Encounter at Farpoint & 45th: THE GREATEST MOMENT EVER

It was my last full day in New York. My plans hadn’t worked out and truth be told, I was feeling pretty cranky. I walked down to 5th and…

Wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. The story actually starts on my FIRST day in New York. My dad and I went out for dinner and as we were walking home, I saw this poster:

And I got really excited. Because I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am a grade-A nerd who LOVVVVVES Star Trek: The Next Generation. So the thought of Captain Jean-Luc Picard–so deliciously stern but fair!–in the same city as me…well, I got excited. And when I get excited, I start scheming.

And I do so out loud and in public. Sometimes on Facebook. Which I guess is the same thing.

Anyway. I figured that, since Manhattan is only about twelve miles long, I was BOUND to run into Patrick Stewart eventually. But honestly, I’d made the stalking-Sir-Patrick-Stewart joke a few times before, including once when he was in Chicago, and I wasn’t any more serious about it this time than any time before.

And then.

So this brings me back to where I started: It was my last full day in New York. My plans hadn’t worked out and, truth be told, I was feeling pretty cranky. I walked down to 5th and across to Radio City and 30 Rockefeller plaza to live my Liz Lemon life & check out the view from the top of the building. I paid my twenty bucks, looked at New York from way up high, took some pictures and got hit on by a security guard. One invented husband later,  I started the long meander back home.

I was walking down 45th street when I saw the marquis for A Life in the Theatre. Might as well take a picture, I thought. It’s as close to Patrick Stewart as I’m ever going to get.

But as I got closer to the theatre, I realised that I was stuck. There was a giant mass of people in front of me and a giant black SUV to my right, effectively keeping me from cutting around them via the street–unless I wanted to take my chances with traffic. I was trapped! TRAPPED! Behind a frizzy-haired wall of humanity. I wasn’t happy about it, but I decided to wait until they cleared out of my way.

After about two minutes, I realised what was going on: these people were getting autographs from T.R. Knight. Who is on Grey’s Anatomy. Who is a very, very tiny man, incidentally. And who is starring in the play with Patrick Stewart.

As he was whisked away down the street, I realised what was going on. I was at the stage door. I was at the stage door after a performance. And that meant…

Then the door opened. And I almost started to cry.

Patrick Stewart.

Patrick Motherfucking Stewart.

Sir Captain Professor Jean-Luc Picard Xavier.

I freaked out. And when I say that I want you to know that I really, really FAH-REAKED OUT. I felt like I was having a panic attack because this is basically my hero! And here’s right there!

My hands were shaking so hard I almost dropped my camera, and it was absolutely all I could do to keep taking pictures. As I was pushing my way through the crowd, I realised that I didn’t have a plan. The other people around me had playbills that he was signing; I had nothing. All I had was my camera, my wallet and my keys.

So I did.

Eye contact established. Hand out. I said something along the lines of “I just wanted to say that I think you’re awesome.”

Patrick Stewart took my hand in a double-handed handshake. He looked in my eyes. And then, in that wonderful voice, he said:

“Aren’t you a LOVELY thing?”

And then I died.

I walked away so dizzy and lightheaded that I thought I was going to pass out. I made a couple of overexcited phone calls which consisted of little more than me yelping “CAPTAIN PICARD CAPTAIN PICARD BLARRRGGHHH OH MY GOD!” until I dropped my phone in the street.

And that is the story of the greatest moment of my life.

In retrospect, I really wish that I had something for him to sign or that I’d asked someone to take a picture of me standing with him. But honestly, I’m amazed that I kept my shit together enough to form a sentence. I don’t think I had the capacity to also talk to a stranger.

I don’t really remember how I found my way home, but I did. And I immediately took to the internet.

And there you have it. Now if I ever feel bad about myself, I just think “Patrick Stewart thinks I’m a LOVELY thing,” and goddamn if that doesn’t make me feel fine as all get-out. Because if Captain Picard thinks you’re lovely, you know it must be true. A starship captain would never lie.

And neither would I, which is how you know I mean it when I say:

4 thoughts on “Encounter at Farpoint & 45th: THE GREATEST MOMENT EVER

  1. i love the pictures!! for shaking hands & out of body feelings you got some amazingly good shots of him! i’m super jealous. but now at least i can live vicariously through you. and don’t get creeped out if the next time i see you i touch your hand. the hand that touched Patrick Stewart. totally normal.

  2. Aw, I loved reading your encounter with him! It reminds me of my weekend at DragonCon with Marina Sirtis…who I was surprised I remembered to breathe around, LOL. It’s so awesome to meet someone you adore and have them live up to those expectations.

    I’ve never met Patrick Stewart, but I did see him during his run of MacBeth on Broadway. I just wasn’t really into Trek much then, so there was no way I was braving the craziness that is the stage door. He was freaking awesome in the play though! Very cool story!



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s