When it comes to famous New Yorkers, Sarah Jessica Parker — and her alter-ego Carrie Bradshaw — are at the top of the list.
The actress, a near-lifelong resident of the city, has long been a proponent of the Big Apple, living there, raising her three children there with husband Matthew Broderick and supporting and participating in its thriving theater industry.
Parker is using her clout — and her new midtown Manhattan flagship shoe shop — to encourage her fellow New Yorkers to come back to the city even as the pandemic wears on.
“You just can’t give up on this city,” Parker told FN during her September cover shoot at her new Manhattan flagship. “All of us are feeling very tired of the headlines of ‘New York is dead.’ I don’t think it’s helpful, and I really wish papers would stop writing that. There are really serious issues happening in our city, and some of them have only been highlighted by the pandemic in terms of the inequitable economy.”
The actress and entrepreneur is one of hundreds of business owners around New York who are pondering how to make the best out of an extended crisis that includes a fleeing population, halted tourism, shuttered storefronts, tentative reopening phases and strict health codes. Even as virus case numbers in the state have remained low this month, the threat of a second wave looms large — and a sense that anything could change in a minute.
While New York has moved from total lockdown to its current Phase 4 of reopening, which includes schools, gyms and even indoor dining for the city starting September 30, it is estimated that thousands of residents have already fled the city, whether to nearby suburbs or other parts of the country.
Last week, Parker joined dozens of the city’s top business leaders imploring Mayor Bill de Blasio to take more action in helping the city recover. An open letter from the Partnership for New York City was sent to both the New York City mayor as well as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“It’s very different than September 11th, it’s very different than a hurricane, because in theory those have a beginning and a middle and an end. And we are sort of in this purgatory right now,” said Parker. The actress opened her new SJP Collection shop on July after Phase 3 reopening was approved by Cuomo.
“New York City is really a place that relies on its hospitality, we are a place where people have standing dates to visit,” Parker added. “I think about Broadway, and I think about all the collateral damage — of every deli worker, all the people that worked in the places where costumes were cleaned, the ushers, the front of house people, the servers at Joe Allen’s and Centrale, it goes on and on.”
Parker is doing her part by keeping both of her SJP Collection shops in NYC open and even making personal appearances at them on a regular basis. Since her flagship opened in Midtown on July 7, the actress has been spotted at least once a week at the shop, which allows three customers in at a time, masks required.
“We open our doors and we look up and down the street so we can encourage other business owners. We’re here, we’re doing it safely, people are stopping by. We have some great days, we have some ehh days, but we feel the more that we commit. We see museums opened up, that helps us. But we the more we keep saying we’re here, maybe we will encourage others to come home to New York and to believe in the spirit and the resilience of this city.”