I Went On a ‘Sex and the City’ Bus Tour in 2022 and All I Got Was This Crushing Sense of Dissonance

Once the bus began to move, shepherded by a genial driver named Tony and narrated by an enthusiastic and extremely HBO-literate actress and singer named Christiana, I let Eliza and Natalie split a 20-milligram edible while I, ever the professional, stared out at the city I’d lived in for 15 years before moving to Austin, Texas last month, and thought about ways to make this Sex and the City bus tour about myself. 

It wasn’t hard. As we drifted downtown, with Christiana pointing out the fountain that Carrie and Big fell into together, I couldn’t help but dream up a parallel, if somewhat more dirtbaggy, millennial tour of my own New York exploits. There’s the diner across from the Apple store where I took a wildly unnecessary pregnancy test my junior year of college…there’s the newsstand where I bought my first pack of cigarettes at 14 and promptly threw up after smoking one…there’s the stoop where I had a breakdown after getting a D on my chemistry midterm and called my best friend a bitch via Facebook Messenger and then regretted it. It was like Our Town, if Emily Webb had grown up on the Upper West Side, perfunctorily dated men for years, and had approximately 0% of her shit together.

My reverie stalled in the West Village, where we trooped to “Carrie’s stoop,” only to learn that crazed SATC fans frequently jumped the hastily erected fence onto the very real owners’ threshold, often shouting “WHERE’S CARRIE?” as they did so. I’m proud to say I’ve never let my obsession with the show metastasize to quite that level, but I smiled anyway when Eliza, Natalie, and I posed for a selfie in front of the window from which Carrie once screamed down at Aidan.

Our next stops, Magnolia Bakery and Cosmos at “Steve and Aidan’s bar” (a.k.a. Onieals, the all-too-real bar in SoHo used to play the SATC bar Scout), only served to highlight the ways in which my gastrointestinal integrity had failed me since the show was first on the air. I can no longer eat pure sugar, a fact I recalled bitterly as Natalie and Eliza clinked pink, frosty glasses outside in the cold. While they were occupied with their drinks and cupcakes, I tried to locate the origins of the weird feeling I’d been having since we boarded the bus—which, unlike my friends, I could not attribute solely to THC.

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