sex of a city


Every city has sex. London is unmistakably male, Paris is a woman, and Manhattan is bi-sexual. Their personalities weave into the houndstooth, through the curve of a door handle, and hang like flour over the bakery at dawn.

Paris is extended pinkies, espresso, and cursive letters on bakery windows. She’s air kisses and strategically places her birthmarks, giving birthrights to puff out the air in short bursts between suffixes. The city feels as if she’s teetering on fainting, puts her head between her knees and lifts only for a drag, or word of a killer sample sale. She’s soft as confectioner’s sugar and oozes cheese; Paris is a whole lotta luscious. She even smells fem. Click to view my Paris photos >>

Manhattan is always open. It’s fearless and phobic at once and smells of aftershave, ripe scalp, and let’s just say it now, piss. There are no baths; Manhattan showers and pees standing up. Manhattan is provocatively dirty. It’s so hurried it can’t make up its mind when to walk, to shave, who it wants to be. It will decide later, there’s too much to do now. Lunch at Ciprianis, drinks at the MObar, dry cleaning, power yoga, a PDA repair, and a manicure all before 5. Don’t get me started with the shoes. Despite the small and the busy, Manhattan is home. Click to view my Manhattan Photos >>

umbrellas-1 Can you think of anything more masculine sounding than MEWS? London is full ’em. He’s also filled with lanterns, glowing like candles, a stack of them, like prayers. Beneath them, awnings glow orange–butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, the smell of brass polish. London’s shoes are buffed; its scarf suits its overcoat, hand-stitched leather gloves included. Lines of topiaries in tall windows, vertical brass mailbox slots centered in weighty wooden doors, black painted fencing–glass milk bottles nestle welcome mats, waiting. The brownstone lined cobblestone streets are tidy and vertical. Formal spacious taxicabs, window boxes, kerchiefs tucked into blazer pockets, and yes, rimmed hats. The air smells of wood and cloves. Each small shop looks as if it smells of pine and wraps its goods in brown paper with red ribbons. Click to view my London photos >>

Traffic lights are decorative ornaments to drivers, who one might imagine are named Jeeves, but who is instead named Ralph and spits when he talks. Clotted cream, strawberry jam, scones and cucumber sandwiches, a spot of Darjeeling; London is edible. You can’t get more masculine than Curry. Food served in crocks, butter in a covered dish. Coach & Horses, Churchill Arms, Crocker’s Folly-real pubs. The kind with thick Ales who wince when asked for ketchup to their malt vinegar. Double handled umbrellas linked with soft brown leather open to form chairs, upon which their owners sit, watching what one must imagine to be cricket or petanque. Bamboo walking canes and knobbed sticks should be left in Edinburgh; Burberry umbrellas and waders suit London. Never mind about falling bridges. London’s a man who can stand on his own.

What, it’s some big surprise I have more to say about men? Pahleeze. London has a crush on me, and I’m always up for a little flirting.


  1. Those pictures are STUNNING. Gorgeous. And how early did you have to get up to get some of those shots of some of the biggest cities in the world with no people in them? Dedication. Love it! ::feels jealous and vows to dedicate life to taking cool pictures::

  2. Congratulations on the Independent profile! Do tell the background behind the story. Was the Independent author a friend of a friend, somebody you met at a party, that sort of thing? I mean, while your looks and writing are clearly a cut above the average blogger's, it's not as if your site is tremendously popular, at least judging by the number of comments that are left (me, I mostly come for the glam pics). And yet there you are, on the cover of this Brit newspaper's (albeit the Independent) culture section, presented as NY's Web version of Carrie what'sherface. What's the scoop?

  3. "The Internet Queen of Manhattan." A real celebrity at last. I will not wash my hand after blowing you a kiss! :)

  4. please, carrie bradshaw and bridget jones are like so 2 years go. it's all about you, lovely.

  5. Hey Klein, all these people have been finding my site by searching for you from that time I anaylzed your explanation of getting your ninny waxed. I figured I would come over and see why, assuming you were in some magazine and hark! you were. congrats

  6. THE INTERNET QUEEN OF MANHATTAN! Loooove it. Love it love it love it! And, a great pic of you of course!

  7. I came across your site today from a link on another blog. Let me first say that you are a brilliant writer! And beautiful to boot! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all of your photos. Did you take them yourself? I am in Louisiana, so I'm not too hip as to what's going on in New York, but it appears you're getting some great publicity. Best of luck to you and I will continue to read your blog for entertainment and inspiration.

  8. I stumbled across your site from another blog I read…and I must say you are totally FABULIS!! While reading I am constantly wondering if your one of my best gal pals writing about our lives. There I was getting sad about "SEX and the CITY" being over and NOW I have Stephanie. I'll def make you a part of my internet ritual…You ROCK!!!!

  9. I'm considered to be the internet king of the broom closet at work. And I rule with an iron fist!

  10. Well, the world now finally knows what some of us have known for quite awhile- that you are fantastically gifted and a sparkplug to boot. Congrats on the accolades and keep up the fantastic writing!

  11. just read independent article in cottage in county Kerry. so now your name girdles the atlantic.We know something about red hair here – enough with the straightening!
    Just don't get all Alessi on us when the creme brulee turns up.

  12. I'm from Belgium
    I heard about your site by newspaper (Het Nieuwsblad)sow I started the computer and visited your site immediatly. This is awesome,it's even better

  13. I'm from Belgium
    I heard about your site by newspaper (Het Nieuwsblad)sow I started the computer and visited your site immediatly. This is awesome,it's even better

  14. Stephanie Klein, you are friggin" BRILLIANT! I click and marvel. I'm addicted to your words (though you are more than that). Ah, shine, sister, shine.

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