As explained at length in an interview with Magazine-X and the NYCars & Coffee website, since October 2022, I’ve organized a local get-together for car enthusiasts on an almost weekly basis. Cars and coffee is a massive phenomenon on the west coast as well as in smaller towns across the US and even around other parts of the world. To the average New Yorker, the notion of a Sunday morning spent standing around in a parking lot talking to people about their cars is a real head-scratcher. But for many, cars and coffee is a once-a-week reprieve from an exhausting life in the real world.
At cars and coffee, it’s rare to hear someone talk about work for more than a few minutes. You can be anyone you want, so why be an employee? In the Apple TV+ series Severance, that notion of work/life separation is taken to a literal extreme. Staff at Lumon Industries undergo the titular neurological procedure that divides their consciousness into two distinct partitions, an “innie” dedicated to work and an “outie” to home. I imagine, perhaps to a lesser degree, celebrities engage in a similar form of mental compartmentalization when out doing normal, non-celebrity things.
In Severance, Adam Scott is Mark, a severed Lumon employee whose work brain shuts off the moment he leaves the office. In real life, Adam does the same to great effect.
When he unceremoniously emailed me last week asking about this weekend’s cars and coffee, I thought nothing of it. Adam Scott, I assume, is a somewhat common name. Under the impression it was just your average car guy confirming our Eventbrite schedule is up to date, I sent a generic, boilerplate response pointing him to our social media profiles. For a moment, it did occur to me after the email went through, that it could be the same Adam Scott that played Ben Wyatt in Parks and Recreation. But when I asked my wife her opinion, half-jokingly, she laughed and we both moved on.
The next morning, still half asleep, I did my morning rounds checking all three Instagram accounts: @thegabecarey, @nycarsxcoffee, and @acceleramota. Initially, I scrolled past the blue checkmark in my notifications, because verification has lost all meaning. But then I saw it. Holy shit. It is that Adam Scott.
Me being the overeager social media sharer I am, naturally, this development was plastered across my feeds the moment I was a little bored and in dire need of a dopamine rush. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, you name it. Bring on the likes, comments, and shares! All week long, the engagement trickled in. The problem was, I had no idea if he would show.
“What’s the conclusion? Is he coming?” wrote a colleague of mine on Twitter, three days before the event.
I could have emailed him back and requested he signs a legally binding agreement to guarantee his presence. I could have, but I’m normal, so I didn’t. Instead, on April 2 around 9 AM, I pulled into a Queens shopping center parking lot, and I waited. Not for a special celebrity appearance, but for anyone itching to board their escape hatch, leaving their innie behind at home on a Sunday morning.
About an hour later, I spotted an unfamiliar guest sporting a red beanie and dark, circular shades. Standing next to him was a long-haired teenage boy bearing his resemblance. As I approached the pair, the man reached out to shake my hand, addressing me by name.
“Oh, wow, Adam! Thanks so much for coming out,” I said. “What’d you bring?”
He explained that they had flown out from LA to shoot interior scenes for Severance, so while they couldn’t bring a car, he was grateful for the chance to bring his 16-year-old son, Graham, to a car meet in New York City.
Adam said his son had recently gotten his driver’s license, along with a BMW 330i – ah, yes, nicotine for car guys. When I got my first tattoo, the tattoo-havers in my life warned me of the dangerous obsession that would inevitably ensue. Like the next time they saw me I’d be covered from head to toe in barbed wire and teardrops. Tattoos never had that effect on me. My BMW 4 Series did. Already I could see the signs emanating from Graham as he stood in awe of the M5 Competition brought out by an NYCars & Coffee regular.
As Adam and I parted ways and I returned to mingling, introducing myself to new guests as they arrived, I texted my wife who urged me to take a photo with him. While I did acquiesce, and he was more than okay with me posting our selfie on social media even though I offered not to, I was reluctant to do so.
From a distance, you couldn’t distinguish Adam Scott from the guy with the Audi wagon. Based on the tone of their interactions, I’m certain at least some of the people standing around chatting with him had no clue they were talking to a famous actor. But that’s the allure of cars and coffee for someone like Adam Scott. It’s the exact opposite of Hollywood spectacle. Even Adam Scott gets to have an outie.