How safe is that romantic horse-drawn carriage anyway?

Last night, as I drove through downtown Cincinnati to take in the lights at Fountain Square, I passed several horse drawn carriages. Admittedly, they looked festive and romantic. I imagine that they are quite the tourist draw. Downtown Columbus has almost nothing going on at night. Cincinnati looks hopping. A horse drawn carriage might pep things up around the State House was my thinking.

Then a few hours later, after I arrived home, I caught a few minutes of a TV show about horse drawn carriages in New York City. They’ve been a fixture around Central Park as long as I can remember. Carriages have been featured in movies and have made it on TV. I’m thinking of that scene where Mr. Big took Carrie to the hospital to help deliver Miranda’s baby in Sex and the City. The horse lopped along transporting its star-crossed lovebirds through traffic. Therein lies the problem.

Everyone featured in the show about the horse-drawn carriages is against the carriages. One emergency medical technician talked about the hazards of trying to get emergency vehicles around them. Others talked about the medical issues horses have as a result of doing their jobs. Disaster stories where horses were hit by cars and died as a result of the accidents peppered the commentary. Also mentioned were the lack of safety features for passengers. There’s nothing holding passengers into the carriages, for example. One quick gallop down a busy avenue and you could be thrown out in no time.

A quick Google Search for info about the issues with horse carriages did turn up articles that address the same concerns covered in the show. As for me, I’m thinking about the cyclo and trishaw drivers in other parts of the world who have similar issues and hazards to their livelihood.

Although, I can see the point of the hazards of the carriages, on the other hand, they employ people and horses (horses need to have some way to get fed). The New York City carriages, according to this article I found, have been around as a business for 137 years. At the time of the article, there were 293 drivers and 220 horses who work in New York City. That’s a lot of carriage rides. I’m wondering about the percentage of accidents and incidents that actually happen. How many people have a lovely ride without any incident vs people who are not so lucky with their I Love New York experience?

If cities didn’t have carriages, I wonder how that would impact the economy of downtowns? Without carriages, downtown Cincinnati at night might look like Columbus. And what would happen to the Hollywood version of romance?

On sale now: “Sex and the City” tour for $24,000

Sex in the City might have ended a while ago, but its shoe-loving spirit is clearly still well and alive. Even more so with the upcoming movie.

Those wishing to become Carrie Bradshaw for a day (4 days actually) are in luck. For just $24,000 a New York travel company is offering “Sex and the City” fans the chance to live the life of characters in the television series, splurging on luxury shoes and handbags, being pampered at luxury spas and sipping cocktails at nightspots featured in the show, Reuters reports.

Guests can expect to be chauffeured to upscale department store Saks Inc and Barneys New York and boutique clothes stores including the New York store of Patricia Field, the designer and stylist whose clothes feature on the TV series. They will dine at famed restaurants including Balthazar and Pastis are also on the agenda, as is clubbing at Bungalow 8 and other exclusive nightclubs. Guests will also be able to choose their Saturday afternoon based on their favorite character.

The first client to book the tour was a woman from Singapore, where the show is banned. Great marketing.



Read the latest Sex & the City Movie news from Cinematical:

Carrie Bradshaw’s Famous Stoop Still Draws Tourists

Sex and the City might be long gone from HBO but its spirit is alive and well in the West Village of New York. At least its less glamorous offspring–Sex and the City tourism–is.

Yes, women from all over the world come here to make a pilgrimage to 66 Perry Street, Carrie’s brownstone apartment (which was actually supposed to be on the Upper East Side), where she used to sit on the stoop and contemplate her love life. They then go around the corner for the infamous Magnolia Bakery cupcake, which–please don’t crucify me for saying so–is completely overrated, especially considering the 100-yard-long line of people waiting to get their hands on one. (They should be selling those things at post offices to make people form lines and wait patiently. They might actually do that if Sarah Jessica Parker tells them that’s what she does.)

NY Times writer Gerri Shanahan was complaining in her article this past Sunday about the busloads of the show fans pulling up at 66 Perry daily to take pictures on the stoop because they are “like so like the characters”, sans the good shoes, of course. Somehow, I don’t feel bad for you, Gerri Shanahan. Perry Street is one of New York’s prettiest and, honestly, I would take it even with the Carrie-wannabes on the stoop.