One of my favorite New York movies is You’ve Got Mail. On my various trips to NY I have tracked down a few of the filming locations.
You’ve Got Mail was filmed entirely on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The Shop Around the Corner is, in actuality – yes, you are reading this correctly – a cheese and antique shop. Very odd, I know. It is called Maya Schaper Cheese and Antiques. Only the exterior of Maya’s was used for filming and unfortunately it looks very different in person. The producers brought in a faux exterior that made the shop look much more charming than it does in real life. And let’s just say the owner of the shop was not as “enchanting” as Kathleen Kelly, either. She wasn’t very nice or talkative when I went in to ask about the filming. Not everyone loves a stalker, I guess. This location I found in the book New York: The Movie Lover’s Guide by Richard Alleman.
The Shop Around the Corner was actually based on a real life children’s bookstore in NYC called “Books of Wonder.” This is a really cute bookshop for kids and I would recommend visiting. I got this little bit of trivia and location off of the trivia link on IMDB’s You’ve Got Mail page.
One of the great benefits to stalking is that you often happen upon really great restaurants or places to visit. One of my favorite places to grab a bite to eat in New York I actually discovered while stalking You’ve Got Mail. Grey’s Papaya, located on West 71st and Broadway, serves up the BEST hot-dogs you will ever eat! Its other claim to fame is that it was the location where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks ate lunch in front of a window towards the end of the movie.
The Starbucks from YGM, where Joe makes a witty observation about decision making, is located on the corner of 83rd Street and Broadway. Grab a coffee to go – all this stalking will make you tired! This location, as well as the next two, I found on the official website for You’ve Got Mail, which has a map of several filming sites from the movie.
Cafe Lalo, where Joe Fox first realizes that Shopgirl is actually Kathleen Kelly, is a very, very quaint little cafe on the Westside. I have NO idea how the heck they could possibly film anything inside of it, as the place is truly minuscule. It is really cute, though, and serves up some great espresso.
Another Westside location for YGM is Zabar’s grocery store, a fabulous gourmet store on the Westside that is unlike any other grocery store I have ever seen. It has possibly everything you could ever want – including an espresso bar, cooking utensils, and every cheese imaginable! Zabar’s was used for the scene where Meg Ryan steps into the “Cash Only” line without any cash to pay for her groceries.
Last, but not least, is the 91st Street Garden, where Kathleen and Joe finally get together at the very end of the movie. This location was easy to find, as the characters kiss right in front of a sign that says “91st Street Garden.” From that point, I just googled “91st Street Garden” and it turns out it was right where I thought it would be – on the Westside near 91st street. The garden is a bit hard to find, as it is off the beaten path in Riverside Park. It is also extremely small in person, so it was not what I was expecting. In December, there isn’t much to see, but I am sure it is absolutely beautiful in the spring and summer months!
The one YGM location that has always escaped me is Meg Ryan’s brownstone. Oh well, there’s always next year’s trip to NYC to stalk it.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Spend a day on the Westside! Maya Shaper Cheese and Antiques is located at 106 W. 69th Street. Watch out for the owner – she may bite! Books of Wonder is located at 18 W. 18th Street. Grey’s Papaya can be found at 2090 Broadway between West 71st and West 72nd streets. Get the Recession Special – two dogs and a drink for $3.50 – and eat in the window just like Meg and Tom! Starbucks is located at the corner of Broadway and 86th Street – don’t get it confused with the 50 other Starbucks on the Westside. Cafe Lalo is located on 83rd Street between Broadway and Amsterdam. Zabar’s is at 2245 Broadway at 81st Street – bring your grocery list! Finally, the 91st Street Garden is located in Riverside Park in between 90th and 91st Streets – but be careful, blink and you might miss it!