I remember the first time I ever saw Sex And The City. I think that is when my love affair with New York started. It first aired when I was 15 and to be honest I was probably too young to watch it, but if you have ever seen it you will understand what an amazing show it is and looking back it taught me a lot about sex, relationships and the need for a strong circle of gal pals. Over the years I have identified with all of the main protagonists or at least certain aspects of each of their characters. So to visit some of the places Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda did throughout Sex And The City’s run with On Location Tours whilst on a recent trip to New York was beyond amazing.
Sex And The City is not Mr ESLT’s cup of tea at all, therefore I have never had the opportunity to take the tour before. But through blogging I met the lovely Anisa from Two Traveling Texans who loves the show just as much as I do. Therefore, on my recent trip to The Big Apple we met up, sent Mr ESLT on his way to entertain himself for a few hours and we joined the On Locations Tours bus at the Pulitzer Fountain located in front of The Plaza Hotel where many scenes in the show were filmed, to take the Sex And The City Hotspots Tour.
As Anisa had taken a On Locations Tours tour before she knew exactly where was a good place to sit on the bus, as it is important that you are able to see the television screens. Throughout the tour clips of the TV series were shown to remind us of the scene which was shot at the location we were passing or actually stopped at. The bus itself was very comfortable and even had a toilet on board. The only issue with the bus was that the windows were quite dirty, but in January this would have been hard to avoid due to the inclement weather, it did however make taking photographs of the buildings we passed from inside the bus quite difficult. Although it wasn’t too much of a problem as we had a few stops where we could snap away. Our guide Lital was very friendly, enthusiastic and entertaining, she obviously also has a great love of Sex And The City which made the tour all the more enjoyable.
The Pleasure Chest
After watching a number of clips and passing a number of buildings which featured in the show we arrived at our first stop – The Pleasure Chest. I’m sure if you are a fan of Sex And The City you will remember that this shop was where Charlotte bought her Rabbit in the first season, then subsequently needed an intervention as she was choosing to spend more alone time with it in her apartment than in the outside world. We were given around 20 minutes to have a look around and purchase something if we wanted. A number of people where taking the opportunity to buy early valentine’s gifts, especially as everyone on the tour was offered a discount on all purchases.
Carrie’s Stoop and Magnolia Bakery
As we headed in to The Village Lital explained that a number of scenes were filmed in this part of the city as the cost involved was not so high. Again, we watched a number of clips and we passed a number of buildings which had been used during the show. Our next stop was my favourite. We got to visit Carrie’s stoop. The brownstone used in the show is actually someone’s house, so we weren’t allowed on the steps but it was still fun to take photographs of it and have our photograph taken in front of it. On the way back to the bus we swung by Magnolia’s Bakery, made famous by the show, to pick up some cupcakes – red velvet of course! They even got the seal of approval from Mr ESLT when I got back to the hotel. We were then treated to a cupcake on the bus, not a Magnolia’s one, but just as yummy, which proved to be the perfect mid morning sweet treat.
Steve and Aiden’s Bar – Scout
As we headed through the Meatpacking District Lital pointed out key buildings, including Soho House which is famous for its rooftop pool and featured in the episode Boy, Interrupted which saw Samantha getting thrown out after pretending to be the very British Annabelle Bronstein. We then headed into Soho itself to our last stop of the tour – Onieals, which was used as Steve and Aiden’s bar Scout, named after Aiden’s dog. Here we enjoyed $10 cosmopolitans (of course!), in the laid-back speak easy setting. It was a good job this was the last stop of the day as they were pretty strong but tasted great.
Points to note
- We had a 20/25 minute stop at each location which was plenty of time to have a walk around, buy a little something, if we wanted to of course and take some snaps before we were on our way again.
- The tour from start to finish took almost three hours, we did do the tour on a Sunday in January and the traffic was certainly on our side. So I imagine mid-week and different times of the year the tour could be longer.
- The tour does not finish where it starts. We finished the tour at the HBO building in Bryant Park. Lital did tell us that as soon as we boarded the bus which was good as Mr ESLT was meeting Anisa and I for a drink afterwards.
I loved this tour, it really made me feel like I was walking in the girl’s shoes, Manolo Blahniks of course. Even if you take the information about the show away from the tour, it is a great opportunity to visit lots of neighbourhoods and really see different sides to the city. So maybe if you are thinking of booking this tour but have someone in your party that is not the biggest Sex And The City fan, you can let them know there is a lot to look at, maybe just sell it to them as a bus tour of the city. If all the tours that On Location Tours offer are as good as this one and all the guides as informative, funny and engaging as Lital then I am sure they are all fantastic and I will endeavour to book one that Mr ESLT will enjoy too on our next visit to The Big Apple.
- On Locations Tours provided Anisa and I with complimentary tickets for the Sex And The City Hotspots Tour