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Back to the Park

March 19, 2010

The weather in L.A. has been so nice that Maya and I have been hitting up the park every day after school. It’s a win-win situation for all involved…she is entertained for at least an hour with minimal effort by me, and we both get some much-needed fresh air.

This week I decided to change things up by going to a park closer to home. The “new” park is better because they have more seating (imperative), it is cleaner (I haven’t seen any dirty socks lying around), and parking is better (always a plus in L.A.).  But it still has its share of scary park moms, bratty kids in designer outfits, and something else I haven’t seen at the other park…paparazzi.

Maya and I were swinging on an enormous tire swing, just minding our own business, when all of a sudden we saw a man with a long-lens camera approach. Before I could wonder what he was doing, 5 more men with cameras appeared out of nowhere and started flashing away. Not even seconds later, there were 10 men taking pictures!

So I started looking around the nearly empty park (it was 5:30), trying to figure out who on earth they were taking pictures of, but I couldn’t find anybody out of the ordinary! Annoying kid stealing another annoying kid’s shovel? Check. Gorgeous mom in a very un-park like dress? Check. Baby having a meltdown over a fallen Ritz cracker?  Check.  An abundance of nannies? Check. Check. Check.

I was scanning away, not noticing anybody worthy of a swarm of paparazzi when all of a sudden I saw this little blonde girl playing in the sand a few feet away from us.  So I look a little closer, and sitting next to her on the floor was someone who looked a little bit like Jessica Alba. 

Today I Googled “Jessica Alba at the park,” found a whole bunch of pictures of their afternoon…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1258838/Jessica-Alba-treats-sweet-angel-Honor-Marie-trip-park-charity-trip.html

…and confirmed that it was in fact Jessica Alba.  The weird thing was that in person she looked so young and normal!  Had there not been a bunch of people taking her picture, I wouldn’t have even noticed her. 

You can barely see them, but I took a picture of the paparazzi from my iPhone when Maya and I were leaving.  By that time there were only a few photographers left and they seemed irritated that I was taking their picture. 

A tiny bit ironic, yes?

I actually felt kind of sad that Jessica Alba couldn’t even go to the park without attracting a ton of attention.  I especially felt kind of sorry for her little girl.  I mean, I am guilty of looking at people.com as much as the next person, but who really wants to see pictures of a celebrity at the park? 

What are your thoughts?

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33 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2010 9:09 pm

    First of all, AMEN to the glorious weather! So glad that someone has been enjoying it!
    I must admit that the whole paparazzi stalking celebrity kids (and celebrities that are displaying their kids) is totally weird and rather disgusting. While I did once see a B-rated movie actress with her child at a museum, I was more embarrassed that I knew who she was than anything else.
    I’m not sure if I truly pity and/or feel much sympathy for the celebrities. I can’t decide if it’s the chicken-or-egg phenomena – do they feed on the media just as much as the media (and public) feeds on them?

  2. March 19, 2010 11:03 pm

    I guess once someone becomes a big celeb, they gain something as well as lose somwthing. You win some and lose some.

  3. March 19, 2010 11:31 pm

    When I lived in San Diego, Gwyneth Paltrow would come thru the yoga studio I practiced at daily. A very dirty hippy but excellent world-class studio. In person, she is a pretty woman, but she’s not as glamorous as you’d think from when you see her all dolled up. Nor is her yoga perfect nor is her body. Which is kinda refreshing! And the papparrzi would swarm outside the studio, it was surreal.

    And thx for the comment you left me re Kelly the real housewife situation. Totally agree. Live and let live and rock it if you can 🙂

  4. March 20, 2010 2:00 am

    I just checked out the link in your blog. It’s a real pity that JB (or any other celebrity) cannot even play with her little one, without blow-by-blow pictures and reporting of the day!

    PS. Thanks for stopping by at my husband’s blog, it was his first attempt at writing and he’s totally enjoying the comments

  5. March 20, 2010 3:44 am

    Good post. Very post. First of all, I cannot believe you live in L.A. I feel I would LOVE to live there. I am sure it must be uber-expensive though compared to Canadian cities..still..
    Anyway, I was thinking about this recently with the whole James-Bullock debacle. Like, some of the entertainment shows were saying Jesse never said “he was sorry” in his public statement,etc…and I thought ‘why the hell is our business?…he ought to say sorry to his wife and family – but why is it our business?”…it almost angered me. I don’t know, I just find it ridiculous when celebrities feel they need to acknowledge the public on that stuff…I understand the public is what gives them their money, but still. La-la land is exactly that…like their warped in some kind of weird world where they feel it all revolves around them.

  6. March 20, 2010 4:30 am

    I agree that the whole paparazzi thing is pathetic!

    It’s sad that they can’t even enjoy something as simple as playing in the park with their child.

    On the other hand… I think it’s pretty cool that she at the same park at you 🙂

  7. March 20, 2010 4:51 am

    Oh I completely agree. You know, I do love to read celebrity tabloids, but I’m very disturbed by the paparazzi. Especially since nowadays the children of famous parents are being so sought after. To not be able to just hang at the park with my daughter without feeling like I’m being stalked sounds terrible. Plus, I never look appropriate enough during the day to have my pic taken. It’s like Tim Gunn’s fashion nightmare over here.

  8. March 20, 2010 5:54 am

    I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to not be able to ordinary things. I know some people argue that they knew what they were getting into, but regardless, it’s still sad that these photographers are so ruthless. $$ makes people do those kind of things, I guess.

  9. March 20, 2010 6:14 am

    I feel bad for these celebrities, but there are many celebs too that don’t appear as often in the public eye and steer clear o publicity. I really think some celebrities live for that shit (paris hilton or LiLo, anyone?)

  10. Danielle permalink
    March 20, 2010 6:54 am

    I think being a celebrity comes with the “responsibility” of having your picture taken…but not at the park with your daughter 😦 I really don’t understand the fascination of watching celebrities doing normal things?

  11. March 20, 2010 7:10 am

    I can’t even relate…at all! AT ALL. gosh the things you see in your day to day are amazing in LA!

    poor Jessica. just wants to play with her family at the park

  12. March 20, 2010 7:21 am

    This may sound cynical, but maybe she wanted her pic taken. I know I should feel sorry for her, but I don’t think I do. 😦

    Bye the way, if you hit the park everyday, you are now a park mom.

  13. March 20, 2010 7:44 am

    I am totally guilty of reading celebrity gossip WAY more often than is necessary. I don’t feel bad for Jessica Alba (since it sort of comes with the territory), but I do feel bad that their children are hounded by such aggressive people on a daily basis. It just doesn’t seem fair… but then again, they could always move away from LA or NY, you know?

  14. March 20, 2010 7:45 am

    woot for nice weather and i think youre amazing for taking maya everyday (or darn near it). i wish my parents had been hands-on in any way like that

    some celebrities i feel bad for but not jessica alba. she’s always seemed to me like she wants all the attention all the time.

  15. March 20, 2010 8:14 am

    I feel bad for those celebrities when they get swarmed like that. I guess that comes with the fame though, you win some you lose some. I’d be so annoyed if my children couldn’t have any privacy. Enjoy your weekend.

  16. fitandfortysomething permalink
    March 20, 2010 10:19 am

    only in LA huh!
    i have mixed feelings…..you are famous unfortunately people follow you.
    i know it could be really tough but it kind of comes with the territory….
    enjoy the beautiful weather-we are so lucky!

  17. Susan permalink
    March 20, 2010 10:36 am

    I’m not sure how to feel about the paparazzi thing. While it’s an element of the business that they made a choice to get into (if you’re a flight attendent an element of that you must accept is that you’ll rarely be home for long), it does seem unfair that they can’t do anything without a million people knowing. Oh, what difficult lives…

  18. Med permalink
    March 20, 2010 11:04 am

    That is super sad for Jessica Alba’s daughter. However, if you mention this story to Anthony I have a feeling he will suddenly be volunteering to take Maya to the park quite often 🙂

  19. March 20, 2010 12:29 pm

    Haha! That is crazy!!! And I agree that it is sad for the daughter. Celebrities I don’t feel have a right to complain about it for themselves since it is part of the job (as long as its not crossing a line) but how it affects the kids is upsetting.

  20. March 20, 2010 3:05 pm

    Isn’t this weather gorgeous?

    I don’t know how celebrities deal with paparazzi. Many of them live in Los Angeles so people think they are “asking for it,” but where are they supposed to live? This is where their work is 95% of the time! She just wants to go to the park! I agree that it’s hardest for the kid. Her daughter isn’t a star. She didn’t sign up for all these cameras. Lots of people must like these pictures of celebrities doing normal things because they keep increasing. Poor kids!

  21. March 20, 2010 4:12 pm

    I feel bad for her too. It’s one thing when the paparazzi are harassing the celebrity, but when they have kids? That sucks.

    At the same time, I do not know why we value what celebrities do and think so much! It’s scary!

  22. March 20, 2010 4:26 pm

    the paparazzi are weird. but it is a sign that she is “successful,” and i’m sure she appreciates that. most of the time they’re telling me to get out of the way so they can get their shot. not exactly a morale booster!

  23. March 20, 2010 5:42 pm

    I don’t get the celeb fascination (except Lady Gaga. I want to know what she is doing at all times.)

    but seriously i dont even recognize most celebs on the street. they’re normal people too, no?

  24. March 20, 2010 5:51 pm

    Oh WOW. Very cool that you saw Jessica Alba but not so cool that she can’t even go to the park with her child without being photographed non-stop. I imagine that must get super old, super fast.

  25. Leah permalink
    March 20, 2010 6:46 pm

    That’s so crazy!

    It is a little sad that she can’t even take her kid to the park, but I guess that’s part of the deal. If you want to be a celebrity you just have to adjust.
    But really, there had to be something else that was more exciting than Jessica Alba at the park for them to take pictures of.

  26. March 20, 2010 6:54 pm

    I always get a good giggle out of the magazine articles entitled “celebrities: they’re just like us”, but I suppose when it comes down to it, they really are. Away from the glamour and glitz, they do things like ordinary people.

    It could be crazy annoying having to deal with paparazzi all the time though. I honestly don’t know how they manage to keep their cool most of the time; I’d be throwing fits for sure.

  27. March 20, 2010 7:39 pm

    That’s so funny. Jenn and I were talking about this topic while driving back home! We saw this bigger-than-life-size poster of Kimora on a building, and was talking abt how freaky it will be to be a celebrity known by all sorts of strangers.
    Fame comes with a price…

  28. March 21, 2010 1:56 am

    Yikes. It’s stories like that that make me very grateful that I will never have to worry about that when we have kids. How initially frightening and eventually jading it must be for celebrity kids to grow up under such an environment. Yes, ironic about the paparazzi being annoyed at having their pics taken. I don’t have much respect for their profession.

    I’m glad you had a good time in the clean park, though! The weather has been goooorgeous here, too! 🙂

  29. March 21, 2010 9:35 am

    More than Jessica Alba my heart goes out to the kid ,Simple pleasures are such a big deal for them .

  30. March 21, 2010 2:00 pm

    The beautiful weather is making me want to spend all day, everyday outside! (Who needs work, right, lol!)

    I definitly feel bad for Jessica’s daughter. She’s so young…too young to really understand what’s going on, which might actually be a good thing.

  31. March 21, 2010 4:03 pm

    Maybe Maya and Honor could be friends??? haha

  32. March 21, 2010 7:06 pm

    I wonder why Jessica’s daughter is named Honor. Probably a regular name out there? Through the park pics, I got to see your park. I guess Maya didn’t notice all the excitement, eh?

  33. March 23, 2010 4:00 pm

    The worst part about this, is I saw this picture on People.com and clicked through, and it took me to a VIDEO of “Jessica Alba and her daughter in the park.” I was so disturbed I closed the browser immediately. Then, I started to feel badly about all the times I’m unknowingly contributing to someone thinking it’s ok to take video of a mother and her daughter in the park. Creepy.

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