Valentine’s Day – My Favorite Victoria’s Secret Super Model

I’ve decided to write about all of the celebrities I’ve met in my life. It’ll probably only be once a month, and I’ll crank them out until I run out of famous people.

First of all, Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my phicklephilly readers! I hope you’re in love or at least love something! If you’re not happy today, and if anyone starts talking about love, romance, hearts, cards, or chocolate, just slap them and say ‘it’s Wednesday!

It’s a coincidence and fitting that I release this piece on Valentine’s Day. Because this lady is and always will hold a special place in my heart.

This one happened about 11 years ago when I was working in Manhattan. The year was 2007.

I was sitting in a dive bar in Journal Square in Jersey City one evening after work. My buddy Howard was with me. I’m drinking a beer and reading the Daily News. On the Entertainment page was a little blurb at the bottom about how Alessandra Ambrosio was going to be making an appearance at the new Armani Exchange in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon.

I think every guy has an “It” girl in life. Some movie star, athlete, or model that they just adore. In the 70’s and 80’s for me it was Farrah Fawcett. I LOVED Farrah. I owned all of her posters starting with the famous red swimsuit. I was even a card carrying member of her fan club. Always watched Charlie’s Angels and all of her movies.

But sometime in the 90’s I noticed this one model in a Victoria’s Secret catalogue that really struck me. I didn’t know her name for several years. But once you have a woman in your life and order something from their catalogue, they never stop coming. They must send them out every couple of weeks because I had loads of them coming to the house.

I eventually found out the identity of this exquisite woman. Alessandra Ambrosio. I was in love. Her perfectly symmetrical face, with her feline eyes and lovely tawny hair is a combination that drove me nuts. I absolutely have adored Alessandra for years. I know I love beautiful women, it’s hard not to. But Alessandra to me is one of the most beautiful women on the planet.

Alessandra Ambrosio was born in Erechim, Brazil on April 11, 1981. Her parents are Brazilians of Italian, Portuguese and Polish ancestry and own a petrol station. She enrolled at a modelling class at the age of 12, and at the age of 14, she was one of 20 finalists for the 1995 Elite Model Look national competition for Brazil. Ambrosio was always insecure about her large ears, and at the age of 11, she had cosmetic surgery to have her ears pinned back, though two years later she suffered complications. In 2006, she appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, and said that the surgery was a bad experience and has discouraged her from ever getting plastic surgery again.

I would love Alessandra the same even if her ears stuck straight out like open car doors!

When Ambrosio was 12 years old, she partook in modeling classes, and then began modeling for Dilson Stein at age 15. Competing in Brazil’s Elite Model Look competition started her modeling career in earnest. Her first notable modeling job was shooting the cover of Brazilian Elle magazine. Elite passed along some of her Polaroids to Guess which led her booking the Millennium GUESS? campaign. She has since appeared in advertising campaigns for Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, Escada, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Guess, Emporio Armani, Moschino, Gap, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Revlon, and the Pirelli Calendar. She has walked the catwalks for designers such as Prada, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, Bottega Veneta, Escada, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Balmain, Ralph Lauren, Halston, Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon, and Oscar de la Renta. She has appeared in numerous international magazine covers, including Cosmopolitan, Elle, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Ocean Drive, Vogue and was the only model to appear on the cover of Glamour in the United States in 2006.

“I HAVE to go to A/X Armani Exchange on Saturday and try to see her! Do you want to go with me?”

“Why the hell would I want to go meet some supermodel? I’m gay!”

“Well she’s a fashion model and I figured you guys like stuff that’s fashionable.”

“I’m gay!”

So Saturday comes and I go to the local Rite Aid and buy a disposable camera. (Yea. I had a little cell phone back then before there were any iPhones or androids and that little phone didn’t have a camera in it. That thing was probably made by Fisher Price for all I know. A lot has happened in the world of technology in the last 15 years!)

So I’ve got my little cheapo plastic throw away camera and I hop on the PATH train into Manhattan. I get off at 32nd Street and walk East over to Fifth Avenue, The store is up around 56th Street so I need to walk north about 25 blocks. That’s a little bit of a hike. But it’s Saturday in the Summer and Manhattan is quiet on the weekends.

After awhile I finally reach the store. There’s a line of people to get in. I get in line behind this Asian girl and I go, “Is this the line to see Alessandra?”

“Oh, I have no idea. I just saw a lot of people here and I wanted to see what was going on.”

What a moron. How can she not know who Alessandra Ambrosio is?

The line is moving and I get inside.

The minute I lay eyes on the super queen I involuntarily gasp. I literally sucked air sharply into my lungs like I never have before.

I can’t believe I am standing in the same room with her. I can’t believe that I’m not seeing just a photograph of my queen. I am looking upon one of the most beautiful women in the world and the only thing that’s separating she and I is space.

I’m starstruck.

She sits down and starts signing things. I’m snapping pics and my heart is pounding. I’m getting closer!

Ohh…my love. My Queen! She is stunning! They take my name and write it on a little Post It. I assume this is because they don’t want any misspellings on the pictures she’s signing.

I finally reach Alessandra!!!

 

My arm around my queen!

I introduce myself and I can’t believe I am meeting her for real. She says my name and I swoon. My name coming from Alessandra’s lovely lips.

There she is! It’s really her! I’m shaking hands with my favorite woman on Earth. I’m looking into the eyes of the object of my desire for the last 10 years. She signs the photo, and I ask if they will take a photo of me with my camera. She agrees and I hand it to her handlers. I tell them to take a few just in case.

I put my arm around her, and lean in. My hand is on her shoulder! I’m touching Alessandra! My love!

I’m so close to Alessandra, I can smell her.

This is framed in my livingroom.

I will never be the same. I leave with my little camera full of photos, and the above autographed picture.

To Charles, Love, Alessandra. (Heart. Star.)

I love her even more now. I’ve met Alessandra Ambrosio! This day has been a dream come true. I’m holding the picture and I don’t want anything to happen to it, so I run across the street into of all things, a Victoria’s Secret. (Fitting!) I approach one of the sales girls and ask if I can have a bag.

“What do you need it for?”

I hold up the photo. “To protect this autographed picture of Victoria’s Secret model, Alessandra Ambrosio.”

The chick looks like she doesn’t know who Alessandra is and hands me a bag. I gently slide my treasure inside it. (puns abound) I thank the girl and nearly skip to the PATH station.

I’ve added these delicious little videos to close out this piece. I can’t watch the first one without getting worked up. I love her so much.

I met my super queen. I never met Farrah Fawcett. I loved her so much, but I met my new queen Alessandra. It was glorious day in my short life. She’ll never know how much I love her but I met her, We got a picture together, I touched her, and smelled her.

My lovely Alessandra…

 

 

 

 

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Church – 2013 to Present -Seizure Salad

I’m sitting in my go to bar with Church. It’s our spot and it’s what we do. He’s sipping a Sailor Jerry and Coke, and I’m having my usual Chardonnay with a side of ice. He orders a salad and I go with the sliders. There is a couple a few seats down from me to my right. I know the guy, his name is Brian, but I don’t know the lady he’s with so I wave but don’t approach. He could be working.

On the left of Church, is a brunette in her thirties and an older gentleman. Looks like a lawyer. We don’t really pay any attention. We’re chatting and doing our thing.

Daphne rolls behind the bar and says hello. She tells me it’s a slow night. Not much happening. She goes back to her hostess stand and it’s just another night in paradise.

Suddenly, the woman who was sitting to Church’s left, goes off the bar stool and hits the floor. Normally, I’d call that Thursday night.  We see so many banged up people around the city losing their shit. But this woman was having a seizure. People within visual range are shocked and the bar goes quiet.

I point to the phone on the wall, because the bartender on duty didn’t see one of her patrons suddenly vanish from the bar. “Liz, call 911.”

She starts dialing. Church, with his cat-like reflexes, springs into action and goes from sitting next to me sipping a drink to all the way around the other side of her on the floor holding her head to keep her steady. I get down there and untangle her leg from the lower rail of his bar stool. I have the legs. Church is focuses on the poor woman’s head. She’s thrashing about, and Church is barking commands to those around him. He’s literally single-handedly coordinating the effort to help save this poor woman, and keeping her from injuring herself further.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Church was formerly a Corpsmen in the United States Navy.

A Corpsman works in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including shore establishments such as naval hospitals and clinics, aboard ships, and as the primary medical caregivers for sailors while underway. Hospital corpsmen are frequently the only medical caregiver available in many fleet or Marine units on extended deployment. In addition, hospital corpsmen perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to sailors and their families.

They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and health care providers at medical treatment facilities. They also serve as battlefield corpsmen with the Marine Corps, rendering emergency medical treatment to include initial treatment in a combat environment. Qualified hospital corpsmen may be assigned the responsibility of independent duty aboard ships and submarines; Fleet Marine Service, SEAL and Seabee units, and at isolated duty stations where no medical officer is available.

Yea, pretty bad ass. That’s the guy you want next to you when somebody takes a header at your favorite bar.

She’s making what almost sounds like barking sounds, and staring wildly about. He’s got a good hold on her. He’s talking to her. But mostly he’s trying to keep her from bashing her face into the wooden wall of the bar. The bartender comes around, and some others have gathered. I grab a cloth napkin and ask if we need to put it in her mouth. I always heard that epileptics could bite or swallow their own tongues. Church says, no. He knows what he’s doing and has the situation well under control.

She seems to be calming down. I look over at the guy who was with her. He’s just standing there staring, and looking uncomfortable. The paramedics come and stabilize her. I feel so bad for her. It’s the holidays, and she’s out for a drinks and this horror befalls her. They get her onto the gurney and roll her out. The police are there and also ask some questions. Church is on point, he gives law enforcement the full report.

They also speak to the guy she came in with. He says he doesn’t know her very well. He met her over at DelFrisco’s steakhouse, and then brought her over here for a drink. That’s a big lawyer hang out. Not my scene. This guy didn’t do anything to help or comfort her when she had the seizure, and he didn’t go to the hospital with her. I don’t care if you just picked up the chick in a bar. Lady falls down, you go to the damn hospital with her. I’m thinking that weasel was married and didn’t want any problems. How would he explain to his wife that he was at the hospital with some other woman? I may be wrong, but I got the vibe something was definitely shady about that guy.

We go back to our seats at the bar and have another drink. Church is pissed because somebody was telling him to turn her head when she was foaming at the mouth and that’s not what you’re supposed to do. Me, I was just glad the lady was okay.

Daphne came over to chat and get a recap. I tell her what I know, and tease her.”You had to say it was a slow night and that nothing was happening, and look what you did, Daph…”

“I know, right? Me and my big mouth.”

Indeed…

 

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Rocco – Amanda Peet

I used to work with Rocco at a publication here in town. He has since given his notice and is going to pursue a career in real estate.

When I began working there, Rocco was the person that took the most time with me. I had a million questions, and he was very patient. Since we’re close in age there was a certain comradery that developed between us. It was like the two old veterans, versus the young upstarts. (Both of whom have been fired. So do we win?)

One day, Rocco and I were sitting at one of our favorite lunch spots, and I was saying how I was in love with the waitress Maria, (First blog post ever: Maria – Amour en Vanos) and also loved Brittany and Kim over at the other place, etc. My usual fickle nonsense that he has to listen to when we have lunch. He says I am so fickle. I decide to write a blog called Phicklephilly. Both of us are long time ad men so we love the idea. We both love women, and are both leg men so there is that connection to all of the well turned calves and ankles we see on a daily basis around the city.

I really respect Rocco. He has built a life in the media industry in this city. He has met everybody and has all of the great celebrity stories to prove it. He’s a good dad and is a survivor like myself. He doesn’t have the best coping skills like my dad, but I understand that, and can deal with that. He normally only gets stressed when the morons around him fail him on a regular basis, in the form of clients and co-workers.

Rocco has a good gut feeling about what will work at a publication and what will fail. He is vocal about that in meetings, and sometimes that rubs management the wrong way because they are out of touch and think their ideas will work, but Rocco with his 30 years of experience knows that it’ll fail because it already failed 10 years ago. I can trust a man like that.

He also has some other challenges in his life. He loved his hot gorgeous bi-polar wife in the past but she left him and then was murdered by a lover in Texas. I can’t get into that here, that’s not what Phickle is all about. But he lost her. I’ve been with crazy chicks too. They have mad pull and it’d hard to shake them from your life, but you never wish them ill will. But she is his son’s mother, and was crazy and left. She made bad decisions and ended up dead. I know for a fact he has never gotten over that. That never happened to me, but I have had women like that in my life, and it’s always a struggle.  She’s his son’s mother. You never forget that. The tragedy never ends. My ex-wife is just an asshole but I never want anything to ever happen to her. That’s awful. I can wish her dead because she’s an asshole, but I don’t really want somebody to kill her.

Rocco is an interesting character, he has a quick wit that I absolutely love! Most people I know don’t have what I have but I can always appreciate a fast wheel. My dad liked it in his brother, and liked it in me, and I love it in Rocco because it reminds me of all of us.

He lives far away, but I wish he would come into the city more so we could hang out. We could have a bit of fun.

He loves the actress Amanda Peet. She is one hot lady and he adores her. One of his accounts is the American Jewish Museum here in Philly. She was going to make an appearance for a children’s book she was promoting. He loves her, so he approached me and asked me if I would go with him. I knew at that moment I had to get a picture of him with his queen. There was no decision. Just do it. I owed it to him. If it were me I would need the same. When he asked me to go to the event with free drinks and food and a hot actress that I loved in the Whole Nine Yards, I just told him yes. There was only one answer. I wanted a pic with that hot baby too.

We go there. We met at the hotel Monaco first. The Red Owl Cafe is on the ground of that Kimpton property, down at 5th and Chestnut. Rocco is very grateful of my apparent wingman abilities. It’s his night, and he knows he’s brought the right man for the job. If anybody is going to get him close to his girl and get a pic, it’s going to be me. Martinis and Manhattans are plowed. Rocco is not really a drinker but whenever I am out with him he is generous with the free drinks, and the man can handle himself behind a glass.

It’s time to go, and we head out after a double round. I am happy that I am on a mission for him. I’m clear in my directive and he chose me, because he knows I’m good at closing deals.  Rocco is an account manager. I am a salesman. I will kill myself to get him next to Amanda Peet. I’ve caught bigger fish and he knows that. I’ll get her.

We go in, and do the perfunctory bullshit that comes with getting into an event. He’s the rep. It’s his account, so he knows everybody. I am here for the kill. He’s chatting with his client, and they are happy we showed up. But we’re there for more.

We go upstairs in the elevator. There is families, and kids playing around. I obviously go right for the bar. Let’s gather some fortitude before we approach the target.

I see her. Amanda Peet is beautiful. Rocco is getting a glass of wine, but the great white is swimming to get a bite. I move in. She is chatting with her sister. I approach and compliment her on her book. It’s so good. I love what she has created, I act like I don’t know who she is. (A bold-faced lie) Love her work and what she is doing. Rocco stands down. He’s looking for a signal from the dark lord. Target is in place. I am chatting with Amanda, her sister, and her mom like they are my own family.

I’m very good at this because I have three sisters, and have been to a million holiday parties. I go in for a picture first because I need to claim the victim first. This is what I’m good at so I’m going to take the first bite. Rocco approaches, I bring him in warm, and he’s loving her. We do some shit chat, and I introduce Rocco like me and Amanda are old pals, because that’s where I have her now.

Rocco is ecstatic. I tell him to stay cool, and I’ll take a pic with my phone. He puts his arm around her and he is losing his shit. He loves Amanda Peet. He said something to her and she made a face, but she looked beautiful, and I captured Rocco’s dream. It’s like when I met Alessandra Ambrosio in NYC. It’s a big moment. I get the pic, and Rocco was happy.

They were going to do a presentation and a Q&A in the theater, but we had what we wanted and bailed. We ended up going to a Yakatori Boy, (karaoke bar in Chinatown) anniversary party with a bunch of girls we knew. I may post that but this story is way better.

I love this night and I came through for my pal, and he was so happy he met one of his idols. I’m happy I helped my friend meet one of his favorite actresses.

I love actresses and models.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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