It was outside Barney's -- as she sashayed out, shopping bag in hand -- that Samantha locked eyes and then exchanged phone numbers with a shockingly confidant male.
As far as we could tell, no love affairs (or one-night stands) were being mirrored in the snazzy display windows, but in the shoe section, it was easy to fall in love: jewel-strapped shoes, snakeskin shoes, sequin shoes and simple classic red pumps.
Temporarily shoed out, we move downstairs to check out cosmetics and dish about men with makeup artist Barbara Schlegel, 28, a "Sex and the City" fan.
"Men in New York are awful," she says. "Think about it. This is the financial capital of our country. In order to make that money, they have to be barracudas."
But what of the sheer volume? "Millions of a bad thing does not make it better," she says.
And that is why we turn to shoes.
Expense and the city
If you want to do New York like Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda, you've got to be willing to pay the price. These chicks aren't cheap, and neither are the places they frequent or the accessories they adore:
* Red high-heeled Manolo Blahniks: $515
* Dinner for 2 at Eleven Madison Park: $140 (OK, we had the lobster and dessert. Big spares no expense -- why should you?)
* Pedicure at Artista: $40 (but don't forget to tip, honey)
* Cosmopolitan at the Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel: $12
AN IDEAL DAY
10:30 a.m.: Wake up at the Stanhope Park Hyatt (995 Fifth Ave. at the corner with 81st) with a sigh, a headache and a hazy recollection of the previous night's activities.
11:30 a.m.: First Cosmopolitan of the day at the hotel's outdoor Cafe M. Maybe some food?
1 p.m.: Cab it downtown to Artista. Sit back, relax and get a pedicure.
3 p.m.: Cab it uptown and go shoe-gazing at Robert Clergerie on Madison Avenue. Your feet look fabulous now, so feel free to try on some stunning stilettos. Make your way to Barney's, right around the block for more shoe adventures.
5 p.m.: Stop at the Plaza Hotel for a Cosmo. Yes, they're $12, but who knows which of the assorted suits might buy you the next one?
7 p.m.: Clear your head with a yoga class at the gym Equinox. We know you didn't mean to stumble into the men's locker room.
8:30 p.m.: Unclear your head with another Cosmo at the Coffee Shop. Make eye contact with corporate guy sitting across from you.
9:30 p.m.: Dinner at Eleven Madison Park. Don't trip down the stairs and cause a scene like Carrie did, unless your former boyfriend who told you he would never get married again informs you he's marrying a 26-year-old you refer to as "The Idiot Stick Figure With No Soul."
11:30 p.m.: Grab a Cosmo and maybe a twentysomething cutie at the trendy, yet tolerable Torch. Stay out late, have a blast. Make sure you have cab fare, don't muss those shoes, and don't do anything Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda wouldn't do.-- Tamara Ikenberg
WHEN YOU GO:
Toss your unmaxed plastic and some Advil in your Fendi bag and prepare to simulate scenes from "Sex and the City."
Quickest Cosmopolitans (suggestions from "Sex and the City" location director Seth Burch and cocktail crazy locals)
* Serena: 222 W. 23rd St., in the basement of the Hotel Chelsea; 212-255-4646. The Cosmos at this hot, new Chelsea watering hole are said to be fabulous.
* Lansky Lounge: 104 Norfolk St.; 212-677-9489. If you can stand the "borderline-tired" atmosphere in this wannabe-speakeasy with the nerve to charge a $5 dollar cover, the overflowing, tangy, icy Cosmos are well worth the sacrifice.
* Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel: 59th Street and Fifth Avenue at Central Park West; 212-759-3000
* The Coffee Shop: 29 Union Square West; 212-243-7969
* Torch: 137 Ludlow St.; 212-228-5151
* Artista: 138 Fifth Ave.; 212-242-7979
* D&G (Dolce & Gabbana): 434 West Broadway; 212-965-8000
* Robert Clergerie: 681 Madison Ave.; 212-207-8600
* Barney's New York: 660 Madison Ave.; 212-826-8900
* Plaza Hotel: 59th Street and Fifth Avenue; 212-759-3000
* Stanhope Park Hyatt: 995 Fifth Ave., at the corner of 81st and Fifth; 212-650-4700. Big dines out front with obnoxious pal "Mr. Marvelous."
Dinner at 9
* Eleven Madison Park: 11 Madison Ave.; 212-889-0905
* Layla: 211 W. Broadway; 212-431-0700. Big shows up, post-breakup, for Carrie's birthday dinner.
* Bolo: 23 E. 22nd St.; 212-228-2200. Big refuses to stop his incessant cigar smoking.
* Clementine: 1 Fifth Ave.; 212-253-0003. Carrie meets Charlotte's new boyfriend, a former sex addict turned Prozac junkie.
* Obeca Li: 62 Thomas St.; 212-393-9887. Carrie attempts communication with a between-relationships bed buddy.
* Edgar's Cafe: 255 W. 84th St.; 212-496-6126
The gals' gallery
* Louis K. Meisel gallery: 141 Prince St.; 212-677-1340. The gallery where Charlotte works as an art dealer, meeting everyone from the Power Lesbian elite to promiscuous movie stars.-- Tamara Ikenberg
"Sex and The City"
What: Comedy revolving around the love lives and friendships of four successful, sexy New York women: Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Samantha (Kim Cattrall)
When: Third season begins in June. Entire second season will be rerun before the third-season premiere. First season to be released on video and DVD in May.
As the second season came to a close, Miranda had a "friendly" fling with her former bartender boyfriend, Steve; Samantha felt a rare tinge of sentimental nostalgia for her ex, James; Charlotte took a break from men and took up horseback riding; and Carrie said her last (we think) goodbye to the newly engaged Mr. Big in front of the Plaza Hotel.-- Tamara Ikenberg