I am visiting NYC and here I am with Kate, best friend and traveling companion. We are sitting in Cafe LaLo. Again, another beautiful, summer day in the City. The first thing I notice upon entering, is that the walls are painted in cheerful yellow and bright, colorful prints adorn the walls. You might recall Café Lalo from the movie You’ve Got Mail. Remember the scene where Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) is supposed to meet Kathleen, (Meg Ryan) only they don’t.. well that was filmed here. In this very spot. Anyway, There’s a full bar above a huge glass display of every delectable pastry imaginable. Again, the city of endless choices. Adding to the ambiance, music that I know and love is blaring from speakers. It’s my generation of music, The Beatles, Creedence Clearwater, Stones, Lynard Skinner…who wouldn’t love this place?
Ok, so the young waiter in his muscle tee and rolled up jeans saunters over to take our order. He doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in either us or our order, but no matter. The menu is presented. The mocha cappuccino is not the best I’ve tasted, and after perusing the menu, decide upon avocado eggs benedict. I am dissapointed in my choice. Remind me to never mix eggs with salad ever again. I guess I’m just a greasy, egg, bacon and homefries kind of girl. However, The overall ambiance, with floor to ceiling windows cranked open to the street below, flooding the cozy cafe with warm summer morning light, the colorful poster-art filled walls and blaring music make for a happy atmosphere. Breakfast over with, we call for the check. The waiter brings it over, suddenly all solicitous and smiles.
Ok, if I don’t see anything else in this fabulous city, I will return home a happy girl now that I have seen Apthorp. For anyone who is a Nora Ephron fan, you will know at once what I’m talking about. Apthorp was the NYC residence of the queen of romantic rom-coms. I’m talking when Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve got mail. Yes, now you’ve got it…that doyenne of chick lit. The one, the only, the irrepressible Nora. I am channeling my inner Nora. Yes, I am starstruck…never mind that she passed away in 2012. This is Nora’s old stomping ground and I’m playing in her backyard. She lived in the Upper Westside and I am standing outside the building she loved and called home. It has an imposing ornate, wrought iron gate from where, if I crane my neck, I peer past the cobblestone entry and into the famed courtyard. I see bright, spring flowers around a huge fountain. This is the very building and courtyard she immortalized in her 2006 New Yorker essay. Describing her new home, she wrote: “ten steps in and I said “I’ll take it.” She was in love. Please take the time to read it. Once you do, you will fall in love with her, too. I’m no Nora, but I sure am a wanna be.