When “Sex and the City” premiered in 1998, I was ten years old and under a lot of television and film restrictions. I couldn’t fall asleep one Sunday night, so I climbed down the stairs to talk to my parents, who were parked in front of our family room TV. Before I could explain that I had a lot on my mind (hey, it ain’t easy being a fifth grader), my mom ordered me to leave the area immediately and return to bed.
“This show isn’t for little girls,” she said, muting the TV set.
After rubbing my eyes, I looked up at the screen and saw a brunette lady grabbing a wooden bedpost. They were of course watching “Sex and the City” in its beginning days, and Charlotte York was the aroused onscreen character. I didn’t understand what was going on or why I was in trouble, but my parents once again shooed me back to my room, where I slept restlessly.
Exactly ten years later, when I was a journalism intern in D.C., my mom and I went to the “Sex and the City” movie in Chevy Chase, Maryland and laughed about the fact that she’d scolded me for walking in on her watching the program just a decade earlier. We still talk about the series all the time, but I didn’t fully understand the significance of the opening credits until I moved to Manhattan.
The opening credits feature a bright-eyed, frizzy-haired, totally-nineties Carrie Bradshaw roaming the streets of Manhattan in what appears to be a light pink ballerina dress. The sun is out, taxis abound, the Chrysler building sparkles, the Twin Towers are still standing (<3), and Carrie is just peachy. She revels in the awesomeness of her NYC journalist life until a bus drives into a puddle and sprays the dirty water onto her pretty outfit.
Rattled, she glances back and notices an ad for her sex column on the vehicle. At the end of the day, she’s a big deal and living in a chic place, but New York can still make you feel like a bad luck magnet. The water puddle incident is all too common here, and while it has only happened to me once or twice, I’ve experienced plenty of other embarrassing public mishaps.
As most of you know, New York is overcrowded. The sidewalks are tiny, apartments are small (and are about to shrink even more thanks to Bloomberg), and the subway trains are always full. The other day, I tried to maneuver past a pair of winsome teenage girls in the east village and accidentally bumped into a bicycle, which immediately fell to the ground with a crash. All because two people refused to make room for oncoming traffic. The sidewalks have become congested roads, and there’s simply no room for everyone to co-exist. If you’re not getting splattered with sewer water, you’re knocking things over. Oh, New York. I still love you with all my heart and never want to leave. The beauty of Manhattan is that there are so many awesome parts of the city in addition to the grime. Dean & Deluca, though unjustifiably expensive, will always have a special place in my heart. I mean, where else can I find these?
I’ll take bike-pedestrian collisions and brown water over driving a car any day.