Even when she finally marries Mr. Big (Chris Noth) at the end of Sex and the City: The Movie and moves in with him to a bigger, swankier apartment with the closet of her dreams, she keeps the dwelling as a place where she can retreat and write, sitting at her desk and staring out the window as she ponders. After Big’s death at the beginning of the reboot series, Carrie attempts to move into a boxy white Tribeca apartment with glass walls on all sides, but finds she is happier in the comfort of her prewar den, with its rarely used kitchen and walk-through closet.
As we wait to find out the fate of Carrie’s beloved pad, let’s take a look back at how the space has evolved through the years.
The pilot apartment
When Sex and the City premiered on June 6, 1998, Carrie was not living in the dwelling fans know and love today. The pilot episode, filmed before the show was officially picked up by HBO, shows Carrie in an apartment located above a coffee shop (at 960 Madison Avenue), with a neon green sign glowing outside her window. The space is in a state of disarray, with stacks of magazines and Chinese takeout containers littered everywhere. (In true Carrie fashion, she adds a touch of glamour with blue satin sheets.) The interiors are dated, with an old candle chandelier, a stained glass light fixture, and wainscoting on the door.
I’m not convinced that a young NYC writer could afford this place, but its shabbiness makes it a bit more realistic than her subsequent pad, something Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni also noticed when looking back at the pilot for their Sex and the City–inspired podcast, Every Outfit. “Real New York It girls live in some degree of squalor,” one of the commented, and they have a point.
Carrie’s bachelorette pad