There isn’t a single scene from Sex and the City that wouldn’t have you believe New York City is out of your league both financially and stylistically. It’s not true and we can tell you how to experience the bright lights and big city on a reasonable budget!

Shop till you drop!
Getting to know New York may seem intimidating so pick a spot and shop it. What you heard was right — Broadway has some of the best shopping on the planet! The strip between NY’s infamous Chinatown (Canal Street) down to NYU (pack it in around West 3rd Street) hosts a plethora of great shops and you’ll likely be enticed to pop in ever shop you pass but time is of the essence so here are a few not to miss. Walk along the strip and you’ll likely recognize Pearl River (477 Broadway between Grand Street and Broome Street. 212-431-4770) from an earlier episode of Sex and The City. The girls were right — this is a fabulous spot to find oriental themed goodies with a selection of everything from clothing and shoes to dishes and lamps! Stroll down to Anthropologie at 375 West Broadway (located between Spring & Broome Street. 212-343-7070). You’ll find everything from apparel, shoes, accessories and home décor with a variety of labels like Lux and Odille as well as exclusively made items for Anthropologie! You’ll also love the new Ben Sherman store — it’s a cool space located steps from Broadway in SOHO (96 Spring Street at the corner of Mercer Street).

Grabbing a bite
After burning all those calories shopping, it’s time to grab a bite at Miro Café with two locations just blocks from each other (594 Broadway, 212-965-9777 or 474 Broadway by Grand Street, 212-431-9391). This casual café is always bustling with activity and offers delicious sandwiches either pre-fixed or you can customize your own. Select from a wide range of ingredients as you cruise down the salad bar. Your salad is tossed together and given to you to enjoy with a fresh ice tea, green tea or lemonade. The perfect way to rejuvenate before you hit the street for round two of your shop-fest. Sit and enjoy your lunch or get it to go and head over to Washington Square Park for some incredible people watching and entertaining. You could probably spend the rest of your day enjoying melodic A cappella tunes, watching the buskers or just enjoying a real front row seat to New York’s fashion scene. The park is in the heart of Greenwich Village so you never know who or what you’ll see!Subscribe to ELLE Canada — 12 issues for only $15! You will save 70% off the cover price!

If you’ve got an insatiable sweet tooth, make the trek to the Upper West Side and grab a half pound cookie at Levain Bakery (167 West 7rth Street, 212-874-6080. The New York Times touts them as “the largest, most divine chocolate chips in Manhattan!” These cookies are so delicious that not only are they a NYC favorite, they are exported to various places around the world!

Out for the night
Another favourite spot is Irving Street. It only runs between 20th and 14th, in between Park Ave South and 3rd Ave. Pete’s Tavern (129 E 18th St between Grammercy Park and Union Square), the oldest bar in the city and local favourite boasts great hamburgers, pints of locally brewed Brooklyn beer and cheaply priced drinks. Don’t be surprised if you see a celeb or two — it seems it’s a favorite haunt for a few celebs as well. You are, after all, in Julia Roberts, Moby, Jimmy Fallon and Uma Thurman’s neighborhood. O. Henry was one of them and chose a booth in Pete’s Tavern to write his book Gift of the Magi.

Irving Plaza is home to one of the best concert venues. It’s teensy and but has been host to the likes of U2, The Tragically Hip and Radiohead.

Be sure not to stay out too late — you still have another full day of activity ahead of you and if you can do all this in 24 hours, imagine what you could do in a week?

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