The Ladybug Experiences Group Sex in the City: …Hey, I’m a Lady!

It should be quite clear to all of you that I am a Sex & The City addict and if it’s not, well now you know! And when I say SATC, I mean the TV series of course, not the movies… true fans all over the world know what I mean!

There’s no need to say how many times I’ve watched every single episode as if it was the first time, but let me just tell you that I’ve seen them in Italian, English, French and Spanish and I know by heart most of the quotes in the first three languages… is it clear the kind of fan I am?! …Good!

Everything I came to know about New York came from Sex & The City: I’ve always felt as if I’ve known this city and visited many times because I saw it hundreds of times in the series and of course, when I got there, I immediately felt like I was inside my television… more specifically, I was kind of living what I’d been watching for more than a decade!

I decided to go on the Sex & The City guided tour my last day there.  Even if I had seen so many of the places during my own moving about, I wanted to see all of places that I saw on TV for myself!

Let me say that walking down the streets of NYC, like in Soho, Greenwich, Park Avenue you already feel like you’re in SATC! Carrie once said,  “Sex & the City is the NYC streets, where everything may happen- the expectations, the future… love.”

I realized how many crazy SATC fans there are in the world when: a) I saw there are least three different agencies that organize guided tours based on the TV series; b) these tours are completely booked for weeks!! I squeezed in on the On Location Tours (+1-212-2093370, the guides are young actresses and the price is about 45 dollars). I must say I expected a bit more… still, I don’t regret it! I have KNAGUI to thank for blowing up my phone- encouraging me not to leave the city with any.

The tour began at The Plaza Hotel (where Carrie says goodbye to Mr. Big after his engagement party before marrying Natasha)… but did you know that within that same square is the Paris? Yes, that cinema where Carries watches romantic movies in the 5th season! The tour continues through the Public Library (where Carrie and Big are supposed to marry on the first movie… did you know that weddings are booked every day for months there??!!) and all the fashion addresses of the TV series: Tiffany (where Trey buys Charlotte her wedding ring), Takashimaya (where, in the middle of perfume’s testing- Carrie announces to the girls that she’s taken a lover – the Russian, Alexander Petrovsky), Jimmy Choo, Manolo Bhlanik and the TAO Restaurant (the Buddha Bar where Samantha brings her lesbian lover Maria and Carrie and Big sit at the same table with their dates).

You can also see The Little Church of Transfiguration (the name was changed on the show) where Samantha tries to seduce the young priest (“Mister All Souls”).

After these initial sites, we board a bus to our first stop… the sex shop where you can buy the in-famous Rabbit and before restarting the tour we took a tour through ABC Carpet & Home (the cult shop for home-ware, Charlotte’s favorite!). Just after that we saw the real home of Sarah Jessica Parker (and a little later Mr. Big’s real house).

The second stop is in the Greenwich area where you can eat delicious cupcakes at the Magnolia Bakery (Carrie’s and Miranda’s favorite, just in fron of Marc Jacobs!), have a look at BookMarc (the bookshop where Miranda meets the guy who loves biographies… and not only!), and also see the little park where Carrie and Charlotte bring Brady when Miranda is on her honeymoon.

Before the third stop at Buddakan (where Carrie and Big celebrate the pre-wedding night), you can see Cow Girl on Hudson Street (where Carrie and Aidan go for their first date), Aidan’s furniture shop, Diane Von Furstenberg’s shop (where, in the first movie, Carrie announces to Samantha on the phone that she’s going to get married) and the famous Pastis.

In Soho you can admire Louis K. Meisel, the art gallery where Charlotte works along with the girls’ favorite shops like D&G, Jaime Mascarò and Patricia Field (she’ll have a special mention here later…) and there’s a third and very interesting stop: you can drink a real Cosmopolitan at O’Neals… which is Scout in the TV series, Steve and Aidan’s bar!

I also had the chance to find St. Mark’s Comics while walking down the street. Remember, it’s the comic book store where Carries goes- thinking that her shoe-repair shop is still there, but finds out it’s been replaced by this shop and its cute young owner!  I also saw the Prada store in Soho where Carrie brings Berger and Century 21 (see older posts).

After all that… can you believe that I didn’t see Carrie’s house?!?!?

Yes: I thought it was going to be part of the tour, but it wasn’t. Worst of all, I didn’t realize I had the address until I found it on a note… when I returned to Italy.

…I guess it’s a perfect reason to go back to NYC again soon! Don’t you think?

The Ladybug’s Disneyland in NYC: A Guided Tour Through Century 21

I often use the word “Disneyland” to define the places where I could not only spend hours, but I would keep coming back every day and spend more time than the day before: they can be museums, landscapes, shops and some other kind of places I’d better not define here (even if you use your imagination only a few people in the world really know what I’m talking about!).

I recently found out that a few of these places are in New York! We’ll soon talk about all of them, but for now let’s start with Century 21 Discount Stores.

The first time I heard of it was many years ago during an episode of Sex And The City.

Since then, I knew I needed to go the first chance I had to visit New York! I was so surprised to find it listed as an attraction of Downtown in my Lonely Planet’s guide when I was planning my trip!

Century 21 is basically a big outlet store: immense floors of men and women shoes, bags, clothes and every other kind of accessory from designer to high street- usually marked at about 60% off the retail price. Of course, you probably won’t find the lastest Missoni prêt-à-porter, but you can still grab a wonderful Moschino or Chloé or Vivienne Westwood dress for less than 300 dollars! All the best designers are there and the prices are beyond worth a visit. I spent a few hours inside and honestly, I’m thankful for the fact that I visited it on my first day there while I still had some apprehension of spending too much!!! Remember, I was in New York to buy the best vintage in town… it wasn’t a good idea to spend $500 at my first stop and it not even be vintage!

So, for as crazy as it may sound- I only got a lovely pair of Michael Kors tortoise sunglasses. They were less than 25 dollars! I was so tempted by a pair of Marc Jacobs sunglasses, a Missoni dress, a few Jean Paul Gautier pieces, a Chloé shirt and so much more, but I resisted the temptation so I could be less restrained in the other Disneylands waiting for me in the Big Apple!

The funny thing is I was looking for the store, but found it by chance: I decided to visit Ground Zero.  9-11 was such a painful memory, so this moment was a very emotional experience for me. I remember stopping by just to take a minute to feel my emotions flowing and say a prayer. I was brought to tears by all these feelings and at one point I barely realized anything else around me.

It was only when I turned away to leave and dry my tears that I found it; standing just in front of me and its big red lights were telling me: “Come in Honey; I’ll dry your tears!”

I immediately got excited and just as KNAGUI promised, his “twin” arrived on time, ready to take my camera and follow me around inside the store (I didn’t think we were going to be able to do it because it could never be done here in Italy, but as he so sweetly said, “This is America, Baby… I got this!”  I guess we looked professional based on a comment that was made. I won’t say more. Take a look at the video and share your comments! Hope you like it! Enjoy!

If you want to know more about the store, visit their site: