EXT. NEW YORK CITY FIFTH AVENUE – DAWN
The entire block is empty of all other people, until a bright yellow taxi cab drives up the street and stops in front of the jewelry store, Tiffany’s. Stepping out of the cab is a tall, elegant looking young woman. HOLLY GOLIGHTLY. She wears a black ball gown with matching gloves, an elaborate updo, oversized sunglasses, and several lush strands of pearls. As the cab drives away, Holly approaches one of the window displays of the store. She is carrying a small white paper bag. Barely taking her eyes off the diamonds in the window, she opens the bag and removes a cup of coffee and a pastry, which she bites into, as the movie’s theme song, “Moon River” plays in the background.
The newly renovated home-goods floor of the Tiffany & Co. flagship store on Fifth Avenue, had officially opened to the public, introducing The Blue Box Cafe.
So now you can literally have Breakfast at Tiffany’s!!!
Only, there was just one problem: I couldn’t get a reservation.
So I went back to my trusty computer. I typed in The Blue Box Cafe into my Google search engine. Clicked on the Tiffany & Co. link, was brought to their cafe web page, clicked on their reservation button . . . and was brought to a page where I was to make my reservation.
However, everything was booked.
All right, so this reservation software that Tiffany’s was using for their cafe at least allowed their guests to add their names to their Notify List (which was really a Waitlist). So if you were planning on going to Tiffany’s tomorrow, you probably won’t get a table. But if you knew you were going to be in Manhattan a month in advanced, the odds might play in your favor.
Luckily, I had twenty-five days to finalize everything for my New York trip, so I was in the clear. I selected a date and time before clicking on the "Notify Me" button.
Now all I had to do was wait.
But a week since I had made the reservation on Resy, I kept missing the notifications on my phone and email. I’ll be in a meeting at work, leave my phone at my desk, and would return with two openings for the Blue Box Cafe. But by the time I would log into the app or check my email, the opening would instantly be gone. It was like playing a game of spoons with this app. Some days I would just stare at my phone waiting for a notification to pop up. And if it did, I would jump on it and quickly seize the reservation with my shaky fingers. Days went by, and for some odd reason, I wasn’t fast enough to score a reservation. UNTIL, I was playing HQ on my phone one day and a notification just happened to show up. I exited the game – it was worth it, I promise – and finally got my reservation.
That was the hard part. Next was the follow up research: I had never actually seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
I figured, that since I had jumped through all these hoops to get a reservation at this place, I might as well watch the movie that ultimately prompted Tiffany's to open a cafe to the public.
The movie was on Netflix and I sat down to watch it. The plot of the movie was that Holly Golightly was an escort searching for a rich, older man to marry. But in the process she meets a handsome writer who moves into her apartment building. Low and behold, they fall in love and end up together.
But what caught my attention was the fact that the movie was based upon a Truman Capote novella. Intrigued – this was after all part of my research before leaving to have breakfast at Tiffany’s – I bought the novella and read Capote’s story in one sitting.
But the real difference comes at the ending of both the movie and the novella. According to the movie, once Holly is released from jail she abandons her cat and tells Varjack that she is determined to flee the country and go to Brazil. Varjack on the other hand, tries to convince her to stay by saying:
You know what's wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You're chicken, you've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin and say, "Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness." You call yourself a free spirit, a "wild thing," and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.
Of course, after hearing Varjack’s speech, Holly has a change of heart, turns back, searches for her cat, realizes that people can belong to one another and that maybe she’s been wrong all along. The movie ends with her kissing Varjack in the rain. (Watch the ending below).
I like that ending a whole lot better than the movie version.
By changing the ending in the movie, it in effect changed Holly’s character completely. The explicit message of the movie is that for all of Holly’s resisting and pretending, deep down she was simply a woman searching for love and for a man who could tame her. All of her problems suddenly became neatly tucked away when she and Varjack finally get together. But after finishing both the novella and the movie, it was so much easier to picture Holly Golightly running around Africa than to see her sharing a home with Varjack and a cat. By taking a complex and distinct character and forcefully domesticating her, the film perpetuates the fairytale idea that all women need to be rescued. And as any average woman – especially one that graduated from a Woman’s College – will tell you, that is FUCKING BULLSHIT!
Afterwards, I really, really, really wanted to be Holly Golightly.
Then I had an idea: I could actually be Holly Golightly!
So why not dress up as Holly Golightly and go to Tiffany’s just like in the movie?
I already had a little black dress in my closet. All I needed were the gloves and the jewelry to complete the ensemble. So I went on Amazon and made a few purchases.
If there’s one thing that you should know about me, it’s that I love dressing up. Not just for formal events, but like for Halloween. My friends will tell you, that I take Halloween VERY seriously. And if I was going as Holly Golightly to Tiffany’s, I had to look like Holly Golightly.
Maybe I’m weird (which I most definitely am) but that shocked me.
Sure enough, the four strand pearl necklace, earrings and black satin gloves were delivered a few days before my trip to New York. There was even a black fully functional extended cigarette holder that was included in the accessory set that I had purchased.
By the time I had checked into my hotel in New York City, I made plans to meet Siobhan and her mother at Tiffany’s. Once I was all dressed up – sunglasses and extended cigarette holder in hand – I began my walk down Fifth Avenue.
But there was one thing that I had forgotten about Tiffany’s as I approached the jewelry store (fully dressed up as Holly Golightly, I might add), and that was where Tiffany’s was located on Fifth Avenue. Well, Tiffany’s (as beautiful as a building it is on the busy streets of Fifth Avenue) has the unfortunate location to be RIGHT NEXT TO Trump Tower.
Yeah. Go figure.
But once I made it to the jewelry store and met both Siobhan and her mother, I was suddenly aware of something else: People – the same people whom I had just walked past in front of Trump Tower – were taking my picture.
“Well what did you expect?” Siobhan turned to me. “You look exactly like Holly."
I mean, that was the whole point after all. But I never had imagined that I would attract the protesters adjacent at Trump Tower. Siobhan’s mother had her camera with her, so we decided to take a couple of pictures in front of the store, recreating the iconic scene with Audrey gazing into the store’s window display. I had my back turned, channeling my inner Holly Golightly and wishing that I had a paper coffee cup and pastry in each hand. When I had turned back around, a small crowd had started to gather as Siobhan’s mother snapped picture after picture of me in my little black dress and my updo hairstyle.
“Hi Holly!” One woman waved at me as she held her phone out.
“Holly, can I get my picture with you?” It was an elderly man in a wool sweatshirt, and I happily snapped a picture with him.
I felt like one of those dressed up characters that always showboated in front of the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. A few more people approached me asking for pictures, one person – most likely a tourist – even asked me after she had taken a photo of us how much she should tip me (I politely declined, by the way).
“They probably all think that you actually work for Tiffany’s,” Siobhan’s mother smiled at me as she stowed her camera away.
“You should.” Siobhan even chimed in. “Anything to take the focus off of Trump for once.”
Which made me register, that the protesters in front of Trump Tower had somehow quieted down. A took another look around the crowd that had formed in front of Tiffany’s and identified a couple of protesters with signs whom I had taken a picture with just a few minutes ago. I hadn’t even put two-to-two together that a good portion of the protesters had migrated over to Tiffany’s to snap pictures of me. More so, they were smiling so wide that I thought their cheeks would burst. At least just for a few moments the protesters had their anger on pause to take pictures with Holly Golightly in front of Tiffany’s.
This was probably the closets that I would get to that ideal serene opening at the very beginning at Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
To get to the cafe, first we had to walk past rows upon rows of diamonds on the main floor.
The inside still looked the same as the scene in the movie. Instantly, I was reminded of when Holly brought her love interest, Paul Varjack to Tiffany’s during normal business hours. Varjack insisted that he wanted to buy Holly something, but only if it costs less than ten dollars – which is how much he currently has in his pocket. The kind sales associate recommended a sterling-silver telephone dialer for $6.75, including tax. "Well, the price is right,” Varjack says. “But, uh, I must say, I was hoping for something slightly more . . . how shall I say it . . . romantic in feeling.” In the end, they decide to have the ring from the box of Cracker Jacks engraved.
“About time you’ve returned Ms. Golightly,” he laughed as he pressed the button for the forth floor for us. I am also continuously being stared at this whole time, by the way.
When we get off the elevator, we approached the front of the cafe, and get escorted to our seats. The room was covered in the store’s trademark robin’s egg blue, from the slipcovers on the chairs to the salt and pepper shakers. There was even a beautiful marble and amazonite stone wall that even the real Holly Golightly would’ve massively approved. I felt like I was inside an actual blue Tiffany box!
Which – by the way – I would totally dress up as Holly Golightly again if I were to obtain another sought after reservation at the Blue Box Cafe. Perhaps, the next time, I’ll go as Holly Golightly JUST as she is rolling out of bed with her light blue sleeping mask.
I would think that Holly would agree.