GIRLS guide to NYC

You’ve seen or heard of the ridiculous, embarrassing Sex and the City tours of NY’s West Village. The ones where they take busloads of sweet out-of-towners (or at least we hope they’re not locals) to touristy, characterless spots like Magnolia Bakery. Well, Lena Dunham’s Girls — returning for season 2 on January 13th — isn’t that kind of show, and this isn’t that kind of NYC tour.

Ready? Here’s what to do and where to go if you’re…

Earlier this month, HBO released a deleted scene from Girls season one that’s already racked up over 100,000 views. In it, Hannah wanders into a cupcake shop looking for part-time work, is snarkily rebuffed by the employees behind the counter, and then offered a pity cupcake. Baked goods are kind of a theme for this gal (in a pre-taped segment for the Emmy’s, Lena was filmed naked in a bathroom stall, eating cake), so if your sweet tooth is calling, head to Four & Twenty Blackbirds. Located in Gowanus, the small pie shop churns out heavenly creations like black bottom oatmeal, bittersweet chocolate pecan, and salted caramel apple.

Once, when discussing the characters’ likes and dislikes, Lena revealed that Marnie’s ideal date would take place at the Plaza’s Oak Room. Too bad it’s been shuttered for almost two years now. As an alternative, we think Marnie’s up-market tastes would approve of another well-known Manhattan cocktail lounge, The Lambs Club Bar at The Chatwal. Located one level above the lobby, the bar is designed to look and feel like a 1940s nightclub with classic (but pricey) cocktails, red leather furniture and frequent live jazz nights.

By the end of season one, former virgin Shoshanna has finally begun to loosen up a little (that incident with the crack cocaine probably helped a bit). But she still has a ways to go before reaching the sexual maturity of, say, Jessa. So, to guide all Shoshanna-bes on the path to self-discovery, Toys In Babeland seems an obvious choice. The iconic New York sex shop, with locations in SoHo, the Lower East Side, and Park Slope, Brooklyn, carries everything from eco-friendly dildos to suede ankle cuffs. Though, as far as we know, no crack pipes are for sale.

We love Jessa for her weird clothes. Her weird hairdos, her chronic flirting, her love of white Russians—yes, all endearing qualities. But mainly, we love her clothes. Sartorially adventurous Jessa fans seeking a head-turning outfit for New Year’s Eve should try rummaging through the racks at International Playground. Inside the Lower East Side shop, you’re just just as likely to find a snazzy studded leather jacket as a cone bra cage. And who doesn’t need one of those?

According to his promo poster, Adam’s New Year’s resolution is to wear a shirt. We strongly disagree. Which is why we’re recommending the East Village’s famed Turkish Bathhouse, a no-frills public sauna (we hesitate to use the word ’spa’) that’s been around since the late 1800s. Men, women and children of all ages come here to get massaged, dunk themselves in an ice pool, or just roast in the sauna for a while. And if you plan it right, then you’ll show up on time for the “men’s only” hours (Thursday noon-5pm; Sunday 8am-2pm). No shirt-wearing allowed!

Ray Ploshansky, played by Alex Karpovsky, is best known for his role as manager at well-known hipster hangout Cafe Grumpy. We like their coffee alright, but as anyone who lives in New York knows, there’s some fierce competition when it comes to finding the best cup of joe. If it was up to us, we’d have Ray as manager at Sweetleaf, a Long Island City-based joint that’s as serious about coffee (Guatemala Antigua Buenavista, Colombia Los Gigantes, Brasil BOA Sorte are just a few recent offerings) as they are about free wifi. Even better, the owners opened up a new branch in Williamsburg this summer, which, we admit, is a much more likely location for inclusion on Girls than anything in Queens.

Get the look from Girls