Still reeling in shock from the fact that my roommate met Sarah Jessica Parker without me (and on my birthday at that!) I have been pondering the main differences between myself and my long term fictional idol, Carrie Bradshaw.
I’m currently sitting on the floor of my apartment drinking green tea and trawling Twitter, with the speedy delivery of my new vegetable Spiraliser (thank you, Amazon Prime!) being the highlight of my Friday evening. Was this really the glam life that I left Ireland for? Let me count the ways.
Here are just some of the reasons I know I have not reached Carrie Bradshaw-level contentment with my NYC life just yet.
It was a rare episode that did not contain a reference to Carrie’s shoes. Manolo, Jimmy Choos, Ferragmos, she had more pairs of stilettos than there are social occasions in the average woman’s year. Day after day, I find myself wearing runners (though I have to remind myself to call them ‘sneakers’ now.) I’m not even talking Street Style-worthy Stan Smiths or gleaming Air Force 1s – I’m talking function-not-fashion trainers laced up tight as comfort seems to take precedence when it comes to navigating the city’s streets. Which leads me to my next point…
Due to her choice of shoes, was Carrie ever not hailing one of those ubiquitous NYC yellow cabs? This is one luxury I would rather save my money on (hence the constant need for comfortable footwear). I’ve never clocked up as many steps on the pedometer as I have these days speed walking up and down the avenues of this city. My sense of direction is notoriously bad, but if you want to uncover the hidden gems of the Big Apple, the best way to do it is on foot. Even if it means getting lost in East Harlem……more than once.
I must have missed the lecture where my journalism professors told us how we could live lavishly in Manhattan just by submitting one column a week about our love life. Before moving here, I held down a job as a full time writer and I just about managed to survive pay day to pay day…. while living at home with my parents! The average salary of city slickers in Manhattan is between $70-$220k(!) so go figure that Carrie was claiming a couple of hundred bucks per word in her weekly musings.
The Love Life
If I could sum up the extent of my New York love life in one word it would be… ‘tumbleweed’. The lovely Jo Linehan recently wrote this great piece about how proactive American guys are when it comes to pursuing dates. However the extent of my interaction with the opposite sex this week has been a brief conversation with the man painting my hallway about the colour yellow (he has tears tattoo’d on his face), asking the Hispanic chefs in the restaurant I work in whether or not the medium rare sirloin is ready, and enquiring with the barista if they have almond milk.
An apartment with a walk-in wardrobe in New York City? I think I’ll see a golden unicorn gallop down Park Avenue first. With sky high rents and space being a limited commodity when it comes to city real estate, Carrie would definitely have been forced to rent out her closet to help subsidise the crippling bills Manhattanites face. I l share a one bedroom with two other girls, which means the room is home to two double beds and three wardrobes! Our apartment is even considered spacious by city standards – I’ve heard of people in places so small, they’re forced to use their ovens as extra storage for shoes.
Not a hope in hell was Carrie sporting that sample size figure surviving off ice cream, boozy brunches and Chinese takeout, without a single smidge of exercise being squeezed into her schedule. The food in America is so decadent that you can literally taste the sugar in everything from the milk to the bread. Every week I practically endure torture at the hands of bootcamp instructors and pilates teachers just to keep the buttons of my Joni jeans closing comfortably (thank God for high wasted denim.)
The Arm Candy
When you leave the house in the morning in New York, you don’t know what that day is going to entail. My handbag is constantly akin to what I would take on an airplane for a city break – toiletries, accessories, snacks, you name it. And yet here’s Carrie flitting around with a miniscule Fendi baguette tucked under her arm that could surely only contain her keys and a lipstick. At least I could almost consider lugging mine around as extra strength training.
Sure I lust after Carrie’s extensive collection of clothes, handbags and shoes – but what would really make my heart sing right now is a Macbook. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had the same trusty Windows HP laptop for five years now and it has never let me down. But rocking up to my last two internships with it, fellow interns have looked at me as if I’ve just put a Nokia 3210 complete with satellite dish down on the desk when I take it out (not to mention the fact that I also need a UK/USA adapter for the charger) I can’t help but feel if I had that sleek silver machine, I would at least LOOK like I had my shit together.