Tag Archives: Sex and the City

The He’s Just Not That Into You Movie Premiere

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I am currently waiting on pins and needles for the movie He’s Just Not That Into You to hit theatres this upcoming Friday.  The New Line Cinema film has all the makings of a hit – it stars my girl Jen and is based on an episode of fave television show Sex and the City. Come on – what more could a girl ask for??  🙂  The “Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little” episode of Sex and the City  that featured that now infamous line “He’s just not that into you!” is one of my all-time-favorite episodes.  And I absolutely loved the book by SATC creative consultant Greg Behrendt and SATC executive story editor Liz Tuccillo that came out of that episode.  I find it absolutely mind boggling that Greg and Liz took one line – one line – from a hit television show and not only turned it into a best-selling self-help book, but also a major motion picture starring numerous A-List celebs.  How inspiring!  Who knows, maybe one day a hit movie will be created out of a line from one of my blog posts!  Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she? 🙂 

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According to fave book Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell, the idea behind the line “He’s just not that into you!” came about one morning while a group of SATC writers were sitting around their offices getting ready to start their day.  One of the writers was asking for advice about a man she was dating who had been sending her “mixed signals”. Someone happened to ask Greg Behrendt, the only straight male in the room, for his perspective on the matter.  And that is when Greg uttered the now ubiquitous line: “He’s just not that into you.”  The SATC  writers were absolutely intrigued by this line of reasoning and an idea was born.  And the rest, as they say, is history!  So yesterday when some friends and I stumbled onto the world premiere of He’s Just Not That Into You while grabbing a coffee before our acting class I just about keeled over with excitement!  🙂   

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The premiere was being held at Mann’s Chinese Theatre – the movie house where almost all Hollywood premieres are held – and the red carpet had been set up right in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard.  To watch the event fans had to stand on the opposite side of the street behind some steel barriers where the view, unfortunately, was not the best.  As you can see in the above photograph, several large screens were placed every few feet along the length of the red carpet for the actors to pose in front of.  Much to my dismay, the screens also majorly blocked our view of all the hoopla.  LOL  

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For some incredibly odd reason I have never watched a premiere before – I know, unbelievable, huh? – so I was extremely excited that my first red carpet event would be starring my girl Jen.  🙂  My friends and I parked ourselves just across the street from the red carpet  and it wasn’t long before the celebs started arriving. 🙂   The first star we spotted was Ginnifer Goodwin (pictured above), who I absolutely LOVED in fave movie Win A Date With Tad Hamilton.  The bright lights on the red carpet made it really hard for me to take photographs, though, so unfortunately the pics didn’t come out very well.

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Next up was Drew Barrymore who is absolutely adorable in person.  🙂  She kept turning around to wave to the crowd and would pop her head in between the red carpet screens to smile at us.  She was super, super cute in person and seemed very friendly!  And it was right around that time – are you sitting down for this – that my camera died!  I am not kidding!  I managed to snap some pics of Drew using my camera phone, but of course they didn’t turn out very well.  Let that be a lesson to me – ALWAYS have my camera charged!  LOL  After my camera died one of my friends said it was a sign that we should leave the premiere and head to our acting class – which we were already almost a half an hour late for.  LOL  While talking about the fact that we were so late for class the girl standing next to us said that she, too, was missing a class to watch the premiere.  LOL   So like the dutiful student that I am, I left the premiere and headed to class – WITHOUT seeing Jen!  😦  Yes, you read that right.  Now that’s dedication if I’ve ever seen it!  LOL 

For those of you who have never been, I HIGHLY recommend stalking a red carpet premiere.  It was SO MUCH FUN!   Even though we had to stand pretty far away, I still felt like we were right in the middle of everything that was happening.  Besides Drew and Ginnifer, we also got to see Justin Long and Kevin Connolly.  🙂  You can see some high quality red carpet pics on this website where it looks like quite a few celebs – including Jennifer Aniston – walked across the street to sign autographs after making their way through the press line.  So bummed I missed it!  😦

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Mann’s Chinese Theatre is located at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard smack dab in the middle of Hollywood.  You can visit the Mann’s Chinese website to find out about upcoming premieres being held at the famous theatre.  The premiere for the new Friday the 13th  movie will be taking place there next Monday, February 9th, at 7pm, with the celeb arrivals most likely starting at 6pm.

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The Object of My Affection

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The Object of My Affection is my least favorite of all the Jennifer Aniston movies.  I remember watching it in college and being thoroughly disappointed.  I mean, come on, it has to be one of the crappiest movies ever made.   But if we’re being honest here, has she ever made a good one?  LOL  But when the address of Jen’s sister’s house in The Object of My Affection  was listed in my new fave book Manhattan On Film: Walking Tours of Hollywood’s Fabled Front Lot, I just had to drag my boyfriend out to stalk it.  Good movie or bad, Jen’s still my number one girl!  🙂

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The picturesque brick townhouse showed up only once in the very beginning of The Object of My Affection, as the location where Jen’s wealthy sister and her husband, played by Allison Janney and Alan Alda, throw a lavish dinner party.  It is at this party that Jen meets Paul Rudd, a gay man who will soon become her roommate and the  ill suited “object of her affection”.  In the movie, Paul and his boyfriend are shown exiting the townhouse and arguing in the street on their way home.

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Not only was this townhouse used in The Object of My Affection, but it was also featured briefly in the Season Two episode of  Sex and the City entitled “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”.  In that ep, in order to take her mind off her recent break-up with Mr. Big, Miranda and the girls decide to take Carrie to a Yankees game.   On the way there they pick up Samantha, who is standing outside of the townhouse with her new boyfriend, James.  When I watched the episode recently I immediately recognized the building as The Object of My Affection  townhouse.  🙂  I get asked quite often how I recognize this stuff and my answer is that I have no idea.  LOL  When it comes to filming locations, for some reason I have a photographic memory.  For the life of me I can never remember where I’ve parked my car in a parking lot, but for some odd reason filming locations are forever branded on my brain.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Object of My Affection  house is located at 15 East 81st Street on New York’s Upper East Side.

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Law and Order

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One New York filming location that will look familiar to anyone who passes it – unless they’ve been living under a rock for the past ten years – is the New York County Courthouse.  This massive building, with it’s hundred foot wide grand staircase and towering granite colonnade, has been featured in thousands of productions over the years.  But it should be most recognizable to fans of the crime show genre as the courthouse from all of the Law and Order series.  It is at this courthouse that McCoy and Briscoe, Benson and Stabler, and Eames and Goren see all of their cases tried.  Besides being featured weekly on the three Law and Order series, the courthouse has also been featured in Miracle on 34th Street, Twelve Angry Men, Legal Eagles, Regarding Henry, Nuts, Wall Street, Good Fellas, The Devil’s Advocate, Married to the Mob, City Hall, The Hurricane, Kojak, Cagney and Lacey, Naked City, NYPD Blue, The Equalizer, The Godfather, and Aftershock: Earthquake in New York.

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The New York County Courthouse was built back in 1919 by Boston architect Guy Lowell, who also built the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  Guy actually won the commision of the building in a 1913 design contest.  His original winning design for the courthouse featured a circular shape, but plans changed and he ended up building the courthouse in a six-sided, hexagonal form (bird’s eye view pictured above).  Looking at the building from the front, one would never know it was built in this way.  Very cool!  The building, which was made a New York City Landmark in 1966, is absolutely beautiful – and overwhelming – in person.  I am telling you, we don’t have anything like this in L.A.! 

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In the Sixth Season of Sex and the City Carrie reported for jury duty at the United States Courthouse, which is located right next door to the Law and Order Courthouse.  In the episode, entitled “Hop, Skip and A Week”, Carrie and her boyfriend Berger share a “Hollywood kiss” on the courthouse steps just before she checks in to perform her civic duty.  At first I thought Carrie and Berger had their kiss on the steps of the Law and Order Courthouse, but upon closer inspection I realized it was a different Corinithian-style building altogether.  The two courthouse buildings look amazingly similar, and are both very beautiful, especially because they are situated right next to each other.  They create quite an imposing view as you come upon them.  The U.S. Courthouse was built in 1933, a bit later than the New York County Courthouse.  It was designed by Cass Gilbert, who also designed New York’s Woolworth Building. Even though I am pretty sure New York jury duty is nowhere near as fun as jury duty in L.A., I think it would be very cool to perform my civic duty in such a historic building.

Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂

Stalk It: The New York County Courthouse is located at 60 Centre Street in Lower Manhattan.  Carrie reported for Jury Duty at the US Courthouse located right next door at 40 Centre Street.

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Gray’s Papaya

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 I know I have blogged about this location briefly once before in my You’ve Got Filming Locations page, but I think this is one location that is worthy of its very own blog post.  So here goes.  🙂  I have long been a fan of Gray’s Papaya, a small hot dog stand/restaurant chain that was started in 1973 on New York’s Upper West Side.  Today, 36 years later, it is practically a New York institution.  Gray’s serves up the BEST darn hot dogs I have ever eaten in my life.  I honestly don’t know what they put in there that makes ’em taste so darn good, but I sure want them to keep doing it!  Every year, during my December New York vacation, I gain a few pounds in my stomach region thanks to Gray’s and its fabulous hot dogs.  So I was super excited, while watching Sex and the City  reruns this past week, to see Gray’s pop up in a Season 5 episode entitled “Plus One is the Loneliest Number”.

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That episode centers around the launch party for Carrie’s newly published book – a party for which she has no date.  When she leaves the celebration all alone, her limo driver happens to ask her what the party was for.  When Carrie tells her that she has just published a book, the driver says that they have to celebrate the occasion and the two stop off at Gray’s Papaya for a midnight snack.  And, after hearing about Carrie’s new book, the Gray’s worker gives them the hot dogs for free.  This scene was actually based on the real life experience of SATC  write Cindy Chupack.  According to fave book Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell, after winning her first Emmy, dateless Cindy left the post-Emmy party alone and was headed home when the limo driver asked her about her night.  When the driver found out Cindy had just won an Emmy, she immediately headed to a McDonald’s drive-through to commemorate the occasion.  After the driver announced that Cindy had just won the award, the McDonald’s worker gave her a free chocolate shake.  🙂  For the SATC  episode, producers decided to use Gray’s Papaya instead of McDonald’s because SJP has always been a big fan of the hot dog chain.  🙂

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Gray’s was also featured quite notably near the end of You’ve Got Mail, as the location where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks eat lunch just before Meg heads off to meet NY152 for the first time (pictured above). 

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Besides You’ve Got Mail and Sex and the City, Grey’s also showed up in one of my very favorite movies, For Love or Money (pictured above).  It was also featured in Down to Earth, Crossing Delancy, and (very briefly) Die Hard With A Vengeance.

Nicholas A.B. Gray opened up the first Gray’s Papaya in 1973 with the belief that a good hot dog didn’t have to be costly.   Thirty-six years later Gray’s is still serving up excellent dogs at low prices, even if they’ve had to raise those prices a few times over the years.  In October of 2008, due to increased business expenses, Gray’s raised the cost of its ever-popular Recession Special (two hot dogs and a drink) from $3.50 to $4.45.  Still not bad for what is easily the best hot dog in New York.  I highly recommend stalking Gray’s – your pocketbook won’t mind at all.  Your pants’ size might, but not your pocketbook.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂

Stalk It: The main Gray’s Papaya – the one that was featured in all of the above productions –  is located at 2090 Broadway Street on New York’s Upper West Side.  There are also two other Gray’s locations in Manhattan.   One is located at 402 6th Avenue and the other can be found at 539 8th Avenue.  All Gray’s restaurants are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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The Plaza Hotel – New York’s Most Exciting Hotel Experience?

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One New York building that I have long been wanting to stalk is the famed Plaza Hotel – a location that was referred to in Home Alone 2: Lost In New York as “New York’s most exciting hotel experience”.  During my first trip to the Big Apple, in December of 2005, the Plaza was one of the very first locations I dragged my boyfriend to. And I was absolutely dismayed to discover that the famed hotel had been closed.  How could a New York institution like the Plaza be closed??   I mean, it’s the Plaza  for Pete’s sake!  But in April of 2005 the Plaza did indeed close its gilded gold doors as it underwent a $400 million, three year restoration. And, every December since then, while on my annual winter pilgrimage to New York, I would sadly walk by the boarded up hotel wondering when I would get the chance to take a peek inside.  Well, that chance came just a few weeks ago.  And, sadly, it was not the Plaza experience I had been hoping for all these years. 

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The Plaza was built in 1907 by famed New York architect Harry J. Hardenbergh, who also built the Dakota apartment building and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.  The Plaza’s name has long been synonymous with the utmost in luxury, elegance, and wealth, and to me it symbolized the City of New York.  The magnificent French Chateau style building once housed 805 hotel rooms and has been owned by a slew of wealthy tycoons, including Donald Trump who paid $407.5 million for it in 1988.  Of the pricey purchase he said, “I haven’t purchased a building, I have purchased a masterpiece – the Mona Lisa.”  Sadly, though, today that masterpiece looks more like a cheap imitation.  😦  In 2004 the Plaza was purchased by real estate development company El Ad Properties.  It was closed down shortly thereafter for the massive rennovation project.  The Plaza had actually been long overdue for a face-lift – much of the furniture was worn and outdated and most rooms lacked central air conditioning.   El Ad masterminded the renovation project and decided to convert the famous hotel into a luxury condominium building.  Due to public uproar and conservationists’ protests, El Al ended up keeping 130 of the Plaza’s rooms to be used as hotel rooms and consolidated the rest into 152 condominium rental units and 181 privately owned spaces.  Much of the hotel’s public areas were also completely remodeled and renovated, as well.

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Sadly, the interior of the hotel is almost unrecognizable from before the renovation.  While I had never seen the interior of the Plaza before this past New York trip, I have watched Home Alone 2  about a hundred times.  And I am sad to say that nothing from the movie looked familiar in person.  😦  And, amazingly, neither the concierges nor our cocktail server could tell us much about the hotel’s history or what movies had been filmed there.  When I asked about the filming of Home Alone 2, one of the concierges actually said to me “Home Alone 2 was filmed here?”  I mean, COME ON!  REALLY???   Kevin’s mom couldn’t have been more on point when in Home Alone 2she asked Tim Curry, “What kind of idiots do you have working here?”  LOL

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My parents stayed at the Plaza for a few nights on their way to Europe over 25 years ago and had an absolutely magical time.  My mom, who was able to tell me more about the changes in the hotel layout than the Plaza staff, said that the lobby had been moved to another area of the hotel entirely.  The former lobby and check in area (the one that was featured in Home Alone 2) is now the residence entrance and is closed off to hotel guests.  It also looks quite different from how it appeared in the movie, as you can see from the above pics that I managed to snap through the closed off  residence entrance doors.

In Home Alone Kevin stayed in Room 411, one of the Plaza’s Central Park Suites, and, yes, filming did take place in an actual Plaza hotel room.  But the massive suite that Kevin and his family stayed in at the end of the movie can’t actually be found at the Plaza. As a a matter of fact, it can’t be found in New York at all.  According to The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations, that suite is the $5,000 per night Conrad Hilton Suite at the Hilton Chicago.  Duncan’s Toy Chest, the supposed New York toy store that Kevin visits in the movie that causes him to say “This is the greatest mistake of my life!” is also located in Chicago.  Go figure!

But Home Alone 2  is hardly the only production to have filmed at the Plaza.  In fact, the Plaza is one of New York’s most oft filmed locations. Just a brief list of productions that have filmed there – Crocodile Dundee, It Could Happen to You, Plaza Suite, Barefoot in the Park, North By Northwest, Almost Famous, Brewster’s Millions, The Cotton Club, Hollywood Ending, Network, The Great Gatsby, Annie Hall, Scent of a Woman, and Arthur.  It will also be featured in the upcoming Bride Wars, in which best friends Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson both book their wedding at the Plaza on the same day.  The Plaza is no stranger to television, either.  The hotel made an appearance in the Season 5 episode of The Sopranos  entitled “The Test Dream”.  

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And it also showed up quite a few times during Sex and the City’s second season.  The Plaza’s Terrace Room was the location of Miranda’s interior decorator’s whirlwind wedding in “The Chicken Dance”, 

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the Presidential Suite stood in for Samantha’s 72-year old boyfriend’s home in “The Man, The Myth, The Viagra”,

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and Carrie, emulating the final scene from The Way We Were, said (what she thought was) a final good-bye to Big outside of the Plaza in “Ex and the City”.  (Both scenes are pictured above.)

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The Plaza is no stranger to the literary world either.  In Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic Ties the Knot, main character Becky Bloomwood’s nuptials take place at the Plaza – well, sort of.  You’ll have to read the book to hear the story behind that one.  🙂  Eloise, the main character in Kay Thompson’s series of children’s books, lives at the Plaza hotel – and this was long before the rooms were turned into condominiums.  In real life, the weddings for both Katherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, and President Nixon’s daughter were held at the famed hotel.  And Leo and Kate were just spotted lunching in the hotel’s famous Oak Room.

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 While we were stalking the Plaza, we decided to grab a few drinks in the lobby’s Champagne Bar (pictured above), hoping to relive some of the magic my parents had experienced during their stay there in 1980.  Unfortunately, a magical time was not had by any of us.  For one thing, the prices are outrageous.  Which I actually don’t mind, as long as the service and ambiance match up to those prices.  Sadly, neither did.  Our waiter brought us our check and came back several times hoping to collect it before the cheese plate appetizer we ordered had even arrived.  To make matters worse, part of the champagne bar had been closed off for a private party, which would not have mattered had techno music from the party not been blaring throughout the entire lobby during our cocktail hour.  The “quiet elegance” of the Plaza wasn’t so quiet after all.  And to top it all off, the part of the bar that was closed for the party also happened to be the only part of the lobby with a bathroom.  So, to use the only restroom available to bar patrons, I had to take a good five minute walk, down a very long and dark hallway, down two very dark and empty stairswells to what seemed to be the basement of the hotel.  Not the Plaza experience I had hoped for, to say the least.  Even with all of the problems, though, it was still very cool to be sitting in the Plaza sipping champagne.  I just don’t think it is something we’d ever do again.  😦  I, of course, still recommend stalking the Plaza, as I think everyone should see it at least once in their lives.  It truly is a spectacular building.  But be prepared to be disappointed – it’s not the hotel it once was.  And apparently, I’m not the only one who feels that way

Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂

Stalk It: The Plaza is located at 750 Fifth Avenue in New York.  Rooms start (yes, START) at $600 per night!  You can visit their website here.  The Hilton Chicago Hotel is located at 720 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago.  You can visit their website here.  Duncan’s Toy Chest from Home Alone 2  is located at 209 South La Salle Street in Chicago.

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Location Scout-ing!

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While in New York, I just had to take a jaunt over to the real life bar which stood in for Scout, the watering hole owned by Carrie and Miranda’s exes, Steve and Aiden, on Sex and the City.  The bar first showed up in the Season Four episode entitled “Ghost Town”, in which Miranda and Carrie are forced to face the ghosts of their relationships past at the grand opening of their exes’ new bar.  Scout (real name Onieal’s Grand Street) showed up quite a few times during Sex and the City’s  run, most notably during Season Four.

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Although I didn’t have a chance to step inside and grab a cocktail at Onieal’s on this trip – as I have said before there was just so much to stalk and so little time – from looking at the interior photographs of the restaurant online, I am guessing that producers chose to use the bar because of its rich mahogany interior.  In SATC, Carrie’s furniture-maker ex-boyfriend Aidan was supposed to have built the entire interior of the bar by hand, and Onieal’s hand carved ceiling (which was flown in from Venice many years ago) and wood-paneled walls fit in perfectly with that idea.

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I found this location thanks to fave stalking book New York: The Movie Lover’s Guide, but Onieal’s is also featured in a fabulous book that I purchased for my boyfriend this past Christmas called The Histories and Stories of the Best Bars of New York.  The chapter on Onieal’s chronicles its sordid history as a speakeasy, a brothel, and a gambling establishment.  Owner Chris Onieal opened up the bar in 1995 on the corner of Grand Street and Centre Market Place, in a space that has housed a bar of one type or another since 1875.  The most notorious bar that stood on that spot was named the Press Room and it was located directly across the street from NYPD headquarters.  During prohibition a tunnel was dug connecting the bar to the police department so that New York’s finest had easy (and secret) access to a watering hole.

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Interestingly enough, in the SATC  episode entitled “Ghost Town”, Carrie brings Aidan a mulberry bush as a bar-warming gift.  She says “Because your new bar is located on Mulberry Street.”  Well, that’s not exactly true.  Onieal’s Grand Street is located on Grand Street, as the name suggests, in between Mulberry Street and Centre Market Place, but on the Centre Market Place side.  Mulberry Street is actually a full block down from Onieal’s entrance.  In the above screen capture, you can see that they even went so far as to put up a street sign saying “Mulberry” outside of the bar.  LOL 

Even though I didn’t have a chance to grab a cocktail at Onieal’s, it is definitely high up on my list of things to do next year.  It looks like a very cool place to spend an evening and I highly recommend stalking it.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Scout aka Onieal’s Grand Street Bar is located at 174 Grand Street in SoHo.  You can visit their website here.

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Park Avenue Princess

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Today I thought I’d write yet another post about yet another Sex and the City: The Movie  filming location – Charlotte York’s Upper East Side apartment.  🙂  From the beginning Charlotte York was Sex and the City’s  reigning Park Avenue Princess – a role I’d like to see myself in someday 🙂 – and, in real life, her apartment really was located on New York’s prestigious Park Avenue.  Well, the exterior of it anyway.  All of the interiors of Charlotte’s apartment existed only on a soundstage at New York City’s Silvercup Studios.  I found the location of Charlotte’s pad, once again, thanks to my go-to SATC  locations guide.   

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This apartment originally belonged to Charlotte’s first husband, Trey.  The two moved into it after they got married in the third season of Sex and the City.  After their divorce in Season Four, a fight for the apartment ensued and Charlotte ended up winning it thanks to her divorce lawyer – and future husband –  Harry Goldenblatt.  Charlotte’s building was built in 1916 by New York City architecture firm Schwartz & Gross.  The 13-story building is situated in the elusive Carnegie Hill area of New York and houses only 24 apartments. 

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The scene from Sex And The City: The Movie  that took place at this location was quite memorable as it was the first time in the film that we saw Carrie in her wedding attire – complete with a blue bird on her head.  LOL   On the morning of her would-be nuptials, Carrie and the girls head out of this building and into a waiting limousine.  Carrie’s huge Cinderella dress has to be carefully pushed into the limo, causing her wedding planner Anthony to lament, “It’s like pushing a cream puff through a key hole.”  LOL

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Charlotte and Harry’s apartment is located at 930 Park Avenue on New York’s stylish Upper East Side.

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