Carrie’d away! A warning to a new generation of women – don’t let ‘Sex and the City’ ruin your life
CARRIE’D AWAY! A WARNING TO A NEW GENERATION OF WOMEN – DON’T LET ‘SEX AND THE CITY’ RUIN YOUR LIFE!
THE NEW YORK POST
MARCH 11, 2012
BY JULIA ALLISON & JULIA PRICE
Martinis. Manolo Blahniks. Fabulous Park Avenue apartments and, of course, the word “fabulous” itself. HBO’s six-season run of “Sex and the City” had women moving to Manhattan with visions of finding their own Mr. Big, a brunch-happy power foursome of girlfriends, a career that lands them on the VIP list of every hot event and, of course, a closet full of designer accessories.
Now a new generation is ready for brainwashing, as the CW Network is filming a prequel called “The Carrie Diaries,” starring 18-year-old AnnaSophia Robb as female fantasy action hero Carrie Bradshaw.
But I wonder if fans know that rent-controlled apartments like Carrie’s are as hard to come by as a good-looking, well-adjusted single guy over the age of 35. That “Sex” can be read as much a tragedy as a comedy? Will they be OK using their Prada stilettos to kill the cockroaches that might scuttle across the kitchen in their fourth-floor walkup?
They might be . . . at first. Both of us moved to New York City at age 22 and trust me, we were “sooooo Carrie Bradshaw!” We had all the energy in the world to network, hustle, apartment search on Craigslist again and again and again, and of course there’s dating; the patience to go out with guys who brag about getting a table next to John Mayer at Pink Elephant and expensing their thousand-dollar liquor tab on their JP Morgan accounts (hey, it was 2006).
We would tolerate these guys because of the free group-dinner invites where we shared a meal with young wannabee Tory Burches, Noah Tepperburgs and, of course, five Ford models. Why? We were so eager to learn this world; anxious to suck it all in. It was NEW York and OMG we were like totally “Sex and the City”!
The parties were fabulous and walking up to entrance of the hottest club to find the velvet rope pulled back as soon as the bouncer’s facial recognition associated you as an important person, well, that was power! And feeling special in a city of 8 million people is pretty badass.
But this power high becomes like a drug. If you want to be in the scene, you’ve got to stay in the scene. We had to go out nearly every night just to maintain being considered for these invites. The drinks, the cabs, the clothes — pretty soon you’ve maxed out your credit cards.
Want four friends that get together every week for brunch? Dream on. Every woman comes to New York to be Carrie. No one wants to be Charlotte, Miranda or Samantha. You do the math: Clubs full of Carries, all hanging out with each other, all holding forth, no one really listening. Often the biggest fantasy of “Sex and the City” wasn’t the apartments or the lovers — it was the friendships.
Once the initial excitement of living in the Big Apple dies down, it suddenly becomes clear how hard it is to purely exist, let alone thrive.
There are the tangibles that are fairly obvious. Carrying groceries up four flights of stairs, dealing with hellish landlords, watching a neighbor throw a mousetrap (dead mouse included) right out the window.
Less talked about is the way the city eats at your soul. At 22, the world is your oyster. At 25, the 40-year-old investment banker is looking over your shoulder at the next 22-year-old. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere, but how many really do? And even if you’ve “made it,” you’re met not with accolades but glares. A city with “new” thrives on impatience and jealousy; sometimes you feel like everyone’s an intern or a has-been.
And guess what — Mr. Big doesn’t leave his wife.
New York City is f – - – ing exhausting. Sounds obvious, but we wonder how many women who moved here in the last 15 years learned that lesson the hard way, who have ended their “Sex” fantasy not in syndication but one step away from the sanatorium? Probably more than would care to admit it.
“Sex and the City” may have been responsible for our move to NYC at 22, but long before we hit 30, we were ready to get out. We made the move to Los Angeles this past October, and it’s been positive in every way.
We used to get stressed about how everyone seems so much more relaxed out here, but now we’ve become those same chill West Coast people. Why? Because it’s easier. Turns out you can get the same amount of work done, but people know how to switch off. They know how to get outside, take hiking meetings, dedicate time to people. There’s a creative energy flourishing that seemed to be stifled in New York.
So a warning to the next generation of Carrie acolytes. Treat “Sex and the City” like “Star Trek.” A strange new world you will never visit except on TV.
It’s safe to say that we’re settled comfortably in the less-fabulous city of Los Angeles. Well, for now anyway. If you know of any apartments . . .
Julia Price is a writer and recording artist and Julia Allison is an Internet/television personality. They became friends in New York, even though they’re both Carries. Follow them on Twitter at @JuliaPriceMusic and @JuliaAllison.