Sunday, August 14, 2011

Stepping Out in NYC on a Sex & The City Tour

New York City is the background of so much stuff!  If you just look around, you'll notice it everywhere!  Movies, television shows, books, blogs...the Big Apple tends to take a nibble, if not a bite, out of it all.

One of the most famous shows (at least among women anyway) set against the backdrop of NYC was Sex & The City.  The HBO series ran a racy 94 episodes from 1998 to 2004 and spawned two feature films.  Millions of women across the country spent Sunday nights drinking cosmopolitans and debating on whether they were a Carrie, Samantha, Miranda or Charlotte. 

When Brett & Heather's favorite KAIT chief photographer Laura Gunter announced she and former K8'er Shane Carter would be coming to NYC on a visit, we Heather jumped at the chance to get someone to go on a SATC tour with her.  A little online research and Heather, Laura and Shane were booked on a 1.5 hour walking tour showcasing some of the highlights of our favorite show.  There are tons of tours offered in NYC, but we were on a tight time schedule.

From Russia with love
Our tour started at Pastis on 9th Avenue and took us through some of the highlights of the show.  Hardcore SATC fans will remember Pastis as where Carrie & The Russian had brunch with some of his snooty, uptown friends.  Today, it's home to a trendy hip crowd and people have reported seeing all different types of celebrities there, including Monica Lewinsky.

Samantha's building
A big part of our SATC tour was through the Meat Packing District.  We saw where exteriors of Samantha's apartment were filmed.  Her window was right above a very trendy Asian Fusion restaurant called the Spice Market.  The weird thing is that at the upscale restaurant, waiters and waitresses wore dowdy orange scrubs and tennis shoes??

Hang 'em high!
The Meat Packing District also had tons of botiques and up scale shops set under awnings that still have the hooks used to hold meat sold there.  Hard to believe the area was once home to more than 250 slaughter houses and packing plants!  Now, only one remains next to the Hudson River.

In the 1980's the area was known as a center for drug dealing and transexual prostitution.  In the late 1990's designers saw it as an opportunity to cash in on the young professional hipster crowd as the area went through a transformation.  Today the Meat Packing District is one of the trendiest spots in Manhattan making it  a perfect setting for SATC.
Laura's checking it out...

Our touring trio (+ guide) also got to check 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 delish margarita, but as Southerners, we knew better than to bank on "good" Mexican food anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

There's a reason that Pace Picante salsa commercial used to yell "New York City???"

Just a portion of the line!
The pace of our tour 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 an international craze!  Carrie & Miranda nibbled on Magnolia Bakery's fabulous cupcakes at a park across the street and - BAM - a cupcake craze was born!
Cupcake heaven!

We had no complaints waiting for a few minutes to savor some of their delicious treats!  The store's SATC success also spun off two more locations at Columbus Ave. and 69th Street and a spot on the Avenue of the Americas.

About to go head over heels!
Just next door to the Magnolia Bakery are the famous sidewalk doors that Samantha fell down and broke her ankle on.  We had a little fun reenacting our own version of the scene!

Go no further, please
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the tour was definitely a stop at Carrie's stoop, which is located at 66 Perry, between West 4th and Bleeker Street.  SATC actually used about five different stoops during the course of the show, but the one we saw was used most frequently.

The owner isn't real fond of folks sitting on it for photos anymore so a chain discourages the rubberneckers from getting too close.

Finally, we're at Carrie's house!
SJP's hood
The really cool, ironic part: Sarah Jessica Parker's actual house is located just around the corner from Carrie's on Charles Street!  We weren't sure of which one it was though, so Laura and Heather pretended to pose on a stoop that could have been SJP's. We must disclose that no one from her security detail kicked us off the front porch, so it probably wasn't her house.

Regardless, it was a pretty sweet (and pricey!) little neighborhood.  A one bedroom in this hood reportedly goes for about $950,000!

This rabbit ain't the Easter Bunny!
Our tour took us from Carrie & SJP's neighborhood to the sex shop where Charlotte bought her vibrating rabbit...amazing how close things are together in NYC! We saw plenty of unmentionables and were wary of the sticker shock for Charlotte's toy...a good time with it will run you about $70!

Follow the path...
Not a far walk 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.

No weddings here!
The garden is sort of tucked away, but is surrounded by gorgeous flowers, narrow paths, and tons of snug little benches perfect for staking out with a good book. It was super cute! Funny thing about the park can't actually stand on the grass and weddings aren't actually held there.

Oh, the magic of television!