We were determined to find it. My intrepid friend (a real-live New Yorker, who could actually understand subway maps, and navigate the city with the cool, "I am clearly not reacting to the fact that there is a man wearing both a priest's collar AND a dress handing out lollipops on the corner, and clearly, you should not do so, either" aplomb necessary to any NYC adventure) had looked up the address online, HopStopped us a path over there... and in a few short moments... there we'd be.
"What if it's just not the same, seeing it in person?" I ask. "Like how everyone says that the Mona Lisa looks super small, and the Eiffel Tower looks extremely grubby, once you get close to it?"
"Well, it probably will be grubby," she says. "But good grubby--New York grubby."
I consider this. "Yes, New York grubby would be fine."
In the end, the address that we have so conscientiously texted to ourselves, to make sure that we don't forget it, proves to be unnecessary. We know it the instant we see it--of course we do. (We should have known that we would.) It's not disappointingly small or unnervingly dirty. It is Carrie's stoop, and it is perfect.
Perfect unless you count the little metal fence which the current owners have erected over it, to keep us from sitting on said stoop, that is. We stand and stare for a moment, cameras in hand, crestfallen. We had planned on taking it in turns to sit on the stoop, our chins thoughtfully cupped in our hands, pretending to puzzle over some romantic drama or other. (Neither of us had any specific romantic drama to puzzle over at the moment, but no matter.)
"We could always... go over it," I say.
"And get arrested?" my friend replies, her eyes darting from side to side nervously, as though my very words may have summoned vengeful members of the NYPD from out of the ether. "And even worse... have it be in our pictures? Carrie never does any of her wondering behind a chain link fence, now, does she? No, she does not."
We stand mutely regarding the wretched little fence, our reverie interrupted only when we hear a tentative "Excuse me?" coming from behind us.
We turn around to face (mercifully) not a truncheon-wielding member of New York's Finest, but rather a smiling, pleasant gentleman, who is clearly neither angered at my contemplated fence-jumping, nor armed.
The gentleman looks at our cameras, and then at us, and then back at our cameras again. "I'm sorry, do you mind my asking... it's just... there are always women coming here with cameras, and they always look like their dog died when they can't sit on that stoop. I'm sure I should know, but what is that stoop? Is it, like... a monument, or something?"
"Well, it's... Carrie Bradshaw's stoop," my friend says.
The gentleman looks blank.
"You know... Carrie Bradshaw... from the TV show Sex and the City?" I say.
The gentleman now looks not so much blank as he does unimpressed. "Oh, is that all? I thought it was the site of some famous assissination or wedding or something. But it's just about a TV show?" He smiles at the vagaries of womankind. "Well, I'm sorry that you girls don't get to sit on your stoop, but I hope you have a nice day, anyway!"
And people say that New Yorkers aren't nice. Turns out, they are.
Apart from the New Yorkers who own Carrie's stoop, that is.
We do have a nice day, as it turns out. We get some nice pictures in spite of the wretched little fence (while also managing not to violate the current proprietors' right to private property.) After our visit to the stoop, we round out our SATC pilgrimage by going to the Magnolia Bakery and having some very pretty, very sweet little cupcakes. The sun is shining. There is lots of sugar in my bloodstream. A very nice day, indeed.
And after I go back home, I do not forget. I do not forget the cupcakes, with their pretty pastel icing, I do not forget how long it took us to get pictures in which the wretched little fence was not visible, and how proud we were when we finally did so.
And I do not forget all of the other women who had been there before us, and who, doubtless, would be there after us. I may not have met them, I may not know them... but I do not forget them. I don't know what brought them to Carrie's stoop that day, but it seems important, somehow, that they were there in the first place. Waves upon waves of women, going to a place where one (fictional) woman had once lived, thought, dreamed, and ventured to tell the truth about her life.
It warmed me to the depths of my feminist heart, it did.