Originally created 09/22/04

2-year-old spends his days posing with celebs

NEW YORK - Talk about a scrapbook.

He's only 2 years old, but Jeremy Zorek already has been photographed with dozens of celebrities as he and his stay-at-home dad wander New York with a camera.

"This just started as a lark, and I was content with that," said Michael Zorek, who chronicles their adventures on www.whoisthatwithjeremy.com. But then "it took on a life of its own."

Jeremy's first flick was with NFL twins Tiki and Ronde Barber in July 2002, when he was just 4 months old. Mr. Zorek, who has worked as an actor and in public relations, had decided to stay home while his wife went back to work.

Mr. Zorek bought a souvenir Giants helmet to benefit a charity and asked Tiki to autograph it. He happened to have his camera with him and later sent copies of the photo to friends and family.

Two months later, Mr. Zorek and Jeremy attended a book signing by Jamie Lee Curtis. Someone in the audience yelled, "Take a picture with that kid." A few days later, a similar picture appeared in the New York Post with the caption, "Who is that with Jeremy?"

That photo also got passed around, and someone suggested Mr. Zorek create the Web site - which now features the likes of Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Billy Joel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Hugh Hefner, G. Gordon Liddy, Spike Lee, Bill Clinton and Elmo from Sesame Street.

In its first year, the site received about 1,600 visitors.

The tipping point came last March, when someone mentioned it on a Web log, and soon the site was picked up by other blogs. It has received more than 300,000 visitors so far, earning Jeremy more than a half-dozen TV and magazine appearances.

Now Jeremy sometimes gets recognized by celebrities themselves, mostly from a widely circulated photo of him with Madonna.

"It blows my mind," said Mr. Zorek, recalling the time he asked Donald Trump to pose for a photograph with Jeremy.

"I was flabbergasted that Donald Trump would have an inkling who my son was," he said.

Coincidentally, Mr. Trump and Jeremy wore matching scowls for that picture.

Jeremy has no idea what a celebrity is, his father said. "To him, taking a picture with Puff Daddy is the same as taking a picture with his Uncle Mark."

Most of the time, Jeremy smiles on cue. It helps that the boy has done some modeling. But he still squirms and cries occasionally - like his highly upset performance with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"I told him, 'I'm sorry, he's a Democrat,'" Mr. Zorek said. "Bloomberg said, 'That's OK, so was I until recently.'"

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