Waiting in Line to See Prince

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We had a healthy set of celebrity sightings as we waited in line to get to the roof of the Gansevoort Hotel on Friday night. We were there to see Prince play one of two secret shows. We'd missed Howard Stern and Spike Lee, who went to the earlier show (they apparently had to get home before midnight or they turned even more pumpkinlike than they are now). Tom Green and Dennis Rodman rolled up first, looking a little out of place (they're on Celebrity Apprentice together or some such). Someone said to Green, "Are you here for Prince?" "Huh? He's playing?" the comedian asked. "That's cool." We think they didn't get in — we didn't see them upstairs. Later that night, Rodman was all light-headed drunk at Carnegie Deli in the company of two drunk hicks he met at a bar. Ha!

Top Chef almost-winner Sam Talbot jumped to the head of the outdoor queue. We boarded an elevator with him (the elevators at the Gansevoort hold maybe five skinny coked-up ladies — any more and it beeped madly and wouldn't close). The crowd couldn't seem to understand. "I was stuck in an elevator a week ago for an hour," Talbot told us. "Now whenever I'm in one, I look around and wonder who's going to be the one that freaks out." The door beeped. Talbot pointed surreptitiously at a short man. "He's going to be the one to freak out." The short man near the front didn't leave.

Upstairs, the lucky 200 people who did deserve to see Prince crowded very tightly into a small room with a big stage. Anderson Cooper was there with a friend who was a boy. They were eating dinner on the terrace. It seemed romantic. Dave Chappelle was there, muscular. Prince was there too, emerging from the space beneath the stage like a funky leprechaun. He's so wee and ageless! How can he truly be 50? Every American — gay or straight, black or white, male or female (because Prince is partially all of these) — would do well to emulate Prince.