Why they’re single:
Robert: He just out of a long-term relationship and is working on his emotional availability.
Ceci: She recently got out of a relationship, so she’s new to the dating scene.
Robert: Dinner at a diner, followed by an outdoor walk
Ceci: Bowling or going to a concert
Robert: “She was cute and friendly but dressed a bit casual, which made me think she wasn’t taking it too seriously. To be fair, I found out later that she was coming from work.”
Ceci: “He was super nice, and he was tall. He seemed a little shy at first, but then he opened up. He wasn’t the type I usually go for, but it was nice to kind of break out of that.”
Robert: “We had a flirty rapport. She was easy to talk to. We’re both newly single, so we compared notes on dating profiles, food, hobbies. The conversation flowed well.”
Ceci: “I’m not sure if it was romantic or friendly chemistry, but we ended up talking about a lot. I’m making a movie about mediocre first dates, and we laughed about that.”
Robert: “It wasn’t that awkward, but she has a shellfish allergy, and I really wanted to order some of the lobster dumplings. I ended up ordering them anyway.”
Ceci: “He asked me if I thought a photo of him was good, and I was like, ‘Honestly? Your eyes look a little weird.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, I’m actually kind of cross-eyed.’ ”
Robert: “It was a beautiful night, so we got ice cream and walked along the water. She had plans to meet a friend, so it was a quick date. We hugged, and I gave her my number.”
Ceci: “I had a friend that I had to meet, so I had to leave mid–ice cream. He asked for my number, and then we were like, ‘Let’s do this again.’ We’ve chatted a little since then.”
Robert: ♥♥♥♥ “I’m not opposed to seeing her again, but I live in Astoria and she lives in East Williamsburg. Taking the N to the 7 to the G to the L seems rather daunting.”
Ceci: ♥♥♥♥ “He was a nice guy, and I enjoyed hanging out with him. Definitely chemistry, but maybe more friend chemistry. It went better than I expected!”
Our daters went to Time Out Market New York (55 Water St, 917-810-4855)
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Best date ideas in NYC
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.
As if Brooklyn Bridge Park weren’t already romantic enough with its staggering views of Manhattan and the bridges, this nearly 100-year-old hand-painted attraction will bring out the childlike glee in both of you. Keep the nostalgic feel going with a cone at the nearby Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory or get cultured with a sophisticated theater production at St. Ann’s Warehouse.
Many of the city’s various rooftop bars rely heavily on their views as the main selling point for their overpriced drinks, but atop Chelsea’s McKittrick Hotel (the home of the famed Sleep No More) is this highly conceptualized romantic garden party meets cocktail lounge. During the warmer months, sit among the short trees and twinkling Christmas lights as actors from the downstairs play weave between the tables making charming conversation as socialite characters. Once winter hits, the space is given over to the Lodge, a meticulously crafted alpine cabin seemingly transported to the roof, complete with bunk bed and drawers filled with clues to the space. Grab a maple hot toddy and sit by the fire pit to revel in the full experience.
If your date has been looking for adventure but ditching the city isn’t an option, take a couple of hours to harness that love of independence and thrills at this rock climbing facility. Take an introductory class together to learn the ropes (literally: how to tie them, how to belay and proper harness procedure) or let the staff hook you up and start scurrying up the tall walls. Competitive couples can try to beat each other’s times, and memberships are available should this become a favorite hobby for you and your partner in climb.
Drop your inhibitions at this seductive, throwback lounge—cheeky performers will leave you and your date laughing, curious and probably more than 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.
To do everything that the Brooklyn Bazaar offers all in one date will require a great deal of commitment, but if you and your love are up for the challenge, there’s great rewards in it for you. Goof off with mini golf and arcade games, sing your feelings at each other in the karaoke rooms, grab a fantastic dinner and drinks at Paradise Burger, and see an amazing performance or show in the concert venue.
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. Already ate? The seasoned popcorn is far superior than the stale stuff you might find at other movie houses, while the full liquor and cocktail menu will make a boring, drawn-out flick more palatable.
Though any date at this rustic Greenpoint pizza haven is likely to feel romantic with the dim lights and the delicious aroma wafting from the brick oven, up your game by traveling there on the East River Ferry. The short (and affordable) ride at sunset from Manhattan gives out-of-this-world views of the skyline surrounded by rich oranges and pinks that are almost as appetizing as the wine selection awaiting you just blocks away from the Greenpoint Ferry stop.
For those book lovers who get a kick out of the Hemingway quote “write drunk, edit sober,” take this long-running walking tour of the Greenwich Village. As you mosey your way through the historic nabe, an incredibly knowledgeable and friendly guide will point out the houses where literary powerhouses lived. And even better is the stops at long-running bars: Grab an ale and hear stories of inspired meetings, writing sessions and brawls that erupted when writers of yore took up residency in the drinking holes. Meets Fridays and Sundays at White Horse Tavern, 567 Hudson St (literarypubcrawl.com). $30.
Rainy day blues, sweltering hot days and freezing cold nights don’t have to get in the way of your good time at the Chelsea Market. Mosey your way from sifting through vinyl records at Artists & Fleas, browse through the latest best sellers at Posman Books, toast regionally sourced oysters at the Lobster Place and chow down on homestyle cooking at Friedman’s.