Novel New York
by Jessica Allen, 04/01/2014
Wall Street photo by Will Steacy • "American Psycho" (1991), by Bret Easton Ellis courtesy Vintage Books
Regardless of what you think about Bret Easton Ellis's polarizing account of a yuppie serial killer, American Psycho portrays a New York as iconic and recognizable as Gucci loafers and Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses. Although many of the places Ellis described have disappeared (indeed, the bar 150 Wooster, where the novelist himself hung out in the 1980s, is now a high-end stroller store), the moneyed world inhabited by Patrick Bateman and his cronies lives on. Begin your explorations on Wall Street, where Bateman works as an investment banker. While you can no longer visit the New York Stock Exchange, you can tour the New York branch of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, to witness capitalism's core. Spend the remainder of the afternoon on Fifth Avenue, giving your AmEx a workout at such stores as Bottega Veneta and Bergdorf Goodman, home to Bateman's favorite brands like Clinique and Armani. Unless you went to Harvard like Patrick, or know someone who did, you won't be able to get into the Harvard Club, where the character eats and exercises. You can, however, make a reservation at Indochine or at Harry's Café and Steak. Don't forget to load up your iPod with songs by Huey Lewis and the News.