Sex and the City is the ultimate guide to New York’s coolest spots. The TV series has put Pastis, Magnolia Bakery and The Coffee Shop on the international radar and we all know if we’re a Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte or Miranda. But would you know your Blue Water Grill from your Buddakan?
Sex and the City Hotspots by On Location Tours tests even the most die-hard SATC fans and uncovers local secrets from the show that SJP and co would never share.
We met the lovely tour guide Emily Sproch at Pulitzer Fountain next to The Plaza and boarded a great big tour bus to begin our 3.5 hour SATC adventure. Emily is the kind of cool New York girl and fellow blogger that you’d want to have in your gang – check out her blog, Almost Carrie. Emily had us captivated from the start and she was no shrinking violet when it came to the sex scenes (it’s definitely an adult tour).
The Plaza was a good starting point, as it was where Big and Natasha a.k.a. ‘idiot stick figure with no soul’ had their engagement party and Carrie said those famous words, ‘your girl’s lovely, Hubble’. We then drove down 5th avenue, known as the ‘Charlotte’ part of town. Uptown haunts included Bergdorf Goodman where the girls shop in SATC2 and Tiffany & Co, where Trey officially proposed to Charlotte and she said ‘alrighty’.
This was where Emily told us about the major blooper on the the opening credits of Sex and the City. I’ll leave it up to On Location Tours to reveal the big, glaring continuity error, but it’s unbelievable that I hadn’t spotted it after watching the sequence thousands of times!
We watched short clips on the TV screens while driving past spots such as The Little Church Around the Corner where Samantha lusted after Friar Fuck, the Union Square Dog Park where Charlotte’s dog Elizabeth Taylor got gang banged and Blue Water Grill – the location of Charlotte’s date with the aggressive wasp guy.
Our first stop was the Pleasure Chest, the infamous home of the Rabbit vibrator. Run by cool hipster guys and filled with the Rolls Royce of sex toys, the Pleasure Chest looked much larger and naughtier on screen.
Our second stop was Buddakan, the chic Asian fusion restaurant in the Meatpacking District where Carrie and Big held their wedding rehearsal dinner.
It was then all about the West Village for half an hour of shopping on Bleecker Street, followed by a round of Magnolia Bakery cupcakes, courtesy of On Location Tours.
We shopped at Marc Jacobs’ cool Bookmarc store and took pictures of Magnolia Bakery, where Carrie and Miranda sat to eat a cupcake and gossip about Steve and Aidan (thus sparking a global cupcake trend).
Luckily for us, New York traffic made the driver take a cheeky diversion, turning left down Perry Street and driving directly past Carrie’s apartment building! Access to this quiet residential street is usually forbidden to the tour buses, protecting the privacy of the neighbours, but just this once wasn’t a problem.
To wash down the cupcakes, we stopped with a Cosmopolitan at Onieals Speakeasy, also known as Steve and Aidan’s bar, SCOUT. Researchers for the show spent a lot of time hunting down an authentic New York bar that a craftsman like Aidan would own. Onieals was a perfect find, as the ornate ceiling is carved from wood. Apparently, the Onieals sign was accidentally included in a shot in the series, so look closely and you can see it make an appearance.
We also drove past the art gallery where Charlotte worked for many years, Louis K. Meisel Gallery. In the show, Charlotte left her job at the gallery to have a baby, cure AIDS and glaze a bowl at the Pottery Barn, but this wasn’t exactly the case in ‘real life’. Allegedly the increasing demands from the gallery, reaching $38,000 per day for filming, put a halt to her creative career.
Towards the end of the tour, we passed Hotel Giraffe, where we stayed the night before. The SATC connection was that the penthouse featured as Big and Carrie’s apartment in SATC: The Movie 2. Surprisingly, Hotel Giraffe didn’t mention their involvement in the movie, but perhaps they’re trying to avoid legions of fans pitching up in the lobby.
The last location monument was the New York Library, the venue for Carrie and Big’s planned wedding, before his moment of doubt ended in being bashed by her bridal bouquet. The tour then ended at the HBO Store in Midtown, where you could buy SATC merchandise as a reminder of the tour.
Other hotspots along the way included Pastis, DVF, the pretzel park, Tortilla Flats, Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Cipriani Downtown, ABC Carpet (where Trey and Bunny test the beds) and Sushi Samba – home to Samantha’s Richard Wright put-down, “dirty martini, dirty bastard”.
The Sex and the City Hotspots Tour was as exciting, authentic, girly and indulgent as I could have hoped for. It’s an absolute must for SATC fans and an alternative way to see the city.
All photos by Cherie City
Cherie City was a guest of On Location Tours and NYC GO.