Spots For Potential Celebrity Sightings In New York City

David Huang /
David Huang / | © Culture Trip
samantha-obrochta

New York City is the major East Coast hub for entertainment. Hundreds of celebrities roam the streets, and there are many ways to go about seeing them. Thankfully, you don’t have to go to somewhere fancy or private to catch a glimpse of your favorite celebs.

1. Rockefeller Center

Building, Cathedral, Park

Rockefeller Centre
© Lex van Doorn / Alamy Stock Photo

Rockefeller Center is known for the massive gold statue, ice skating during the holidays, and the TV show 30 Rock, but this building also houses NBC shows, so if you stand outside of the building long enough, you are bound to see a celebrity leave the premises. You’re even allowed to walk around inside (but not past the security turnstiles). It’s easy to see members of The Roots, the Saturday Night Live cast, and other famous folk exiting and entering. Often they are happy to pose for selfies and sign autographs.

David Huang /

Live TV tapings

On sites like 1iota and Showclix you can get free tickets to upcoming tapings for shows such as The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon or The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. These tickets go very fast, and sometimes have to be reserved over a month in advance, so make sure to follow your favorite show on Twitter to see when tickets will be released.

Broadway show

More often than not, a Broadway show will feature a celebrity or two. While tickets can get really expensive, there are rush, lotteries and standing-room spots for almost every show. The stage door greeting is a tradition many stars take part in, as a way to say thank you to the fans who came to see the show. After the curtain closes, and before you head home, walk to the stage door (usually right near the entrance or down the closest alley) and get an autograph on your playbill.

Film premieres

While New York City may not have as many film premieres as Los Angeles or London, it still hosts a few. It’s difficult to find out what is being filmed when, but if you’re savvy enough and search Twitter for posts about upcoming premieres, you can at least go as a fan and stand by the red carpet. There are many film festivals throughout the year, including the New York Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival, that have red carpets, as well.

David Huang /

Brooklyn Heights

Head to the swankiest part of Brooklyn and walk around until you spot a star. There’s a long list of celebrities who own property in Brooklyn Heights. It’s the neighborhood that borders Brooklyn Bridge Park, and it has the best views of lower Manhattan, so it’s no wonder why many celebs settle down there. In Brooklyn Heights, it isn’t hard to bump into famous people at the grocery store or in the dog park.

Airports

Celebrities need to enter and exit the airport the same way as everyone else, and the airports in New York City (and New Jersey) are spots they are most likely to fly into. It’s probably best not to bother a celebrity as he or she is trying to navigate an airport, especially after a long flight, but if you see a pack of paparazzi flashing their cameras, you know there’s a famous person somewhere in the vicinity.

Film sets

While a lot of television shows and films set in New York Cityaren’t actually filmed there, many are. For those who want to know who’s filming and where, On Location Vacations has the daily hook up. Sometimes it’s possible to even walk through while filming is taking place, if the crew doesn’t mind additional extras.

David Huang /

2. Chelsea Market

Market, American

Chelsea Market, Manhattan, New York
© Alberto Paredes / Alamy Stock Photo
One of the chicest parts of the city is Chelsea Market—a beautiful, covered space that feels like a farmers’ market but with permanent eateries and stores. This area is popular not only for tourists, but for celebrities too. Inside the building lies ‘The YouTube Space’, a place for creators to make videos, meet up for networking happy hours and hold informational panels. Take a look at the schedule; there are often famous YouTubers at the space for events, which are totally free to the public.

The streets

You can be in any part of New York City at any time and run into a famous face, so it’s worth it to just walk around the city and check out shops that interest you—you never know who will be there. Remember that there are unspoken rules when it comes to approaching someone and asking for a photo or autograph: don’t bother them if they’re eating a meal, if they’re wearing headphones, if they’re talking on the phone or if they’re in the middle of shooting a scene!

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