As I mentioned in my previous post, there was some extra buzz at this year's NY Antiquarian Book Fair due to a number of celebrity sightings. I know there were a number of important and influential scholars, authors, curators, etc. in attendance and I'm sorry that I didn't recognize more! I was, however, all over the pop-culture 'heavy hitters'. Below are my top five celeb sightings from the fair.
John Larroquette was the first familiar face I saw early on Friday (his face is etched in my mind from watching Night Court as a kid). Mr. Laroquette is a known collector and was also present at last year's fair. He spent quite a bit of time wandering the aisles but I'm unsure if he left with any purchases. He is currently starring in a Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man.
Lucy Liu enjoyed the fair two days in a row, attending on both Friday and Saturday, and spent quite a bit of time on the show floor on both occasions. Many will recognize Ms. Liu from her past roles in Kill Bill and Charlie's Angels or from her current work on the tv drama Southland, but people may be surprised to hear about her work outside of Hollywood. A native New Yorker, Ms. Liu attended Stuyvesant High School and later majored in Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. In addition to acting, Ms. Liu is also an artist and a singer. She has been a U.S. ambassador for UNICEF since 2005 and has done much work to raise awareness about the plight of children around the world.
3. Chelsea Clinton
Chelsea Clinton made an appearance at the fair on Saturday. (I'm only a few years younger than Ms. Clinton and I've always had a lot of respect for her, so this was pretty exciting for me.) She browsed the fair alongside her husband, unfazed by the boot she wore on her injured foot, and ended up leaving with a package. I wasn't able to determine what she purchased, but she did look taken with several of the books in Donald Heald's booth. Currently Ms. Clinton has been working as a correspondent on NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams, a news program, in addition to her continued work with the Clinton Foundation.
2. Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono's presence on Saturday truly set the fair abuzz with excitement (after all, it's Yoko). She certainly could not be missed with dark sunglasses only partially obscuring her iconic face and a straw hat fashionably askew on her head. Ms. Ono spent quite a bit of time at the fair, even stopping in Butterfield's cafe for a little rest, and it appeared that she left the fair happily—her companion's arms were filled with purchases. Ms. Ono is a fan of art and artists' books.
1. Steve Martin As a very dapper looking gentleman passed my booth and entered the fair, my heart skipped a beat—Steve Martin! Writer, comedian, actor, musician, Tweeter extraordinaire...Mr. Martin is a multitalented force of whom I have been a fan for as long as I can remember (when I was very young my Dad used to call us "two wild and crazy kind of guys"). I had heard he was a collector but seeing him in person, enthralled by the same thing I am—books—was pretty awesome. Mr. Martin browsed through quite a few booths before making a purchase and posting a photo of himself with a caption that read: "Dogged by paparazzi at antiquarian book fair in Manhattan, trying to catch photo of me with A. J. Ayers', "Language, Truth & Logic."" Thank you for making my day, Mr. Martin! Did you see or sell to anyone famous or interesting at the fair? Tell us more in the comments section!