A 'YOU'VE GOT MAIL' GUIDE TO NYC
When you think about the world of dating today it is almost synonymous with online apps. Back in 1998 meeting someone online was a little taboo...until 'You've Got Mail'. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are two characters synonymous with NYC and the good thing about this city is there are movies and tv shows galore filmed here - and everyone loves a great movie crawl.
So come along with me on this special movie edition of Sunday Funday as we make our way through the tastes and sights of Shopgirl and NY152's lives on the Upper West Side.
STOP 1: JOE FOX'S APARTMENT
The easiest way to get through this walking tour is to start at the top and logically make our way South. So we begin outside of Joe Fox's (Tom Hanks) apartment. 152 Riverside Drive isn't a real address (even though it's his screen name, and Kathleen said "he would never do anything that prosaic"), but you can find the exterior at the corner of Riverside Drive and 93rd Street.
STOP 2: 91ST STREET GARDEN IN RIVERSIDE PARK
"Don't cry Shopgirl, don't cry"
Oh that ending scene - especially with "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" playing in the background. Joe reveals himself to Kathleen, in the park, surrounded by flowers, all under the watchful eye of Brinkley. Could it get any cuter? If you want to see the location in all it's glory wait until the Spring when the flowers are in bloom.
STOP 3: KATHLEEN KELLY'S APARTMENT
As you walk out of Riverside Park turn right and walk two blocks south. Towards the start of the block you'll come upon that famous entrance - to the huge alcove apartment that Kathleen somehow affords. This is always a question we have when watching TV or movies and seeing their fabulous dwellings. As you stand outside you can't help but hear the sound of AOL dialing up as Kathleen says: "I hear nothing, not even a sound on the streets of New York. Just the beat of my own heart. I have mail - from you".
STOP 4: CAFE LALO
Oh that fated night, when NY152 and Shopgirl were supposed to meet for coffee at Cafe Lalo, red rose and all. What happens? Joe realizes Kathleen is Shopgirl and decides to hijack his own date and allow Kathleen to believe she was stood up. Keeping is classy Joe, always...
Tip: Don't think about the circumstances of their meeting here as you sit and enjoy your coffee and breakfast.
STOP 5: "THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER"
The reason I have this location in quotations is because technically this bookstore doesn't exist.
The actual exterior location is now a cleaners at 105 West 69th Street, but it is a little out of the way of our walking route. A perfect substitute is a newer bookstore called Book Culture on Columbus! Not only is it super cute, it kind of looks like Kathleen's bookstore inside.
One of the best things about Book Culture is their "Blind Date with a book" section where you can pick up a wrapped book which only gives you hints that you may like it based on other book titles on the outer wrapping. It's a perfect way to experience something new, especially when the store is at such a close proximity to Central Park.
STOP 6: ZABAR'S
As you head back to the Hudson River to say "Hello!" to New Jersey, you are going to pass that infamous New York market, Zabar's, where Kathleen does everything in her power to avoid Joe and ends up in the 'cash only' line.
STOP 7: 79TH STREET BOAT BASIN
Who could forget that awkward scene between Joe, his father's new wife Jillian and Nanny Maureen?
After Joe decides to leave Patricia, he moves onto his boat which is parked on the Hudson at 79th Street. The grand plan is to take his half-brother and Aunt onto the boat for an afternoon of sailing, but instead they end up going to a street festival and then a book reading at Kathleen's shop. Coincidence? I think not!
Tip: If you come in the warmer months right behind the Boat Basin is Boat Basin Cafe - a fabulous place to lounge outside and grab some food and beverages with friends.
STOP 8: VERDI SQUARE
As both Upper West Siders Kathleen and Joe consistently cross paths without even knowing it. Verdi Square (which is more like a triangle) is one such location where we see them almost bump into each other in the beginning, and then go to a farmers market together at the end. Ahhhh foreshadowing!
FINAL STOP: GRAY'S PAPAYA
Not to be confused with Papaya King, Papaya Dog or Mike's Papaya!
Once Kathleen and Joe decide to become friends they go on numerous "friend dates". One of these includes a quick bite at Gray's Papaya. The best thing about Gray's is it's no muss, no fuss, and very noncommittal.
If you're a broke college student, or someone who wants a cheap, quick bite, Gray's is for you! $5.95 gets you 2 dogs and a drink - also known as the Recession Special.
Now I didn't take you to all of the filming locations because that would make for one long, tiring day, as you would be running all over the UWS.
But if you're in for a challenge and can't get enough of movie locations, check out the list below for the remaining UWS locations:
- Ocean Grill restaurant (382 Columbus Avenue, between 78th & 79th Streets) - where Kathleen and Joe discuss NY152's username
- H&H Bagels (now a Verizon store at 2239 Broadway, at 80th Street) - that scene where Joe and Brinkley walk through the bagel flour cloud
- Starbucks (2252 Broadway, at 81st Street) - sooo many almost meetings
- Barney Greengrass (541 Amsterdam, between 86th & 87th Streets) - Kathleen and Birdie discuss life as she eats a deli sandwich (because we all know Meg Ryan is about that deli life in her movies)
Come back next week as we take Sunday Funday to the spa!