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And Just Like That…

…Sex and the City turns 25.

It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte first appeared on our screens and for six series and two films, we followed along on their hunt for love, or simply sex, as women about town in New York City.

As an 18 year old when the first series aired in 1998, these were women me and my friends could look up to and, in some ways, probably aspired to be like. It felt like we could all relate to the characters in some way though, and I remember there being quizzes in magazines to see which SATC character you were most like. I wasn’t surprised when I came out most like Miranda, and I didn’t have a problem with that. I can assure you though when I moved to London in 2003, around the same time that the final series aired, my life living in a big city was nothing like their’s, and never has been.

I first visited NYC in 2002, visiting my friend Becky who was living there as part of an internship programme. One of the things I remember doing on that trip was going on a SATC location tour on a bus around Manhattan. Obviously this was before the iPhone and mobile phone cameras, in fact it was still the earlyish days of people having a digital camera (I think I bought my first digital camera on that trip), so I don’t have many photos of the whole trip yet alone the tour. My memory has also faded somewhat, but I do remember going to the gallery that Charlotte ran, Aidan’s shop and we ate sickeningly sweet cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery, which Carrie and Miranda sat outside in an episode in series 3.

Me and my friend Becky eating cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery, New York City, February 2002

I have no recollection of whether we sat on Carrie’s stoop or what other locations we visited, but I seem to have kept a flier from the tour with numerous SATC locations dotted around the city that maybe we went to. I do, however, have a very vivid memory of losing Becky and one of her friends as the bus was about to move on to another location… fortunately we were all reunited to continue the tour together, and went on to have a very boozy and entertaining day and night in the city.

A flier from a SATC tour in New York, February 2002

Jumping back to today, to celebrate this milestone and the new series of And Just Like That, an SATC ‘experience’ opened in Piccadilly Circus this week. I don’t normally go to things like this, but for £5 I thought it would be a fun thing to do on my day off, and took my sister-in-law along for the ride.

The whole thing was pretty much what I expected for the price, but it was nice that they didn’t cram too many people in. As you enter you can hang out on Carrie’s stoop before heading into her apartment, complete with her desk, laptop and that post it from Berger. Her infamous Carrie necklace sat in a box on her dressing table.

“Are you kidding me, I use my oven as storage.”

Carrie Bradshaw

We walked through the walk in wardrobe, though touching the clothes was strictly prohibited, and finished in her kitchen, complete with clothes in the oven. Dotted around the place were photos of the four women from scenes I recognised. It did in some ways feel like visiting an old friend. A wall took us through the highlights and key moments of SATA from the beginning of series one, all the way to how things were left at the end of series one of And Just Like That. To round off the visit there was a bar where you could buy a cosmo or two. It would’ve been rude not to…

I loved all six series of SATC, and have lost count of how many times I’ve watched them (I had all the series on DVD until relatively recently). I enjoyed the first film, but I’m still not sure we really needed that second film as the first film wrapped things up so nicely. When I first heard about And Just Like That I was torn – from a nostalgic point of view I was interested to see where they decided the characters would end up, but at the same time I do sometimes wish they’d leave things on a high.

Of course I watched it though and did quite enjoy it. I’m still not sure how I feel about Big dying though and the whole way they’ve dealt with the fall out before SJP and Kim Cattrall didn’t feel right, but I’ll be settling down to start watching series 2 tonight. I’m glad I can’t binge watch it all but have to wait for the episodes to be released – it gives me something to look forward to. I imagine this will be it though, the end of the line for a series and characters that have been with me pretty much my whole adult life. It’ll be interesting to see how it all ends.

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