The People You Meet on the Street

One of the cool things about living in New York is, occasionally, you get to run into some pretty cool celebrities. So far this year, I’ve walked by Ted Allen (Queer Eye, Top Chef), and Richard Schiff (West Wing, my dad’s doppelganger). I saw one of my favorite comedians, Andy Samberg, on the subway. Then to top everything off, while doing some grocery shopping, I ended up standing in line behind the one and only, Jerry Seinfeld.

Yesterday’s encounter was a bit different. I didn’t see a movie star or even some lame internet celebrity. Yesterday was different because it isn’t every day that you walk by a world leader, even more so a Jewish one.

Here’s the story:

I’m walking on the street with the “accountant to the stars,” Danielle Klapper (she works at MJL on the side). I’m ranting about the quality of Domino’s pizza. She most probably isn’t listening. All of a sudden, she interrupts me, stops a man on the street and says, “Excuse me, but are you former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert?”

Olmert is apparently my neighbor. Surrounded by security guards who don’t seem particularly happy that we have drawn attention to him, Olmert is walking home, carrying his groceries. Sadly, Olmert is living in New York right now to treat his prostate cancer. Thankfully, two weeks ago he had successful surgery to remove the tumor. I gotta tell you though, the guy looked pretty good for someone who just came off of surgery. He had a nice beer belly going and everything.

Here are the pictures of me wondering why Olmert couldn’t wear an undershirt and Danielle hyperventilating more than a 12 year old girl meeting Joe Jonas.


So I had a world leader at my disposal. I could have asked the man anything. “What did you think of Bibi’s speech?” “Have you been following this whole Iran thing?” “You don’t actually like Dubya, do you?”

Well, to paraphrase the great Golda Meir, I never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Instead of showing my intellectual fortitude, while walking away, I look back at Olmert, seeing him carrying his groceries, and say, “Oh by the way, there is a much cheaper grocery store a couple blocks away. The place you went to is really expensive.”

He smirked and walked away.


Discover More

The Most Essential Kitchen Gadgets for Jewish Cooking

For everything from chicken soup to latkes, we can't live without these useful tools.

CRISPR, the Eclipse and Rabbi Soloveitchik

The fact that we can even think about changing genes to let blind people see is an incredible achievement in and of itself

When The History of Anti-Semitism and Racism Come Together

How the grandchild of Holocaust survivors and mother of an African American navigates the history of hate.