Living in NYC

5 Sex and the City lies about New York City

Earlier this month, more precisely on June 8th, Sex and the City celebrated 18 years of its first episode. Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte were responsible for the success of the series that talked about relationships having New York City as a background. With six seasons, Sex and the City is in the memory of a lot of people; there are two movies – some people still expect the third one – and boosted the career of Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie). However, not everything on television reflects the reality and the series also featured some lies about living in New York City. I watched Sex and the City twice: before live here a few years ago, and recently I finished watching again, after moving to the city. And I made a list of facts that are not as “real” as well …

1. High heels

I can talk about this from experience. I’m short – 5.1 – and I have always been a fan of high heels. I always had tons of high heels shoes. I always thought that it was a waste to spend money on flats or sneakers – with the money, I could buy another high heel, more cool, right? Then I moved to New York and ended up bringing with me just one high heel shoe in case of a special occasion. The truth is that here in New York we walk a lot and ride the subway – which makes unsustainable to wear high heels all the time. Carrie could live on her Manolo Blahnik shoes because she only took cabs. Easy.

2. Transport: taxi

Okay, this is another thing that we need to talk about it: the fact that Carrie only use cabs. I know that a taxi ride in the city is not that expensive, but the city’s subway system works very well, and considering the chaotic traffic of New York, the taxi is not the more effective transport  – or cheaper. Obviously, the yellow cabs – and now Uber and other apps – are widely used, but they are the exception, not the rule. The large population of the city uses the subway – and we are talking about various social classes.

3. Carrie lifestyle

Carrie was a character with a very peculiar lifestyle: her closet was filled with pieces of luxury brands such as Chanel, Dior, and Manolo Blahnik, whose prices can be more than four digits. Carrie was living alone in an apartment in the Upper East Side – too big for New York standards – and she rode cabs all the time. And her job was writing a weekly column for a newspaper – and it was not the New York Times. The cost of living in the city is not cheap – especially if we take into account the amount we spend on rent – and indeed, in real life, her salary would not be enough to pay all these bills. And not to say I’m just me, this is a point that has been mentioned by several websites and publications.

4. Overrated Manhattan

When Miranda moves to Brooklyn, it is clear the disappointment of the other three friends about the fact that she is moving to that borough. In the series, it seems that Manhattan is better and who lives on the island is more important than people living in other boroughs. The truth is that living in Manhattan can indeed be more practical, but it does not cause the other regions are negligible. Today, Brooklyn has some super valued areas, such as Williamsburg. This a thing about New York City: the neighborhood that no one cares today can be trending tomorrow.

5. Dinners and drinks

Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha’s social life was super intense. Parties, dance clubs, restaurants. I’m not surprised to see that people think that life in New York is all about that. The truth is that it is unlikely that you can sustain a lifestyle like this, with a busy social life, huge apartments (without roommates), and a sophisticated closet. Unless you are a millionaire.

Don’t get me wrong: I love Sex and the City. If I get a chance, I will watch it again. But some facts are not true and I thought it would be interesting to bring some points here to the blog. Plus, I evaluated the series based on my experience here – and knowing the lives of many other people living in the city.

Incidentally, there is an article on Refinery 29 talking about several points that I mentioned here and I recommend the reading. But, for not saying that I just talked about lies, I would like to make a special mention to a truth: networking. Like anywhere in the world, meet the right people and make contacts is essential for a career – here in New York, is no different. Contacts, contacts, contacts: it certainly makes life much easier for those who live here.

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