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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 07/31/2007

Mapping the Stars

By Liz Kelly
Dave Chappelle Sightings

Where does privacy end and public life begin for celebrities?

Consider the following: Using tips sent in by readers and other Web reports, the Celebritology cartography staff created the map at right pinpointing recent sightings of comedian Dave Chappelle in the D.C. metro area (click the pinpoints for more info). I don't feel too skeevy about it. The sites are all public places and Chappelle actually talked to fans -- and in one case a CNN reporter -- while out and about and I've got queries out to Chappelle's publicist trying to get a statement on why he's visiting the area.

My map is merely a speck on what is becoming a virtually star-studded celebrity globe, courtesy of sites like Google Earth the infinitely popular Gawker Stalker. The site, also powered by zealous fans, lists (mainly New York-based) sightings of celebrities doing everything from riding the train to shopping and doubled pageviews to Gawker when it was launched in spring 2006. The largely mundane reports are accompanied by pee-in-your-pants funny comments, like this one:

Saw Rachel Zoe's grandma... wait... sorry, that IS Rachel Zoe. The original raisin face was sucking on a ciggy and wearing really high platforms and a black pantsuit.

Hardly credible, but a good place to pass the time on a slowish summer afternoon. Stars, however, haven't embraced the concept of citizen-paparazzi and geographic transparency. George Clooney was so incensed that he attempted to lead a campaign to flood the site with false sightings. Despite the actor's protestations, Gawker Stalker continues to thrive and turn a tidy pageview business by letting me know that Ellen Barkin was spotted chatting on her cell phone ("looking scary and plastic," haha) on 7th Ave.

For the truly intrusive, obsessed fans can visit celebrity-maps.com. The site claims to list the actual addresses of scores of celebs, allowing Web viewers to get a gander at their supposed neighborhoods courtesy of Google's satellite photos. It's worth noting, however, that many of the addresses are probably bogus (the dead Rodney Dangerfield is listed twice).

So, where is the line? Are you really interested in knowing where your favorite actor gets his pants pressed or goes to the dentist? You tell me.

By Liz Kelly  | July 31, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Celebritology 101, Miscellaneous  
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Comments

Hi Liz,

As a reader, I do feel skeevy for looking at things like the Chapelle map or Gawker Stalker, so I avoid them altogether.

I'm no saint for reading celebrity gossip to begin with, but providing a map with frequented locales of a person... is like a formula for stalking. Can we skip this feature in the future? I love your blog otherwise. Many thanks!

Posted by: Catherine | July 31, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Agree with Catherine, leave them alone. Who really cares if they're talking on a cell phone anyway.

Posted by: arlington | July 31, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Check the ZIP for Prince William County hospital pinpoint. It is pointing to something around SE DC or maybe Capitol Hill, not something in PWC. Maybe a ZIP Code digit is goofed up.

And, as a reply to Catherine, I don't mind maps like this. I think it makes the tongue-and-cheekiness of Celebritology quite fun!

Posted by: rockville | July 31, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

it's one thing to share a 'close encounter of the celebrity kind' (i was once on an elevator w/don henley) but quite another to post their whereabouts. i'm uncomfortable w/sites like those you mentioned.
(and don henley couldn't have been nicer on the elevator...okay, he could have kissed me, that would have been nicer but other than that...)

Posted by: methinks | July 31, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Liz - time to fire the cartography staff! They seem to have relocated Manassas, VA, to Southeast DC...lol.

Posted by: Andrea | July 31, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I once saw Zsa-Zsa Gabor's ninth husband. He was in his skivvies and handcuffed to the steering wheel of their car. Zsa-Zsa was in the back seat, wearing this leather cat suit with a diamond brooch and these Jimmy Choo spectator pumps, and she was whacking what's-his-name with a riding crop, screaming , "Anna Nicole! Anna Nicole!" while her chihuahua hung his head out the window and yapped at the paparazzi. It was kinda romantic.

Posted by: Helena Handbasket | July 31, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

OK those maps are worthless to me until they can find me Jon Bon Jovi or Jason Lee!!>:(

But seriously folks....Gawker is fun to read yet I too find it kinda weird. If it were pinpointing sites where they were filming or something like that it would be different but just spotting Ellen Barkin on her cell phone is kinda lame.

The celeb map is just an online version of The Old Map of the Stars Homes, they've just gone all high tech & it's about time.

Although I admit to wanting to have an old-fashioned paper Map of the Stars Homes to frame & hang in a prominent spot.

OFF TO EBAY!!

Posted by: Bored @ work | July 31, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

jimmy choo spectators...oooh that sounds so pretty.

Posted by: merthinks | July 31, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Why is it so weird that Dave Chappelle would be spotted in DC? He's from here peeps!!!

Posted by: Better | July 31, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I am not interested at all. Those maps are creepy and way stalkerish. I think it's fun to read tid bits here and there, but knowing where they are? Not for me.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

It's funny that you mention the dentist. I live in L.A. now and my dentist has signed headshots displayed in the waiting room. Tyra Banks and Jenna Jameson are two that come to mind.

Posted by: FrmrDcer | July 31, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Reporting "sightings" sounds pretty harmless to me. But it is truly obnoxious to interrupt some one's life (no matter how famous) to take a photo or ask for an autograph.
I was once walking down the street and noticed this guy in front of me who was so familiar, I thought I must have gone to college with him or something. As I drew closer, I took a peek and was mortified to discover it was Kenneth Branaugh, who then thought I was stalking him and dashed into a camera store. I felt bad.

Posted by: POS | July 31, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Nope, not interested in looking at something like the Gawker Stalker. As noted by several others - that's creepy.

Posted by: Milwaukee | July 31, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Why can't Dave Chappelle visit the DC area? Maybe, he likes the people here better than the folks in Hollywood.

Posted by: DC | July 31, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Gawker is kinda stalkerskeevycreepy, but iono... I've never been much of a celeb watcher. I guess because I always knew where to find the celebs I was interested in: at Memorial Stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, etc etc.

Unexpectedly seeing Brady Anderson rollerblading to the ballpark (as I did one morning in downtown Bawlmer)... THAT was cool. Going and camping out in front of his apartment building -- STALKING him--that would have been over the line.

Posted by: Margo | July 31, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

It's not stalking unless you plan to do something to them. If they want to be left alone then they should choose another line of work, so unless they're prepared to give up the fame and fortune . . . well, life's a b****

Posted by: Stick | July 31, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

by the way, i wouldn't know dave chappelle if i tripped over him.

Posted by: methinks | July 31, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

A small note re: "It's not stalking unless you do something to them."

BUT
STALKING
~~ IS!!!! ~~
"DOING
SOMETHING
TO
THEM!!!!!

You know those birds they used to sell at the boardwalk that bobbed their heads up and down into a glass of water? That's I look like now as I thwak my head against the keys.

Posted by: Margo | July 31, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Get a life. Mapping celeb sightings? Really tacky stuff.

Posted by: Mike S. | July 31, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

He was also coming into the Ritz in Georgetown at midnight with 2 other buddies. All of them carrying skateboards.

Posted by: SM | July 31, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

sounds like dave chappelle is doing research for a skateboarding movie.

Posted by: methinks | July 31, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Dave Chappelle is from DC. He can run around town if he wants to and have no reason to be here...

Posted by: Todd | July 31, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

These gawking sites ruin the glamour for me. I like the glamour.

Posted by: Jules | July 31, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, would love to be one of the neighbors Gene W chats with when he walks his dog... but to contrive it? to find out where he lives and "just happen" to be there? That sounds - contrived. And creepy.

Likewise, I wouldn't mind being neighbors with Liz and her Mr (okay - maybe NOT, given some of the stuff she's confessed to having on her iPod, which might suddenly blare out from her speakers at some unG*dly hour), but to "just happen" to be there when she buys her morning expresso latte or whatever at Starbucks? I dunno... tacky again. And so we let it go.

Posted by: Bogota | July 31, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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