Shall I share a big secret with you? You’ve got Mail is one of the all-time favourite movies of Mr T and me. We must have watched it at least a hundred times. Cuddled up on the sofa and You’ve got Mail on the tele is pretty much my idea of a perfect Sunday. So, during our recent trip to New York, we decided to finally check out those You’ve got Mail movie locations once and for all.
Over the years, some of those locations have obviously changed. After all, the movie is over 20 years old. But you can still find loads of them.
You’ve got Mail is set on the Upper West Side. An area we have neglected for a long time but have recently learned to appreciate.
We found that the Upper West Side (or UWS short) is a totally different world from Lower Manhattan. Not just because you have Central Park right on your doorstep. The Upper West Side has a very relaxed and villagey feel to it, with a selection of smaller shops, cafes and delies. It feels like you might actually get to know your neighbours if you live here. Come to think of it, that might be the main difference to being somewhere in the middle of Manhattan. There are actually people living on the Upper West Side. Not ‘just’ offices, hotels and shops.
OK, but back to the You’ve got Mail movie locations.
There’s obviously no right or wrong way to do this self-guided tour. We decided to start at the top and walk down. But you could just as easily do it the other way round (or mix it up, completely up to you).
Most of the locations are fairly close to each other and you could complete it in half an hour if you were to walk it non-stop (but what’s the fun in that?). I say ‘most’ You’ve got Mail movie locations. There is one odd one, but more on that later.
The 91st Street Garden at Riverside Park
OK, as we decided on walking top to bottom, we kind of started with the end of the movie.
The 91st Street Garden is the little garden in Riverside Park where Shopgirl and NY152 finally meet at the end of the movie.
Since we visited early March, the garden wasn’t yet in full bloom. But it is a nice little spot and I can see this being an absolute wonderful place for a rest and coffee during summer.
You’ve got Mail movie locations: Kathleen’s Apartment
Next on our tour was Kathleen’s apartment. Or at least the exterior façade, obviously we weren’t able to go inside the apartment (and I don’t know if the internal shots were actually filmed in that building). A typical New York brownstone house with stairs leading up to the main door and bay windows on ground and first floor (or first and second floor, if you are American).
The apartment is located at 328 West 89th Street.
As tempting as it may be to climb those stairs and pose for photos at the main door, please be aware that this is someone’s home. Keep your distance and don’t annoy them.
Do you remember that first date that Shopgirl and NY152 arrange? And after sitting there on her own for a while, Kathleen ends up talking to Joe Fox, as NY152 supposedly didn’t show up?
The filming location for this first date was Café Lalo, located at 201 West 83rd Street (just a few streets down from Kathleen’s apartment).
The café still exists and with its rather quirky interior and very delicious cakes is well worth a visit (although I don’t quite know what goes on with those fake plates of food and plastic flowers), whether you are on a You’ve got Mail movie locations tour or just passing by.
Unfortunately, when we visited the building was undergoing works and the entire façade was hidden behind scaffolding. So as much as much as it pains me to say, this was the best external shot I could master:
You’ve got Mail movie locations: Starbucks
OK, I know there are hundreds of Starbucks all over New York and it is not necessarily the most significant location of them all. Although it does feature a few times in the film. It wasn’t even on my list of You’ve got Mail movie locations. Yet as we walked past it, we instantly recognised it as THE Starbucks from the movie.
Not the least as it was right opposite the next filming location.
Oh yes, before I completely forget, the Starbucks is located 2252 Broadway (at the corner of 81th Street).
Remind yourself of that scene where Kathleen and Joe both go shopping in the same supermarket. And Kathleen tries her best not to be seen by Joe. Only to then end up at the ‘cash only’ till… and Joe coming to her rescue? These scenes were filmed in Zabar’s.
Zabar’s is located 2245 Broadway. And I must say, the shop still looks very much like it did 20 odd years ago. It is a mix of grocery shop, butchers, bakery and kitchen shop. It has a little bit of everything (including its own merchandise). And since Mr T and I can’t go past any kitchen shop without going in, we ended up spending quite a bit of time in there (although for once we’ve been on best behaviour and didn’t actually buy anything).
You’ve got Mail movie locations: Verdi Square
Verdi Square (at the junction of Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue) features in the movie several times. At the beginning, when both Kathleen and Joe walk to work. And later on, when they keep bumping into each other at the farmers market and sit on the bench and talk.
Even if you don’t fancy an entire You’ve got Mail movie locations tour, this is a good place to be. It is easy to get to (the subway station 72nd/Amsterdam is right underneath it) and there are loads of shops around (like the Bloomingdale’s Outlet).
Just across the street you will find the next movie location:
This hot dog shop has featured in many movies and TV series over the years. And apparently these are some of the best hot dogs you can get in New York. Unfortunately, I cannot vouch for it. Since we didn’t have any cash on us when we visited (and it turned out the credit card / Apple pay sticker on the door was just for decoration, as inside it said ‘cash only’). Therefore, as far as I am concerned, I stick to Nathan’s as my New York favourite hot dog.
However, Gray’s Papaya is one of those locations where Joe and Kathleen come across each other as we get towards the end of the movie and they bump into each other more frequently.
You’ve got Mail movie locations: The Shop around the Corner
I mean, obviously no You’ve got Mail movie locations tour could be complete without Kathleen’s little children’s bookstore ‘The Shop around the Corner’.
Back in the day when the movie was shot, the location was a little antique shop and the cute interior you see in the film was actually there (although they obviously needed to remove the antiques and fill the place with children’s books for filming). However, these days are long gone. Nowadays the shop is occupied by a dry cleaner and the pretty interior is lost. But as it is only a short walk from Verdi Square, you might as well check it out. The location is 106 West 69th Street.
And last but not least we have Fox Books
In the movie, the Fox Books superstore opens in the neighbourhood, threatening the livelihood of Kathleen and ultimately forcing her to close her little bookstore. But in reality, this movie location is the odd one out (told you there was one). It is nowhere near the Shop around the Corner. It isn’t even on the Upper West Side. Shocking, right?
Instead, Fox Books can be found way down at the corner of West 17th Street and 7th Avenue (next door to Barney’s).
I did visit the location, but not as part of my self-guided You’ve got Mail movie locations tour. The detour just wasn’t worth it.
Especially since that building was also undergoing refurbishment (although I didn’t know that at the time, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have bothered at all) and the entire building was hidden behind scaffolding.
I hope you enjoyed my little You’ve got Mail movie locations tour? Obviously, this isn’t the only movie shot in New York. And to be absolutely honest, these weren’t the only New York movie locations we visited. Curious what other movie locations we found in New York? Head over to my next post and see for yourself.