By Jasper Chang

On a typical New York morning, I pushed the revolving glass doors of Columbus Center to get my English Breakfast Tea with milk and sugar from Wholefoods. Moments later – tea in hand – I exited the way I entered and at that very same time, CNN anchor and talk show host, Anderson Cooper, was pushing the adjacent glass doors, also with a cup in his hands. “Wonder what he has in his cup?” I mused.

That’s one of the great things about this City: A New York Native and a Native Icon, can be doing virtually the same thing at the same time in the same place, and yet be worlds apart.

A member of the illustrious Vanderbilt family, Cooper is a native, born and raised. The son of fashion icon and socialite, Gloria Vanderbilt, he became a celebrity in his own right through his no bullshit journalistic style. Cooper began his career as a correspondent for ABC News and eventually became an anchor for their World News Now program. Later, he moved to CNN, becoming their weekend prime-time anchor, in addition to hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve Special in Times Square. Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees premiered in 2003. Lauded for his passionate coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the devastating aftermath, Cooper became the face of new media.

As Cooper’s popularity grew, speculations about his sexual orientation grew as well. Little had been known about his personal life because he rarely, if ever, discussed it…until July 2, 2012 when Cooper wrote in an email to Andrew Sullivan of THE DISH, “The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”

A few days later on another typical New York morning, I left Columbus Center  with my usual cup of tea in hand, and as I pushed the revolving glass doors, I received this text from my sister, Yvonne:

“Guess who I just saw!

Anderson Cooper at my gym!

David Barton!”

What are the odds of a random Anderson Cooper sighting twice in a week? Pretty good if you live in New York City.

Feature image courtesy of

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