Making “The Carrie Diaries” in Manhattan (in 1984)
When I think about Sex and the City, I –of course– think about the fashion, the sex and……. we can’t forget about the city! Manhattan was like another character in the Sex and the City series. Showcasing the New York City skyline, new restaurants and hot clubs were what made “the city” such a big part of the series. The reason I am bringing this up is because now the Sex and the City prequel, The Carrie Diaries is partly set in New York City, although it’s set in 1984.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, but things looked a bit different in Manhattan 28 years ago. I didn’t really think about this aspect of the show, for some reason I was only thinking about the 1980’s fashion that we were going to see. The thought didn’t cross my mind about how difficult it’s going to be to shoot with New York City as a backdrop, although it’s supposed to be 1984 now. Street signs, phone booths, light poles, cabs, etc. are all things that have to be changed in each scene, not to mention old brand logos and any extras on the streets. Even the glimpse of a cell phone or a new brand logo could completely date any scene.
We decided to do some picture comparisons to see how much really has changed in Manhattan in almost 30 years.
Taxi’s are everywhere in New York City. Although they looked a lot different in 1984.
1980’s Times Square
My how Time Square has changed. Now, much more bright and colorful and also walking only.
Subways used to be littered with graffiti. Now they are littered with ads. Much better use of space.
Lower Manhattan will never be the same. September 11, 2001 changed the Manhattan skyline forever. This is obviously a drastic change from 1984 to now. And I hear that the twin towers will not be computer generated and that the NYC skyline will not look like it did in 1984 in the show.
(*Had to throw these in there… how cute, they are even doing the same pose!)
Steven Siegel has a great collection of New York City in the 1980’s photos here.
Things that didn’t exist in the 1980’s:
- Cell Phones
- Debit Cards
- Old navy
- Czech Republic
- MP3 Players
All I know is that The Carrie Diaries is going to be very interesting. I can’t wait to see how the writers/producers/directors continue to make the 80’s come to life on the small screen and I look forward to lots more 80’s fashion and memorabilia.
Don’t miss all new series, The Carrie Diaries Monday nights at 8pm on CW50!