New York City
Happy I chose to wear my New Balance sneakers and not a pair of $1,000 Manolo Blahnik heels, my roommate and I ran past the Plaza Hotel to the Skyliner bus idling in front of the Pulitzer Fountain on Fifth Avenue. Nicole and I joined our friends Julie and Stefanie as tour guide Georgette told us to take our seats. We were on our way to a “Sex in the City” fan tour.
Jimmy Choo’s was the first stop on the tour of the fictional world of HBO’s hit series. Jimmy Choo shoes are an obsession of the show protagonist Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker).
The four GW girls walked in the tiny store, picking up strappy sandals that cost more than all of my shoes combined. The saleswoman gave us a sneer as we walked out to the bus for our next stop, The Little Church Around the Corner. The church, also known in the fourth season as All Souls Community Center, is where Samantha (Kim Cattrall) first set her eyes on an attractive friar she mistakenly assumed she could get in bed.
On our way downtown to Patricia Field’s, the show’s costume designer, we passed Equinox gym, where Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is often seen flirting with sweaty males. The boutique was filled with quirky Carrie-like attire only some of which anyone else could actually pull off or afford.
Georgette told us to check out the store’s most popular product – fake nipples. Looking at the nipples got me to thinking why anyone would ever believe they were real – only one man Samantha slept with actually thought so.
We drove through cobblestone streets in the meatpacking district where Samantha lives. The area has become quite trendy since “Sex and the City” began filming, Georgette told us. Many meatpackers, however, were forced to move out, unable to pay the high rent. We passed Aidan’s (John Corbett) Crafts Furniture store, where Carrie and now ex-boyfriend Aidan met for the first time.
A few blocks away we stopped at Magnolia Bakery where Miranda and Carrie enjoyed pink frosted cupcakes in season three while complaining about boyfriends Steve (David Eigenberg) and Aidan.
As if on cue we spotted Kyle MacLachlan who plays Charlotte’s (Kristen Davis) doctor ex-husband Trey, looking totally beautiful standing in front of the clothing store Marc Jacobs.
Unbeknownst to him, the “Sex and the City” tour was just across the street. As MacLachlan crossed the street, some of the tour spotted him. He allowed the excited women to snag a few pictures just before his escape into the expensive clothing store.
We arrived in SoHo, at the Louis P. Meisel Gallery where Charlotte worked until she decided to focus on being a wife. The gallery charged HBO $17,000 for the first shoot and more than $30,000 for the second. But when the gallery asked for $40,000 for the third shoot, HBO decided the price was too steep, hence why Charlotte stopped working there, Georgette said.
We walked around SoHo and found our way to Dolce & Gabana, where Carrie maxed out her credit card on designer clothes. There, Steff and Julie cleverly decided they would meet up with us later to avoid dishing out cash at the end of the tour. Nicole and I wished to do the same, however we had previously charged the excursion on our credit cards.
We said our good-byes and headed back to the bus for a short stop at O’Neil’s, substituted on the tour for the fictional bar, Scout, that Steve opened with Aidan.
On our way back uptown we passed Coffee Shop, where Samantha met one of her many men and The Blue Water Grill, where Charlotte went on a date.
Our final stop, Tao, an Asian bistro a couple of blocks from the Plaza, was where “Sex and the City” held the real-life opening in season four when Samantha began a lesbian relationship in the ladies room right next to the restaurant’s giant Buddha.
Two girls fewer, three hours and one celebrity spotting later, Nicole and I decided we wished we hadn’t charged the trip. We got off at the Plaza where we had begun. The tour was extremely fun, but I couldn’t help but wonder was it really worth the $30?