Day Two: Downtown
Stretch your dollar in the East Village, the West Village, and Chinatown.
11:30 a.m.: Indulge in cocktails and Cajun cooking. Boozy brunches are in for New Yorkers, and Great Jones Café — celeb chef Bobby Flay’s favorite late-morning spot — makes the city’s finest Cajun Bloody Marys. Try the jalapeño-infused vodka rendition, which pairs perfectly with the fresh-baked cornbread.
1 p.m.: Shop at the bazaar. Wobble south on Lafayette, then right on Bleecker, until you hit the Market NYC. Young designers take over this 8,500-square-foot space every weekend to sell clothes and accessories, plus some vintage creations, for way less than what you’d spend at any surrounding boutiques.
2 p.m.: Save while staying a slave to fashion. Continue the budget shopping at picky consignment chain INA, where fashion editors and stylists regularly drop off last season’s goods. The men’s and women’s locations are right next to each other, on Prince Street.
3 p.m.: Savor sweets in Little Italy. Reunite the sexes back on Mulberry Street and skip four blocks south to Little Italy. A little over three bucks will get you one of the best cannolis this side of the Atlantic at Ferrara.
4:30 p.m.: Take time out for tea in Chinatown. Head down Mulberry and walk one block east on Canal Street, the heart of Chinatown. After perusing the stalls selling every knockoff product you can imagine, hang a right on Mott Street, where you can refresh with a bubble-tea drink at peaceful Ten Ren’s Tea Time.
6 p.m.: See the next Amiri Baraka. Jump on the 6 train to Bleecker Street, and go east toward the Bowery Poetry Club, a haven for music and lit lovers since poet Bob Holman opened it in 2002. For $10 or less, you can watch beatboxers, Yiddish lyricists, and spoken-word feminists aim for fame in the neighborhood that gave birth to Allen Ginsberg and the Ramones.
9 p.m.: Drink in a dive bar. Head north through the East Village to Continental, where everything served is under $7.
10:30 p.m.: Sing Sondheim soused. Now that you’re in the right state of mind, top off the evening at Marie’s Crisis, the unassuming Sheridan Square piano bar. A neighborhood institution since the 1850s (when it was a brothel), Marie’s Crisis is the perfect place to knock back cheap highballs while belting out a ballad from Sweeney Todd.