You’ve Got Mail
Explore You've Got Mail movie locations!
Although You’ve Got Mail was released in 1998, it’s already considered a “classic” New York film. The story of You’ve Got Mail revolves around rivaling businesses owners who fall in love with each other through anonymous internet communication. Kathleen (Meg Ryan) owns a small children’s bookstore and Joe (Tom Hanks) is in charge of opening up a brand new discount book superstore in the same neighborhood where Kathleen has her store. The superstore, Fox Books, inevitably puts Kathleen’s store, The Shop Around the Corner, out of business. She is very upset and claims to hate Joe Fox, but what she doesn’t realize is that she and Joe already have a romantic connection as a result of their writing to each other online.
Nora Ephron wrote and directed You’ve Got Mail and she set the film on New York’s Upper West Side because that is where she herself lives. She based Fox Books on Barnes and Noble, but was not given permission to use Barnes and Noble’s name in the film. The Shop Around the Corner was based on a real-life New York bookshop called Manhattan’s Books of Wonder, which is located on West 18th Street. However, the children’s bookstore scenes in the film were actually filmed at Maya Shaper’s Cheese and Antique shop on West 69th Street. The filmmakers wanted to use the antique shop because it had the quaint, homey feel they were going for. They sent the owner of the antique shop on vacation for a few weeks and while she was gone they turned the store into a children’s bookstore. After filming was finished, they put everything back the way they had left it and it became an antique store once again!
Several other locations on the Upper West Side were used in You’ve Got Mail. Café Lalo on West 83rd Street is the café where Kathleen and Joe are finally supposed to meet in person for the first time. She waits for him at a table, but when he looks through the window and sees who it is, he decides to not tell her that he’s the one she’s been emailing with.
The Gray’s Papaya hotdog store on West 72nd Street is where Kathleen and Joe have lunch shortly before she goes to meet her secret admirer, not realizing she will being meeting Joe!
The ending scene of the film where Kathleen and Joe meet in the park and she finally realizes that it’s her friend and business competitor who she’s been emailing with for so long was filmed in Riverside Park at the 91st Street Garden. This beautiful garden is not featured on the tour, but a visit makes for a wonderful activity for a clear day.
You’ve Got Mail marks the third movie starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. The first two were Joe vs. the Volcano (1990) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993). You’ve Got Mail is an internet-age remake of the film The Shop Around the Corner (1940), which starred Jimmy Stewart. There was also a musical remake of the film made in 1949 called In the Good Old Summertime, which starred Judy Garland. Locations from You've Got Mail can be seen on the Uptown TV & Movie Sites tour.