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The Many Apartments of Carrie Bradshaw on “Sex and the City”

Nov 17th, 2017 | By | Category: Sex and the City Filming Locations

Carrie Bradshaw's First Apartment on Sex and the City-6682

While it is quite common for locations to shift after the pilot episode of a television series is shot (as I’ve mentioned countless times before on this blog), changes are typically few and far between from that point forward.  The vast majority of my favorite shows tend to play fast and loose with their locales, though.  On Beverly Hills, 90210, for instance, not only did two different pads portray the residence of Dylan McKay (Luke Perry), but three exteriors were used to represent both the family home of Donna Martin (Tori Spelling) and that of Andrea Zuckerman (Gabrielle Carteris).  Then there’s Sex and the City, which completely thumbed its nose at any sort of location continuity.  Though said to be at 245 East 73rd Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, no less than five properties were utilized as the apartment building where Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) lived during the program’s six-season run.  The initial site, a third-floor flat situated above a café (complete with a very New York-style neon “coffee” sign), which appeared in the series’ first two episodes, has long been a craw in my side.  Despite many attempts to track it down over the years, I could never seem to do so.  Then, a couple of months back, I decided to do a deep dive into identifying it and was finally successful.  As fate would have it, my good friend Kim visited NYC shortly after my discovery and graciously agreed to stalk the place on my behalf.  Thank you, Kim!  When I sat down to write a post on the spot earlier this week, I got a little obsessed with pinpointing the four other properties used, as well, and, after countless hours scouring the internet, managed to ID all but one!  So here I present to you a round-up of Carrie Bradshaw’s many Sex and the City apartments.

Mention Carrie’s apartment to any SATC fan and visions of a grand brownstone with an idyllic stoop will undoubtedly come to their mind.  But the spot initially used as her dwelling was not a walk-up at all, nor did it have any sort of stoop.  Instead, Carrie was first shown living on the third floor of a rather non-descript building housing a coffee shop on its ground level, as I mentioned above.  The structure pops up twice in the pilot – first in an opening scene and then again in the episode’s closing when Mr. Big (Chris Noth) drops Carrie off at home after running into her at a club.  It is on the sidewalk in front of the property that the duo’s now iconic exchange takes place, during which Carrie asks Big, “Have you ever been in love?” to which he responds, “Absof*ckinglutely.”

Carrie Bradshaw's First Apartment on Sex and the City-6681

As was portrayed on Sex and the City, while the bottom two levels of the building are commercial space in real life, the upper floors house apartments.

Carrie Bradshaw's First Apartment from Sex and the City -2-6689

Though the apartments appear to have been modernized in recent years (as you can see here and here), I am fairly certain from the way the episode was shot that one of the units was utilized as Carrie’s in the pilot.

As you can see in the stills above from the pilot as compared to the ones below from the series’ second episode, “Models and Mortals,” Carrie’s apartment interior looked completely different in the inaugural episode than it did during the rest of the series.

In “Models and Mortals,” an establishing shot of the building appears twice.  While scrutinizing the shot, I noticed a sign situated below Carrie’s apartment in which the word “Clea” and partial word “Col” could barely be made out.  After a ridiculous amount of time Googling that phrasing along with “New York,” I finally landed on a mention on The Knot website of Clea Colet, a now defunct bridal wear vendor formerly located at 960 Madison Avenue.  A quick look at that address on Street View confirmed that it was, indeed, Carrie’s original apartment building.  Amazingly, while the second level windows were changed at some point in the 19-plus years since the first season of Sex and the City was filmed, the edifice otherwise looks much the same as it did onscreen.  Though there is an eatery named 3 Guys Restaurant situated on the bottom level (it’s been there since the ‘70s!), I am fairly certain that the coffee sign visible next to Carrie’s window was not a real feature of the property, but a prop brought in for the filming.

Carrie Bradshaw's First Apartment from Sex and the City -2-6682

As Kim noticed while stalking the place, a Christian Louboutin store is fittingly located right across the street.

Carrie Bradshaw's First Apartment on Sex and the City-6686

After “Models and Mortals,” the exterior of Carrie’s apartment building is not shown again until the twelfth episode of the series, Season’s 1 finale titled “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.”  By that time, shooting had shifted from the Madison Avenue building to a new spot – a handsome brownstone with a picturesque stoop.  In the episode, Carrie and Mr. Big break up –  for the first time – outside of the structure after he refuses to tell her she is “the one.”  Oddly, the site was only utilized in the one episode and while quite a bit of it was shown, I had a heck of a time tracking it down.

While doing my due diligence, I noticed that an address number of what I thought was “56” was visible on the building next door to Carrie’s brownstone in “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.”  I examined pretty much all of the Upper East Side, as well as Greenwich Village, looking for properties numbered 56 that matched what appeared onscreen to no avail before finally calling in my friend Owen, of the When Write Is Wrong blog, for an assist.  Though he put in a Herculean effort, spending hours perusing the Upper West Side, as well as re-tracing my searches of Upper East Side and West Village neighborhoods, he could not find the pad either.

Then fate stepped in when, while hunting for the place via Google Street View, it struck me that the number on the building next door might actually be “36.”  I dragged the little yellow man to the Upper East Side once again and started scrutinizing blocks in the 30 range for the right spot.  It was not long before I came across 36 East 62nd Street.  I had to do a triple take, though, because while the structure at that address matched what appeared on Sex and the City to a T, there was no brownstone adjacent to it.  Instead, as you can see in the Street View image below, situated directly next to the building is a vacant plot of land.  As I later learned thanks to this The New York Times article, a brownstone did once stand in the vacant space at 34 East 62nd Street, but it was blown up on July 10th, 2006 by its owner, who was involved in a bitter divorce and wanted to not only commit suicide, but to seek revenge on his ex in the process.  The blast incinerated the structure, as you can see in images here, here, and here.

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A photo of the home from when it was still intact is pictured below via Property Shark.  Hard to believe it is just gone.

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Carrie’s apartment doesn’t show up again until the third episode of Season 2, titled “The Freak Show.”  Well, it sort of shows up.  In the episode, Carrie walks in front of a row of brownstones at the end of her non-date with Ben (Ian Kahn) and at one point stops and says, “This is me,” but the exterior of a building is never actually visible.  All that is visible is a rather fuzzy view of several walk-ups with iron porch railings.

A few episodes later, in “The Caste System,” Carrie walks with performance artist/bartender Jeremiah (Sam Ball) to a row of brownstones and heads up a set of stairs, but, again, no real exterior is shown.  All that is visible is a row of buildings.

In Season 2’s “La Douleur Exquise!,” we finally get a definitive look at an exterior, though it is an overhead shot of Big leaving Carrie’s apartment – after yet another break-up – in which virtually nothing of the property is shown.  I believe the same set of brownstones was utilized in all three episodes, but since so little is visible, I cannot say that with any certainty, nor can I even begin to guess where they might be located.

In Season 2, episode 14, “The F*ck Buddy,” Carrie’s apartment exterior is shifted yet again – this time to a brownstone at 64 Perry Street in the West Village.  I found this locale thanks to a 2016 post on the StreetEasy Blog which mentioned the property’s use during the series’ early years.

 Though very little of the exterior of Carrie’s brownstone is shown in “The F*ck Buddy,” thanks to its distinctive porch railing and some landmarks visible in the background, I was able to discern that 64 Perry was indeed the spot used.

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64 Perry also appeared in Season 2’s “Was It Good for You?”

If the address sounds familiar, that is because the brownstone utilized as Carrie’s from the Season 3 premiere, titled “Where There’s Smoke . . . “, onward can be found right next door at 66 Perry Street.  Why production decided to shift locales yet again to a brownstone located literally one door away from the previous one used is a mystery.

Though 66 Perry is undeniably charming and picturesque (that’s a picture of me on the stoop taken way back in 2004) and it is not hard to see how it came to be used on the series, as why it wasn’t chosen for filming during Season 2 instead of its neighbor . . . well, your guess is as good as mine.

The stalker found it, its Carrie's apartment.

For more stalking fun, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Los Angeles magazine and Discover Los Angeles.

 Big THANK YOU to my friend Kim for stalking Carrie’s first apartment for me and to fellow stalker Owen, from the When Write Is Wrong blog, for helping in the hunt for her second apartment!  Smile

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  Smile

Stalk It: Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment from the first two episodes of Sex and the City is located at 960 Madison Avenue on New York’s Upper East Side.  The brownstone used in “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” was formerly located at 34 East 62nd Street, also on the Upper East Side, but no longer stands.  Her home from the latter part of Season 2 can be found at 64 Perry Street in the West Village.  And the brownstone used from Season 3 on is right next door at 66 Perry.

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  1. Kim says:

    I loved snapping the pics for you! So many things I never really noticed. Makes me want to go back and rewatch!


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