NEW YORK - There you are, standing before one of Manhattan's greatest landmarks. Even with a line of tourists wrapped around the block, you savor every second of this New York minute, snapping photo after photo with your girlfriends. Forget the Statue of Liberty or Empire State Building - you're sitting on Carrie Bradshaw's sidewalk stoop.
Fendi-loving fans have been clinking their cosmos in celebration ever since the four leading ladies began filming
Sex and the City: The Movie
, which opens in theaters on Friday. While shooting in Manhattan wrapped months ago, the movie's and TV show's setting here remains open and ready for fans' ex-ploration.
All tour, no whores (unless you count Samantha).
To track down Carrie's apartment and more than 40 other show locations, you can board the bus of the
Sex and the City
Hotspots Tour. Offered by On Location Tours, this three-hour expedition makes about three stops, including cosmopolitans at
Onieal's Grand Street
- better known as Steve and Aidan's bar, Scout - and shopping at
The Pleasure Chest
, where Charlotte so bashfully bought her Rabbit. Tour tickets are $42, but the juicy behind-the-scenes gossip is truly priceless.
174 Grand St., 212-941-9119, www.onieals.com
156 Seventh Ave. South,
Or, if you're feeling creative like Carrie, the show's resident writer, you can map out your own
Cabaret and cupcakes with Miranda.
drag-queen waitresses probably appealed more to Samantha than to Miranda, but this racy restaurant is exactly where our red-headed friend celebrated her birthday in the HBO show's pilot. Combining Asian cuisine with cabaret, this East Village spot serves three-course dinners before dishing out burlesque performances during Lucky Cheng's Fortune Cookie Cabaret. Afterward, the ladies turn over the microphone to guests for a karaoke session that would even get cynical Miranda on the stage.
24 1st Ave., 212-995-5500, www.planetluckychengs.com
Not even pastel frosting could scare neutral-wearing Miranda away from the cupcakes at
- the Greenwich Village spot where she and Carrie devoured the colorful confections while discussing, what else, men. In fact, this episode in the third season helped make Magnolia so popular that cupcake purchases are limited to 12 per customer. A dozen may sound like a lot, but you'll be begging for more after just one bite, even at $2.25 a pop.
401 Bleecker St.,
Enjoying the finer things with Charlotte.
For fans reminiscing about Charlotte's art-dealing days, check out her former workplace at the
Louis K. Meisel Gallery
. In the photorealism exhibits, see paintings so real that you'd swear they were photographs. In fact, Meisel coined the term
to describe this art movement. To learn more about the subject, buy one of Meisel's books while you're there.
141 Prince St., 212-677-1340, www.meiselgallery.com
The end of Charlotte's art career certainly wasn't the end of her good taste, especially when it came to redecorating husband Trey's plaid-plastered bachelor pad. Although a shopping spree couldn't rid Charlotte of her overbearing mother-in-law, Bunny, a trip to
ABC Carpet & Home
did supply the newlyweds with a stylish bed. In the Flatiron District, ABC Carpet & Home's two stores offer nine floors' worth of fixtures, furniture and flooring, ranging from Venetian chandeliers and organic bedding to traditional Persian carpets and hip sheepskin rugs.
888 & 881 Broadway,
Behind the velvet rope with Samantha.
You don't need to own a public-relations agency like Samantha does to slip into a booth at
, the restaurant where she splashed a dirty martini in the face of Richard, her dirty, cheating boyfriend. With two Manhattan locations, Sushi Samba is the trifecta of multicultural cuisine, fusing flavors from Japan, Brazil and Peru into original combinations such as the miso-marinated Chilean sea bass. While chefs put a twist on exotic entrees, DJ Sabo plays music on Friday nights that's sure to get you into the South American groove.
245 Park Ave. South, 212-475-9377, and 87 Seventh
Ave. South, 212-691-7885,
Sadly, Samantha's splash-and-dash with Richard wasn't enough to keep her away from him, especially when she crashed his party at the
to show off Smith, her new beau. Young and fun like Sam's stunner, the Hudson has a beauty all its own. Chartreuse-lit escalators lead you to a lobby that is practically an urban oasis with its ivy-coated wall and a May-December mix of antique and modern garden furniture. Next to the foyer is the
, where you can dance the night away on a glowing glass floor, beneath a ceiling hand-painted by artist Francesco Clemente.
356 W. 58th St.,
Reaching new heights with Carrie.
If three-inch stilettos aren't enough of a boost, then discover the ultimate altitude Carrie found at the
Trapeze School New York
. Overlooking the Hudson River, the school's flying trapeze will have you soaring 23 feet into the air - not even the tallest Manolo Blahniks could get you that high. Instructors coach you through swings and catches, encouraging you through Carrie-like falls. But be forewarned that, like those designer heels, classes aren't cheap: Lessons range from $47 on weekday mornings to $65 on weekends.
Hudson River Park, Pier 40, 212-242-8769,
Back on the ground, indulge your shoe fetish with the ultimate souvenir: a pair of Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos. More than shoe boutiques, these Upper East Side landmarks are practically houses of worship to fashion disciples such as Carrie. Unfortunately, this passion for fashion requires a little more than your church-collection change - Jimmy Choos cost $300 to $1,000, while Manolos can retail at more than $2,500.
31 W. 54th St., 212-582-3007, www.manoloblahnik.com
645 Fifth Ave. (entrance on 51st Street), 212-593-0800,
and 716 Madison Ave.,
Shopping and sleeping in style.
Whether you take the Hotspots Tour or create your own itinerary, leave time for souvenir shopping. For the ultimate
memento, pick up a nameplate necklace at
, the costume designer for
Sex and the City
The Devil Wears Prada
. Just like Carrie, you can wear your name around your neck - in yellow or white gold - for $189. While you wait for your customized choker, check out the rest of the Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated stylist's boutique.
302 Bowery St.,
For more kitschy keepsakes, stop by the
in midtown. Browse the embossed martini glasses or check out the character-inspired Cosabella lingerie sets, made with an eco-friendly blend of bamboo fibers. Find memorable lines from the show - "Shopping is my cardio" - on the
Sex and the City
quote tote for just $19.99.
1100 Avenue of the Americas, 212-512-7467,
If you're worn out from the sightseeing and shopping, end your day with the utmost indulgence:
The Muse Hotel's
Sex and the City
Pajama Party Package. For $349 a night per person, you can relax with a soothing in-room massage before munching on a midnight snack of milk and cookies. And while breakfast in bed will greet you in the morning, it's up to you to supply Mr. Right.
130 W. 46th St.,
On Location Tours
3 p.m. weekdays;
10 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Near the Plaza hotel on Fifth Avenue between 58th and 59th streets.
There also are special bachelorette packages and girlfriend getaways, each customized by character.
, for example, includes a mini makeover at Fresh Cosmetics, while