Imagine carrying loads of shopping bags while pushing aside walls of doe-eyed tourists, teenage Elle Woods'
carrying baby Bruisers, and cell phone yelling brokers in Armani power suits. When three strangers from nowhere decide to casually stroll in your way, you lose patience and BAM!, you shove the middle man aside.
Only a few blocks later, you turn around and realize that you pushed third baseman for the Yankees Alex Rodriguez
, who was slowly walking and chatting with two much shorter businessmen. This unfortunate incident actually occurred to one embarrassed New Yorker. Yet in this same city, anyone can catch Ethan Hawke
strolling by the subway, Maggie Gyllenhaal
chatting with friends in front of The New School, or Sarah Jessica Parker
taking out the garbage from her West Village pad. After all, New York isn't LA where paparazzi hide behind bushes to catch a money shot.
If so, where do these celebrities flock to everyday, besides Starbucks or Equinox for a quick workout? Check out the top ten places to view your favorite stars. These sites are by no means the only places celebs go to in Manhattan. However, if you're curious, camera-free, and calling up your friends for a new place to check out, than these locations are ready for the picking. Remember, no gawking, autograph collecting, or shoving for a view.
Angels & Kings
500 East 11th Street
With Pete Wentz
co-owning this exclusive bar, it's no wonder Ashlee Simpson
is often seen here chatting with Lower East Side groupies. When not catching the young lovers smooching, local residents can participate in karaoke night with guest judges, such as Tommy Hilfiger
and Lydia Hearst. Kate Bosworth
and Josh Hartnett
have reportedly partied here, and our guess is it's for the "Too Famous To Get Fully Dress" ($11), a lime-infused highball.
660 Madison Avenue
Manolos, Fendi, and Prada, oh my! You cannot make a visit to Madison Avenue without picking up the latest designer threads and Louboutin stilettos at this fashion heaven. The warehouse sales are not only legendary, but every star in town makes a pilgrimage to this self-described "celebrity hangout." Victoria Beckham
, Halle Berry
, and Chloe Sevigny
, are only a few of the many style icons that stock up on current fashion trends.
415 Lafayette Street
Butter was originally a restaurant-nightclub hybrid only frequented by wealthy and plastic-carrying college students in the West Village. Ever since co-owner Scott Sartiano began dating Ashley Olsen
in 2004, this window-less hot spot has become "it girl" central. Paris Hilton
and Lindsay Lohan
had a brawl here in the ladies room, Nicole Richie
was looking chic with cocktails, Beyonce
was recently spotted with her engagement ring, and Mary-Kate Olsen
enjoys grinding on the dance floor. Be prepared for $12 martinis and not-so-friendly waiters for a chance to see Hilary Duff
or Hayden Panettiere
222 West 23rd Street
Speaking of it girls, you can't spend a night in Chelsea unless you stay at its infamous hotel where '60s style icon Edie Sedgwick
nearly burned it down and Sid Vicious
' girlfriend Nancy Spungen was found dead in 1978. Today, Anthony Kiedis
of The Red Hot Chili Peppers
, as well as The Libertines
are known to stay here. Uma Thurman
, Ethan Hawke
, and Rosario Dawson
reportedly still stop by even after filming Chelsea Walls
in 2001. Ex-husband and wife possibly bumping into each other? How awkward!
18 9th Avenue
No hotel in the city has had more celebrity sightings and scandals in recent years like Hotel Gansevoort. Brad Pitt
& Angelina Jolie
were caught making out by the poolside; Gisele Bundchen
and Leonardo DiCaprio
also enjoyed some kisses shortly before their breakup in 2005. Jessica Simpson
was also seen attending a party without her wedding ring, quickly leading to her divorce with Nick Lachey
that same year. Other sightings include Jay-Z
, Lindsay Lohan
, Kelly Ripa
, and Nicky Hilton
. Is it possible that Nicky may lose her inheritance for attending a non-Hilton hotel? Highly doubtful, but it doesn't hurt to dream!
35 West 57th Street, 3rd Floor
The J. Sisters of Brazil aren't just the pioneers of the Brazilian wax. This group of fabulous women has been teaching the art of personal grooming for 21 years. A large following of stars make appointments to visit the Vanderbilt townhouse where the sisters are readily available for individual eyelash treatments, oxygen facials, body bleach, and the good ol' fashion French manicure. Gwyneth Paltrow
, Tyra Banks
and Kimora Lee Simmons
all come here to be beautified, without jumping on a jet plane down south.
Milk and Honey
134 Elthridge Street
This bar is so exclusive that their phone number changes frequently! Many sources claim that it's one of the most popular low-key hangouts for celebrities to have a drink with friends. However, be warned. This bar is invitation only. A hi-tech surveillance door monitors who enters, and name-dropping is strictly prohibited. It's even been suggested that Quentin Tarantino
has been banned for undisclosed reasons. If you somehow manage to get in for a blood-orange screwdriver, avoid star-searching indefinitely or forever be slashed from the guest list.
105 Hudson Street
Nobu, named after 59-year-old Japanese owner Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, was originally a Beverly Hills sushi shop. With the encouragement of actor Robert De Niro
, Matsuhisa became the emperor of his own restaurant empire with 15 outlets all over the world. However, it's his Tribeca chain where celebrities, including Madonna
, Mariah Carey
, Tom Cruise
and Cameron Diaz
, to name a few, come for yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño, king salmon, squid pasta, and for dessert, Bento Box made with warm chocolate soufflé cake, shiso syrup, white chocolate sauce and green tea ice cream. Kate Winslet
said it best: "The food at Nobu can be described in two ways-quite simply heaven on earth and sex on a plate!"
Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon
825 Washington Street
If you're lucky enough to have $500 for a haircut, perhaps a visit to Serge Normant will do your hair some good. After all, he is the top most celebrity-demanding hairstylist who travels all over the world just to assist in photo shoots. Sarah Jessica Parker, Julia Roberts
, Julianne Moore
, and Renee Zellweger
have all had their hair turned into soft tresses by the Frenchman. Be patient, Normant has been known to be backed up two months in advance.
Susan Ciminelli Day Spa
754 Fifth Avenue
Where do supermodels like Naomi Campbell
, Linda Evangelista
, and Cindy Crawford
get flawless skin? Right on Fifth Avenue where Susan Ciminelli, also known as "the seaweed queen," caters to numerous clients, including Jennifer Lopez
, and Dita Von Teese
for Belgian rose mineral salt scrubs, hot stone massages, and pore cleansing treatments. Diddy may claim that Proactive saved his skin, but his visits to Ciminelli's pricey spa may raise some questions.
Story by Stephanie Nolasco
Starpulse contributing writer