Think of 12 hungry cats eyeing a single mousehole.
I know the time of this photo as I heard a commotion outside when it was taken. The papps had jumped into action, racing into the street and calling her name. It was a mini-frenzy. And while I know these two are used to attention, I can't help but think it still must be a bit scary.
These two are still in the salad days of their relationship. They've moved into a new apartment. For any other couple, this would be a blissful time of exploring your neighborhood, taking a stroll, checking out local stores, striking up conversations with neighbors. And for most people the West Village is the perfect place to do just that. It's one of the few neighborhoods in New York that really feels like a community. You recognize your neighbors, know the shop clerks, stop to pat the hundreds of local dogs.
It's also a neighborhood filled with celebrities - Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Brodderick, Liv Tyler, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jodie Foster, Sandra Bernhardt, Julianne Moore, Gretchen Mol, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, and Hilary Swank are but a handful of celebrities who have also been West Villagers. And for the most part, they feel comfortable here because they can live with a fair amount of anonymity. Sure, you may do a double take when they pass by or whisper to a friend "hey, that's (fill in the blank). " And there have been plenty of nights when I've seen papparazzi outside the Waverly Inn, waiting for a celebrity to arrive or depart.
But I've never seen papparazzi bullying someone at their own home. It's as if they are holding these two hostage. Who would want this—photographers shouting at you, walking directly in front of you every time you leave your house? Then have those photos posted all over the world, where your clothes, your attitude, your slightest expression is subject to countless opinions.
Now, I'll admit that US Weekly can be a tasty treat on an afternoon at the beach, while soaking in the tub after a tough workout, or while waiting for a flight. But now I realize even more that if we stopped buying these tabloids, the papparazzi -- stalkerazzi -- won't have a market to sell their photos.
So I'm going cold turkey. (Okay, maybe I'll buy the issue of award show fashions - that's a public event.) But I can now see first hand how irritating it must be to be relentlessy attacked.
Welcome to the neighborhood, Justin and Jennifer. Hope I'll be able to bump into you at the dog park soon without worrying that some camera man is hiding behind the corner, waiting to catch a photo of you scooping poop.