Ever notice that New York City is the background of so much stuff? If you just look around, you'll see it everywhere! Movies, television shows, books...the Big Apple tends to take a nibble, if not a bite, out of it all.
One of the most famous shows (and my favorite) set against the backdrop of NYC was Sex & The City. The HBO series ran 94 juicy episodes from 1998 to 2004 and spawned two feature films...ok, so the second one wasn't that great. For years, millions of women across the country spent their Sunday nights drinking cosmopolitans and debating on whether they were a Carrie, Samantha, Miranda or Charlotte.
When one of my girlfriends from Arkansas announced she would be coming to NYC on a visit, I jumped at the chance to get someone to go on a SATC tour with me! A little online research and we were booked on a 1.5 hour walking tour showcasing some of the best spots of NYC seen in our favorite show.
The tour started at Pastis on 9th Avenue, where Carrie & The Russian had brunch with some of his snooty, uptown friends. Today, it's home to a trendy hip crowd and celebrity hangout.
A large part of our SATC tour was through the Meat Packing District and we got to see where exteriors of Samantha's apartment were filmed. Her infamous bedroom was right above an upscale Asian Fusion restaurant called the Spice Market. But here's the weird thing: the waiters and waitresses wore dowdy orange scrubs and tennis shoes??
The Meat Packing District also has tons of botiques and upscale shops set under awnings that still have the hooks used to hold meat sold there in the 1900s. Hard to believe the area was once the central location to more than 250 slaughter houses and packing plants! Now, only one remains.
In the 1980's the area was known as a hub for drug dealing and transexual prostitution. By the late 1990's, designers saw it as an opportunity to cash in on the young hipster crowd and the area went through a transformation phase. Today the Meat Packing District is one of the trendiest spots in Manhattan making it perfect for the background of SATC.
Our tour also checked out Tortilla Flats, home to the disastrous double date Miranda, Steve, Carrie and Aiden went on. The Mexican dive is rumored to serve up a fabulous margarita, but as Southerners, we knew better than to expect "good" Mexican food anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Our quick tour pace came to a screeching halt when we stumbled upon the Magnolia Bakery. After being featured in just one episode of Sex and the City, the place became went wild! Carrie & Miranda snacked on Magnolia Bakery's fabulous cupcakes at a park across the street and - BOOM - a cupcake craze was born!
We had no complaints waiting for a few minutes to savor some of their delicious treats!
Next door to the Magnolia Bakery are the famous sidewalk doors that Samantha fell down and broke her ankle on. Laura and I had a little fun reenacting our own version of the scene!
No doubt, the best part of the tour was definitely a stop at Carrie's stoop, which is located at 66 Perry, between West 4th and Bleeker Street. Turns out, SATC actually used about five different stoops during the course of the show, but the one we saw was used most frequently.
Unfortunately, the owner isn't real fond of folks sitting on their front porch for photos, so a chain discourages the rubberneckers from getting too close.
The ironic part: Sarah Jessica Parker's actual building is located just around the corner from Carrie's on Charles Street! We weren't sure which one it was, so Laura and I struck a pose on a stoop that could have been SJP's. However, since no one from her security detail kicked us off the front porch, it probably wasn't her house.
I gotta say, it was a pretty sweet (and pricey!) little neighborhood. A one bedroom in this 'hood reportedly goes for about $950,000!
It's amazing how close things are together in NYC! Our tour took us the short distance from Carrie & SJP's neighborhood to the sex shop where Charlotte bought her vibrating rabbit. There were plenty of unmentionables and we were a bit wary of the sticker shock for Charlotte's toy...a good time with it will run you about $70!
Just down the street from the sex shop was the small, but beautiful garden (again, it's all about location in NYC) where Steve and Miranda finally tied the knot in season 6. The garden is tucked away, but surrounded by gorgeous flowers, narrow paths and tons of snug little benches perfect for curling up with a good book. Ironic thing about the park though...you can't actually be on the grass and weddings aren't allowed to be held there.
Oh, to walk in Carrie's shoes!