Category: Upper East Side


March 23rd, 2014 — 9:03pm

I recently enjoyed a wonderful girls night out with my good friend Lauren.

We headed over to the Arlington Club, a swanky UES steakhouse with an interesting bar scene — a 40+ crowd, many of whom are very obviously on the prowl.

Arlington Club’s swanky bar area

As we watched the flirting unfold, Lauren and I fell into the easy conversation that comes when you’re kindred spirits and you’ve known each other for a decade. We talked about our recent travels, the fun of vacation romance and how a change of scenery can make all the difference when it comes to meeting new people.

Speaking of the latter, this was my first visit to Arlington Club. And it presented the opportunity for us to meet two charming musicians who livened things up with their talents.

Wes shared tales of life on tour with the likes of Norah Jones, mentioning that he savors quiet nights in watching NetFlix when he’s back home in Brooklyn.

It occurred to me as he spoke that he had an openness and down to earth quality that’s frustratingly elusive among New York men. Sure enough, Wes revealed he’s from Charleston.

Though i adore my hometown, NYC seems to breed an aloof sensibility that often permeates the singles scene here. I notice it even more whenever I venture out of Manhattan — that there’s a warmth and friendliness elsewhere which is so difficult to find when you’re trying to mix and mingle in the Big Apple.

I can’t help thinking that most of the epic romances I’ve experienced have been with men from other places—California, Illinois, England and Australia to name a few. And, on this 20th anniversary of my very , I also find myself wondering if it’s time for me to try out a new zip code.

 

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September 30th, 2013 — 7:44pm

Friday, I enjoyed an impromptu girls night out with my friend Vania.

We met up at Sojourn on NYC’s Upper East Side. It’s no mystery why this has become one of Vania’s favorite haunts — Sojourn has a welcoming neighborhood vibe and great wine list and always attracts a lively crowd.

Vania and me

Friday was no exception. The bar quickly filled up. When Vania spotted a male friend of hers she waved him over to join us. Alongside him was his colleague BW, a charming, tall attorney with an irresistible Southern accent.

I soon learned that BW is from Birmingham and has great affection for NYC (he lived here briefly), football and telling it like is. We had an effortless, engaging conversation about the plusses and minuses of life in the Big Apple, and the often alarmist media coverage about being single over the age of 35. When BW expressed his appreciation for the enduring beauty of Jane Fonda and Raquel Welch, I have to admit I swooned a little.

From Sojourn, we headed over to my favorite Irish dive bar nearby, , where the flirting continued as a cover band played classic hits we sang along to.

As the night ended, I couldn’t help thinking that there is a lot to be said for being out and about, especially in the bar scene. It’s something I haven’t really done in awhile, but the vagaries of online dating have made me appreciate for the umpteenth time one fundamental reality: meeting new people in the real world is always a thousand times better.

Who knows? Maybe (almost) 40 is the new 30 after all.

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August 25th, 2013 — 11:24am

A boyfriend of mine once had this to say about the journey you take in your career–it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I think the same wisdom applies to dating too.

I was reminded of the need for dating endurance after four consecutive equally lackluster first dates. The I recently blogged about were followed by two more. First, there was the teacher who wouldn’t stop talking about himself. Ironically, he shared that a previous woman had told him he didn’t ask her enough questions on their date. Of course, he didn’t take that feedback to heart.

Mr. Chatty Cathy was followed by a well-intentioned but awkward guy who made quite a first impression — with a terrible case of body odor.

Though bad dates make for great stories, they also make you nostalgic for the comfort zone you reach with someone when you’re well past the formalities of meeting for the first time. Over a recent dinner with a good friend, I mentioned old flame and. Rich was someone who from the get go was fun and easy to be with.

He was on my mind Friday while I worked out at the gym. Clearly, there’s something to the power of suggestion. When I later sat down at cozy UES Bar Sojourn, it just so happened Rich was there.

We fell into easy conversation — catching up on work, life and the perspective shift that comes with turning 40. Though that milestone is still five months away for me, it seemed we were on the same page about changing priorities. Among them, the need for a kitchen that allows for entertaining (typically not an option with NYC’s notoriously tiny galley kitchens).

It was a perfect night. And a much needed reminder that when it comes to dating, you really never know when a welcome surprise is right around the corner.

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August 11th, 2013 — 9:05pm

Yesterday, I enjoyed a soul soothing brunch with my good friend Sherri.

We met up at , a delightful brasserie on the UES with an authentically Parisian vibe and fabulous food. While enjoying outdoor cocktails and a perfectly cooked meal (mimosas and Challah French toast for me — deliceux!), I savored the company of one of my favorite women.

Jacques Brasserie (photo credit: Cititour.com)

Our conversation covered everything from the double edged sword of having parents eternally in love and devoted to each other, to strategies for giving your social life needs a reboot. The latter came up as we were talking about life in New York, equal parts irresistible and infuriating.

I shared with Sherri how funny it is that people assume what they read on Facebook represents the complete reality of my life. My often action-packed status updates recently prompted a longtime and dear friend of mine to ask if I ever spend a quiet night at home. I laughed and said yes, adding that such evenings don’t seem to merit a Facebook mention.

In fact, the last week witnessed four quiet nights in – which is what got me to thinking that it’s time to shake my routine up a little. So often when I’m asked by fellow bachelorettes how to do that, I invariably suggest getting out of your comfort zone and trying new pursuits.

As summer winds down, I’m working on doing exactly that. An off-Broadway aficionados group, a wine and book club and volunteering are all on my upcoming calendar. And, of course, squeezing in some time for lap 412 (approximately) of the dating game.

Thank goodness for dear friends like Sherri who remain a touchstone through every changing season.

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November 1st, 2012 — 9:28pm

There’s nothing like a natural disaster to make you count your blessings. As the East Coast recovers from Hurricane Sandy, here’s what I’m feeling especially thankful for–

Family and Friends — Whether it be via phone, Facebook, email or text, loved ones from across the globe reached out when Sandy struck. I heard from friends in the UK and Australia and pals in L.A., Washington, D.C. and various points in between. Their concern reminded me just how fortunate I am to have so many wonderful people in my life.

After Sandy: A fallen store awning in Midtown NYC

Electricity — For the second year in a row, living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan has protected me from Mother Nature’s wrath. I experienced only a nanosecond flicker of power on Monday night, which meant I could distract myself from Sandy with a riveting episode of ABC’s Castle. Stocking up on non-perishable food items like pretzels, canned fruit and tuna before the storm made me appreciate just how powerful (pun intended) electricity is.

My Job: Working in hospitality took on a different dimension this week as I discovered what it means to provide shelter to both guests and displaced residents. Many of my coworkers at the Westin New York Grand Central came into work on Sunday and stayed for days because of their commitment and dedication. Our hotel has offered free coffee, wifi and movies daily to help guests weather the storm. I’m so proud to be part of the Westin team.

Having Room To Spare: On Tuesday, I invited one of my Brooklyn-based colleagues who had to stay at the hotel for two nights to spend the night at my place instead. Not only did it feel great to offer her a much-needed change of scenery, but it gave us the chance to have a girls night out.

The Resilience of NYC: As my coworker and I enjoyed a delicious dinner at Ko Sushi on the UES, we both marveled at how rapidly businesses were up and running post-hurricane. The restaurant was packed and traffic was moving down Second Avenue.

Even on Tuesday morning, as I walked 30 blocks to work, I spotted locals out and about jogging, walking their dogs, going to the gym. Because that’s what New Yorkers do. We keep on going no matter what happens. I’ve never been prouder to live in this great, indomitable city.

Take that, Sandy!

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March 24th, 2012 — 3:04pm

As I recently mentioned, would be went MIA. So, in the adventurous spirit with which I started this journey, I opted to loosen the parameters and go out with Kash, an OkCupid member who nominated himself.

Earlier this week, we met up for drinks on the Upper East Side. Much as he seemed in his profile, Kash was well spoken and thoughtful, happy to share his take on writing, what he enjoys about his day job at a law firm and how he manages to juggle work with finishing up his master’s degree.

At 30, Kash falls within the broad age spectrum (27-47) I’ve been open to for – which also happens to be beyond my dating comfort zone (38+).  Longtime readers of this blog know I’m a big believer in shaking things up. The older I get though, and the more miles I log in this journey called singlehood, the more I am realizing that there’s nothing wrong with knowing what you want — and what you don’t.

As I listened to Kash talk about his aspirations and newness to the online dating scene, I was reminded of why my dating type skews older than he is — because it usually means having more in common and, for me, more of what it takes to spark a genuine attraction. Though I’ve had some fun flirting with younger guys, I’ve always been most drawn to men who are my chronological peers or older. Being at the same life stage makes romantic chemistry feel grounded in something more substantial. Especially when the connection begins through mutual friends instead of online.

With only a few weeks left of Nominate A Date, I’m appreciating how this process has taken my love life offline and somewhere a lot more fun than cyberspace. Cupid tends to have a much better track record when he’s not confined to a computer.

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November 2nd, 2011 — 10:09pm

Saturday night, I headed out for some halloween-inspired fun with my good friend Bobbi.

It had been a couple of years since I dressed up for the occasion so I was excited to go retro as a flapper girl. And equally excited to discover this on flapper style makeup. How did we ever exist without Google?

The Princess and The Flapper: Bobbi and I all decked out for Halloween

Bobbi went all pink and fabulous as a fairy princess, rocking a pink poufy sleeved mini dress, white boots and, of course, a crown.

“I look like I work for Disney,” she quipped.

Over cocktails and a delicious dinner at Beach Café on NYC’s Upper East Side, we talked about developments at our respective day jobs and how Internet dating seems to breed either ruts or the absence of etiquette. One recent bachelor Bobbi met online told her he wanted to go as, ahem, genitalia for Halloween. When his mother heard this, she said in horror—

“I paid for you to go to college so you could dress up as a penis?!”

Talk about a wasted expense.

Braving the unseasonably blustery weather, Bobbi and I headed over to St. Bart’s Church for a costume party. Though the crowd was more cliquey than friendly, we enjoyed the parade of great characters – from creative couples (Fred & Wilma, Homer & Marge) and groups (three amigos in sombreros) to sultry pirates, masked bandits and more. Least favorite trend: women dressed as Jersey Shore’s skank in residence Snooki. Isn’t she overexposed enough?

Our last stop of the night was a low-key round of drinks at the Waldorf=Astoria’s Bull & Bear bar, where we were by far the youngest people there – and the only ones in costume. We laughed it off. What’s a few odd glances when you’re enjoying a girls night out and getting in touch with your inner bombshell?

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June 14th, 2011 — 4:56pm

Like anyone who’s ever been single, I’ve often heard the adage that you meet people when you’re not looking. A recent girls night out proved to be a wonderful example of this.

My good friend Faith and I wandered into Stumble Inn, a lively Upper East Side bar in my neighborhood that I almost never go to. We were happy to find good music (80’s tunes in heavy rotation), a fun crowd and equally fun menu (fried twinkies, anyone?).

Being on a dating hiatus at the moment, my one and only agenda for the evening was to savor a girls night out. But when Faith got up to go the bathroom at one point, I couldn’t help noticing the adorable guy sitting next to me at the bar. Chiseled features, bright blue eyes and a megawatt smile.

Before I knew it, we were talking about the Stumble’s fiery buffalo wings, our former hometown of Toronto and our respective travels across the US and Europe. And, in a great illustration of what a small world even a big city like NYC can be, it turned out Mr. Adorable resides across the street from me.

Eventually, he asks for my number. Much to my surprise — bar connections rarely follow up, after all — I hear from him. It occurs to me that there really is something to the notion that you’re more desirable when you’re less invested in seeming so. And that being laidback translates to being much happier about being single.

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April 4th, 2011 — 8:51pm

Saturday, I caught up with my good friend and fellow single gal B. Over a delicious brunch at Bistro 61 on NYC’s Upper East Side, B and I got to talking about dating etiquette — and how it seems to be an increasingly lost art these days.

Case in point — the Jdate guy who B has gone out with twice. After their first date, he suggested multiple times they get together at his place so he could demonstrate his massage prowess (clearly a popular line among online bachelors, as an OkCupid member recently suggested likewise to me at the end of our first date). When B declined, he said his only free time would be following a work-related dinner — and then proceeded to be more than an hour late in showing up.

During a dinner date this weekend with an online guy, I was reminded that men too are dealing with strange behavior. My date told me he’s gone out with multiple women who’ve expected him to send (and pay for) a car service to pick them up. When I insisted on paying for the movies, he told me that was a first for him.

I was floored. For as much as I’m a believer in traditional mores when it comes to who pays on a first and second date, I also think it’s bad manners not to reciprocate. Whatever happened to putting your best foot forward when you’re getting to know someone? Has online dating reached a point where people don’t think twice about being inconsiderate of people’s time or money?

Despite what he’s experienced, my date would beg to differ. He couldn’t have been more of a gentleman — and an inspiring example of dating with class regardless of how many times you’ve experienced those who choose not to.

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December 4th, 2010 — 2:30pm

Yesterday, I enjoyed an action-packed girls night out with my good friend Faith.

American Trash: One of the best dive bars on NYC’s Upper East Side

The evening began at American Trash on NYC’s Upper East Side. Over a shared lobster roll, fried calamari and clams, Faith and I talked about holiday dating disasters and the importance of maintaining friendships regardless of your marital status.

Our lively conversation continued at nearby cocktail bar Stir and then, of course, O’Flanagan’s, my favorite neighborhood bar. As I’ve said before, O’Flanagan’s always delivers a good time — thanks to an unpretentious, friendly crowd and great music (this time, courtesy of cover band East Coast).

Though I wasn’t in mingling mode, a few guys approached me on the dance floor. And within less than two minutes, both of them asked me what I do for a living. I couldn’t help thinking how my perspective on this line of questioning –both asking and being on the receiving end of it — has changed since my European Dating Blitz.

During the course of my travels, I learned that over there, it’s considered rude and inappropriate to ask someone about their profession right away unless the information is volunteered. I found it refreshing that getting to know a date
takes precedence over sizing him up based on his job, and have since shied away from making ‘what do you do?’ my default question.

So I tell bachelor #1 that I work in PR. He says he works in finance, then returns to the subject of my job.

“Do you plan to diversify?” he asks.

I didn’t know whether he was giving me unsolicited stock tips or career advice. Either way, it wasn’t my kind of small talk so I excused myself and walked over to the bar. That’s where bachelor #2 also asked me right away what I do work-wise.

I guess original conversation starters are really in short supply these days.

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