After the destruction, power outages, and flooding wrought by Hurricane Sandy this week, New York City-based celebrities have been doing what they can to help out. Some, like Jimmy Fallon, keep their show going even without audiences. Then you have folks like Ben Stiller, who was spotted serving food at a shelter in Brooklyn.
Reddit is debating whether he looks welcoming or pissed off that someone noticed him and snapped a photo, but either way, he’s down there where people are actually needed, doing his part to help those who were displaced by the storm.
Same with Alec Baldwin, who yesterday stopped by NYU’s student center to hang out with kids who had been forced to evacuate their dorms because of Sandy. It’s a sweet video, where he just sits down in the middle of the cots and shoots the shit with the kids. Say what you will about his weird run-ins with paparazzi or possibly being the reason 30 Rock doesn’t have a new season—but the way he manages to tease one kid about not returning to his apartment nearby, to talking seriously about how unprecedented this disaster is, shows that he knows how to keep people relaxed and calm.
We’ve got the big telethon happening tonight with plenty of celebrity guests, but I prefer seeing isolated incidents like this. It really makes me, as a New Yorker, feel more connected to our city’s famous residents. But it also just makes me appreciate them as people who are just as willing to give their time when they could throw money at the problem and stay distanced from the disaster.