With the opening of the Sex and the City movie on the horizon, we thought we'd share our thoughts with you.
Yes, we like and enjoy the fact that our native NYC has become safer and cleaner in the last decade plus. But one thing we miss about the NYC that we knew prior to the last 15 years is how neighborhoods were never status symbols. Generally speaking, unless you lived on Park Ave, Beekman Place, or suburbia, on the one hand; East New York or the South Bronx on the other; your neighborhood was maybe a little safer or a little sketchier than ours. No big deal. It's just how it was.
One of the reasons why even traditional working class neighborhoods have gotten expensive here is out of town folk being sold on the whole “NYC is super expensive” mantra. They come, get price-gouged, accept it as the norm and on they go on the vicious circle merry-go-round. Right or wrong, for the most part, native NYers have too much of a sense of history about their city to fall for the fetish or the fee. (“I’m not paying $1600 for a one bedroom in Park Slope. That block used to be a dump when I was a kid.”) Sex and the City’s crime is how it has glorified, and to many, validated the worst aspects of that phenomenon: the blatant, albeit kindler, gentler materialism, highlighted by the ravenous and highly impractical pursuit of $3000 shoes and other ridiculously priced accoutrements; the proliferation of soulless establishments who shamelessly proffer a wide variety of $14 flavored martinis; and most importantly the non-apologetic evaluation of dating partners based solely on their financial worth and/or connections. (A few years ago the show’s creator Candace Bushnell offered up a pseudo mea culpa in stating that maybe women were scrutinizing their potential partner’s professional resume much more than the personal resume. "Pot, I’d like you to meet Kettle.")
Of course, this being NYC, none of it is a new thing. But Jeffrey Hyman never thought he’d ever belong or even be let in at Le Cirque or Studio 54—at least not until he became Joey Ramone—now every Tracy, Dee and Harriett off the bus at the Port Authority thinks they can be the next Carrie Bradshaw. And why not? “If some Ruth Buzzi-lookalike-in-a-tank-top, of maybe average intelligence can do it, then why not me?” they probably tell themselves. Carrie Bradshaw—and by extension, Sarah Jessica Parker, who like her co-star Kim Catrall, are under the impression they really are Carrie and Samantha, blurring the lines between the character and the person playing her in a way we'd not seen before. At least not by any actor/actress who was respected for their craft—is basically Donald Trump in designer pumps. Not a pretty sight neither figuratively nor literally. That, in a nutshell, is the show’s legacy.
The Sex and the City movie opens in theatres on May 30th.