Call me a hopeless romantic, but I think we all dream of having our own Lost in Translation moment, one in which we walk into an establishment like the New York Bar and meet a Bill Murray or a Scarlett Johansson.
Maybe you are one of the blessed ones who always find themselves in a conversation. Please tell me what that’s like. For all the instances I have managed to chat up a new friend, there are a hundred more of sitting listlessly at the counter, wishing that lightning would strike.
Frankly, I’m not convinced the New York Bar is ideal for serendipitous encounters. All eyes are instead drawn to the view of the city, which really is mesmerizing, below. On a weeknight, I faced the windows behind where Bill and Scarlett would have sat, consuming a prodigious amount of bar nuts and sipping on first one cocktail, then a second, after I realized that the drink named “LIT” was a reference to the film.
Maybe what it takes is pluck. What would have happened if I had started a conversation with the patron two seats to my left, who wore a severe suit and ate through his bar nuts robotically? Or if I had waited until the jazz musicians had run through their set, the evening winding down in major sevenths, and a latecomer to the bar looked up and glanced in my direction? Maybe they were hoping for their Lost in Translation moments, too.
But maybe it really does just come down to serendipity. Movies are lucky; they can fabricate it when the plot requires it. Here, in the real world, we can only stare out at the quiet city and hope for someone to materialize in our field of vision.
Immortalized in the 2003 romantic comedy-drama Lost in Translation, the New York Bar on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo offers sweeping views of the city. Small bites, well-mixed cocktails, and a healthy collection of wines and spirits are served, while for those seeking a more substantial meal, the adjoining New York Grill is one of Tokyo’s most famous restaurants. A live jazz band plays every night from 8:00 p.m., but a cover charge is imposed; if you’re more interested in the skyline than the entertainment, finish your drink before the music starts.
3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo
Mon-Wed, Sun: 17:00-24:00; Thu-Sat: 17:00-01:00
03 5323 3458
Around 4,600 JPY per person