When I first moved to New York City, many of my friends asked me how many famous people I have run into. While I did run in to Larry King at FAO Schwartz once, I am not aware of any other famous people that I have run into in the course of my daily wanderings.
Of course, the key point is that I would have to be aware of them. I am not always the best resource for current pop culture information, and I am particularly not knowledgeable about sports. I was surprised (and later poked fun at by several colleagues) when I saw a guy who lives in my building (a really nice guy who I would bump into in the lobby occasionally and who was always very friendly and outgoing) on television. It turns out that he is a fairly well known pitcher. So much for knowing your neighbors.
NYC Subway Entrance
I was riding home on the subway the other day, and as usual I was sitting reading a book. I happened to be reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. At one of the stops along the way, a man walked in and sat down next to me. He commented that he really liked that book, and I agreed. He then commented that his brother is in the book - he is the doctor in Chicago (Brendan Reilly).
I have no way of verifying the truth of his statement, but he didn't appear to want to use it as an introduction to additional discussions. He just picked up his paper, and began reading as well. Thus, I am inclined to believe his claim. Of all of the brushes with "fame" I have had, this random encounter goes down for me as the most personally relevant.
I guess it just shows that you never know who you are bumping into when you ride the subway. With 124 million riders in a typical month, the person sitting next to you just could have a relevant and interesting story. I'm not sure why I felt the need to bring this up - I just thought it was random in a very interesting way.