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Undateables
Photographs: Hollis Johnson

Meet the Undateables: Eliza and Luke

We're setting up New Yorkers who swear they’re totally undateable, and sending them out on socially distanced dates across the city

By Will Gleason
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Why they’re single
Eliza: She’s really open to meeting new people but also really picky.
Luke: He has trouble putting himself out there.

Ideal date:
Eliza: Grabbing a drink and walking around a neighborhood
Luke: Going on a hike together

THE DATE

First impression
Eliza: "I went up to him at the table, and it was very normal, not awkward at all. I was like, 'Wow, he’s normal!' He was very sweet. I go on a lot of dates with a lot of bizarre people but this felt normal in the best possible way."
Luke: "She seemed like a cool, down-to-earth person, and she was cute. She seemed cool."

Daters
Photograph: Hollis Johnson


Chemistry
Eliza: "Well, this is going back to me over thinking things. We definitely got along well. It wasn’t necessarily sparks and romance to me, but I don’t even know if that means anything. We definitely got along better than I do with most strangers."
Luke: "Yeah, I think there was romantic chemistry. It was a nice, easy conversation and it seemed like we were having fun. It was a lot of us just getting to know each other. I enjoyed hearing about her life and goals. She actually knew someone I went to college with." 

Awkward Moment
Eliza: "I wear contacts and they’ve been really dry recently, so I was poking my eye the entire time. I was like, Does he know I’m having this eye trouble? I was winking... It was this whole thing. I brought it up, and then he was like, 'I’m having the same thing.' So we actually had that in common."
Luke: "I think both of our eyes were really dry during the date. I thought I was blinking like a crazy person. It was this really awkward thing. And she was touching her eyes a lot, so eventually we brought it up and found we were dealing with the same thing.” Daters

Photograph: Hollis Johnson


Dystopia Dating Vibes
Eliza: "I honestly feel like I may have gone on more dates this summer and fall than ever. I still kind of had a thought like what if I got covid on this date. I forgot about it, but it was definitely something I kept going back to you in my head." 
Luke: "It felt very strange. We both talked about how we’ve both been trying to actively date more. I think we were both talking about how we were passive in dating, so we’re both putting ourselves out there."

Afterward
Eliza: "He asked for my phone number, so maybe we’ll hang out again. We took the train together for a little bit and then said goodbye. He had to transfer so it was a quick goodbye. But it felt incredibly natural—as natural as a first date could feel."
Luke: "We ended up taking the train together a few stops. We kept going until I got to my spot. We said goodbye, I got her number and I think we left it off like we’d hang out." 

Daters
Photograph: Hollis Johnson

Verdict [On a scale of five hearts]

Eliza:  "It was shockingly good. We had a really fun time. He was sweet, fun to talk to and interesting. So we’ll see!"
Luke:  " It went well! I had a good time. I enjoyed spending time with her and it was nice getting to know her. I’d do it again. It was a nice way to spend an evening."

Our daters went to Magic Hour Rooftop (485 7th Avenue, Times Square)

THE DATE SPOT

Eliza: "The fries were good! There’s definitely more of a club vibe. If you’re looking to go on a date in a very novel space that feels like a party, that’s the place to go." 
Luke: "We really liked the fries. I also had a Paloma which was pretty good. It was a great blind date location since there's a lot to talk about. I felt like there was more there that we didn’t have time to explore as well."

RECOMMENDED: See more Undateables

Want to be set up on a free blind date? Email undateable@timeout.com.

The best date ideas in NYC

Marie's Crisis
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

Feast at Minetta Tavern, then drink and sing at Marie’s Crisis Café

Restaurants French Greenwich Village

A West Village institution with classy decor, Minetta Tavern serves up that famous burger that’s on your bucket list. After your splurge, turn things up a notch at Marie’s Crisis Café, the iconic piano bar down the street. You can listen to some show tunes and join in the singing once you’ve got a few drinks in you. Who knows, maybe you and your date will harmonize!

Photograph: Francine Daveta

See a burlesque show at the Slipper Room

Nightlife Nightlife Lower East Side

Drop your inhibitions at this seductive, throwback lounge. Cheeky performers will leave you and your date laughing, curious and maybe a bit aroused. From your table by the stage (the space is small enough that there’s not really a bad seat in the house) expect the unexpected as aerial performers, singers, comedians, dancers and sexily clad lads and laddies perform circus and sideshow tricks. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anything like it in the Lower East Side—or anywhere else.

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Dreamland Roller Disco
Photograph: Courtesy Dreamland Roller Disco

Couple skate during Dreamland Roller Disco

Things to do Downtown Brooklyn

Dreamland Roller Disco provides a modern twist on a retro date. Besides, isn’t there something cute about falling on your butts together? What makes Dreamland special are its themed nights. February is chock-full of romantic rendezvous, such as the upcoming disco party I Feel Love on Valentine’s Day. 

City Point BKLYN, Downton Brooklyn (dreamlandrollerrink.com). $20–$26 (includes skate rental).

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Porcelain
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

Get cozy on the cheap at Porcelain

Restaurants Austrian Ridgewood

The Austrian-inspired cuisine and lived-in but chic aesthetic make Porcelain a charming first-date option. The prices are refreshingly low, too, with plates in the $10 range. Grab a couple of big, plush chairs, then split brunch and a pastry or three. If that’s not as sweet as can be, we don’t know what is. 

Kick Axe Throwing
Photograph: Courtesy Kick Axe Throwing

Sharpen your skills at Kick Axe Throwing

News Drinking

Craving an out-of-the-ordinary daytime date that doesn’t involve drinking the afternoon away? Kick Axe Throwing, in Gowanus is an urban adventure that's bound to make you look like a badass—plus, it opens at 11am during the week. Before chucking those hatchets, peruse the Runner & Stone café a few blocks away for a caffeine or pastry fix.

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Photograph: Courtesy VR World

Trip out at VR World NYC

Attractions Arcades and amusements Midtown

New York is brimming with unique, exciting activities. But if you’re pining for something truly cutting-edge, explore another city—or another planet, for that matter—by bringing your date to VR World, a theme park that proffers 50 mind-bending interactive experiences.

Photograph: Courtesy Pips / Liz Clayman

Stay for a while (or just a minute) at Pips

Restaurants Italian Brooklyn Heights

Versatility is a key quality in a date spot: somewhere you want to stay but can still bolt if need be. If that’s what you’re seeking, get thee to Jared Braithwaite’s bar Pips, which sports an impressive wine selection alongside small plates inspired by coastal Italian cuisine. Plus, it’s right on Atlantic Avenue, so your subway escape-route options are plentiful. 

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Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Photograph: Shutterstock

Bask in the beauty of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Attractions Parks and gardens Prospect Park

You and your special someone don’t have to travel far to feel like you’re in an idyllic pastoral paradise with this century-old Kings County NYC park. Nestled away by Prospect Park, you’ll find over 50 acres of cherry blossoms, rose gardens and the bright flora of the tropics in the balmy conservatory. No matter the season, you’ll be sure to see beautiful plant life.

Nitehawk Cinema
Photograph: Gabi Porter

Feast and catch a flick at Nitehawk Cinema

Movie theaters Independent Williamsburg

Why bother going to two separate places when you can combine this classic date at one fantastic eat-in cinema? Grab one of the luxurious, big comfy chairs and take advantage of the table with the seats. Chow down on tacos, burgers, charcuterie or small plates as you take in buzzworthy indie films and retro re-releases. And be sure to take advantage of the sweet cocktail and beer menu. 

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Have a great date in Times Square (really) at Bugis Street Brasserie

Restaurants Chinese Midtown West

No one foresees anything good (with the possible exception of a Broadway show) to come out of Times Square. But consider Bugis Street Brasserie’s laksa: Comprising rice vermicelli, shrimp, chicken, fish cake and bean sprouts, this super-spicy noodle soup is sure to heat up your night. Your date might give you some side-eye as they’re guided into a hotel lobby packed with tourists, but sometimes great things emerge from unexpected places.

St. Luke in the Fields Gardens
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Hold hands in St. Luke in the Fields Gardens

News City Life

Broke, huh? Well, it sounds like you’re craving a space so bucolic, you love birds will forget it’s free of charge! Everyone appreciates a hidden urban oasis, and the St. Luke in the Fields Gardens—just off Hudson Street, between Barrow and Christopher Streets in the West Village—are up there with the best of them.

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