My neighborhood in Brooklyn isn't exactly a zip code popular with celebrities. But that's what made Heath Ledger so cool.
In 2005, he and Michelle Williams bought a three-story townhouse down the street from me. Between their place and mine is is a 24-hour bodega with bullet-proof windows, a historic bar, and various one to three family homes that now all cost a million plus — even though they're right next door to a noisy housing project. Gunfire rings out a little too often, and I am sure Heath and Michelle have heard the guy who walks around all day quacking like a duck.
The couple moved in just before their baby girl was born. And they didn't cross the bridge to a Manhattan hospital, little Matilda was born right here in Brooklyn.
• Click over to read Rick Leventhal's blog from the scene of Heath Ledger's death
The new family was spotted all over the 'hood ... at the grocery store, having brunch, or throwing back a pint at Ceol, the local Irish pub. Newspapers started referring to our neighborhood as "Brokeback Brooklyn.” Blogs went wild with photos and details of the spottings, but cool New Yorkers that we are, I don't know of anyone who actually approached them.
That's why I wasn't all that surprised to find no flowers on the doorstep of their townhouse tonight. Who owns that house was always kind of an open secret, we were happy to have them around and didn't want to bother them. And neighbors still won't even in death. When a reporter tonight asked a man on the sidewalk if she could ask him a question, the man replied: "Is it about the family that lives here? Then, no."
Just as hearts broke with the news of Heath's death today, the hearts of local real estate agents shattered last summer when Heath and Michelle — broke up. Michelle, who is the one brought Heath to the area, stayed in the house with Matilda. But, a "Celebrity Movers" truck (I kid you not) soon pulled up to move Heath's stuff to the Soho apartment ... where he was found dead on Tuesday afternoon.
Kathleen Foster is a NY based FOX producer.