The television series “Sex and the City,” the movie and now the sequel may do more for Girlfriend Getaways to the Big Apple than any marketing campaign. The utter fabulousness of four BFFs going to hot restaurants, dressed in designer clothes, with a taxi or Mr. Big’s limo at hand, paints a consumerist fantasy that even native New Yorkers fantasize about.
You can have an R-rated Sex in the City tour with your girlfriends, a PG version with your teen daughters, who may have watched the show on the sly, and a G version with younger kids who are all too happy to explore signature “Sex and the City” sights like Magnolia Bakery, one of the originators of the cupcake craze.
The Magnolia Bakery in the Village is where the “Sex and the City” girls got their cupcake fix, though branches on the Upper West Side, Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Station sell the same decadent cupcakes, minus the huge lines. Traditionalists will insist on going to Bleecker Street and ordering the classic with chocolate butter cream frosting. My kids are chocoholics and recommend the chocolate buttermilk cupcake with chocolate on top, and the Truffled Chocolate with chocolate truffle center.
Hot Men Sightings
The “Sex and the City” ladies find no shortage of available hot men, and one sure place to ogle muscular guys is in front of Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch. When my12-year-old asks to take the F train to Broadway/Lafayette to check out the eye candy in Soho’s Hollister, I can only congratulate her taste and oblige. The things we have to put up with for our kids.
Abercrombie & Fitch has two Manhattan locations, but Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte have likely never been to the South Street Seaport (though you can find the ‘secret’ TDF Broadway discount ticket booth here, with shorter lines), so head to the Fifth Avenue store, which is closer to Tiffany’s.
Carrie and Samantha drink cocktails poolside at The Soho House, a private club in the Meatpacking district with 24 hotel rooms open to anyone willing to spend around $1000 a night (and up) – but with free Continental breakfast and Wi-Fi. And access to that glorious rooftop pool. Although the nighttime scene at the pool is decidedly not G-rated, the pool is open for kids Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 8-11 a.m. The restaurant has a children’s menu, and teens can entertain themselves in the game room, with board games and card games, a football and pool table. If teens don’t bring a laptop, they can keep up with Facebook in the drawing room, which has three Apple computers.
Another meatpacking luxury hotel, Hotel Gansevoort, also has a rooftop pool, but rooms here are much less expensive. A ‘Girls in the City’ package includes early check-in and late check-out, two cosmos by that outdoor pool, valet parking, discounts at area boutiques like LuLu Guinness and Cynthia Rowley, and VIP passes to a NYC nightclub. You also get a “Sex and the City” book or DVD.
If you want to bring the kids to the Gansevoort, the family-friendly hotel provides diapers and organic bath products for babies, and a bag filled with goodies for older kids. Kids can also use the Wii, which has games for children and teens. And then there’s the pool.
Both Soho House and the Hotel Gansevoort are near the new elevated park, The High Line. This fantastic oasis, built on an abandoned rail bed, opened too late to be a playground for Carrie et all, but it is great for people of all ages. The walkway is designed for strolling, though teak benches and lounges invite you to stay awhile.
The High Line has free events for kids, like Imagination Playground in a Box, where creative play is encouraged, scavenger hunts with Urban Park Rangers and stargazing with the Amateur Astronomers Association. Work off those cupcakes with a free fitness or Pilates class on Tuesday mornings. Or just sit and watch the world unfold.