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An Article from The New York Times

Fans Toast 'Sex and City' As Cable Hit Ends Its

Published: February 23, 2004

What better way to mark the end of ''Sex and the City'' than a menage 50?

Across New York, people commemorated the end of the cable television show that romanticized New York City for six seasons by massing together and tuning in. Bars pushed ''Sex and the City'' parties. Friends gathered at one another's apartments. Out-of-towners bereft of cable posted desperate messages on Internet bulletin boards.

One party that captured the spirit and meaning of the show could be found inside a loft on West 49th Street. Fifty women, some in their 20's and some in their 50's, some friends and some strangers, piled onto couches and sat on the floor to watch the last unfurling of a television show that seemed always to be about them.

They got slightly drunk on wine and pomegranate-red Cosmopolitans, laughed at the same moments and cried through the ending. Some hooted and others clucked when the main character, a sex columnist named Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker), decided to abandon her boyfriend in Paris and return to New York with a recurring love interest, known, until last night, only as Mr. Big (played by Chris Noth).

The show's final punch line -- that Mr. Big's name is John -- drew shrieks all around.

As people trickled into the cavernous white loft, they marveled how, over its six years, a show that began with jokes about oral sex and orgasms had become such a part of their lives.

''It's a sad night for us,'' said Jalande James, 29, who organized the party at the rented loft as part of Just Us Girls, a social network for women in New York. ''We've lived with it for so long. When I moved here from Florida, I knew nobody. I'd watch 'Sex and the City' and think, 'Oh my God, they have such wonderful lives.'''

Last night, people displayed their connections to the show as if they were diamond pendants. One woman had seen an episode taped across from her home in Greenwich Village. Another had met Ms. Parker at a restaurant the other night. Another had been buying cupcakes at the Magnolia Bakery long before the show popularized the establishment.

But the propinquity prize went to Laine Ross of Jersey City, a stage actress and comedian who was an extra on the show during its fourth season. Ms. Ross said she played a dancer in a gay nightclub, and had to wear a skintight black rubber cat suit and stiletto heels for 12 hours to pull off the part.

''I had to be on ''Sex and the City'' at least once,'' Ms. Ross said. ''It's the ultimate fan experience. These are like my best friends.''

To many at the party, the show was a letter addressed to them. It understood their loneliness and longing, and celebrated close female friendships while still exposing their flaws and fault lines.

''It's so hard meeting guys here,'' said Tanzie Johnson. ''You're at so close a proximity to so many people, but they're so far from you. That's why it struck a nerve.''

''It's so honest,'' said Joy Martin, who lives on the Upper West Side. ''I mean, it's so true.''

For some, the show also spun an idealized New York City out of celluloid. When Jo-Ann Grande, 26, was living in the Philippines six years ago, she watched the show and found herself enamored of New York. Five months ago, she moved to Queens to begin teaching English at a city high school.

Watching the show, Ms. Grande said, ''gave me an idea of what New York could be.''

In one corner of the loft, 20 feet from the projection screen and the cluster of women, Bob Brill leaned against the wet bar with a plastic cup of red wine. Mr. Brill had come to the party with three female friends but hung back for much of the evening, like a checked coat.

''I'm really not supposed to be here, as a guy,'' Mr. Brill said. ''I'm keeping my distance. I don't want to break the spell.''

But before the final episode was half over, Mr. Bill had sneaked over to sit behind his friends, bringing drinks as an excuse to get closer and find a better view of the screen.

To watch clips of Sex and the City go to

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For some Sex And The City-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to

For a Review of Sex and the City go to
Date: Thu February 2, 2006 � Filesize: 38.7kb � Dimensions: 360 x 279 �
Keywords: Sex And The City: Cast Photo


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