'SATC' 's Candace Bushnell Reveals Her Columnist Salary — Maybe Carrie's Lifestyle Wasn't Unrealistic!

"It was a real time for media," Candace Bushnell said of the early years of her career as a writer, before her Sex and the City column spawned a massive franchise

Candace Bushnell
Photo: Roy Rochlin/WireImage

For years, Sex and the City fans have wondered how Carrie Bradshaw afforded her Upper East Side apartment and funded her lavish N.Y.C. lifestyle on a writer's salary.

In an interview with The New Yorker published Wednesday, Candace Bushnell — the real-life columnist who inspired the cultural icon — revealed that she made $5,000 a month penning a column for Vogue in the '90s, during a time she said writing was "valued."

"In the nineties, for me — it was a real time for media. I worked for Vogue, writing the 'People Are Talking About' column, and got paid five thousand dollars a month," she revealed.

"The Observer paid less, but I could afford that, because of Vogue. I mean, this was a time that writers were getting a Vanity Fair contract for six pieces and two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year," Bushnell continued. "People valued writing; it wasn't considered something everyone can do. Now, because of the computer, everyone has to do it, so we think everyone can do it."


She began writing her Sex and the City column for The New York Observer in 1994, spawning a book, a wildly successful HBO series, two theatrically-released films and the recent HBO Max revival And Just Like That... (Bushnell also has a PEOPLE byline, covering Mariah Carey's first wedding to Tommy Mottola in 1993).

Bushnell revealed her favorite SATC episode to PEOPLE in December last year, explaining that she "always loved the pilot because it was directed by Susan Seidelman." She said the show's 1998 premiere was a "really interesting experience."

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"There were a lot of episodes that I've really enjoyed — probably too many to name," Bushnell added. "I would say my favorite episodes are definitely in the first two seasons because that, to me, feels the most authentic and really captures the spirit of the book."

Bushnell recently performed her one-woman show Is There Still Sex in the City? in N.Y.C., but the Off-Broadway run was cut short in December when she tested positive for COVID-19.

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