Walk into any New York bar. Chances are you’ll see young, attractive single women clad in cheap vintage clothing and designer shoes they can’t really afford, casually sipping cosmopolitans and scanning the room for available men. If these women all resemble Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, it’s probably because she’s the reason they moved to New York in the first place.
She may be fictional, but she’s just as important as any New York cultural influence on this list. We’d venture that no woman, real or fictional, has lured more single girls to seek love and fortune in New York than Carrie Bradshaw. Bradshaw, famously portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker, graced television screens in HBO’s Sex and the City from 1998 until 2004. She’s the semi-autobiographical creation of Candace Bushnell, who wrote the original “Sex and the City” columns for this newspaper in the ’90s. She’s the eternal single girl, the girl with wild hair and a designer shoe obsession who falls in love too fast. She’s the scrappy writer who made buying Vogue instead of dinner fashionable; casual sex attractive; and Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo household names.
Most of all, Bradshaw made us fall in love with the city. Her New York could be frustrating and unforgiving, but it was always exciting and full of possibilities. She made the city feel like a single woman’s playground, a place where any girl could fall in love while hailing a cab on Fifth Avenue. Bradshaw gave single girls everywhere something to dream about.