Today, New York world famous Katz’ Deli* was crowded as usual. The food changed little in its 120 years business. $19.25 was not a usual price for a pastrami sandwich and soda, but all these were pleasantly accepted by locals who frequented there for decades, or tourists, who came because it’s the place where “Harry met Sally”.
Amazed at its full occupation, while the store next to it was empty, I squeezed into it. A couple was sitting at the best seat under the sign “Where Harry met Sally… Hope you have what she had” (See the sign further above my head in Picture 2). All the people were supposed to know the movie “When Harry Met Sally”, and understand what Sally (Meg Ryan) had at that seat. Their hilarious faces, and those in the hundreds of pictures on the wall, made me wondering whether they came for what Sally had, (fake orgasm?), or for the answer of “can men and women be friends?”
Of course, there might be some people who came to “send a Salami to the boy in the army”, since salami became so important to the army even since World War II, in which salami was used by artillery units in the place of shells and its deliciousness hastened the end of the war.
However, this meaning was more or less ignored, intentionally or unintentionally, while the movie “When Harry Met Sally”, cast in the deli in 1989, one hundred years after Katz’s Deli was established, endowed Katz’s Deli new meaning about love and friendship, which is most appealing to these baffled New Yorkers with various sour and sweet experiences.
To me, Katz’s Deli, like so many other places in New York, pours me with more question marks and I was plunged into deep contemplationabout life, about people, and more about myself.
Looking at these people, I burst into a stealthy laugh. Like the woman at the neighbor seat in the movie looking at Sally’s ecstatic releases of orgasm, did these people also come to have “what she ‘s having”.
Then what is it? Love? Friendship? Sex? Or just orgasm? Am I too greedy if I want them all? Another TV series, “Sex and the City”, actually bewitched New Yorkers for quite a few years, without giving any clear conclusion.
“Can men and women be friends?” A student in my writing class did a survey among 40 of her classmates and friends, and drew a conclusion that most of the single people thought it was possible, while most of the married people responded oppositely.
When friendship stands clear of sex, it might be friendship. However, when sex is involved, as Harry (Billy Crystal) said, “friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.” What if we keep it as both love and friendship? As Harry finally decided to love Sally, instead of befriend her, the possibility was denied by the movie producers.
In New York, like any place with too much diversity, one can hardly make a wise choice. Though people believe simple life is another kind of happiness, life in New York can never be so simple. Everyone in New York experiences several lives simultaneously. One dreamed of true love, which might occur once or never; One was pursuing real friendship, which was as rare as love; the extravagant hope to find the other half to be both lover and friend could never work out.
“I’ll have what she had.” People came to Katz’s Deli without knowing clearly “what she had” really was, and left it with more puzzles.
Harry and Sally’s answer in the movie was friendship + sex+ orgasm = love. Obviously, people are not satisfied with it and still came to their seat to find out “can men and women be friends?”
I believe Katz’s Deli will remain flourishing until people find the answer, though no one knows when. “When Harry Met Sally”, more people was lost in Katz’s Deli, like me.
· Katz’s Deli is located at 205, E. Houston St., New York, NY 10002.