When Sex and the City (SATC) came to our television screens in 1998, it was huge! I guess it was the IT-girl TV show of my time. I remembered many a nights huddling with my girlfriends reminiscing scenes from the SATC episodes. When I knew that we were going to New York and that the Man was going to be spending most of the days at the office, I decided to book myself a ‘Sex and the City Hotspots Tour’- a 3-hour tour that allowed me to follow the footsteps of Carrie and company as we visit the locations from the series. It was going to be my fun thing to do on my own.
*Spoiler alert: Read only if you are interested to learn more about the tour.. I really don’t want to spoil the fun for you if you are thinking of signing up for the same tour.
Meeting point for the tour was at the Plaza Hotel (opposite the Apple Store) along 5th Avenue. I arrived about 10 minutes ahead of the meeting time at 11am and was kinda surprised to find a long queue forming, primarily ladies with 6 really ‘gamed’ men that came along the tour. I was the only person that did the tour alone, most of the people who went on this tour either went with their girl pals (I guess it’s a fun girly kind of thing to do) or men who accompanied their other halves. Since I was alone, I got bummed to the front and joined these lovely 3 ladies from Aussie.
Once our tour-guide Lou sorted out the on-boarding, we were all set to start on the tour. Lou has a real quirky sense of humour and was overall such an enthusiastic guide who really knew her stuff about SATC. The tour also included clips from the SATC scenes so even though I’ve watched each SATC at least once, it sure was nice to have the clips there to jog the memory as we drove past each filming location.
The tour starts by the Pulitzer fountain at the Plaza hotel, which is an appropriate place to start since this was where Carrie saw Mr. Big with his bride Natasha in Season 2.
Stopped by to also catch a glimpse of the Paris cinema where Carrie bought tickets to watch the movie ‘Joy for 2 for 1′. Lou also let us in that prior to filming the scene, Sarah Jessica Parker found out that she was pregnant and you could see the look of joy when she said the line.
Bergdorf Goodman – opening credits of the SATC movie 2 was filmed here – where the girls met up and headed inside the department store to shop for a wedding gift for their gay friends.
We later drove further downtown Manhattan where Lou pointed out the New York Public Library, site of the would-be Big and Carrie wedding that didn’t quite happen in the SATC Movie 1.
Remember ‘Friar F*ck’? Well, this is the quaint church where Samantha tried to woo the Friar.
And then for a change of scene, the bus brought us along to Greenwich Village and SoHo. Found out later that these unique, trendy neighborhoods are home to many of the ladies’ favorite up-and-coming, little-known haunts. We passed by the expensive Paul Smith’s boutique where Charlotte brought Steve to buy his first expensive suit.
Most of the locations shown on the tour is ‘drive-bys’ meaning that Lou pointed out the sights as the bus drove by. But there are 4 stops that we actually do get out to check out the location. The first of the 4 stops was at Pleasure Chest where Charlotte first met with the ‘Rabbit’ and eventually ended up buying the cute pink sex toy.
Bleecker Street playground where some of the scenes are shot. We’ve been told that this is also the perfect spot to stake-out for celebrities. Celebs such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Hugh Jackman, Heidi Klum, etc actually do bring their kids to this particular playground for some playtime.
The bus then took us to Budakkan, which was a filming location used in the Sex and the city movie. You’ll remember this scene as you have your picture taken on the balcony where Carrie and Big peeked over at the huge banquet table on the night of their rehearsal dinner in the Sex and the City movie.
Moving along, we drove past Pastis where Carrie and the Russian cosied up in one of the French-styled booths. I knew I couldn’t leave NY without visiting Pastis since it came recommend by J and S from Schwingen in Switzerland. Food was lovely set amidst a buzzing atmosphere in the Meat-packing district. What’s not to like? And did I not mention this is quite the spot for a little celeb-sighting as well?
Mid-way through the tour, we stopped over for a 20-minute power-shopping break over at Bleecker Street and refueled with a cupcake from the famed Magnolia Bakery over at Bleecker Street. It was here that Carrie and Miranda sat outside on a bench in front of the bakery to eat their cupcakes, and where Carrie told Miranda that she had a crush. The best part of this stop was that everyone got a Magnolia Bakery cupcake of their very own and everyone eagerly lapped up the treat! We were also given a discount coupon to check out the goodies from Fresh. I couldn’t resist picking up the Supernova mascara which was used by the stylists on the show for SJP and the gorgeous Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment with SPF 15.
After the power-shopping, the bus load of happy people drove pass to some other locations before making our way to the fourth and final stop, a bar in Bleecker Street. In real life the bar’s name is O’Nieals, but on the show it was Scout – the bar that Steve and Aiden opened together.
Since we were at THE bar, it’s only fitting that we ordered the fabulous Cosmo at a special price of US 9 for all visitors on the tour. I couldn’t resist the offer and joined my companions as we sipped this girly cocktail in the afternoon. A very fun girlie thing to do indeed and I half-wished that my other girlfriends were along with me on this tour. I’m sure we will all have a blast rocking the tour.
All in all, this was a really fun tour made a lot entertaining with little anecdotes and things you didn’t know about Sex and the City dispensed by our super energetic guide – Lou. I give this tour a 4.5 Cosmos/ Manolo Blahniks out of 5. If you’re heading to the City and looking to do something a little different from other normal tours, I recommend you give this tour a go.