It’s sometimes said that, in New York City, you can have a good job, a good apartment and a good companion—but not all three at the same time. The origin of the saying is unknown.
The saying appeared on two television shows—Sex and the City (about New York City) and Tales of the City (about San Francisco).
Wikipedia: Sex and the City
Sex and the City was an American cable television series. The original run of the show was broadcast on HBO from 1998 until 2004, for a total of six seasons.
Set in New York City, the show focused on four women, three in their mid-thirties, and one in her forties. The sitcom had serialized story lines, as well as dramatic elements and tackled socially relevant issues such as sexually transmitted diseases, safe sex, multiple partners, promiscuity and often specifically dealing with women in society in the late 1990s, and how changing roles and definitions for women affected the characters.
The show was primarily filmed at New York City’s Silvercup Studios and on location in and around Manhattan. Since it ended, the show has been aired in syndication on networks such as TBS, WGN, and many other local stations. However, basic cable outlets edit out certain explicit show content that was broadcast in the original version.
Wikipedia: Tales of the City
Tales of the City is a series of seven books written by San Francisco novelist Armistead Maupin. Tales of the City is also the name of the first book in the series. The first four books in the series were originally serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle while the fifth book was serialized in the San Francisco Examiner.
The series is a vivid depiction of San Franciscan life from the mid-70s to late 80s, with the latest book providing a mid-2000s update. The books span classes, sexual orientations, genders, and transgenders in comedic prose. The lives and careers of a group of people who met when they lived at 28 Barbary Lane are tracked, with humor resulting from the unexpected crossing of plotlines in unexpected places. This storytelling style, with a focus on the era’s socio-sexual climate, has been compared to the writings of Honoré de Balzac.
Queerspace.com: Jamie and Kirk’s Story
they say that in new york, you can have a great boyfriend, a great job and a great apartment, but you can’t have all three. ok…fine…i have a good apartment.
June 2003, Mobile Business Advisor:
There’s an adage I’ve heard from New York friends—living in NYC, you can only have two out of three of the following: a good relationship, a good job, or a good apartment.
Merry like Christmas
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Nice Weather for Ducks
In New York they have a saying that you can have a great apartment, a fabulous boyfriend and a great job but you can’t have all three at the same time.
Funky Brown Chick
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Life vs. Sex in the City
Now that I live in New York City, I’m constantly amazed by how accurate that show Sex in the City really is. Someone on the show once quipped that nobody in New York buys furniture until they have their first guests. This was certainly the case me for me. And the four ladies’ conviction that fabulously single, female New Yorkers never seem to have all three at the same time: the great apartment, the great job and the great boy? True. I love my apartment and I have a good job, but there’s no boy in the mix. Once I find the boy, I’m totally convinced that I’ll probably lose either my job or the apartment.
I’d rather be happy than right
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Sex and the city was right
After watching many episodes of this show I totally understand why it was so popular. Its so right. In one Carrie says that in New York there are three major things you need while living in the city. A good apartment, a good guy, and a good job. The only problem is you can’t have all three at the same time. After living here I totally get it now. I seem to have the guy portion right now, but the apartment and the job are kind of duking it out right now. I’m not really sure which one will win. I’m also not sure which one I want to win. I would like a nice apartment, but I would also like to actually have a job.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Like Meatloaf said, two out of three ain’t bad
A few years ago, there was an episode of Sex and the City that started with Carrie saying something to the effect of “New York women are always looking for a great job, a great apartment, or a great boyfriend; yet it never seems possible to have all three at the same time.” I’m know I’m not the first pop-culture princess to compare herself to Carrie Bradshaw, but this particular line has always resonated with me.
Apartment Therapy New York
This reminds me of Maupin’s Tales of a City. Either Mary Ann or Mouse (I believe it was Mouse) had a theory that you can only have two of the following three things: a great apartment; a great job or a great relationship.
The third would always have to be a compromise. Mary Ann, of course, tried for the trifecta - and you can remember how that ended.
posted by alex on 2006-09-19 17:55:38
There’s a Sex in the City Episode that says something similar - “in new york you’re always looking for a job, apartment, or a boyfriend”... it does always seem to be that I’m working on one of the three.
posted by katie on 2006-09-19 18:00:08
The Life of P
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Being Single In NY
Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City said that in New York, you can only get two of three things: a great guy, a great job and a great apartment. The sad part is, it is almost always true. You can’t have it all. That is why you pour yourself a drink, give a toast to singlehood and find strength in your married friends who always give you hope.
4/24/2007 7:10:43 AM
There’s an old New York saying that goes something like this, You can either have a great job, or a great apartment, but you can’t have both at the same time.
strange musings of a distracted spunk
I move back to New York after a year in California, after a year in New York, after moving each year during college to a new dorm room. Sometimes, I feel like you can only have two things at a time - a great apartment, great job, but no love. Or a great love, great apartment, but crappy job. Or great love, great job, but no apartment. Granted, to a 20-something with no ties, these are the biggest concerns. For those with commitments, the want for more becomes so much greater, because of what they have.
January 30, 2008
January 30, 2008 at 2:13 pm
With regards to the story itself, I should note that it was interesting how at the end she confessed to having a large, expensive apartment. No one compliments someone on how large their apartment in New York City is unless it’s large. And that means it was very expensive.
For those of us, including the author, who are in our 30s, this is sort of a big deal: the idea of living with roommates at this stage in our lives is hard to deal with, but at the same time, the amount of additional rent it costs to live alone takes many thousands of dollars per year out of our pockets. That’s bad enough… but to rent a self-consciously large apartment which is obviously costing her a lot of money, that’s just bad judgment.
You can have a great job, a great apartment, or a great lifestyle, but you can only choose 2 out of 3.
May Day: midnight
May 1, 2008 at 11:01 AM
It reminds me of that scene in Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series where Mona tells Mouse that it’s impossible to have a good relationship, a good job, and a good apartment all at the same time. You might have one, or two, but you can never have all three at once. I guess I feel that this time, when other areas of my life seem to be going well, I should focus more on my career.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
As Carrie Bradshaw once said:
Three things every New York woman is in search of:
a good job
a good apartment
a good man
It is a very careful balance to have all three.
re: Work or a Relationship?
Posted On: 9/17/08 at 10:52 AM
In volume 1 of “Tales of the City”, Armistead Maupin articulated what was called Mona’s Law (pay attention):
“You can have a great job, a great relationship and a great apartment. However you cannot have all three at the same time.”
New York City • Names/Phrases • (1) Comments • Sunday, October 19, 2008 • Permalink
The quote about “great job, great apartment and great companion” is from Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City and originally was said by someone living in San Francisco. (I am looking for it in Maupin’s book and can’t find it, which is how I found this web-site.) Samuel J