Friday, June 27, 2008

Cuisine-ical Diversity

In New York, you're more likely to hear a coworker two cubicles down say over the phone, "There's this new Lebanese place down the street that looks super cool. We're going to go check it out this weekend."

I think I'll go to the Afghan Kebab place by my apartment this weekend. Just because I can.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The 48 Hour Film Project, New York '08

Tonight I attended The 48 Hour Film Project at the Sunshine Cinema in Soho to see Natasha's big screen debut in her first 48 Hour Film Project project. We viewed eleven 7-minute films created from brainstorm to DVD in 48 hours.

The 48 Hour Film Project is a wild and sleepless weekend in which you and a team make a movie—write, shoot, edit and score it—in just 48 hours.

On Friday night, you get a character, a prop, a line of dialogue and a genre, all to include in your movie. 48 hours later, the movie must be complete.

Then it will show at a local theater, usually in the next week.

In 2007, some 30,000 filmmakers made films in 55 cities around the world. This year, we're even bigger, with filmmakers in over 70 cities taking the challenge to make a film in just 48 hours.

In New York, each team draws a different genre, but each film must include the following elements.
Character: Thomas or Thelma Ellison, former attorney
Prop: a string instrument
Line of Dialogue: "I canceled my plans for this" (may be a statement or a question)

The movies we screened tonight will soon be available on, and if they ever appear on YouTube, I'll add my favorites to my blog.

I voted for:
The Negligible Nabber (look for the blonde secretary)
The Dull Exorcist (my favorite of the night)
Love on Wheels (I think it was called)

"Things I Love" Thursdays - This is Your, Our, My New York

There is a sense of ownership of the city that you feel when you walk to work in the morning. You can be standing at an intersection next to a model, a CEO, a street vendor, a Wall Street suit, and a bike messenger, and it's anyone and everyone's New York. It doesn't matter if the model is six inches taller and flawless, and the black suit has more money than God. It's an even playing field on the streets.

I love that everyone can say that and everyone is damn right.
"Things I Love" Thursdays are inspired by "I Love New York" (BNY, February 14, 2007).

Monday, June 23, 2008

Phone Photo Op - The Best Worst Violin Player

He is one of the worst violin players I've ever heard, but he's the best subway musician ever. Dedicated to his craft, he often performs in the subway stations between Grand Central, Bryant Park or Times Square, and is an adorable little man, who offers the cutest and most polite "thank you" when you give him money.


Today when running an errand for my boss, I passed him in the station below Bryant Park and dropped a dollar in his violin case.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Only You Can Prevent A/C Waste

Motivated by No Stop Till Brooklyn's encouragement to support BNR's crusade to save the world, I wrote my first-ever letter to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Even though it is often a relief to walk by an open door with cold air blasting onto the sidewalk, I sent the following via


If this bill passes, at least I can still walk over warm subway grates in the winter.

Simply copy and paste Todd's template into an online contact form or email and send it to your councilperson and the mayor. You'll receive an awesome thank you email for contacting the City of New York. Be sure to tag "penguins" if you blog about it.

I loved Eric's comment:
Um.. electricity is endless, its not a problem, either is this "Global warming" that Al whatever bitches about. And havent you ever played SimCity? If you need more power, you build more power plants duh!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Two Weeks Down, More Boxes to Go

Portions of a recent email from CityWendy sum up my first two weeks as a Hell's Kitchen resident:

"How are you liking Hell's Kitchen? Aren't there more great restaurants in a 4 block radius of our apartments than you've seen in the whole city? It's ridiculous. No wonder I've gone up a dress size since I moved here!! ... Hope you're getting settled in. It's been 9 months since I moved, and I'm still fixing things up the way I want them! Moving is a process..."

It's as if there is always more to unpack, throw out, buy or fix when moving, and I have gone way over what I had originally budgeted for this 5.19-mile move from Harlem. And all of the great places to eat and drink on every corner and in between are not helping!

But no regrets!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Phone Photo Op - Kwik Meal

Today a coworker and I tried falafels at Kwik Meal, voted the #1 Street Food Vendor by New York Magazine, Best Falafel & Best Chicken/Lamb & Rice Cart by Midtown Lunch, and was a finalist in the Vendy Awards.


Phone Photo Op - A Little Boys II Men Before Work

At the Good Morning America Summer Concert Series ...
This guy really got into "End of the Road".

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Things I Love" Thursdays - The Clip-Clop Sound

Even though I do not condone the treatment of New York City's carriage horses, I love the sound of their horseshoes ringing on the pavement as they pass below my apartment window returning from Central Park each night.

"Things I Love" Thursdays are inspired by "I Love New York" (BNY, February 14, 2007).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's For the Look, I Don't Light It

In New York, you're more likely to pass by someone making cig-a-cigars a block from your apartment.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One Way to Shoot Your Own Corporate Foot

Smart professionals advise everyone to have their 30-second elevator pitch ready just in case they are ever stuck in close quarters with a big wig in their company ... say a recently named Co-CEO.

Our newly promoted Co-CEO and I have been on a first-name basis since the small amount of recognition I received last December, and we've developed a casual, friendly rapport. Which is why I may have become too comfortable when descending the elevator with her at the end of the day and said, "Congratulations on the whole Co-thing."

As soon as I said it, I wanted to punch myself in the face. I immediately began to imagine her life-long corporate ambitions and realized that a role like this one is probably something she has been working toward throughout her entire professional career ... and then some 20-something executive assistant stands next to her on an elevator and calls it a Co-thing. I could feel myself mentally shrinking into my dark, internal institution, rocking in a corner, eating my checkerboard pieces and repeating "Congratulations on the whole Co-thing" over and over to a plant. This is where one goes emotionally when something stupid comes out of their mouth and the person to whom their comment was directed replies, "Thanks ... well ... it's going to be a lot of work."

Oh my God. She had to point out to me that this Co-thing is going to be a lot of work, as if I didn't already know ... which is what my senseless, down-playing remark basically implied. I tried to redeem myself by talking about a recent article in Advertising Age regarding the flat-lined advertising budgets of most companies in Q1 and mentioned how great it was that we had paced above our sales goal in the first quarter of the year. Like I wasn't telling her anything she didn't already know.

Has the little voice in your head ever pleaded for you to shut up, but yet you just kept right on talking?

I walked nine blocks and three avenues, replaying my comment over and over in my head and thinking of all the more eloquent things I could have said to a woman who was just promoted to the highest ranks of our company. And I'm starting to choke on my checkers.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Everyday People

In New York, you're more likely to have unknowningly passed by A-list celebrities making out in Central Park and then read about it later in People magazine.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Things I Love" Thursdays - My New Hell's Kitchen Address

I love that Natasha and I can see the sign for Radio City Music Hall from our front stoop ... that Times Square is just around the corner, but you don't know it's there unless you walk to Broadway ... that within a three-block radius of our front door there are Afghan, American, Caribbean, Chinese, Cuban, Greek, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, and Thai restaurants (and Restaurant Row is just a few blocks away) ... that we're within a short distance of a post office, grocery stores, drug stores, salons, barber shops and cleaners (although we discovered that we do have a washer and dryer in the basement) ... that I am a 15-minute walk from work, which takes me east through the Theater District, passed Rockefeller Center, south through the Diamond District and ends at Bryant Park.

There are already things I miss about Harlem, but the landscape and the dynamic of the city have transformed since I moved to Hell’s Kitchen. I no longer spend the majority of my personal and professional commutes below ground. It’s a new Manhattan that I will get to know all over again, and I love that just by moving a few miles to another neighborhood, you can meet an entirely different New York.

"Things I Love" Thursdays are inspired by "I Love New York" (BNY, February 14, 2007).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New post from draft:


Monday, June 09, 2008

First Heat Wave of '08

Natasha and I bought a new air conditioner from P.C. Richards yesterday as the heat wave was settling into New York. With the help of our new neighbor David, a graphics designer, we installed it in the window of our living room, since it's central to the entire apartment and the only view is directly into the bedroom of a highly sexually active couple, who don't shut their blinds.

Natasha and I have joked about inviting our girlfriends over and ordering take-out for our neighbors' peep show, like Carrie and company did in an episode of "Sex and the City". And now our neighbors will have a view of Natasha and me standing in sweaty bras in front of the A/C, not that they need further inspiration.

I haven't lived in an apartment with air conditioning in two years (here's why). A $100 discount on a 10,000 BTU unit, a $10 cab ride home and half a batch of cookies for David's assistance later, I am reveling in a truly a historic achievement. And it was just in time. Grade schools across the city were closed today because of the heat.

Phone Photo Op - First Monday Morning

Looking over the fire escape from my bedroom window, I awoke to a beautiful Midtown Manhattan sky on the first Monday in my new apartment.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Phone Photo Op - The First Supper

From last night:
Our first meal in our new apartment a la Mayra, who went grocery shopping, ascended four flights of stairs and christened our stove ... at almost seven months pregnant.

Followed by my first Margarita at Blockheads, featuring $3 Margarita specials and free chips and salsa, a block from our new apartment.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Creating Coincidences

I don't know if it's coincidence that major personal events often take place around June 7 or August 3 or if it's Rickey's way of helping me not dwell on anniversaries. The part of me that aches to believe in the impossible wants to embrace the latter, but the part of me that clings to logic reminds me that - five years later - I am still vainly searching for some sort of connection with him.

It's like when my mom - a devout Catholic - found me a few days after Rickey's death sitting at my brother's computer in their Asheville home, crying and googling psychics who claimed to communicate with the dead.

"Oh, Katie," she said as she touched my shoulder, "I know you want to believe in things like that right now, but those people are taking advantage of those who are hurting like you are."

I knew she was right, but it made me angry that she said that. I wanted someone to tell me that he wasn't gone forever. That there was still some way to reach out, to communicate, to right our wrongs, to say all the things I should have said. Maybe that's why I can't help but count coincidences.

September 3, 2003. A month after he died, I received the job offer for my first post-collegiate job.

August 3, 2004. Nothing happened. I called in sick to work and kept my bedroom door shut. I fully expected to spend the day crying. Instead I was numb. I screened phone calls and watched TV.

August 3, 2005. Terrence and I were driving overnight from Sacramento to Las Vegas. We had been camped out at Kevin's new house trying to catch overbooked flights to Atlanta. We drove overnight to the Las Vegas airport in order to catch an available flight and drive to Cullowhee in time for his college graduation. Long story.

August 3, 2006. Due to circumstances beyond my control, my scheduled August 1 "Move to NYC" date got pushed to August 2nd. The overnight journey in a rented stow-and-go minivan - packed to the brim with every possession I hadn't sold, donated or thrown away in North Carolina - had me riding over the George Washington Bridge in the early morning of August 3, blinking into the sunrise and not believing I had finally arrived. It was the hottest week in New York City's history. It was already 90 degrees and I was about to begin moving into the living room of my best friend's fourth floor walk-up in the South Bronx.

June 7, 2007. I was helping Tokii prepare to move from the South Bronx to New Jersey and into her first apartment with her fiancé.

August 3, 2007. I was in the middle of last minute bridesmaid duties for Tokii's August 10th wedding.

June 7, 2008. I was so busy closing the lease on my new apartment and preparing to move this week that June 7 crept up on me. I realized it was Rickey's birthday shortly after midnight as I was unpacking boxes in my new bedroom. He would have been 32 today.

I tear up over Rickey at random, unexpected times. When I see something, hear something or smell something that reminds me of him. But oddly enough, on most anniversaries, my emotions are dull. My eyes are dry.

I'm not grasping at as many straws as I used to when I was trying to keep my head above the emotional flood that gushed into my life after he died, but every now and then I notice a coincidence. And I reach up, grab a tiny straw and hold it tightly.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Signing a Midtown Apartment Lease = Kia Rio Paid-In-Full + $1500 in Gas Cards

While packing up my small Harlem studio, it occurred to me that - between the two of us - Natasha and I paid up front more than the entire value of a basic Kia Rio to move into our new apartment.

But as I begin unpacking in Midtown, it feels good to be home in Hell's Kitchen.

Phone Photo Op - The Box Commute

How New Yorkers carry moving boxes home from work. I can't wait to live walking distance (or a cheap cab ride) from the office.
See my crafty handles made of duct tape?

Almost 30, Flirty and Thriving

I am all packed. Just passing time while I finish the last load of laundry in my old apartment building in Harlem before I move into my new apartment in Hell's Kitchen. In about an hour, I will pick up my keys to a vacant Midtown residence that I will soon be calling home.

Mayra came by my office yesterday to help me carry recycled, flattened boxes from our mailroom. We ordered my last delivery from our favorite Mexican restaurant Picante and she helped me pack and tape boxes until almost midnight.

Earlier yesterday evening, she stood outside of my white cubicle and peered into the glass office behind me, where my boss sat in her ergonomic chair looking out at an unobstructed view of the Empire State Building while hosting a conference call.

"Boy," Mayra said. "Your office is so 13 Going on 30."

And I'm almost there.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Things I Love" Thursdays - Summers in Bryant Park

HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Monday evenings

Good Morning America Summer Concert Series
Friday mornings
Watching Usher performing live last week before
beginning the workday

Pinstripes in the Park
Annually sponsored by Continental Airlines
From my boss's office, view of Yankee's fans watching
the game on the big screen

Chess, Backgammon and Pétanque

Reading Room

Free WiFi

Happy Hours
Every day!

Red Carpets
A random evening last summer

For more events, visit the Bryant Park online calendar.

"Things I Love" Thursdays are inspired by "I Love New York" (BNY, February 14, 2007).

Breaking News - Hope Nothing Gets Broken

Happening two blocks away from my office right now. I'm too busy to go check it out in person (and if I weren't so busy, I really wouldn't care), but the news is breaking in real time on the web and it's getting a hardy chuckle in the office:

I guess it sort of helped the breaking news that he scaled a building where news is broken.

Quote of Whenever - MLK's Vision on a Ticket

The New York Times Quotation of the Day:
"We as black people now have hope that we have never, ever had. I have new goals for my little girl. She can’t give me any excuses because she’s black."
KWABENA SAM-BREW, an immigrant from Ghana, on Barack Obama’s clinching of the Democratic presidential nomination.

Not a quote of the day, week or month. Just of whenever. Until the next quote that moves me.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Quote of Whenever - As Applied to My New York Life

"In prosperity, our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends."
- John Churton Collins

Not a quote of the day, week or month. Just of whenever. Until the next quote that moves me.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

It's June in New York

This June on
Your Guide to Nonstop NYC

And in a recent email from DrunkBrunch:
And, just a quick note that I'll soon be publishing my famous list of summer activities in NYC! I'm going to post June's activities on neighborbeeblog (.com) this Friday, and will add the other months as they come along. It always renews my love for New York when I see how much there is to do!

Find more events posted by Amanda on

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Elusive Manhattan Apartment

The apartment search ends.

I guess that statement would pack a little more punch if I had blogged about the apartment hunt when it started. Four weeks, a dozen apartment viewings, hundreds of hours on craigslist, many real estate LOLs, a decision 2-weeks into the hunt to enlist a roommate, three brokers, two applications, a shitload of money upfront and half a head of grey hair later, Natasha and I signed a lease on an apartment in Hell's Kitchen.

Our pros to doubling the security deposit and paying both first and last months' rent outweighed the cons of continuing the search and drowning in the summer rush of recent college graduates arriving in the city. Even though our combined salaries exceed $100k a year and we both have excellent credit, securing a fabulous new residence in Manhattan still cost us an arm, a leg, the promise of our yet-to-be-conceived first borns, and a moderate amount of our sanity. All of which were happily stored away and earning interest in several bank accounts until the day we signed the lease in midtown.

Over drinks in an adorable bar a few blocks from our potential new spot, we made a list to aid our hasty decision; however, we knew we had to act fast if we didn't want yet another available apartment to slip through our fingers.

- The majority of available units below $2500/month in midtown are very small for two people, who aren't a couple - including the $2300/month apartment we applied for last week, in which part of her bedroom would have been in the living room (yet we were willing to apply for it because it had cute french doors and was on a nice block)
- High ceilings
- Big living room with exposed brick
- There is actual counter space and a good amount of cabinetry in the kitchen (the $2300 apartment that we didn't get last Thursday had no counters; just a stove, sink, refrigerator and a few cabinets ... and EIK? Fuggetaboutit)
- The kitchen opens into the living room and can accommodate a small table for two
- Real two-bedroom, and the second bedroom is a decent size; many two-bedrooms have one large bedroom and a tiny second bedroom
- Both bedrooms have closets (we were suprised how often the second bedroom often had no closet due to conversion from a one-bedroom)
- Exposed brick in the large bedroom
- Large storage nook with sliding doors above the closet in the large bedroom
- Tall windows with seats in both bedrooms facing the street and gorgeous views over adjacent rooftops of the Time Warner Center, Trump Towers and other highrises on Central Park South
- The bathroom is large enough for two girls to do their makeup in the mirror at the same time (very rare) and has a full bathtub with sliding glass doors (the bathroom in the $2300 apartment had no towel rods installed, a weird pipe from floor to ceiling that you had to step around to get to the sink, a tiny shower stall with no curtain rod and you had to step over the toilet to get into it)
- Intercom security to the main entrance of the building
- Nice neighbors, who are our age; we saw a few when viewing the apartment
- Beautiful, tree-lined block
- Nearby: laundromat, post office, grocery stores, several gyms (no more taking my gym bag to the office and happy hours just because I have to get a morning workout in; now I'll still be able to go to the gym before work, get ready at home and walk to work gym bag-free!)
- Less than 10 blocks south of Central Park
- Short job and nightlife commutes
- Cheaper MetroCards in the warmer months because we can both walk to our jobs
- Within one block of the C/E line and two blocks of the 1 train
- We liked the paint scheme used by the previous tenants and not too much cleaning is needed
- Within a block of our apartment, we've already discovered Afgan, Chinese, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Mexican and Thai restaurants ... and some sort of tropical burger place
- Overpriced 24-hour parking garage across the street (for visitors with cars)
- The broker dropped the fee by $1500
- The landlord accepted our offer of $100 less than his asking price per month, but we have to begin our lease this Friday

- The landlord accepted our offer of $100 less than his asking price per month, but we have to begin our lease this Friday
- I have to break my current lease, but I happen to know that the rent on my studio in Harlem will go up to $1350 in November, if I stay (I might as well pay a few hundred dollars more a month to live closer to my job and the places I frequent)
- Rent is a bit higher than we originally thought we'd like to pay before we started apartment hunting (but as we continued looking, we realized that our original budget of $1900-$2300 was generally unrealistic for two people, who aren't a couple, to have the amenities we wanted in a midtown neighborhood)
- Our doubled security deposit will sit in an escrow account and will accumulate little interest
- Fourth floor walk-up (NYC real estate speak for "fifth floor"), but we'll have great legs
- No laundry in the building
- We'll be eating Ramen Noodles for dinner every night until we're 30
- We'll have to eat out less to save money
- We'll have to buy new clothes less to save money
- We'll have to drink less to save money
- Basically, we'll have to put all of these recommended, money-saving measures into effect immediately

But I'm moving on down ... to Hell's Kitchen!

Affording Their 'City'

With the buzz of its recent $55.7 opening weekend, my own reaction to the movie, and recent ponderings regarding the myths of a "Sex and the City" lifestyle, I couldn't help but wonder ... how many young women are broken by the realities of New York City when their only motivation was a Carrie Bradshaw fantasy? Being motivated to move here based solely on the HBO series and its blockbuster movie follow-up can be dangerous for 20-somethings with false expectations of the life they will find here.

Even though I'll admit that the TV show did "add kindling to my blazing New York City fire when I was a college student living in North Carolina," I knew I wanted to live in New York long before the TV show first aired. Foremost motivated by my own personal goals, I made it paramount during my move that I expect nothing. I applied random "Sex and the City" cliches in moment-to-moment recaps of my relationships with family, friends and the streets of Manhattan, but never associated them directly with my lifestyle. One can jeopardize their entire New Yorker experience by doing that.

The bottom line(s), according to Lizzy Nielsen in a recent amNY article "Affording Their 'City'":

The women of "Sex and the City" lived incredibly extravagant lifestyles and inspired a gaggle of young women to move to New York City. Carrie was a freelance writer, Miranda an attorney, Charlotte an art gallery manager and Samantha a public relations maven. They always seemed to have enough cash for expensive dresses and shoes, $20 martinis and posh apartments.

The question is: Could they really pay their bills?

Miranda Hobbes was probably the character with the most realistic life on the show. Partners at top law firms, according to Web sites such as and, can earn upwards of a million dollars a year. Miranda wasn't a big shopper, but she did own her own one-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side.

An UWS apartment similar to hers sells for about $775,000, according to A 15-year mortgage would require monthly payments of roughly $7,015.97. A mortgage should be about 30 percent of your total salary, according to CNN Money guru Suze Orman.

So it's entirely feasible that Miranda could afford where she lived, as well as the occasional overpriced martini.

The amount of free time she appeared to have, though? Unlikely for a partner at a corporate law firm.

Charlotte York owned a Park Avenue apartment. A similar listing on for a two-bedroom on Park Avenue and 79th Street goes for $1.1 million. While a gallery manager doesn't make a seven-figure salary, according to her cast bio, Charlotte was born into a rich family, so depending on the kind of loot she was getting from mom and dad, she could afford whatever she wanted.

Samantha Jones owned her own PR firm, and she had a her fair share of A-list clients. Someone of her age and stature could realistically pull off her lifestyle.

An apartment similar to hers in the Meatpacking District runs about $760,000, according to CitiHabitats. A 15-year mortgage payment would be about $8,000 a month. With a salary probably north of seven figures, she could easily afford her place.

As for her appetite for expensive clothing, it's likely she got some swag from clients, but it's also possible that she satisfied her cravings on her own.

Carrie Bradshaw. Even the best-paid freelance writers can't afford the kind of wardrobe Carrie wore on a daily basis. Generally a freelance writer makes about $2 a word when writing for magazines, and newspapers pay much less. But while Carrie was a woman with some fame, until she got her book deal, all of her income came from her column in the fictitious New York Star. At the most, she might have earned $100,000 a year.

She claimed to have a closet that contained $40,000 worth of shoes, with names like Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik, which go for $550-$700 a pair. That works out to about 57 pairs of high-end footwear. Even if she'd bought them over five years, that'd be about one pair a month.

In addition to her shoe obsession, Carrie also lived on the Upper East Side in a rent-stabilized, one-bedroom apartment. A place similar to what Carrie's was on the show went for $1,299 a month in 1999, according to the NYC Rent Guidelines Board. With rent and shoes, she's already spending $2,000 a month. Not much left over for $15 Cosmopolitans, packs of Marlboro Lights, Prada bags or expensive dinners.

Read More:
Are TV Characters' Salaries Realistic?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sex and the City: The Movie ... Life and the City: The Reality

There are two movies in which I will readily admit to crying. Steel Magnolias when I was 9-years old and Sex and the City: The Movie when I was 28.

It was everything I thought it would be in a New York that is almost everything I had hoped for. Our plan was to avoid the larger opening-weekend crowds by purchasing advanced Saturday, 10am tickets at Loews 84th Street 6 on the Upper West Side. To secure good seats, we arrived early just in case, but we discovered that even 40 blocks north of Times Square was not a haven from the masses. At 9:15am, there was a line for the ticket counter and a line for the cinema. Groups of girls, who all had the same idea. Some prepared better than others, unpacking bagels and cappuccinos as they took their seats.

Ready and willing to overlook any of the movie's flaws for another chance to watch the next chapters of their lives unfold, my eyes began to well up as soon as the familiar theme song announced the opening credits. I looked around, feeling embarrassed in the darkness and saw the silhouettes of other 20-somethings wiping their eyes. A remix of the show's theme song continued, and the voiceover of Carrie Bradshaw reintroduced each of the characters one by one. All of my friends were crying by the time she got to Miranda.

Even reviews by male critics are giving the movie its share of kudos:
You want to know about “Sex and the City: The Movie”? Here’s the bottom line: It’s going to be a very, very big hit. I saw it on Saturday night at a private screening. Women wept, cheered. It’s the Neiman Marcus catalog on steroids. Read more

Well, not all men.

Sure, the SATC lives are not exactly the lives that my friends and I currently lead and had once imagined before we arrived in New York. But we see versions of ourselves in them. And though our realistic visions are not entirely adorned in Gucci or Chanel (but rather sprinkles here and there), our relationships are mirrored just as richly. For our clique and hundreds of cliques all over Manhattan, this is our New York. As the movie ended, Ra stretched her arms around us and cried, "I love you girls." I began to ball, but tried to disguise it in the darkness by laughing.

Rather than allow ourselves to be completely taken in by the fairytale of happy endings, where all of us achieve everything we've ever wanted, we enjoyed it for what it was: a movie. We knew that the reality of New York City waited just outside the cinema doors, but we had to let ourselves be swept up in the moment, and we embraced it.

A new line had already formed outside of the entrance as we emptied the theater, crying and laughing and temporarily seeing New York through rose-colored glasses. There were a few sprinkles of men gazing about reluctantly and obviously bewildered by the effects of estrogen mixed with SATC. But mostly women huddled together, anxiously anticipating their moment with Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha. On our faces, they could see that the movie was going to be everything they were hoping it would be.

And so we left the theater and walked out onto Broadway, proud to be the ultimate cliché. Spring in New York. Cliques of girls leaving Sex and the City: The Movie. Heading to brunch. Arms linked. Laughter through tears. Friendships in full bloom.

"... But “SATC” is also not a pratfall comedy. It has nothing in common with “The Devil Wears Prada,” for example. While the caricatures in that film were hilarious, the people in “SATC” are drawn more seriously, perhaps more richly. Also, we know them, and they know each other. They are not competing among themselves for anything. Rather, they are moving forward as a single organism with four personas, for survival.

What’s kind of interesting in “SATC” is that no villain is set up for the women to overcome. No one is standing in the way of each woman’s happiness except themselves. I kind of liked that. The formula is gone. Carrie is not vying for Big’s attention with a rival. Samantha is not shooing off Smith’s girlfriends. The problems are in the relationships, not outside of them. It’s refreshing."