Dash & Lily follows its titular characters (played by Austin Abrams and Midori Francis) as they get to know each other through a cute, quirky method: exchanging notes via a red notebook they hide in one of New York's most iconic bookstores, The Strand. Given the amount of well-known New York locations that crop up throughout the series — from The Strand, to the Macy's flagship store — you might be wondering if Dash & Lily was actually filmed in New York? (Or if the team behind the show simply spliced in shots of the New York landmarks later on, which is a fairly common practice in Hollywood.) But rest assured, Dash & Lily is a New York story through and through.
The source material for the series — the 2010 YA novel Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares — is also set in New York City. And its portrayal of Manhattan is what inspired Tracz to take on the project. "When I read Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, it felt like New York," Tracz told Deadline. "It wasn’t just the specificity of the locations — which inspired a pledge in our first script: 'We’re gonna be sticklers for New York geography' — it was the way the book captured the spirit of the city. The sense of possibility tinged with loneliness, and the way they both seem to magnify around the holidays."
Throughout the course of the show, Dash & Lily becomes more than a romance between two people. The series is ultimately a romantic look at the city of New York itself. "Dash & Lily is a celebration of New York at the holidays. It’s joyful and optimistic and I hope it can be an escape for people, especially right now," the show's creator, Joe Tracz, previously told Bustle.