#987 Tyra Banks 1 – Me 0

Imagine the utter desperation and hateful sickness a gambler feels when he’s just bet the final ten thousand of his mortgage on a hand of Blackjack and lost. The money’s all gone, he’s broken his final promise to his wife, now she’ll leave him (with the children) and he’ll be cast out onto the street from whence he came. Welcome to my world. I was at the dairy up the road at 2:30pm buying a grapefruit Fruju when I got the call from Pilot Magazine‘s Andy Pickering. “Isaac, Tyra Banks is at Cibo in Parnell. Right now. How quickly can you get here?” “10 minutes,” I replied, dropped the Fruju and ran.

Here’s how it went down.

Driving over I could hardly keep my car on the road I was so excited. Like, literally shaking with excitement. This was my one shot. My one opportunity. To seize everything I ever wanted. Would I capture it? It was one of those painful drives where everybody in front of you decides to glide along as slowly as possible. Sightseeing. I was just about passing out.

I finally arrived at Cibo and found Andy standing outside. I parked on yellow lines, threw my keys at him and walked as nonchalantly as I could into the restaurant. The Maitre d’ stopped me. “I’m just meeting friends,” I said and walked past. Tyra Banks and another woman were standing about a metre away from me. A tall, well built, good looking man in a blue polo shirt stood up from the bar. He walked towards me. He stood in front of me. I shrank. Trying to keep my voice steady I asked for a photo. He said no. I felt hands grabbing me. The Maitre d’ was pulling me away. “One photo!” “Sorry. No.”

I walked out of the restaurant and stood on the footpath. Two white vans were parked opposite the entrance. The production lady from the airport sat in the driver’s seat of the second van. I waved. She laughed.

After waiting about five minutes, the security guard came out again. I walked over to him. Behind him towered Andre Leon Talley. I asked for a photo. The security guard said, “Sorry, no.” I stayed polite. “Please. One photo, and I’ll leave.” Every answer he gave me was polite. Polite with the slightest hint of threat. I tried pleading. He thanked me for my manners. I tried common sense. He commended me for my patience. I tried everything I had. He wouldn’t budge.

A black Escolade was parked in the driveway. Tyra Banks sat inside. It reversed out. The windows were black. The photo opportunity was lost.

I failed.

On the plus side, my name did get mentioned on the front page of the New Zealand Herald today – in the story about Tyra Banks. You win some, you lose some.


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  1. Anonymous says

    You need to eat at flasher restaurants obviously – rather than the corner dairy. Then you could just nonchantly take a photo while on the phone. Don’t ask – just snap.

  2. Leonie says

    I’m sure Tyra has to personally approve any photo of herself that may find its way to the public domain.
    Control freak!?*#

  3. Anonymous says

    Look at it this way: I got really excited about your Tyra postings the other day and then was laughing because I know I won’t bother watching the show.

  4. Anonymous says

    Did this all happen today because One News was filming Tyra at the airport this morning in Queenstown.
    “Leaving Auckland on Friday morning, the umbrellas and security staff were out in force at the airport to stop ONE News from getting shots of the elusive Banks.”

  5. Anonymous says

    Tyra didn’t leave this morning. It must have been one of her decoys or a contestant that the photogs can’t recognise.

  6. Anonymous says

    There have been a few sightings of Tyra, Miss Jay & Nigel Barker but has anyone seen Jay Manuel, other than at the airport?

  7. Anonymous says

    We were having a work function at Cibo when she walked in – talk about being the lunch of the century! I managed to get a pic of her, but not with her after getting one of the polite but threatening no’s in my direction as well!

  8. Anonymous says

    Good on you Isaac .. you show up just how useless the rest of the Auckland media are, that they can’t find her or photograph her at all! They’re hopeless! No matter what anyone thinks of Tyra, she is the top earning woman on prime time television in the US this year, raking in $US30 million. That alone makes her worth pursuing, whatever one’s opinion.

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