As we drive along this road called life, occasionally a gal will find herself a little lost. and, when that happens, I guess she has to let go of the coulda, woulda, shoulda, buckle up, and just keep going..
Ohhhhhhh how I loved Carrie Bradshaw and the girls. Sex and the City (or SATC as its known) was the show I binged watched on a regular basis for years! I was obsessed with the fashion, the life, the City. Like most SATC fans, I wanted the girls to be my best friends and totally felt that I was Carrie Bradshaw in a previous life. Even now, it is still the show I put on if I need a little distraction, a little lose myself time. It was watching Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha date their way around Manhattan, that made me fall in love with the City of New York from afar. I longed to walk the streets they walked, temporarily feeling like a New Yorker, drinking cosmopolitans in the bars and shopping for shoes in Manalo Blahnik. So, it was only natural that when I finally got to go for the first time 8 years ago, that it was a SATC inspired New York trip.
Since it was SATC that put a visit to New York firmly on my list, I knew I HAD to do the Sex and the City Coach tour when I visited. Now, Im coming straight off to bat with this bold declaration……
If you are a Sex and The City fan, love a good ole girls day out, then you will LOVE this tour.
It is a must do for anyone that enjoys the show, so try to squeeze it into your itinerary. But, do not be fooled into thinking its just a boozy day out, it isn’t, but it is a lot of fun. Of course you get to see lots of the main spots that the film was filmed in, but it also showed us a lot of Manhattan. There were areas which would have taken us a while to get round under our own steam, as the tour takes you around the West Village, SoHo and Greenwich Village. One of my favourite moments was seeing the brownstone apartment that Carrie Bradshaw lived in! It was so weird to see those famous steps! Oh, and I did have a slight mishap mid tour, involving polka dot knickers and a runaway bus, but I will tell you more about that shortly….
The SATC Inspired New York Trip
Although I did the official tour 8 years ago, I have looked into the companies that offer them and they still run a very similar route. I found these two that were most similar to mine, you can see details here and here. The main areas that we visited are still on the tours, so it does not look like too much has changed. The Sex and The City bus tour starts and finishes in Times Square, and ours was a full day excursion, which finished around 4 o clock, but I saw that there is also a half day available. Depends how much time you have in New York. I imagine that the longer tour gives you a little more time in each area. I personally would recommend that as places like Greenwich Village, (think leafy lanes and 19th Century town houses) are gorgeous, and we really loved wandering around there.
The way the tour operated meant that it was brilliant even for those not as familiar with the show. I had taken my Mum to New York with me, and she had not watched much of SATC. This did not matter. The tour guide, (who was informative and hilarious) played the scene of the show that was filmed in the location that we were heading to, on the busses wide screen tv. It meant that you had context when you came to the stop off. A great idea and even for me, a die hard fan, it refreshed my memory.
There are around 40 stops and points on interest on most of the Sex and the City tours. Some of them are just pointed out to you, and some of them you stop at for a while. For example, the fire hydrant that Carrie leant on to take her shoes off when she was getting mugged in the ally, was just pointed out. It was good to see though as again, the scene was played on the TV so you had that Ohhh moment of recognition.
As I said earlier, my love of New York was ignited by the show. This meant that when I was planning my first trip to the City, I did my research and there were certain places, along with the usual tourist must see’s like the Rockafella, 911 Memorial and Empire State Building that I longed to get to. I wanted to eat cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery. I wanted to go to Manolo Blahnik on West and 54th Street and try on shoes and then take the Staten Island Ferry past Lady Liberty. I wanted to see all the things I had watched for years in the show. This visit was a SATC inspired New York trip so I had to make the most of it!
The tour crossed a lot of those places off my list. The gorgeous New York public library (the Carrie and Big wedding that nearly was) and the bar owned by Steve and Aidan called Scout, (Onieals in real life), where we had the best Cosmopolitan cocktail. You even got taken to Pleasure Chest, the shop where THAT episode was filmed… if you know, you know… The tour also took us to Buddaken, the gorgeous restaurant where Carrie and Big had their engagement dinner. I had longed to have one of our evening meals here, its very Asian inspired and zen, so it was ideal that we were going here on the tour. If you visit, I fully recommend a meal here.
Now, mentioning Buddaken restaurant leads me to my little mishap….. Walking into Buddaken was for me, like walking onto the set of the show. I recognised it instantly and it was actually, even more gorgeous in real life. We wandered around the restaurant, eyeing up the menu, mentally choosing our table for our Carrie moment. On a whim, we decided that we would try to book the restaurant for our last night. We were over the moon when they could accommodate our desired time, so I said I would go back to the coach to grab my credit card to secure the booking.
Well, it was a good job I did! I walked outside of the restaurant just in time to see the coach pulling away from the kerb. Our handbags, coats, money, all being on the coach! I ran back across the road to Buddaken, screamed to Mum to follow, and took off running up the road after the coach. Now, as if that was not bad enough, my jeans, that were a little loose, slowly began to fall down as I ran. I could feel them sliding down, but knew that if the coach turned at the top of the street, it would be able to speed up and we would be stuffed. No money. No coats. No phones…..
So run I did. I ran like my life depended on it and yep, my jeans worked their way down with every frantic footstep. By the time I caught the coach up, I was flashing my polka dot knickers to every cab driver in that particular area of New York……Reaching the doors, I bent over, grabbed my jeans by the now-at-my-ankles waistband, and casually pulled them back into place. Flicking my hair back over my shoulder, I climbed the stairs back onto the bus, with a cheery “hi girls”. You have to at least try to style these things out right???
We did catch the coach though…..sadly did not get our dinner reservation….I could not show my face, (or any other cheeks) in that area of New York again…
I have been back to New York a few times since, and managed to keep my dignity in tact on those trips… Every time I go back I love it a little more. In my dreams, I too own one of those brownstone apartments, and sit in the window typing my memoirs. I will always be grateful to SATC for introducing me to New York, it was all I hoped it would be. I am also so glad I did the tour that first visit as it crossed so much off my list.
So, tell me, have you ever visited anywhere that was inspired by a TV show or film?? I would love to hear all about it. Or, is there somewhere that you long to visit because of a show, book or film?
Its great to have a good ole girls day out right? This tour is for all ages, (although you can see what I think about being age appropriate in this post, Age Appropriate? I’l pass thanks) so don’t be put off thinking it will be full of teenagers! Its amazing.