Late in October, the owners of New York’s iconic Strand bookstore put out a call: The pandemic had hit them hard. Sales were down nearly 70 percent year-over-year, and they needed money. Strand lovers far and wide responded, and within a day of the news, over 10,000 orders had been placed. By the end of the following day, more than 25,000 orders had come in, with more flooding in every day since.
The Strand might find itself with even more orders following the release of Netflix’s new “Christmas in New York” infused series, Dash & Lily. Based off a YA book of the same name, the series follows the saga of a high school girl who leaves a notebook in The Strand in hopes of finding her Romeo. Shockingly, it works out for her—but only after a few twists and turns along the way.
Austin Abrams and Midori Francis play Dash and Lily, respectively, and while the twenty-something actors have their teen years in their rear views, they’re still more than capable of summoning up the angst required to communicate via emotional journal entries. The A.V. Club talked to the pair about The Strand, their favorite indie bookstores, and how they remember what it’s like to been a teen and just feel stuck.