The Pierre
Courtesy of The Pierre
On the show: Even the most sophisticated women go giddy for the Pierre. Trudy Campbell, the overzealous wife of Sterling Cooper account executive Pete Campbell, insists the fixtures in her bathroom are just like the ones at the famed hotel (season 1).
By
updated 9/21/2009 3:24:45 PM ET 2009-09-21T19:24:45

*Please be advised: the article and slideshow contain spoilers.

“If I’m going to die, I want to die in Manhattan.”

So says the manipulative account executive Pete Campbell in Season 2 of “Mad Men”. As much as it hurts to admit Campbell (played by Vincent Kartheiser) is right (ever), it’s hard to envision the hit period dramedy about advertising execs taking place anywhere but New York City.

Now in its third season, “Mad Men”, which airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on AMC, has captivated imaginations — for many, it’s the moneyed haunts and good ol’ boy bars in Gotham that make the late-1950s and early-1960s drama so much fun to watch. (The well-coiffed women in great clothes help, too.)

Centering on the Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency, “Mad Men” follows Don Draper (played by John Hamm), an adman with a checkered past, beautiful wife and children, and wandering eye. But that summary doesn’t do the show justice.

“Mad Men” captures the haunting despair of Don’s unfocused life and juxtaposes that misery with the gaiety and spirit of a money-drenched New York. Manhattan — its energy, glamour, wealth, and, well, alcohol—plays like another character flitting around the Sterling Cooper ad agency. Manhattan is the comic foil to Don’s emptiness.

The Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel
Courtesy of The Plaza Hotel
On the show: Betty (clad in a new fur coat) and Don celebrate Valentine’s Day in a palm-filled hotel dining room at the (now defunct) Savoy Hotel. After running into Betty’s old college friend turned “working girl,” the Drapers retire to a romantic evening in one of the hotel’s lavish suites (season 2).
So with a little less vice, and a lot of nostalgia, we invite you to take a spin around Don Draper’s Manhattan — the bars, hotels, and shops that the characters in “Mad Men” have (or would have) enjoyed.

Whether the show explicitly names the after-work drink spots of the secretaries, like P. J. Clarke’s on Third Avenue (just steps from the Sterling Cooper fictional offices on Madison Avenue) or gently alludes to iconic spots like the Plaza Hotel, New Yorkers and Minnesotans alike are drawn into the glam and bustle of this seemingly long-gone city.

Tourists and locals looking to re-create the show are in luck—be it lunching with the ladies at the Fifth Avenue shopping institution Bergdorf Goodman or downing a dozen Malpeques at Grand Central’s beloved Oyster Bar. Sure, we now know better than to eat a 10-ounce steak slathered in butter every night at Sardi’s — but that doesn’t stop the occasional walk down cholesterol-memory-lane. Besides, gin thins the blood.

Copyright © 2012 American Express Publishing Corporation

Photos: The Emmy Awards

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  1. Let's get this party started

    Host Neil Patrick Harris started the evening on a lively note, performing “Don’t Touch That Remote,” a custom-made tune from Broadway composers Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman of “Hairspray” fame. Harris implored viewers to stay glued to the show. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. More than just Ducky

    Amy Poehler, left, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus present the best supporting actor in a comedy award to "Two And A Half Men" star Jon Cryer. Cryer, whose series is the most-watched comedy on TV, brought a wry tone to his speech. “I used to think that awards were just shallow tokens of momentary popularity, but now I realize they are the only true measure of a person’s worth as a human being.” (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Kiss the globe

    Actress Kristin Chenoweth seems pretty happy after winning best supporting actress in a comedy for her work in the canceled "Pushing Daisies." "I’m not employed now so I’d like to be on 'Mad Men.' I also like 'The Office' and '24'," said Chenoweth. (Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Do a little dance

    "Dancing With the Stars" professionals Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy perform onstage during the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. The tribe has spoken

    Jeff Probst was honored as best reality show host for "Survivor." Probst was one of the five reality hosts who emceed the Emmys last year and received scathing reviews. "Neil Patrick Harris, this is how you host the Emmys. Nice job," Probst said. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Walk with me

    Alec Baldwin accepts the best actor in a comedy award for "30 Rock." "I'll be honest with you. I'd trade this to look like him," Baldwin said as he accepted his from Rob Lowe of "Brothers & Sisters." (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Funny lady

    Toni Collette, who plays a mother with multiple personalities on the Showtime series "The United States of Tara," was honored as best actress in a comedy series. "Wow, this is insanely confronting," said a beaming Collette. She thanked series creator Diablo Cody, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Juno." (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Bringing the 'Gossip'

    "Gossip Girls" stars Blake Lively, left, and Leighton Meester present the best directing in a comedy series award onstage at the Nokia Theatre. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. In (auto) tune

    Jimmy Fallon delivered the funniest moment of the show when he did an auto-tune skit, and took a pratfall. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Golden girl

    "Grey Gardens" star Jessica Lange holds her award for best lead actress in a miniseries backstage at the Nokia Theatre. (Chris Carlson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. 'Daily' recognition

    Host Jon Stewart gets up to accept the Emmy for best variety, music or comedy series for "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," its seventh in a row. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Not even Close

    Glenn Close accepts the best actress In a drama series award for "Damages." It was the second year in a row she won the prize. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. 'Rock' stars

    Tina Fey, center at microphone, accepts the award for best comedy series for "30 Rock." It was the show's third straight victory. Fey thanked NBC executives for keeping the show on the air despite fact that "we are so much more expensive than a talk show." (Mark J. Terrill / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Cherry on top

    Cherry Jones poses in the press room with her Emmy for best supporting actess in a drama for her work as the stalwart U.S. president on "24." (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. 'Breaking' good

    Dana Delaney presents Bryan Cranston with the award for best actor in a drama for "Breaking Bad." "Lee Trevino was struck by lightning twice and now I know how he feels. I’m glad Glenn Close is a woman," Cranston said after accepting the award. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. 'Lost' in the moment

    Michael Emerson kisses his wife, actress Carrie Preston, while holding his award for best supporting actor in a drama series for "Lost" backstage at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards. (Paul Buck / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. It's a 'Mad' world

    The cast and crew of "Mad Men" pose with their Emmy for best drama series in the press room. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Show
    Kevin Winter / Getty Images
    Above: Slideshow (17) The Emmy Awards - The Emmy Awards
  2. Image: Nominee actress Sandra Oh from "Grey's Anatomy" arrives at the 61st annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles
    Danny Moloshok / Reuters
    Slideshow (30) The Emmy Awards - Emmy Awards red carpet

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