We’re taking a page from the ICONIC “Sex and the City’s” Carrie Bradshaw for our next Manhattan trip.
There’s a thousand different ways one can navigate the city that never sleeps. This summer, we’re stepping into the sky-high stiletto’s of none other than Sex and the City’s starlet, Carrie Bradshaw. Her famed apartment in the Upper East Side became the backdrop for her career, her intimate relationships and constant outfit changes that fans of the show felt like was a part of our own story. But, like us, Bradshaw’s world exuded far beyond her home. It was the cityscape of Manhattan—an ICONIC CITY—that hosted her love affairs, female friendships and interpersonal discoveries. From NoHo to Midtown to Harlem, we sip, dine and dance our way across the city as if we were in Ms. Bradshaw’s glamorous shoes ourselves.
Now where does the fabulous writer with high-taste stay on her visit to New York City? Whether she’s taking a weekend away with Big or a girls-only trip, the Park Lane New York has Bradshaw splashed all over it. The curated art-forward hotel is a fresh breath of whimsy and elegance towering over Central Park. The views alone are cinematic. Evoking regality and upscale comfort, the hotel is beaming with glittering chandeliers, dusty-rose armchairs, ornate bathrooms and a visual theme inspired by Igor Stravinsky’s ballet, The Firebird, that becomes the backsplash to Bradshaw’s wardrobe and enterprising spirit.
Park Lane New York
Right around the corner are what the Sex and the City crew would consider places of worship. Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Prada and Chanel are all on sparkling display along the famed Fifth Avenue. We know that Bradshaw’s therapy through retail got her into financial woes but that never stopped her from leaving her beloved department stores draped in luxury shopping bags and showboxes.
While on Fifth Avenue, take a moment to peruse the historical hallways of the grand New York Public Library. This memorable location is where Bradshaw and Big were *ahem* supposed to get married before he got cold feet and a fistful of white roses to the face. Nuptials aside, the library is a cultural destination that not even Bradshaw would discourage you to visit.
When it comes to slower, contemplative days in the city, we imagine the literary protagonist spending a slightly hungover Saturday morning at the authentically eclectic Caffe Reggio in Greenwhich Village. Touted as the first cafe in the US to serve cappuccinos, this hipster-loving hotspot is adorned with artwork from the Italian Renaissance and serves piping hot, aromatic coffees to its array of guests, from elderly locals to aspiring screenwriters. Perhaps, a scene of inspiration for Bradshaw’s next column?
For a dining experience high above the city, we head to the Park Lane hotel’s own restaurant, Darling. It happens to be the only rooftop lounge on Billionaire’s Row—that’s B for billionaire, not Big. The secret garden oasis has 360-views of Bradshaw’s favorite city skyline, plus a sultry, floral ambiance perfect for a love story to play out. Perhaps Bradshaw would come here on a hopeful first date to chase down carajillos and caviar while curiously conjuring nicknames for this new man.
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Darling, Credit - Michael Kleinberg
The cultural breadth of New York City is incomparable. You can witness Broadway shows, street performances, art exhibitions and live jazz all in the same night. Although jazz was once a contentious subject for Bradshaw and Big after that one awkward taxi ride with the jazz player pining for Bradshaw, there is surely still room in their hearts for a musical night out. A New Yorker’s favorite place to experience independent artists on-the-rise is at the Apollo Music Cafe in Harlem. Adjacent to the legendary theater’s main stage, where Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday once played, is a more intimate and laid-back space that brings the vibe with contemporary jazz players, hip hop artist, sultry vocalists and phenomenal instrumentalists ready to serenade Bradshaw and her crew.
Perhaps an unexpected place to see her silk-adorned bodice and four-inch heels, but we know Bradshaw’s draw to the sensual would bring her front row to the smoky stage.
Apollo Music Cafe- Kenneth Whalum
A New York City evening often stretches into early mornings. For a night out, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda would surely be seen at the Temple Bar. Disco, the bouncer, greets you at the non descript entryway leading you into a dimly-lit bar buzzing with vibrant conversation. The fragrance of top-shelf liquor is poured into crystalware offering a taste of uptown glamor in NoHo that caters to A-list celebrities, executives and free-spirited creatives. Clink glasses at the bar, dance uninhibitedly or retreat to the intimate sidelines where secrets are designed to be spilled. While Bradshaw has always loved a Cosmopolitan, we recommend trying their Rolls Royce Martini or the Sick as Espresso Martini crafted with vodka, banana, vanilla and cold brew for a twist on the original.
The revived bar was once a 1990’s watering hole that introduced the concept of a sexy cocktail lounge with an Art-Deco influence that remains today. History prevails with a disco light overhead from Andy Warhol’s studio and the original chairs and fireplace, now with modern touches. Temple Bar is exclusive, yes, but only to those unwilling to arrive with a curious mind and emboldened spirit.
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WHAT WOULD CARRIE BRADSHAW WEAR?
Bradshaw, the fashion icon herself, never has a dull moment. In preparation for your trip to Manhattan, we’ve selected a few essential pieces to pack. Vibrant, versatile and couture define these three pieces from our favorite designers we’re gushing over this season.
We’re breaking Bradshaw’s rules with this selection. The Manolo Blahnik’s will of course make an appearance on this trip, but every sensible traveler to the city knows that a pair of walking shoes to site-see is a must. Zepyure’s timeless platform sneakers feature matte and shiny black Italian-made leather that are impressively adaptable for the airport, daytime fits and can be worn well into the evening. Designer? Yes. Comfortable? We tried them out ourselves and they are absolutely approved for long days exploring Manhattan and beyond. Throw them on with a ruffle neckline, knee-length leather jacket and a low-rise skirt, and you can’t tell us Bradshaw wouldn’t gush over this look.
Although her ensembles are often the loudest in the room, Bradshaw has also had a few memorable moments of understated femininity. Inspired by the floral midi dress she famously wore in the scene where her and Big took an accidental dip in the Central Park pond, is this hand-woven macrame garment from Wales Bonner. Crafted from Ghanaian wood and glass beads, we channel Bradshaw’s love for a statement piece with regard to a softer palette that could easily be worn on a stroll through the park. Wales Bonner is known for her cultural luxury with an Afro Atlantic spirit. What’s not to love? Consider this outfit choice an homage to the show’s ICONIC New York City backdrops flooded with faces—and fashion—from around the world.
Glittered, buckled and monogrammed can best describe the designer bags that Bradshaw dons throughout Sex and the City. For your Manhattan journey from uptown to downtown, your purse will serve as more than an accessory. It’s why we love this ovular carry-all from Homage Year crafted from a luxurious vegan leather material and a uniquely patterned avocado green and yellow patterning. With external zipped pockets and a silk-lined interior with a slip pocket, the adjustable crossbody bag holds it all. How would Bradshaw rock it? An all-white ensemble with an off-the-shoulder button-up and a belt cinched around the waist.
It’s giving main character energy.