The alarm went off at 4:30. After hurriedly getting dressed and snagging a croissant from a street vendor, I headed to NBC Studios for four-and-a-half hours of waiting in line. My friend went with me, and although it was brutal getting up so early to do something so boring, it would be great to have some company.
We made some friends in line, and the time passed faster than you’d think. When someone finally came out to give us our standby line tickets, I couldn’t have been more excited. We were told to come back at 3:30, which was around the time people with actual tickets needed to be back as well. For a full recap of my Tonight Show standby line experience, see my Yelp Review of the Tonight Show.
It was around 9:30 am by this point, and we were getting hungry and went out in search of a meal. It was yet another experience of walking and walking and walking, and not finding anything. Finally, I got on the Open Table app and searched for places nearby with good reviews and we just went to the first place that popped up on the list, DB Bistro Moderne.
I learned long after the fact that the restaurant was known for its burgers, but since we were there mid-morning, we opted for brunch, and both ordered the exact same thing — bacon, potatoes, toast and a mimosa. It sounds like a fairly mundane meal, but the potatoes were uniquely flavorful and the bacon was delicious and cooked just perfectly! Even the toast with butter and jam was notably good. We ended up spending more time than we expected there because it was quiet in the restaurant at the time, and found it to be an ideal place to chat and catch up on social media without having to be in our hotel.
After brunch, we realized we really didn’t have much time before we needed to be back at NBC Studios and decided to head straight back to firm up our plans for the rest of the night and get ready for The Tonight Show.
Long story short, I was successful in getting a tonight show ticket! The show experience was great and it went by fast. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get any air time (my seat was in the middle of the audience, fairly high up), but it was fun to say that I’ve been to a taping now!
The plan for the night was to do our own You’ve Got Mail tour on the Upper West Side, and the weather that night was perfect for it. Our first stop would have been Zabar’s, but since it was closed, we started with walking in Riverside Park and looking for specific places in the movie. Along the way, there was a long stretch of the path where you could see the New Jersey skyline. If was nearing sunset, and with my fondness for a good sunset photo, I had to take the opportunity for a photo.
Next on the list was going to Kathleen Kelly’s apartment. I could replay the scenes in the movie of her entering and exiting her apartment and it was kind of surreal to be standing on those same steps. The surrounding neighborhood was beautiful and quiet, and we spent a long time walking around just enjoying the scenery.
After the apartment visit, we had one more stop on the tour, but we were also starving! Once again, we stumbled into a place while still on the Upper West Side — 5 Napkin Burger. Neither of us were really craving burgers beforehand, but after walking by and smelling those burgers cooking, we had to go in.
We were able to snag a table outside and it was an ideal spot to hang out and people-watch on the street while waiting for our food. We split a burger and onion rings, which were both of the stellar quality I had begun to expect from all food in NYC, then headed it was off to Cafe Lalo.
Cafe Lalo was our final stop on our condensed tour, which has to be the most popular location from the movie. It was cute and quaint with live musicians playing in a corner just inside the cafe and was not very busy by the time we arrived around 8 pm or so. By the handful of couples there in the restaurant, it looked like it was a popular spot to take a date after dinner. The coconut cake I ordered was delicious and all of the other desserts in their display looked equally as good.