The other day while riding the 1 train, there were two women seated across from me who were obviously not New Yorkers. They began talking to the woman standing next to them, who obviously was a seasoned New Yorker. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop.
Unsure of which stop was theirs, the two women agreed to get off at 79th and Broadway. The New York woman asked where they were going. One responded, “Cafe Lalo”.
Cafe Lalo is a charming patisserie on the Upper West Side, actually about an 8-10 minute walk from my apartment. It is located on 83rd street between Amsterdam and Broadway, and is always crowded with tourists. They said they wanted to see Lalo because it had been featured in the famous film with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, You’ve Got Mail. They took her suggestions to exit the train at 86th St, and walked three blocks south to Lalo. I then overheard their story.
The New York woman continued in the conversation, asking them if they liked NYC, where they were from, where they were going, etc. They were sisters. One had lived in Manhattan eight years ago, but then moved to Florida, where she currently resides. She commented that even though some of the city looked different, much of it had not changed in the past 8 years. The other woman said with a twang, “It’s exciting here! Anything is more exciting than Arkansas!” Even though I’ve never been to Arkansas myself, l think I’d have to agree.
As we got up to leave the subway at 86th St., I heard the New Yorker tell them about the other great attractions on the Upper West Side, including the Museum of Natural History. She then escorted them off the train and when they got to the top of the stairs, she took them in the correct direction toward the cafe. At that point, I went on my way in the opposite direction toward 89th St.
I wonder if she ventured to Cafe Lalo, enjoyed dessert and coffee with them, continuing to give these two ladies suggestions for the remainder of their New York trip. Or perhaps she went on with the rest of her day, and the two sisters snapped lots of photos outside the restaurant, which is what everyone seems to do, since this cafe was featured in You’ve Got Mail.
I must admit if I could choose, I like the first ending better.