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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

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

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


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."

Photograph: Hollis Johnson

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."

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." 

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)


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

The best date ideas in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Greenwich Village
  • price 3 of 4

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!

  • 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.

  • Things to do
  • Flatiron

The Museum of Sex always has something exciting going on behind closed doors. "Super Funland: Journey into the Erotic Carnival" is back and better than ever with its 4-D immersive “Tunnel of Love” ride, the Love & Lust Deity Derby game, an erotic fortune-telling machine (modeled as RuPaul), a kissing booth, the Glory Stall game, an immersive "Stardust Lane - the Erogenous Kaleidoscope," an erotic mechanical bull and a lit-up climbing structure, "The Climbx," and more. Then when it's time to take the edge off, visitors can slide down a spiral slide into the Museum’s psychedelic carnival bar, Lollipop Lounge, for cocktails. 

  • 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. 

  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies

Get to know your date by performing a bank heist, a science experiment gone wrong or escaping from an ancient Egyptian tomb—that is, by solving an escape room! Since most escape rooms are blessedly climate controlled, these games are also an excellent thing to do on a rainy day. Take a look at best puzzle games and escape rooms in NYC below and get ready to put your wits to the test. 

  • Attractions
  • Arcades and amusements
  • Midtown East

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.

  • 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. 

  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops

From basic culinary skills to cooking with wine to rolling sushi, these couples cooking classes aim to entertain and educate. You’re sure to grow closer as you mix ingredients with your special someone. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into a kitchen competition — these classes contain knives!

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens

The New York Botanical Garden is one of the best New York attractions for a reason—it has a 50-acre forest, a palace modeled after Spain’s Alhambra, a rose garden, an observatory and plenty of spots to hideaway from it all. Plus, it hosts plenty of beloved events like winter's Holiday Train Show and the Orchid Show. During the fall, its collection of pumpkins is epic. This kind of date is for those who want to escape from the city without actually leaving.

  • 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. 

  • Things to do

Stop and smell the roses (or the tulips) with your date at one of these incredible gardens inside NYC parks like Central Park or visit New York's various conservatories (like the one at the New York Botanical Garden), or at secret gardens in NYC that provide rare moments of solitude in a city packed with eight million people. Note that most of the stunning botanical gardens are requiring pre-reserved tickets at this time, so check their websites before heading out.

  • Things to do
  • Downtown Brooklyn

The seasonal Dreamland Roller Disco in Prospect Park 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. From Gaga vs Madonna to Soul Train to Y2K Disco, you're bound to find the perfect theme that will get you going regardless of your skating skills.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Coby Club is a subterranean lounge on Seventh Ave that’s inspired by 1960s San Francisco nightlife. The lush space pays homage to San Francisco Chinatown nightlife in the 1960s and one woman in particular who was at the heart of it: Miss Coby Yee, the glamorous dancer and owner of the iconic club Forbidden City. With black velvet banquettes and red, silk-shaded lighting, this is the spot to kindle romance.

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