Gretchen Rubin

Sex and the City, the movie, comes right to my neighborhood — and brings a little happiness.

How fabulous. Some scenes from the Sex and the City movie are being filmed in my neighborhood today.

The special “No Parking” notices went up a few days ago; they coyly said only “Untitled Movie,” but I suspected the movie was Sex and the City. When I came outside this morning, and confronted a fleet of Haddad’s trucks, I asked a woman with an earpiece, “What movie are they filming?”

“I really can’t tell you,” she answered, “but if you live right here, you’ll probably figure it out.”

A little later, I asked a neighborhood authority—a doorman. “Do you know what’s going on? What are they making?”

“Sex and the City,” he answered with customary doorman omniscience.

I’m getting a big kick out of seeing all the hubbub, and I asked myself--why? What happiness buttons are being pushed?

First, though this may sound surprising, it’s always engaging to watch other people at work. How they organize themselves, what the stages of the work are, how the people interact, the tools they use – it’s always interesting. For instance, the big movie trucks always have a set of doors marked “Lucy” and “Desi,” which I assume are bathrooms. But maybe not. Interesting.

Second, it created a nice neighborly feeling. Because other people were curious, I got curious. Like a lemming, or a nervous gazelle, when I saw the crowd of people staring up the block, I had to join them. Then we all chatted together.

Third, seeing the movie being made right near my house gave me a sense of the theatricality of everyday life. Suddenly, the mundane streets that I walk through many times each day seemed glamorous and exotic.

My friend Marci Alboher just launched a terrific new New York Times blog, Shifting Careers, that highlights new ways of thinking about career choices and work. I was very happy to be included in her debut post, about Getting Happier, in Work and in Life.

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