Tuned In

Neighborhood Journalism II: Adrian Grenier, My BFF

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There really is no escaping TV. Case in point: as I posted earlier, I was biking to my local food co-op this morning when I came across the setup for a shoot of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire pilot. But that was not the only TV-related encounter I had this morning; it was not even the only HBO-related encounter I had this morning.

A food co-op, if you’re wondering, is kind of a collective volunteer grocery store where members agree to work a few hours a month to run the place, in exchange for cheap groceries. (The Park Slope Food Co-Op, where I shop, charges roughly 20% over wholesale for everything across the board.) Some people are members because they idealistically want to support organic farming, local agriculture, the end of the corporate food-peddling racket, a socialist workers’ utopia, etc. Others, like me, are members because we are cheap bastards and gluttons and want a way to get really great food really cheap.

Anyway, there I am unpacking organic white peaches from a crate when who walks in to work a shift loading the cardboard-box compactor than a certain smokily handsome young man in a T-shirt and two to three days’ growth of stubble: Adrian Grenier of Entourage!

Grenier has an eco-friendly house in nearby Fort Greene, and I’d heard he was a co-op member; it makes sense, since it fits with his interest in environmental issues, as reflected in his Planet Green show Alter Eco. I panned that show when it came out last year—and haven’t been too kind to Entourage lately either—so it was a good thing he had no idea who I was. Instead, when I brought an armload of boxes to the back room to be broken down, our conversation consisted of:

GRENIER: Do all these go in the compactor?

ME: Yeah, there’s no more room on the box shelves up front.

Because that’s how we hang! We’re totally cool like that!

Speaking of not being recognized, a hippie food co-op is probably a good place for a guy like him to go unspotted. When I discreetly told another shift worker we had a celebrity on our shift, she had no idea who he was, even after I explained. “You don’t have cable?” I asked.

“I don’t have a TV,” she said.

Anyway, as far as I can tell, Grenier is a harder worker than Vincent Chase, even though there were no cameras present. It almost made me feel bad for all the snotty things I’ve written about his shows. Stars! They’re just like me!

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