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STILL IN THE ’CITY’

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Cynthia Nixon says she and her two children have not moved to Park Slope, contrary to published reports.

The New York Post recently reported that Nixon packed up her kids and moved to Brooklyn so they could all live with the 39-year-old actress’ girlfriend.

However, the woman who played Miranda Hobbes on the wildly popular HBO comedy, "Sex and the City," told GO Brooklyn that, unlike that character, she has not moved to this side of the river.

"I’m not living in Park Slope," Nixon patiently clarified in an interview last Friday. "There were articles that I had moved to Brooklyn and they were not true. My girlfriend was herself living in Brooklyn at the time, but I never moved in with her.

"I’m an Upper West Sider, but I can’t tell you how many people ask me about this," she continued, adding that some people might be confusing her with Miranda, the pragmatic corporate lawyer who moves to Brooklyn with Steve (David Eigenberg), her baby’s father, in the final season of "Sex and the City."

"I was at a place the other day and the president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music came up to me and said, ’We would love to have you as our guest,’ and I was like: ’I’m not in Brooklyn. Nothing against Brooklyn, but I’m not living there.’ It was so crazy because people at my daughter’s school were saying, ’You’re leaving the school?’ Nothing against Brooklyn, but I’m not moving to Brooklyn.

"Miranda moved to Brooklyn. She’s staying in Brooklyn. I’m staying in Manhattan."

For right now, that statement extends to Nixon’s career as well as her home life.

In the warm-hearted comedy, "Little Manhattan," which opened this week, the flame-haired actress plays Leslie, the mother of an 11-year-old boy (Josh Hutcherson) who falls in love for the first time with his pretty karate partner (Charlie Ray). Set and shot in Nixon’s Upper West Side neighborhood, the movie also co-stars Bradley Whitford ("The West Wing") as Leslie’s soon-to-be-ex-husband, who refuses to leave the apartment - even after she starts dating again.

"I grew up in New York, and I’m raising my kids in New York, and you see New York a lot in the movies and on TV, but you don’t often see it from this vantage point," said Nixon. "And there is a lot that I recognize."

Nixon has an 8-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son by her ex-boyfriend, photographer Danny Mozes. She has been dating Christine Marinoni, an education activist and former co-owner of Park Slope’s now-defunct Rising Cafe.

"I just really liked the script and I was charmed by it," Nixon said, emphasizing she hadn’t intentionally looked for a project that is so completely different from "Sex and the City."

"It was certainly a plus for me that it was in New York and about New York, but mostly I just liked the script. It’s so specific, and because it had so much in common with my own experience, it seemed familiar to me."

The actress said she realized just how true-to-life the setting and characters were after she watched the film with her own little girl.

"I wasn’t even really thinking about it, but she went to the screening on her scooter just like the kids in the movie," said Nixon. "And then we’re sitting there watching everything that is exactly our neighborhood - she loved it. And then we went home and she was like scooting from the subway and we’re passing all the things and I’m there and I’m in the movie and she’s a kid and she’s on a scooter. It started feeling like a mirror within a mirror within a mirror.

"She said something like: ’This is really freaky. I feel like I’m watching my life.’"

Although she has appeared in dozens of films on both the big and small screens since 1979, Nixon is best-known for her work on the award-winning HBO series "Sex and the City," which ended its six-season run in 2004.

Gone but not forgotten, the series was embraced again by fans and discovered by new audiences when it appeared edited in syndication last year on the TBS cable network. Edited versions of the hilarious, sexy series have also started airing weeknights this fall on the WB 11 and billboards advertising the show can be seen all over Manhattan. Nixon, for one, said she is amazed by the comedy’s continuing popularity.

Revealing that the first word her daughter learned to read was "HBO," Nixon conceded that the show about four women looking for love in Gotham has become something of a pop-culture phenomenon.

"Just when you thought there weren’t any people who hadn’t seen it set, there’s a whole new crop," she said with a laugh, referring to the new syndication schedules.

She also pointed out that a lot of men seem to enjoy the estrogen-charged sitcom, too.

"I think there was a certain voyeuristic thing that men would have," she observed. "Sometimes like: ’What are you guys really about? What do you really talk about? Oh, OK, that’s weird.’

"But, also, so many men who really did like the show and wanted to come up and tell me, but always had to put a disclaimer on it. ’Oh, my wife made me watch it and then I really liked it and it was really good.’ There’s always a story about how they came to like it, even though it wasn’t natural to them."


"Little Manhattan" is now playing.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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