Best date spots: Greenwich Village

Mermaid Oyster Bar

Mermaid Oyster Bar Photograph: Donald Yip

Poetry in the Village
Show off your sensitive side with a night of poetry courtesy of louderARTS at this regular Monday night event (7--11pm) at Bar 13 (35 E 13th St at University Pl; 212-979-6677, The wordplay just happens to coincide with Bar 13's half-off happy hour—offering half off beer, wine and well vodka (5--11pm). As you double-fist your drinks, you'll listen to a lineup of featured rhapsodists who speak to a certain theme, like black poets or female poets or dead poets. A sort of American Idol for the Yeats-loving set, the night kicks off with an open poetry slam (sign up in advance if you want to be a part of it) during which rhymes are rated by five random audience members on a scale of zero to ten. 

Acquire some cocktail knowledge
Enter a mere mortal, leave an expert mixologist. The Astor Center (23 E 4th St between Bowery and Lafayette St, second floor; 212-674-7501,; class times and prices vary) offers a plethora of classes, including the "Cocktail Lab, the Bartender's Garden: Cocktails from the Greenmarket" and even "Sommelier's Secrets: Principles of Wine & Food Pairing," after which you can try out your newfound skills at a cozy romantic restaurant—or back at home.  

Oysters and Mermaids
These slippery little suckers are loaded with aphrodisiac properties, but generally cost around $2 to $4 a pop. Slurp the East Coast bivalve beauties for as low as $1 apiece (for East Coast oysters and littleneck clams $1, West Coast oysters $1.75 each) during the daily happy hour (5:30--7pm) at The Mermaid Oyster Bar (79 MacDougal St between Bleecker and W Houston Sts; 212-260-0100, If you need more than an hour and a half to get your romance on, make a date for a Tuesday night, when you can each order the $20 special: a lobster sandwich, Old Bay fries and your choice of draft beer. 

A (totally legit) grope in the dark
The silent half of Penn & Teller (that would be Teller) cowrote and directs the freaky Play Dead (The Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal St between Minetta Ln and W 3rd St; 800-745-3000,, a play-cum-magic-act lit by a single bulb—and occasionally submerged entirely in darkness. Your guide is the smooth Todd Robbins, who recounts the macabre histories of mediums and murderers. It will inspire you to paw each other for comfort.