about his wife, “She loves cupcakes, okay?  I mean the girl loves cupcakes.”  🙂  Well, I absolutely LOVED that InStyle  article.  So much so that my copy of that issue is still sitting on my bookshelf all these years later.  So, on my first trip to the big apple, I just HAD to drag my boyfriend out to Chelsea to stalk Katie’s fave cupcake maker.  And, while there, I also just had to recreate her photo shoot.  Yes, I am that big of a dork.  🙂 LOL

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The story behind Billy’s is actually quite an unusual one.  Billy Reece, a cupcake aficionado who idolized Martha Stewart, founded  Billy’s Bakery with two partners in December of 2003.   Billy started his baking career working at the ever-popular Magnolia Bakery in Greenwich for two years before quitting to begin his own baked goods venture. Billy’s Bakery became an overnight success.  Not long afterwards Billy Reece changed his name to Lauren Reece  and, thanks to some hormone treatments and a surgery, Billy ceased to be.  Shortly after that, Lauren sold her stake in Billy’s to her two co-founders, Marc and Wayne, and is now enjoying her new life  as a woman.  So, in a city where change seems to be the only constant, it’s only fitting that not even a popular cupcake bakery’s namesake could remain the same. 

But even without the original Billy at the helm, the small bakery has remained a success.  The owners are currently planning to expand their business with another location in the same neighborhood.  I can’t help but think that Katie may have had something to do with the shop’s blitz of success.  Even after she met Tom and moved back to L.A., Katie remained faithful to the bakery.  Billy’s not only supplied the cupcakes for Katie’s 27th birthday party at F.A.O. Schwartz in December of 2005, but they also reportedly made the cake for her 2006 wedding.  But Katie is certainly not Billy’s only celebrity fan.  Ethan Hawke, Mandy Moore, and Bungalow 8 club founder Amy Sacco are also fans of the neighborhood bakery.  Billy’s has also been featured on Queer Eye For the Straight Guy, MTV Diary Katie Holmes, The Today Show, MTV’s Boiling Point, the CBS Early Show, the Food Network’s Roker On The Road, and Martha Stewart’s television show Martha. 

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Billy’s Bakery is an adorable little cupcake shop and with its yellow painted brick walls and cute and homey decor, it looks like it came straight out of a kitchen advertisement from the 1940s.  I wanted to spend all day there. 🙂  But while the cupcakes were tasty, I have to say that they are just not as good as my, and SJP’s, New York fave Magnolia Bakery.  But I still highly recommend stalking Billy’s, as much for the homey ambiance as for the desserts.  Besides cupcakes, they also serve pies and cakes, which are supposed to be out of this world, as well.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Billy’s Bakery is located at 184 9th Avenue in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood.  You can visit their website here.

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Kansas City Barbeque – Back and Better Than Ever!

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I thought I’d take a little break today from my NYC blogging – and yes, I do have many more Manhattan filming locations to write about 🙂 – to do a little post about an old favorite of mine – Kansas City Barbeque in San Diego, or as it is more commonly known, the Top Gun Bar.  The restaurant, which suffered from a devastating fire on June 26th of last year, recently reopened this past November – just in time to serve up it’s annual free Thanksgiving dinner for active duty military.  And I had yet to stalk the place since it’s grand reopening.  So a few weeks ago, while in San Diego celebrating my best friend’s college graduation, I dragged my boyfriend out for a little post-fire stalking. 

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I am happy to report that despite the interior of the restaurant needing to be almost entirely redone due to smoke and fire damage, Kansas City Barbeque still looks pretty much the same as it did in Top Gun.  Some of the changes that were made – the bar area was remodeled and altered slightly, skylights were added to the dining room, the kitchen was entirely rebuilt, and new exterior awnings were installed.  But other than looking a bit shinier and newer, it’s still the same old Kansas City Barbeque we all knew and loved.  🙂  And I am very, very happy to report that much of the Top Gun memorabilia actually survived the fire, including Goose’s piano, which was actually owner Martin Blair’s childhood piano.

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Some items that were sadly ruined in June’s fire?  The many autographed headshots of celebs who had frequented KCBBQ in the past.   A few stars were kind enough to send in replacement pics, though, after being contacted by Martin after the fire.  How cool is that??  Brooke Shields, Andre Agassi, Richard Dean Anderson, a few Padres players, and Jerry Lewis all sent in new headshots to be placed on KCBBQ’s new walls.  Ostensibly missing from the headshot wall, though, is Tom Cruise, who was apparently contacted for a new pic, but has yet to send one in.  Personally I think that’s pretty darn crappy, especially since Maverick was the role that made him a star.  But, hey, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because, despite his couch-jumping antics and Pro-Scientology rants, I still believe that deep down Tommy is a really nice guy.  I just can’t help it.  🙂  I am guessing that Tom C. Ruz  is a pretty hard guy to get ahold of and maybe his publicist just isn’t giving him KCBBQ’s message.  So Tommy, if you’re out there, do the right thing and send your headshot to Kansas City Barbeque.  While you’re at it, thrown in one of Katie and Suri, as well.  🙂  Other stars who have frequented the legendary restaurant include Lorenzo Llamas, Dennis Rodman, and Dallas’  Charlene Tilton. 

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I highly recommend stalking KCBBQ, even if you are not a Top Gun  fan.  The bar has a great atmosphere and serves us some fabulous food – especially the French fries.  I ate an entire plate of them!  Not kidding.  🙂   

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

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Stalk It:Kansas City Barbeque is located at 610 W. Market Street in Downtown San Diego.

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Katie Holmes’ Building

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 After leaving Arrojo Studio, I marched my new Katie Holmes’ haircut right over to Katie Holmes’ apartment building to do some stalking.  I have long been obsessed with Katie, ever since the Dawson’s Creek  days, so I just had to stalk her New York City apartment while in town.  My boyfriend actually wanted to surprise me by locating Katie’s New York address all on his own, but after a few hours of searching he couldn’t come up with anything.  LOL  He’s just not that good of a stalker, I guess.  Isn’t that so cute, though!  Anyway, I had an easier time in locating her address – I just googled images of Katie Holmes in New York and this paparazzi video came up with her building’s name in clear view.  Katie is currently living in a loft in the upscale American Felt Building during her “All My Sons” Broadway run.  The American Felt Building is a former office building that was built in 1906 and is located in the East Village, one of my favorite parts of New York.  In 1984 the offices were converted into upscale lofts.  Tommy purchased the loft where Katie now resides back in 1985 and, interestingly enough, even lived there with ex-wife Nicole Kidman for a short time.  Apparently the building is no stranger to celebrity inhabitants.  According to this article, author Bret Easton Ellis (he wrote the novel American Psycho), some Stokes band-members, and former child actor and 80s popstar Martika (I used to LOVE the song “More Than You Know”!) have all lived in the building at one time or another.   

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There weren’t nearly as many paparazzi camped out in front of Katie’s building as I had imagined there would be.  I had seriously envisioned mass pandemonium outside of her place, but there were really only about 8 men with cameras on Katie patrol.  So of course I just had to talk to them.  🙂  I must say I was very impressed with the New York paps.  They were sooo incredibly nice!   All of the L.A. paparazzi I have encountered have been total jerks, but Katie’s paps were super friendly and talked to my boyfriend and me for a good twenty minutes.  When I first walked up to them, I asked if the building was in fact Katie Holmes’ place and one of them laughed and said “Are you a stalker or something?”  LOL  He couldn’t have called it better!  🙂  I asked the paps if Katie is pretty in person and they said that she definitely is and that both she and Tom are also very nice.  I was shocked to hear, though, that the real star of the family is Suri.  Apparently, it is the photos of Suri that bring in the most cash.  I was surprised hearing that as I really could care less about Suri!  LOL  I’d much rather see pictures of Katie to check out her clothes and view her latest haircut.  But I guess I am in the minority on that one.  LOL  🙂 

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On of the paps was especially nice to me, so I just had to take a picture with him.  He even let me hold his camera during the pic!  I’ve never, ever seen a camera quite so large or so heavy!  It was amazing!  You might be asking yourself why there is a large pink circle covering the pap’s face in the above pic.  LOL  He had asked that I not show his face on my blog, but not for reasons you might think.  He said he wasn’t really looking his best that day and if he had known I was going to take his picture he would have fixed his hair.  LOL  My boyfriend thought it was incredibly ironic that a paparazzi would be camera shy.  But he didn’t choose a career in the public eye, so he is allowed to be camera shy.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

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Stalk It: Katie lives in the American Felt Building which is located at 114 East 13th Street in New York City.

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Kansas City Barbeque Is Back In Business – Just In Time For Halloween!

This weekend, I took a little vacay down to San Diego with my family.  Of course, while there I had to do some stalking of the Top Gun Bar, aka Kansas City Barbeque, which sadly has been closed since June 26th of this year due to a major fire.  I was very curious to see what the restaurant looked like since the devastating fire took place and what progress, if any, had been made on the restoration of the property.

I was actually shocked to see that the restaurant actually looked pretty good!  I was expecting complete devastation, but I am happy to report that, from the outside, the place looks pretty much the same as it did before the fire, despite a few scorch marks. 

While we were outside taking photographs, one of the staff members walked over to talk with us.  He really could not have been nicer and he even showed us some photographs and newspaper articles about the fire.  And he gave us the good news that, while the restaurant probably won’t be open for regular business until mid-November, there will be a Halloween party held there on October 31st!  Not only is that great news, but it also allowed me to tie KCBBQ in with my Halloween theme for this month!  🙂 

He told us that the kitchen area, which is located towards the rear of the restaurant and which is where most of the fire damage occurred, has already been entirely rebuilt.  The interior seating area suffered mostly just smoke damage, and sadly much of the Top Gun  memorabilia was lost, including the juke box where Kelly McGillis plays “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” in the closing scene of the movie.  😦  But thankfully Goose’s piano was salvaged, as were most of the candid photographs taken by KCBBQ staff during the filming. 

The owners are asking for replacement memorabilia at this time.  They are looking for anything having to do with Top Gun, the military, Kansas City, or flying in general.  You can send any memorabilia you wish to donate to the address listed below.  They ask that you sign and date everything you donate. 

  I am glad to report, too, that through the disaster KCBBQ kept its sense of humor – at one point they even added the letter “D” to the their logo out front so that it read “Kansas City Barbequed”.  LOL  I truly can’t wait for this San Diego (and Hollywood, for that matter) landmark to re-open.  Until that time, if you happen to be in the area on Halloween, be sure to stop by KCBBQ.  Tickets are $20 per person, but include all the alcohol you can drink. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Kansas City Barbeque is located at 610 W. Market Street in San Diego.  The restaurant will hopefully re-open for regular business in mid-November.  For more information you can visit their website.

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Sad Day for Stalkers!

Sad news!!  Tony just posted a comment on my Top Gun Bar post letting me know that a fire destroyed Kansas City Barbeque, aka the Top Gun Bar, this past Thursday afternoon.  This has NOT been a good month for fires and filming locations – first Universal and now this.  😦  At approximately 2:15PM on Thursday, a fire broke out in an open fire pit in the kitchen area and quickly spread throughout the rest of the restaurant.  Even though firefighters had the blaze put out in twenty minutes, most of the restaurant had already been gutted.  The owners of Kansas City Barbeque did manage to save Goose’s piano, as well as some other Top Gun  memorabilia, but most of the restaurant is sadly gone.  They do plan to rebuild, but I can’t help feeling like a piece of movie history has been lost.  😦  Such a sad day for stalkers!! 

You can read the whole story on the fire here and here.  You can also watch a news video which shows footage of the restaurant here.

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Tom C. Ruz

During high school I was completely and totally head-over-heels for Tom Cruise.  Let me clarify that I now think the man is an absolute loon, but back in the day I thought Tom Cruise was the bees knees.  🙂  Each week in my high school Spanish class we were assigned three 5 minute conversations, to be conducted outside of class entirely in Spanish.  We were required to keep detailed logs of when, where and with whom these conversations took place.  My girlfriends and I would always sign at least one conversation each week with the code name “Tom C. Ruz” in honor of our movie star crush.  Looking back, I am pretty sure our teacher knew exactly what we were up to, but we thought we were hilarious.  🙂

So when I found out, while browsing the Internet this week, that the Tom Cruise movie Valkyrie – under the code name “Rubicon” – was being filming at a church in Pasadena on Thursday, my inner-high-school-girl forced me to do some stalking.  I was also really hoping to spot Katie Holmes, who has really been growing on me ever since she cut her hair.  🙂  So, at around lunch time on Thursday, I headed to the Valkyrie  set.  Between the hours of 12 and 1PM is usually the best time to stalk a film set, as the actors usually break for lunch around that time and you have a good chance of spotting them walking from the set to their trailers.

I am very sad to report that even though I spent a good 4 hours on the set!!!!!!, I did not get to see Tom OR Katie (who was there WITH Suri).  😦  Apparently, Tom never comes outside during film shoots.  One of the crew members told me that he wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Ruz had an underground tunnel built from the church to his trailer so that he wouldn’t have to set foot outside!  LOL  All was not lost, though, as I did get to see Bill Nighy, who walked right past me on his way to lunch.   Bill played musician Billy Mack in the movie Love Actually, one of my favorite romantic films of all time.  Bill was very friendly and even said hi and saluted as he walked by (he was in military costume at the time).  🙂

Even though there was no TomKat sighting, it was still super exciting to be on the set.  And let me tell you, it was quite a production!  There was even an on-set barista, making mocha’s and frappaccino’s for the crew all day long.  🙂  Most of the crew was extremely nice and friendly and I even got to snap some pictures of the filming, which is usually a big no-no on movie sets.  I was surprised at how laid-back the set actually was, being that the biggest movie star in the world was there. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Westminster Presbyterian Church is located at 1757 N. Lake Avenue in Pasadena.  The church has been around since 1928 and is a frequent location for weddings.  The movie American Wedding  filmed just across the street froom Westminster Presbyterian at Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church, which is located at 1879 N. Lake Avenue, on the corner of Lake and Woodbury.  The picture to the left is of Saint Elizabeth’s.

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