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 first epic love, I also find myself wondering if it’s time for me to try out a new zip code.
| dating in New York, Girls Night Out, Upper East Side, Upper East Side restaurants
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, O’Flanagan’s, 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.
| Girls Night Out, NYC bars, O'Flanagan's, Upper East Side, Upper East Side restaurants
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.
| brunch, girls day out, Upper East Side, Upper East Side restaurants
December 1st, 2012 — 3:03pm
Thursday, I enjoyed a girls night out and delicious dinner with my good friend Stacy.
A foodie who always knows where to find the best culinary experiences our fair city has to offer, Stacy had snapped a great deal on LivingSocial – dinner for $40 per person (a 50% savings) at Fishtail by renowned Chef David Burke. Set in a converted townhouse on the Upper East Side, Fishtail has an inviting ambiance complimented by attentive service and, of course, a mouthwatering menu.
Our delicious entrees: Hanger steak and bronzino
Our four-course extravaganza began with cocktails (Tequila Mockingbird for Stacy, Swedish Mule for me) and a shared sushi appetizer. I then moved onto an iceberg wedge salad, hanger steak and for dessert, banoffee pie: banana toffee pie with cookie dough ice cream and chocolate shavings. Heaven!
Dessert nirvana: Fishtail's banoffee pie
Even without a LivingSocial deal, Fishtail is definitely worth the splurge.
As Stacy and I savored each course, we caught up on recent doings. She filled me in on her recent 18-hour Amtrak adventure to Georgia with her sassy 85-year-old aunt. I told her about Thanksgiving in Delaware with my awesome brother and sister-in-law.
We also talked about a mystifying recent pair of dates I went on with an OkCupid guy. This was one a real headscratcher. Coming up next, the scoop on why.
| Girls Night Out, Upper East Side restaurants
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!
| Girls Night Out, Upper East Side, Upper East Side restaurants, Westin New York Grand Central
May 21st, 2012 — 7:17pm
When you live in a neighborhood you love, it’s easy to become a creature of habit and visit the same places over and over. Having recently added a new class at the gym to my weekly repertoire, I’ve been venturing over to First Avenue more – which is how I stumbled upon a new favorite restaurant, Numero 28.
Numero 28's UES location serves up delicious brick oven pizza (photo courtesy: newyork.grubstreet.com)
I enjoyed my first visit to Numero 28, a cozy little pizzeria with a menu of brick oven pies that’s as delicious as it is varied, on Friday with my good friend Crystal. Crystal and I hadn’t seen each other in awhile, so we had a lot to catch up on. I filled her in on my recent and final dating blitz and summer travel plans (South Beach and London here I come!).
Crystal told me about rediscovering her passion for dance through the belly dancing troupe she recently joined. She shared photos of her looking gorgeous as characters ranging from a recycling goddess to a Spanish senorita, with a radiant smile matching the one I could see on her face.
Crystal’s new adventure reminded me of something I’ve been reading in a fantastic book by Amy Spencer, Bright Side Up. In the book – a wise, comforting guide to living a happier life – Amy emphasizes how it’s never too late to follow your dreams or discover a new one. I couldn’t agree with her more, especially when I have wonderful friends like Crystal to inspire me.
| girl talk, Girls Night Out, Upper East Side restaurants
April 17th, 2012 — 9:52pm
Friday night, I met up with Nominate A Date bachelor #8 — Westchester attorney Mike, 48. Mike nominated himself after recently stumbling upon my blog.
Mike and I met up at East End Bar & Grill (photo: EastEndBar.com)
As we sat down for drinks and a light bite at East End Bar on the UES, Mike was surprised to discover my day job has nothing to do with blogging.
“I thought being single was your job. I have to ask – is dating a hobby for you?”
“No,” I told him, literally having an a-ha moment about the singles scene in New York. Dating actually is a hobby for a lot of people here, a sport engaged in for its own sake rather than with any specific outcome in mind.
Divorced with two kids, Mike clearly isn’t one of those people. When I asked him if he had ever been married, he seemed surprised by the question.
“Any guy my age who says he’s never been married is either cheating or never will get married.”
I laughed at this refreshingly non-Gotham take on settling down, informing Mike that my experience of upper-40 something guys confirms it. A sharp, no nonsense kind of guy, he didn’t hesitate to reveal some of his own dating horror stories – including a relentlessly monosyllabic woman who refused to make eye contact and a bachelorette who attempted to saddle him with a pricey dinner bill on their first date.
Mike also shared how his experiences working in the military and as a cop helped prepare him to be a lawyer. I found myself thinking of my journey from journalism to PR, and being happily reminded that each chapter really does lead to the next.
When you’re single, it’s easy to feel like that’s not necessarily the case – because you don’t know where the journey is going to take you. But when I look back at the landscape of my love life so far, I see that each experience has shaped me in some way, sharpening who I am and my vision of the partner I hope to find. And in the land of dating for sport, that’s definitely something to smile about.
| being single in New York, first dates, Nominate A Date, Upper East Side restaurants
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?
| Beach Cafe, Girls Night Out, Halloween costumes, online dating, Upper East Side, Upper East Side restaurants
July 11th, 2011 — 11:54am
Girls Night Out: Kim and me on the LES
Last week, I had the pleasure of catching up twice with San Francisco-based galpal and former PR colleague Kim.
Wednesday night, I joined Kim and handful of her friends for drinks down at Hotel Chantelle on NYC’s Lower East Side. My night was made when I got carded by the genial bartender.
“Do you card all the ladies just to make us smile?” I asked.
“To avoid a $3,000 fine,” he answered without missing a beat. “And, of course, to make the ladies smile.”
The next day, over a delicious lunch at Ko Sushi on the UES, Kim and I talked about the absence of courtly behavior these days and her decision to get back into online dating – only this time with a different strategy.
“I’ve decided to be more proactive rather than reactive,” she said.
“Spoken like a fellow publicist,” I joked, since those are the same adjectives we use to describe tactics in PR.
Kim and I also mused about potential destinations we would consider moving to someday. Though still a great fan of the Big Apple, Kim admitted she never considered it a long-term home. As she said that, it hit me that – until recently – I never considered it anything else. Dreams change, though, so I’m open to wherever the next great opportunity takes me. Wonder where and what that will be?
| girl talk, Lower East Side, Upper East Side restaurants
June 19th, 2011 — 5:43pm
Friday, I headed over to Uva Wine Bar on NYC’s Upper East Side for a girls night out with galpal Bobbi.
Over a few glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and a scrumptious shared plate of Italian cheeses and meats, Bobbi and I talked about the challenging job market, the short-lived allure of younger men and the importance of living life to the fullest.
M, a good friend of Bobbi’s also in her thirties, has been battling blood cancer on and off for many years. Despite seemingly endless rounds of treatment, M is strong and determined in following her bliss. She moved out to Idaho with her longtime love, continuing her passion for photography as she plans a wedding that reflects her colorful spirit.
Like M, my late and beloved Dad battled cancer (prostate), for nearly twenty years. He refused to let it slow him down, enjoying golf, travel and big family occasions with his characteristic ebullience and joy. Even a few weeks before he died, when he knew the end was near, he told me how thankful he was for all of the blessings in his life.
It’s human nature to get caught up in the daily grind and forget to appreciate what you have. On this Father’s Day, I’m so thankful to have had a Dad who never lost his zest for life — and who continues inspiring me not to lose mine.
| Girls Night Out, life lessons, Upper East Side restaurants, Uva wine bar