If there’s any television show that is more intertwined with the city it’s set in than Sex and the City, I don’t know it. Carrie Bradshaw is New York, as she walks down Manhattan Boulevard in her Manhattan Blanhiks on her way to write her weekly column at Manhattan Magazine: The Magazine About Manhattan.
But for as much as the show took its cues from the cultural epicenter it resided in, it completely ignored the biggest event to ever occur there.
On August 12th, 2001, SATC aired Episode 12 of Season Four. On January 6th, 2012: Episode 13. That’s right, there was no episode of Sex and the City about September 11th. Which is hard to believe. In the 94 episode run, our four protagonists left Manhattan a collective eight times. They were definitely here for it. So what happened that fateful Tuesday?
I’d like to think it went a little like this.
SCENE: Tuesday morning, Carrie Bradshaw is jolted awake by the alarm clock in her Upper East Side apartment. Her voice comes on the screen.
CARRIE (Voice Over): The island of Manhattan is home to one and a half million people, and almost all of them are early risers. Brokers already walk the trading floor, baristas are brewing pots of coffee and me, up early to exchange a pair of shoes at Financial District Shoe Store. Normally, I’d love a leisurely day downtown, strolling among the men in suits, but today I had to be there by 8:30 a.m., so I could get back to midtown by nine for a meeting with my editor from Vogue, Enid Frick.
Carries arrives at Financial District Shoe Store, only to see it doesn’t open until nine .
CARRIE (pounding on the door): Noooo… I need to exchange these for new shoes for tonight. These are fancy shoes but I want other ones. Pleeeease.
She points to her fancy shoes, but the man inside looks at his watch and shrugs. Carrie turns around and slides down to the ground in front of the store, resigned to wait. As she looks up, American Airlines Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower.
CARRIE: Great, just great.
Carries takes off the decorative scarf she was wearing and wraps them around her fancy shoes to protect them from the falling ash as she moves under an awning two stores down.
Financial District Shoe Store opens right at nine, and Carrie quickly trades her shoes for new shoes, sharing a playful grin with the shopkeeper on her way. The transaction takes only a minute, and as she leaves, she looks up to see United Airlines Flight 175 slam into the South Tower.
Aidan!, she exclaims, remembering that today – or was it tomorrow? – was the day he was delivering a beautiful piece of his handmade furniture to a client at the World Trade Center. As people flee Lower Manhattan, Carrie beings grasping at them.
CARRIE: Aidan, have you seen Aidan? He’s … tall. He would have had a leather couch with him. Aidan Shaw. He has great hair. Has ANYONE seen Aidan?
Everyone ignores her pleas, and she suddenly realizes ash is falling into her hair.
CARRIE: Great, just great.
She begins trudging north with the crowd, removing her shoes to keep up, a terrified look on her face. Meanwhile, at Sam Jones PR Industry, Samantha is having doggy-style sex with a man in her office, the TV muted but on. The man’s thrusting begins to slow.
SAMANTHA: Hey. Hey! I’m about to cum over here.
RANDOM SEX MAN: Did you see this? A plane hit the World Trade Center?
SAMANTHA: Sweetie, if it’s not hitting my G-spot right now, I don’t care.
The man continues to dispassionately hump her, clearly more concerned about the tragedy unfolding on TV. Samantha lets out a long, exasperated sigh.
CARRIE (Voice Over): If there’s any place you want to watch a tragedy unfold, it’s at your gay best friend’s TriBeCa loft. So I went to mine, Stanford Blatch.
STANFORD: I swear, if any of the people in those towers were gay. I’ll …
CARRIE: You’ll what Stanny? You won’t bake Al-Qaeda a birthday cake?
STANFORD: Carrie, that’s not funny. A lot of gay men work in finance, and this city is short on them as is.
CARRIE: Finance guys or victims of terrorist attacks?
STANFORD: Gays, Carrie.
The doorbell rings.
CARRIE: I invited Charlotte. I hope that’s okay.
Stanford opens his door and Charlotte blasts in, her arms full of stuff.
CHARLOTTE: Okay, I got Reisling but I’m not sure if that’s the right wine for a tragedy but also I really don’t think we should drink because if we have more than two glasses the Red Cross won’t take our blood and I really think we should head over to the mobile donation lab they set up in Central Park. I also brought get well cards that we can fill out while we wait to send to hospitals. Some people there might not have family who will write them and I really think they should get cards, too.
CARRIE: Charlotte, Aidan was in that building.
CHARLOTTE (Gasping): No, no. I’m sure he got out in time.
Carrie stares out Stanford’s window, and we cut to Miranda, who is looking out the window of her office. Her hands are on her stomach. She’s four months pregnant and just watched both towers collapse.
MIRANDA: Well, kid, what can I tell you? The world sucks. Better you learn it now.
She grabs a folder off her desk and goes back to work. At Samantha’s office, the phone rings. It’s Carrie.
CARRIE: Samantha, thank God I got you. Did you see the towers collapsed?
SAMANTHA: Yea, just like my fuck’s dick.
CARRIE: Aidan might be in there.
SAMANTHA: I tell you, one minute we’re screwing and the next he’s watching the news? What is with the men these days? Can’t hold an erection during a disaster? If he can’t fuck at a time like this, I don’t want him to fuck me ever.
CARRIE: Samantha! Aidan!
SAMANTHA: Darling, I’m sure he got out. And if he didn’t, think, maybe he got one of those last minute, we’re gonna die lays. The fear of death is quite the aphrodisiac. Imagine being there, knowing the firefighters won’t be able to reach you, grabbing the stranger closest to you, demanding one last screw before you both perish. I bet it’s amazing.
CARRIE: WHY? Would you say that?
SAMANTHA: I’m sorry … I didn’t cum and now that’s all I can think about. I’m sure Aidan’s okay.
CHARLOTTE (in the background): Carrie, ask Samantha if she wants to give blood tonight!
SAMANTHA: Honey, tell Charlotte I’ve had sex on my period all over this town. This city has had enough of my blood.
Hours pass, and Carrie decides to aimlessly walk past Aidan’s shop. He’s in there, doing things with a lathe.
CARRIE: Oh my God. Aidan! I thought you were dead. Why didn’t you call me!
AIDAN: Carrie, what?
CARRIE: You were delivering furniture. To the World Trade Center.
AIDAN: Carrie, that was two weeks ago. Morgan Stanley? You came with me. I swear, Carrie, it’s like, (he points to her head), sometimes I never know what’s going on in there.
CARRIE (indignant): You should have called!
AIDAN: Carrie, the phones don’t work. What did you want me to do? Now come here, you big dummy.
They embrace in a hug, but it’s clear Carrie’s bad feelings are still lingering. Hours later, the girls meet for drinks at a supposedly happening hot spot.
SAMANTHA: Geez. I know a lot of people died, but I didn’t expect it to be dead in here, too.
Samantha looks down and stirs her drink.
MIRANDA: I swear, if this turns out to be another things men use as an excuse to get laid, I’ll lose it. “But baby, I could have died today.” No. No.
CARRIE: I’m just happy things are finally perfect again with Aidan. I don’t get why he never called, but I think things are alright. You know, deep down, I knew he wasn’t in that tower. It’s like, I was afraid, but at the same time, we have this amazing emotional connection, and it was telling me he was okay.
Carrie’s phone rings.
CARRIE: Guys, it’s Big,.
SAMANTHA, CHARLOTTE, MIRANDA (in unison): Answer it!
BIG: Hey kid, you dead?
The camera pans over the group and away from the table, Carrie’s voice comes on again.
CARRIE (Voice Over): Manhattan can feel so small sometimes. You see an ex, you bump into an old co-worker, and you wonder if this town can hold all us. Today, it really did get a great deal smaller, but as I looked at my closest friends, I realized that it also grew a lot tighter.
End credits diddly plays.