I hate myself!!

I met Neil deGrasse Tyson at a party last night. I babbled “hello” and promptly clammed up. Ugh. Who am I?? Ugh, ugh, ugh. My mind just shut down. Actually what happened was, in my mind I immediately asked, “Can I explore the basement of the Natural History Museum,” (where he works) and I knew that would be impolite, and I just got stuck there. “Don’t ask that, don’t ask that.” Kill me now.

I took a ton of pictures of the crowds on 5th Avenue the other day, trying to capture the insanity of them. The police were roping them in at every corner, a trick they learned when the republican convention was in town that time, although they were MUCH nicer about it this time.

I took this one from the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Actually if you look across the street I think you get the idea better. A never ending wall of people.


Here’s a close-up.


I took this one further downtown, from the steps of the library, where the crowds had basically disappeared. This relatively small group is watching some dancers.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

7 thoughts on “I hate myself!!

  1. If it makes you feel any better, I don’t even know who Neil deGrasse Tyson is, yet I know who you are. And I’d probably freeze up talking to you. I wonder if there’s a person in the world who would say that about me?

  2. Lisa, if that ever happens, say, “Ohmygod, I posted about this on your blog and it’s happening!!!” And then we can both crack up. (And I’ll bet there are people who would say that about you. I’ll bet you’d be surprised.

    Justine. Even sexier in person.

  3. Stacy, I’ve been on both sides of this, and I don’t think you have anything to beat yourself up about.

    I know we’re supposed to be elbowing our way through life to get what we want, but actually it’s sort of impolite and unbecoming to be hitting up people you don’t know for favors.

    And then you’ve mentioned how sexy he is, and of course that’s a double whammy of intimidation.

    Probably if you had known you were going to meet him and you knew what he looked like and had yourself prepared, and had a game plan going in, you could possibly have worked it differently. But under the circumstances I think you should pat yourself on the back, because you resisted your impulse to be aggressive and do something inappropriate.

    Look, you did the right thing. This social awkwardness crap is a bitch. Pat yourself on the back.

  4. I’m sure I would have been speechless too. I’ll never have a chance to meet him, but I have always admired those in his field.

    Years ago, I wrote a column at my local newspaper about Dr. Carl Sagan regarding the wonderful contribution he’d made by being able to explain science/astronomy in layman terms for the average person in his series, “Cosmos.” Believe it or not, he actually replied, and…sent an autographed copy of his book, “Broca’s Brain,” as well as numerous copies of clipped articles in newspapers about his work.

    I cherish that book above all my other collections! What a truly GREAT man he was.

  5. What an incredibly nice guy!!! That inspires me.

    And Greg, thank you SO much for saying that. I feel better. Instead of beating myself I should congratulate myself for not being a bore and asking for favors.

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