BY KAREN REMPEL Candace Bushnell, Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker…fabulous women, both real and fictional! “Sex and the City” is 25 in June, and Season 2 of the SATC reboot, “And Just Like That,” premieres on June 22. For my 50th Karen’s Quirky Style column, I want to celebrate the gorgeous, glamorous, talented women of SATC who inspired me to embark on my own New York love affair, along with so many other women with New York dreams tucked under their pillows like wedding cake.
Candace Bushnell is the incandescent spark who set unforeseen forces in motion when she created her weekly column “Sex and the City” for the New York Observer — a pink-tinted paper that catered to the hoi polloi on the Upper East Side. From 1994 to 1996, her steamy column attracted followers from coast to coast.
She sold the TV rights for “Sex and the City” (her book based on her column) to Darren Star, who decided to bring it to HBO. The first episode aired in June 1998. It had an uncertain beginning on a cable network, prioritizing quality content over ratings. But with a ground-breaking focus on women’s sexuality, the show fascinated viewers for six seasons, bridging the tragedy of 9/11 in 2001 and helping the city recover.
As we all know, the TV show was a huge hit, garnering seven Emmys, eight Golden Globes and three Screen Actors Guild awards. SATC was named one of the best television series of all time by both Time and TV Guide.
Many of us cried when the show ended in February 2004. It hurt to say goodbye to Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte, plus a bevy of beloved male characters.
Meanwhile, Candace’s spark grew into a supernova. She has published 9 books since SATC, including 2019’s “Is There Still Sex in the City?” which fast-forwards to dating in our 50s. When I learned she was doing a one-woman show at the Café Carlyle, I immediately got tickets and invited my most stylish friend, Linda Z.
Our intimate evening with Candace was enchanting and more satisfying than any O. She is terrifically entertaining, charismatic, personal and funny. Her insightful reflections on women’s lives, relationships and dreams struck many chords and the audience adored her. I daresay Candace may have mellowed slightly since her cynical early columns. With the humor that makes her writing so appealing, she recanted on her decades-long scrunchie-diss, then tossed heaps of them into the audience. I now have an orange velvet scrunchie with Candace Bushnell’s DNA on it. I will treasure it forever!
Bringing the focus back to an SATC luminary in our neighborhood, in closing, I want to mention how thrilled I am that Sarah Jessica Parker moved her flagship store for SJP shoes to Bleecker Street, where it belongs — near Carrie’s famous stoop and Magnolia Bakery. On my first visit, I fell in love with her sparkly new pink platform sandals. These are definitely my summer go-to. The glamor of SATC, brought to my tootsies by our beloved Sarah Jessica!
- Nicole Miller magenta satin ruched sheath dress. Collette’s Basement, 10 Main St., Southampton.
- Ginger Charm metallic pink snakeskin-embossed platform sandals. SJP flagship store, 385 Bleecker St.
- Red ostrich feather handbag silver chain strap. Collette’s Basement.
Rempel is a New-York based writer and artist. For her past columns and more Philip Maier photos, see karenqs.nyc.