Celebrity lovebirds Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal put Park Slope behind a velvet rope over the Thanksgiving weekend — and the neighborhood famous for not caring about A-listers is suddenly caring about the dating practices its favorite adopted son.
Twenty-four hours of relentless buzz started — appropriately enough — at Gorilla Coffee on Thanksgiving day, when the country music princess and her new boy toy were spotted canoodling in the java joint, steps away from Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Sterling Place townhouse.
“He’s a regular with great energy,” said Seija Koski, the chef at the vegan restaurant Sun in Bloom on Bergen Street and Fifth Avenue, where Jake regularly shows up on his Trek bike and spends $9.50 on 14-ounce bottle of parsley and collard green juice. “Brooklyn’s a good place for him; he’s down to earth.”
Naturally, Koski was skeptical that a 20-year-old cover girl like Swift — sure, she sells more albums than Elvis, the Beatles and Slim Whitman combined, but still … — is the right choice for the puppy-dog-eyed heartthrob.
“Taylor Swift is” — she paused — “OK, I’ll just say it: She is a little young for him.”
Gyllenhaal, best known for “Brokeback Mountain,” is 29. He was in town visiting his sister, herself famous in the neighborhood for her randy romp in the 2002 comedy “Secretary.”
The climax of the celebrity logjam came on Thanksgiving morning, when Swift and Gyllenhaal — “Jakeswift” to the tabloids — plunked down $4.50 for their maple lattes. The two were then spotted arm-in-arm (which happens to people after paying $9 for two coffees with fancy Vermont Maple syrup).
The sighting has everyone in the neighborhood acting weird.
A barista at Gorilla Coffee told us that employees are now forbidden to talk to press as a result of the high-profile customers. “Sorry to be so tight-lipped,” she shrugged.
Meanwhile, Francesca Neville, who owns the vintage clothing store Odd Twin nearby, clapped and jumped as she described her brush with Jakeness. She gets a little giddy when she talks about it.
Neville’s brother had spotted the star while smoking a cigarette, so she ran outside the shop to see for herself. Jake was hauling stack of boxes — sans his blonde gal pal — while sporting a brown coat and jeans.
“He fit right in,” she said. “He probably likes that he can just be a normal guy here.”
And liquor store owner Nick Diminno also confessed to liking having the Tinseltowners in our town.
“It seems like the Gyllenhaals were raised right,” said Diminno, who owns Sip on Fifth Avenue.
It probably doesn’t hurt that Gyllenhaal is handsome. At The Chocolate Room, also near the Jakeswift epicenter, a chef who declined to give her name, stirred a tub of cake batter and gushed, “Oh my God. I wish he would come in here!”
Could it be that Park Slope — which New York Magazine so recently named the city’s “Most Livable Neighborhood” (whatever that means) — is finally getting used to all the 800-pound Hollywood gorillas in our midsts, eating our gluten-free bagels and even joining the Food Co-op?
After all, we’ve lived through the Buscemi Blitz, the Turturro Tsunami, the Heath Hailstorm — and now the Gyllenhaal Gusher.
The bottom line, locals said, is that Brooklyn changes the celebrities more than they changes our neighborhoods.
“Anyone who flaunts what they have, doesn’t fit in here,” said Diminno. “But publicity for this street is good — as long as prices don’t go up.”
And let’s face it, this is Brooklyn, so despite the Thanksgiving weekend frenzy, Park Slope won’t likely become Rodeo Drive anytime soon: At Blue Sky Bakery, a manager was asked if he’d seen Taylor or Jake during the holiday. He just wrinkled his brow and said, “Taylor who?”