Sex and the City fans come from all over the world to see where Carrie Bradshaw lived. Some say that Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment might as well be the fifth main character, that is just how well we know Carrie’s small but lovable apartment. But what many people don’t know about Carrie’s apartment is that the building used for all the exterior scenes, such as Carrie getting dropped off by Mr. Big’s limo, or Carrie kissing her latest beau on her stoop, is NOT located on the Upper East Side.
On the show, we are led to believe by the story-line that Carrie lives at 245 E. 73rd Street (no such building exists). In reality, every exterior scene filmed at Carrie’s stoop was in front of at 66 Perry Street in the much more charming West Village. (FYI: For many years, the real Carrie Bradshaw- Sarah Jessica Parker- lived on Charles Street also in the West Village.)
It’s pretty easy to locate Carrie’s apartment at 66 Perry Street. Below is a map of the area with the nearest subway stations underlined. The walk to 66 Perry Street is no more than 6-7 minutes from any of these subway stations. Click this link for directions to the building.
As you can imagine, hundreds of people visit Carrie’s apartment every week. And what good is a picture if you aren’t standing on the stoop? The owners of 66 Perry are not thrilled about the constant visitors gawking at their home, posing on their stoop, so they placed a chain across the stairs with a “No Trespass” sign. In the past there was a sign asking for $1 donations to be placed in a box that would be used to help homeless dogs and cats, though our guides have reported that the box is no longer there.
The current sign is even sterner, and says “Do NOT go on staircase please.” As for the warning, do not take it lightly and step over the chain. Even Sarah Jessica Parker herself caused an uproar in October 2014 when she filmed a commercial for her new shoe line along the public sidewalk in front of 66 Perry. That was fine – but when she reached over the chain to place shoes from her new shoe collection onto the stairs, it caused a major uproar with the owners.
As for that selfie or photo you simply must have, it’s fine to take a picture while standing on the public sidewalk in front of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment building, but the real residents deserve a little privacy. In fact the owners of the building have gone so far as to have Google maps blur their building on the Google Street view picture! Let’s face it though, anyone whose trekked over to find Carrie’s building knows exactly what it looks like without a picture.
66 Perry Street: Past And Present
Built in 1866 by architect Robert Mook, this Italianate style townhouse was built as a single family home in the same style as most of the other houses on the street. However, it was later renovated and split up into three spate apartments. In 1996, the current owner purchased the entire building for a mere $241,000. One realtor estimates that now the entire building is worth $2,064,040. One of the three apartments in the building is described by one realtor website as “an elegant two bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom home in the West Village. Stunning original details take on a modern sophisticated vibe, with just a dash of quirk in the artwork and decor.”
Rent: Reality Vs. Fiction
In the show, Carrie lived in a spacious one-bedroom with walk-through closet and bathroom and a full kitchen on the pricey Upper East Side. She paid about $700 a month when in reality comparable apartments on East 73rd cost $3,000 per month. How did Carrie – a newspaper columnist making a middle income salary afford to live in such a swanky part of town AND afford all those Manolo’s? Turns out that Carrie’s apartment was rent-stabilized, thus her incredibly low rent was subject to strict laws about rent hikes. The same was true for Monica and Rachel’s apartment in the TV hit “Friends” who could never have afforded their huge apartment in Greenwich Village. If you are interested in seeing the apartment building used in the show that show, then it’s a short walk from Carrie’s building. For directions and other fun facts, see our post on the Friends Apartment Building. It’s just a 6 minute walk from Carrie’s stoop and located on top of the Little Owl Restaurant.
Just one episode of Sex and the City was enough to make nearby Magnolia Bakery located at 401 Bleecker Street and West 11th Street a tourist destination. In Season III, Episode 5, Carrie and Miranda sink their teeth into Magnolia’s signature cupcakes as they discuss their love lives. The fact is, regardless of appearing on SATC or not, Magnolia’s Bakery is absolutely divine and worth waiting on the line for their butter cream frosting.
If Carrie’s stoop and creamy cupcakes haven’t left you feeling satisfied, check out our self-guided Sex and the City Tour.
Written by Courtney Shapiro