As I walked down the ‘Streets of Bakersfield,’ I couldn’t help but wonder…could I actualize an ‘Empire State of Mind’ in the ‘Golden Empire?’ And just like that…I realized I could. Perhaps it was the ensemble I dawned inspired by Carrie Bradshaw herself (a fellow journalist and fashion aficionado). The Carrie-confidence, in every curl. It was even in the blue toile dress and matching baby blue cashmere sweater cinched with a cream belt. The detail that truly took this look to the next level: my mother’s suede camel-colored jacket trimmed with a faux fur collar. With the voluminous hairstyle, layered on top, I was embodying the columnists’ lionsmane to a “T.” Without further ado, here’s how to take on Bakersfield, Carrie Bradshaw Style.
Brunch at the 24th Street Cafe or New Vintage Grill:
Throughout the six seasons of Sex and the City, the fab four frequently brunched before ladies who lunch, and blogger brunches became a thing. Cafeteria would be the backdrop for them talking about their dating woes, bottomless mimosas and egg and pancake breakfasts included. The 24th Street Cafe is that busy, buzzing and casually classic place that captures the spirit of Sex and the City outings. Pre-Instagram, people didn’t go somewhere because it would look good on their feeds (really even that has become passé according to the Gen-Z community). They went for the ambiance that culminated thecertain vibe of the crowd, delicious food, and good service. It was about making somewhere your place. 24th Street Cafe has more of a charming diner style, nestled inside a building coated in greenery on the trellis, and its outdoor patio is inviting. The meal portions are big, hearty and do not compromise on taste. Meanwhile, New Vintage Grill on Truxtun has a few different versions of a benedict, and you can enjoy any one of them, or really any item on their extensive menu, on an open-air patio with outdoor seating reminiscent of Cafeteria.
Grab a Cosmopolitan at the Padre Hotel Bar
Who needs the Plaza in New York when there’s the Padre? Who am I kidding, I’ve done tea at the plaza Eloise style, and it’s magical. That being said, the Padre is a gem in town. A sign in all caps, red neon lights, the Padre captures your attention. Fun fact: First Lady Dr. Jill Biden even stayed there after her visit with UFW Farm Workers at Delano’s Forty Acres on Cesar Chavez day. The Padre popped up in Downtown Bakersfield in the jazz age and continues to make a splash with its French crown molding offset by black and white tiles and modern chandeliers. What truly catches your attention: a wall mural of a cowgirl clad in a red, blue and floral two-piece western suit, dripping in sparkly fringe. She tips her hat to visitors far and wide, including fans of Sex and the City, of course! There are five different eateries inside from uber casual to incredibly fancy. I suggest heading to the rooftop for city views while enjoying Carrie Bradshaw’s favorite cocktail: a Cosmopolitan.
Traipse Bakersfield Museum of Art (where a Charlotte type would work)
I could wax poetically about my fantasies of attending the cocktail soirees Charlotte hosted as an art dealer at the gallery she worked for. The Bakersfield Museum of Art frequently hosts “Museum After Dark” events that run the gamut. Those evening escapades are not always as buttoned-up as the ones Charlotte frequents, but they usually spotlight communities of diverse backgrounds, which is absolutely delightful. I once went to this Dios Los Muertos garden party in the museum’s courtyard, where local Mexican-American artisans showed us, their original artwork.. Another night at the museum was in honor of Pride Month, with live music by LGBTQ+ artists, appearances by local drag queens, and artwork by the queer community included. Of course, even just exploring the museum is a treat, because there you will find white and mint walls adorned with modern art. There are pieces that also have some tie to Kern County, previously a whole retrospective on the Bakersfield Sound, including Buck Owens’ concert wardrobe.
Shop Sustainably at In your Wildest Dreams Consignment
Granted we don’t have a Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue to seek out the latest Manolo Blahnik shoe, but we do have the next best thing: In Your Wildest Dreams. Also if we’re being realistic here, there’s no way that Carrie could have afforded all those designer shoes on her columnist salary. Buying them previously loved is not only more budget friendly but sustainable, and that’s something we’re all about in the 2020’s.
Keeping it Krischic,