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New York Today: New York Today: ‘Sex and the City’ and Our City

New York Today

New York Today: ‘Sex and the City’ and Our City

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Are you a Miranda? Or more of a Carrie?CreditGetty Images

Good morning on this mild Wednesday.

When I sit down to write New York Today, rarely do I feel like Carrie Bradshaw.

(How could she afford that apartment or shoe collection as a freelance writer?)

But there are some New Yorkers who do relate to “Sex and the City” — and some who will go so far as to say that the show, which premiered 20 years ago today, is the reason they moved here.

Margaret Abrams is one of them.

Ms. Abrams, 28, who is from Florida, remembers watching the show on VHS tapes when she was home sick from school.

“Everywhere Carrie went was so chic,” Ms. Abrams said. “The city seemed so glamorous, and it was somewhere I really had to move.”

And so she buried herself in Candace Bushnell novels and began plotting her path.

James Poniewozik, the chief television critic for The Times, said that one of the great gifts to New York of “Sex and the City” was “imagining the city as an object of desire.”

“Sure, it sold a fantasized image of the city to outsiders,” he told us, “but a healthy amount of aspirational delusion has always been part of the bus fare for newcomers. And ‘Sex and the City’ never entirely let you forget that that bus could splash gutter water on your tutu now and then.”

After graduating from college in New Orleans in 2012, Ms. Abrams flew to New York to interview for an internship that paid $ 8 a day.

“I had borrowed an enormous Celine bag from my mom, and I was wearing her very sparkly Ferragamo flats, and I thought, having grown up with ‘Sex and the City,’ that this was the coolest thing I could possibly wear to a New York City interview,” Ms. Abrams said. “But everyone interviewing me was wearing jeans and T-shirts.”

She did not get the job.

But she returned, and this time decided she would not leave until she found a way to make it. She couch-surfed across boroughs and began freelancing for a dating website — “what I like to think Carrie would’ve done if she had to write about dating today,” Ms. Abrams said — and for Teen Vogue.

She landed her current job at The Observer a couple of years later, covering dating, celebrities, pop culture and the royal family, “which I was so excited about because it was literally Carrie’s job, and Candace Bushnell’s job before her,” Ms. Abrams said.

She now lives in a studio in Williamsburg with “a lot of shoes that can barely fit into my apartment,” she said, noting that she prefers her Valentino kitten heels to Carrie’s Manolos.

To meet more New Yorkers who came here because of “Sex and the City” — and some who left because of it — read our article here.

Here’s what else is happening:

Weather

A partly sunny Wednesday with a light breeze and a high around 70.

(Tonight will be cloudy and cool.)

Thursday and Friday should out-sparkle their predecessors.

In the News

Asian-Americans make up 16 percent of students in the city, but 62 percent of the students at elite high schools. Some say a new plan to diversify those select schools discriminates against them. [New York Times]

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Asian activists rallied in front of City Hall on Tuesday.CreditKevin Hagen for The New York Times

Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges in a Manhattan court. [New York Times]

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, the presiding officer of the State Senate, exercised that power Wednesday. Republican leaders were not happy. [New York Times]

The state’s highest court will weigh in on whether a Times reporter must testify in notorious murder case. [New York Times]

The elevated highway that connects the New Jersey Turnpike to the Lincoln Tunnel is already burdened with traffic congestion. It’s about to get worse. [New York Times]

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Major repair work to the viaduct that connects the New Jersey Turnpike to the Lincoln Tunnel promises to create enormous traffic problems starting this summer.CreditRick Loomis for The New York Times

If you were a teenage girl in New York City during the late ’90s, you had to have this bag. [New York Times]

The Governors Ball Music Festival was held over the weekend. The fashion was just as loud as the music. [New York Times]

Have you ever wondered what the life was like for a city restaurant health inspector? [New York Times]

The effect Airbnb is having on Brooklyn communities is stirring debates across the borough. [The Bridge]

Police officers involved in the violent arrest of a woman at the Jersey Shore will not face criminal charges. [NJ.com]

Today’s Metropolitan Diary: “Ready to Cross

For a global look at what’s happening, see Your Morning Briefing.

Coming Up Today

It’s Global Running Day! To celebrate, you can join New York Road Runners for a breakfast run, pizza lunch run, coffee pick-me-up run or happy hour run. Times vary. [Free]

FranceRocks Summerfest, a monthlong music festival celebrating cultural exchange between France and the United States, continues. Concert times and ticket prices vary.

The New York Times and the Parks Department present “Scenes Unseen,” an exhibit of long-forgotten photographs from 1978, at the Arsenal in Central Park. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Free]

Carte Blanche: Edgardo Cozarinsky on Argentine Cinema,” a series fusing classic and contemporary Argentine film, opens at the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown. Screenings at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. [$ 12]

This Little Light of Mine,” a musical tribute to two African-American women who overcame racial barriers to become international opera stars, at Kaufman Music Center on the Upper West Side. 7:30 p.m. [$ 20; tickets here]

Mets host Orioles, 1:10 p.m. (SNY). Yankees at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (YES). New York Red Bulls vs. New York City F.C., 7:30 p.m.

Alternate-side parking remains in effect until June 15.

For more events, see The New York Times’s Arts & Entertainment guide.

And Finally…

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Underpasses account for 70 million square feet of New York City.CreditVincent Tullo for The New York Times

Any New Yorker who has braved the walkways beneath city overpasses or rail lines knows just how unbecoming they can seem.

(Other adjectives that work in that sentence: shaky, grimy, spooky, dicey.)

Well, someone’s trying to do something about it.

The Design Trust for Public Space (the nonprofit that helped to create the High Line) and the Department of Transportation are taking on this so-called el space, which accounts for more than 70 million square feet around the boroughs, according to the groups. As part of a pilot program to improve these seedy spots — the larger goal being to take on the social, economic and environmental problems simmering there — they have given a makeover to a walkway underneath the Gowanus Expressway in Sunset Park.

The murky blocks by 36th Street and Third Avenue in Brooklyn now have brighter lighting, beautified walkways and lovely planters to clean the air and filter runoff from the highway above.

Up next: sites by the Rockaway Freeway in the Rockaways; by Dutch Kills Street in Long Island City, Queens; by the Brooklyn Bridge arches; by Jerome Avenue (at Burnside Avenue) in the Bronx; and by Livonia Avenue in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

New York Today is a morning roundup that is published weekdays at 6 a.m. If you don’t get it in your inbox already, you can sign up to receive it by email here.

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What would you like to see here to start your day? Post a comment, email us at nytoday@nytimes.com, or reach us via Twitter using #NYToday.

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