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Paparazzi: What's a Resto Owner To Do

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There was once a time when the somebodies and the nobodies could coexist while dining in this town, but no more (see: Katherine Heigl's lunch at Susina). Don't get us wrong, it's fun to StarWatch, but it's getting a little too chaotic, too intrusive, a bit unpalatable for regular diners. A paparazzi article in the LA Times points to TMZ's 'live feed' lunch hours, where a cameraman sets up outside celeb-magnet restaurants to capture the unsuspecting. Urth Caffe on Melrose was the first victim, and owner Shallom Berkman didn't care for it:

Berkman said his employees noticed the TMZ camera across the street and immediately called sheriff's deputies, saying it was an invasion of his customers' privacy. "They did it without permission," he said. "It really shocked me -- the lack of respect."
The po po tried to shut it down that day, but guess who won in the end? The world, you see, is TMZ's and Harvey Levin's stalkarific oyster: "We're on the sidewalk shooting in a public area, the way 100 other media outlets do. We never invade privacy." But when your unmarked camerman is the only guy on the street and no celebrities in sight? Creepy. Us plebes, we just want to lunch in peace.
· Paparazzi are their focus [LAT]
· How Katherine Heigl ruined lunch at Susina [~ELA~]
· Live Feed From Urth: Beam Us Out [TMZ]
· TMZ At It Again: Live Feed From Toast [~ELA~]
· No Celebrities at Aroma Cafe Today [~ELA~]

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