Category: HurryDate


A Fabulous Night In Harlem

January 13th, 2013 — 10:37am

Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of catching up with my Kansas City-based pal Stephanie. A foodie with a flair for cooking, Stephanie invited me to join her and friends Jim and Diego to experience one of NYC’s hottest restaurants – Red Rooster.

Stephanie and me

The signature Harlem eatery by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson doesn’t disappoint. Lively atmosphere and attentive service compliment the mouthwatering menu of comfort food. A nice touch — for $7, you’re given the option of choosing from a tray of small chef tasting plates. I enjoyed butternut squash soup with apple chutney and smoked salmon. For dessert, we all shared the heavenly Rooster Mud Pie served with mocha ice cream and whiskey caramelized bananas. Delish.

I filled Stephanie and the guys in on my return to speed dating this week, which was just as fun as I remembered the experience to be (seriously, ladies, give it a try!).

Fun Foursome: (clockwise from left) Me, Stephanie, Diego and Jim

Speaking of the search to find love, we fell into easy conversation about the ups and downs of it, especially here in New York. When I mentioned my Great Dating Blitz of a few years back, Diego shared his recent version of it – going out with a series of his exes again. And whether they’re gay or straight, we all agreed that men don’t make the first move nearly as much as we’d like them to anymore.

Case in point: the aforementioned HurryDate event this week. Of the four guys who said yes to connecting afterward, only two proactively contacted me. Thankfully, it was the two who I liked most.

Who knows? Maybe 2013 will bring a change in the tides romantically speaking. One thing’s for sure – I plan to have more fun along the way.

| dating in New York, HurryDate, speed dating

Singles Event Pick: Bring A Wingman Party

July 26th, 2012 — 2:01pm

Readers of this blog know I’m a big fan of speed dating. From my experience, HurryDate is still the leader when it comes to attracting a great crowd – so I was excited to hear from host Alison Kaufman that they’re hosting a “Bring A Wingman Party” next month.

Flatiron hotspot Pranna (photo courtesy: PrannaNYC.com)

Set for Thursday August 16th at hotspot Pranna in NYC’s Flatiron District, the event will offer two-for-tickets for wingmen and wingwomen pairs. Just enter the code HDWINGMANNYC when you RSVP, and you’ll get an email allowing your friend to sign up on the house. And you can still attend solo too. Age group is 30s and 40s, and drink specials start at $5.

Admission is $25 at the door, but only limited spots are available so I recommend RSVP’ing online. Click here for more info.

| Flatiron District, HurryDate, Pranna restaurant, singles events, singles parties, speed dating

Opening The Vault: Part Eighty

April 23rd, 2011 — 1:31pm

Longtime readers of this blog know I’m a speed dating veteran. My affection for it began seven years ago, when I tried it here in NYC for the first time.

Much to my surprise, I connected with several bachelors, including a charming Brit. I now Open The Vault and take you back to February of 2004…

February 10, 2004
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

So I had mutual matches with seven of the guys I met at HurryDate. I’ve been out with four of them — including handsome Englishman Riley* (*not his real name).

Riley and I have been out three times in less than two weeks and he’s impressed and engaged me like I haven’t been in years. We talked non-stop for five hours on our first two dates. And balanced the conversation with plenty of kissing during our most recent encounter.

Riley is smart, funny, sweet and definitely someone I could envision having a relationship with. And that’s what scares me.

I don’t know if it’s because he’s British, but Riley reminds me of my ex David. He seems to have that same noble character and strength. The other night, he murmured–

“You already mean so much to me.”

Words that touched and terrified me at the same time. I simply cannot emotionally rush into a romance anymore.

* * *
February 14, 2004

Tea And Sympathy: Riley and I celebrated Valentine’s Day with lunch at this cozy eatery (Photo: Shanna Ravindra, newyork.grubstreet.com)

Couldn’t let this day end without saying what a perfect day I had with Riley. I came home from work today to find a dozen red roses, card and video greeting. Riley came over and we headed down to the Village to Tea and Sympathy, a charming little British eatery I’ve been wanting to try for years.

As usual, the conversation between us just flowed, and Riley made me laugh with his sparkling wit. Back here, we talked, canoodled and kissed.

Still, I worry that because I’m already doubting Riley is the one, then maybe he isn’t. A good friend of mine says that maybe I have a wall up, a fear of commitment. The funny thing is the subject of marriage and weddings came up today, and it felt very natural. I wasn’t thinking ‘oh this is not applicable here.’ Instead, I was more like, ‘Hmm.’

I’m not getting carried away. It’s only been a few weeks and Riley and I are just beginning to get to know each other. But I already know he’s going to be important in my life.

* * *
My prediction about Riley turned out to be true. What I never expected, though, was how our relationship would reinforce my biggest fear — and having to face it.

| HurryDate, new romance, Opening The Vault

Speed Dating For Globetrotters

January 20th, 2011 — 1:13pm

Monday night, I attended “Have Passport, Will Travel” — On Speed Dating’s event geared toward globetrotters.

This was my first-ever foray into themed speed dating, and the first time in awhile that I’ve attended an event hosted by a company other than industry leader HurryDate. When it comes to efficiency — starting on time and getting you out within 2 hours — HurryDate is better. But if you’re looking for a speed dating experience that feels more organic than rushed, OSD is definitely the way to go.

Murphy & Gonzalez: An ideal spot for speed dating

Murphy & Gonzalez, a laidback, well-lit bar and restaurant in NYC’s East Village, served as an ideal venue. Roomy with tables spaced evenly apart, it was much more conducive to talking than the dark, loud and cramped venues usually favored by HurryDate. And the host offered a few breaks, which goes a long way when you’re meeting about a dozen new people all at once.

As for the themed idea, I experienced mixed results. While travel is a great conversation starter, some of the men seemed to take a “my frequent flier account is bigger than yours” approach. And, like most speed dating events, this one served up an interesting variety of bachelors.

There was Sasha, a Russian-born hairstylist, whose rapid fire interrogation seemed to be inspired by questions from an online dating site.

“What do you do for fun?”

“Comedy or drama?”

“Are you creative or analytical?”

So much for easygoing small talk.

Fortysomething teacher Keith surprised me when he admitted he too is a speed dating veteran. Because he spent almost all of our four minutes together telling me — multiple times — where he’s traveled to, asking me only question just in time for the bell to ring.

Among the charmers — airline pilot Lance who revealed he’s been around the world twice, and Chicago-born cutie Athan who talked about Iceland being on his bucket list.

All in all, worth the $30 price of admission. Getting out there is always a good thing. As fast talking Keith put it–

“You gotta try.”

Well said.

| East Village, HurryDate, speed dating

A Double Dose Of Female Bonding

November 18th, 2009 — 10:30pm

Saturday, I enjoyed a double dose of female bonding that began with galpal Amanda.

Pershing Square: This cozy bistro is conveniently located right across from Grand Central Terminal

Over brunch at cozy bistro Pershing Square in Grand Central, we caught up on work, life and dating. Amanda filled me in on PR plans for her upcoming travel memoir The Lost Girls, including a book club tour across the U.S. I told her about an industry award that could lead to winning Best of Show with my colleagues for the second time in my PR career.

We also talked about one of our biggest pet peeves in the dating world – text messaging. Phone-o-phobia, as calls it, has reached epidemic proportions among single men. Both Amanda and I have recently gone out with great guys who choose texting as a means for making plans. Sorry, but romance simply doesn’t go hand in hand with messages of 160 characters or less.

Later, I headed to lively bar Joshua Tree in Midtown for my good friend and former colleague Cristina’s bachelorette party.

All Smiles: Bride-to-be Cristina and me

Over multiple rounds of cocktails and shots, we toasted the bride-to-be on her pending nuptials in Boston next month to longtime love Chris. Thanks to an endless loop of 80’s videos, I got my groove on on top of a chair – until a grumpy bouncer instructed me to sit down. I should’ve told him to relax, because I’ve done this particular maneuver several times over the years without incident.

Shaking My Booty: The music at Joshua Tree made this inevitable

After bidding the bride-to-be goodnight, I was feeling wistful so I decided to walk up Third Avenue for awhile. I remembered when Cristina got engaged two years ago and felt unnerved all over again about still being single.

But then I reminded myself of the upside about being unattached, namely the adventure of what’s right around the corner. HurryDater E is taking me out for date #2 on Friday.

| bachelorette parties, being single in your thirties, female bonding, Grand Central, HurryDate, Pershing Square, The Joshua Tree, The Lost Girls

A Double Dose Of Female Bonding

November 18th, 2009 — 5:30pm

Saturday, I enjoyed a double dose of female bonding that began with galpal Amanda.

Pershing Square: This cozy bistro is conveniently located right across from Grand Central Terminal

Over brunch at cozy bistro Pershing Square in Grand Central, we caught up on work, life and dating. Amanda filled me in on PR plans for her upcoming travel memoir The Lost Girls, including a book club tour across the U.S. I told her about an industry award that could lead to winning Best of Show with my colleagues for the second time in my PR career.

We also talked about one of our biggest pet peeves in the dating world – text messaging. Phone-o-phobia, as calls it, has reached epidemic proportions among single men. Both Amanda and I have recently gone out with great guys who choose texting as a means for making plans. Sorry, but romance simply doesn’t go hand in hand with messages of 160 characters or less.

Later, I headed to lively bar Joshua Tree in Midtown for my good friend and former colleague Cristina’s bachelorette party.

All Smiles: Bride-to-be Cristina and me

Over multiple rounds of cocktails and shots, we toasted the bride-to-be on her pending nuptials in Boston next month to longtime love Chris. Thanks to an endless loop of 80’s videos, I got my groove on on top of a chair – until a grumpy bouncer instructed me to sit down. I should’ve told him to relax, because I’ve done this particular maneuver several times over the years without incident.

Shaking My Booty: The music at Joshua Tree made this inevitable

After bidding the bride-to-be goodnight, I was feeling wistful so I decided to walk up Third Avenue for awhile. I remembered when Cristina got engaged two years ago and felt unnerved all over again about still being single.

But then I reminded myself of the upside about being unattached, namely the adventure of what’s right around the corner. HurryDater E is taking me out for date #2 on Friday.

| bachelorette parties, being single in your thirties, female bonding, Grand Central, HurryDate, Pershing Square, The Joshua Tree, The Lost Girls

A Perfect First Date

November 17th, 2009 — 10:30pm

Friday night, I went out with E, a charming, cute 37-year-old public relations exec that I met at HurryDate a few weeks ago.

Our evening began at Tracks Bar & Grill in Penn Station, home to a 105-foot long mahogany bar and a tasty seafood menu.

Tracks Bar and Grill: The venerable eatery has been around for more than 50 years

Over shared appetizers (the lobster ravioli was divine), E and I talked about our mutual experiences of moving from journalism to PR, and some of the far-flung destinations that working in PR has taken us to. Just back from a three-day business trip to Korea, E impressed me with his lack of jetlag – and his razor-sharp wit.

From Tracks, we walked over to Madison Square Garden to watch the Knicks square off against California’s Golden State Warriors. It was my first-ever basketball game, so I soaked up all of the on-court action, which included team dancers, trampoline acrobatics and two random celeb sightings –Actor Anthony Michael Hall and rapper Fat Joe.

What A View: Our initial seats offered a panoramic view of the on-court action

E gave me a crash course in Basketball 101, leaning in closely as he explained game rules and his knack for upgrading to closer seats after half time. Sure enough, we eventually made our way from one of the upper-level rows down to the 200 section.

After the game, I briefly excused myself to use the bathroom. Upon emerging, E suddenly pulled me toward him for a brief kiss. Completely caught off guard and happily dazed by the major sparks between us, I quipped–

“Who knew Penn Station could be so romantic?”

The romance continued as we exited Penn to find that it was raining. While huddled under an umbrella at a nearby garage waiting for E’s car, he kissed me again.

We drove up the West Side Highway then over to the UES, where we parked ourselves at Merchant’s.

Much to my delight, E sat beside me while we talked about the enduring merits of 80’s sitcoms and the fun of karaoke.

“I guess,” he said, interlacing his fingers through mine for added emphasis, “This turned out pretty well, huh?”

“I was just thinking the same thing,” I said with a smile and we fell into another kiss – interrupted this time by our amused waitress, who asked if she should come back later.

Two more hours passed before we decided to call it a night. E parked in front of my building and kissed me goodnight. Several times.

“Thank you for a perfect evening from start to finish,” I said as I exited his car.

What a night.

Up next…dinner with a new online dating expert and a review of one of Broadway’s hottest shows.

| basketball games, first dates, first kisses, Golden State Warriors, HurryDate, Madison Square Garden, Merchant's East, New York Knicks, Penn Station, Tracks Raw Bar and Grill, Upper East Side

A Perfect First Date

November 17th, 2009 — 5:30pm

Friday night, I went out with E, a charming, cute 37-year-old public relations exec that I met at HurryDate a few weeks ago.

Our evening began at Tracks Bar & Grill in Penn Station, home to a 105-foot long mahogany bar and a tasty seafood menu.

Tracks Bar and Grill: The venerable eatery has been around for more than 50 years

Over shared appetizers (the lobster ravioli was divine), E and I talked about our mutual experiences of moving from journalism to PR, and some of the far-flung destinations that working in PR has taken us to. Just back from a three-day business trip to Korea, E impressed me with his lack of jetlag – and his razor-sharp wit.

From Tracks, we walked over to Madison Square Garden to watch the Knicks square off against California’s Golden State Warriors. It was my first-ever basketball game, so I soaked up all of the on-court action, which included team dancers, trampoline acrobatics and two random celeb sightings –Actor Anthony Michael Hall and rapper Fat Joe.

What A View: Our initial seats offered a panoramic view of the on-court action

E gave me a crash course in Basketball 101, leaning in closely as he explained game rules and his knack for upgrading to closer seats after half time. Sure enough, we eventually made our way from one of the upper-level rows down to the 200 section.

After the game, I briefly excused myself to use the bathroom. Upon emerging, E suddenly pulled me toward him for a brief kiss. Completely caught off guard and happily dazed by the major sparks between us, I quipped–

“Who knew Penn Station could be so romantic?”

The romance continued as we exited Penn to find that it was raining. While huddled under an umbrella at a nearby garage waiting for E’s car, he kissed me again.

We drove up the West Side Highway then over to the UES, where we parked ourselves at Merchant’s.

Much to my delight, E sat beside me while we talked about the enduring merits of 80’s sitcoms and the fun of karaoke.

“I guess,” he said, interlacing his fingers through mine for added emphasis, “This turned out pretty well, huh?”

“I was just thinking the same thing,” I said with a smile and we fell into another kiss – interrupted this time by our amused waitress, who asked if she should come back later.

Two more hours passed before we decided to call it a night. E parked in front of my building and kissed me goodnight. Several times.

“Thank you for a perfect evening from start to finish,” I said as I exited his car.

What a night.

Up next…dinner with a new online dating expert and a review of one of Broadway’s hottest shows.

| basketball games, first dates, first kisses, Golden State Warriors, HurryDate, Madison Square Garden, Merchant's East, New York Knicks, Penn Station, Tracks Raw Bar and Grill, Upper East Side

Another Great First Date…To Nowhere

November 13th, 2009 — 10:55pm

Tuesday night, I enjoyed another fabulous first date with a guy that I met at HurryDate – one that has me rethinking my approach to dating in NYC.

Bombay-born Taz and I met up at the swanky Chambers Hotel in Midtown for drinks. We settled into a cozy corner of the upstairs bar (complete with a sofa and hardcover coffee table books), where the conversation was as smooth as the service and menu selections.

The Chambers Hotel: A great date spot

Over cocktails, yummy appetizers and – unexpectedly – milk and cookies, Taz and I found plenty to talk about. Along with the usual first date subjects of career, travel and hobbies, we chatted about U2’s brilliant shows at Giants Stadium and the merits of speed dating versus online dating, i.e., less time wasted on interminable back and forth.

Though we lingered until closing time, neither of us wanted to call it a night so we walked a few blocks to Papillon, an inviting bistro and bar.

Finally, after nearly four hours of effortless conversation and playful teasing, it was time to say goodnight. Taz leaned in for a quick kiss before taking off.

He texted me the next day to say what a great time he had. And, much like fellow HurryDater John, that’s the last I heard from him.

Having gone on two great first dates to nowhere in a row now, I can’t help thinking about the lopsided female-male ratio here. And how it breeds a plenty-of-fish mindset among NYC men – especially among those who belong to the thirtysomething age bracket.

I’m also thinking that I had it right in my early twenties when I dated older men. It’s time to up the age ante and go for the fortysomething bachelors.

Coming up…my first Twitter flirtation and another HurryDate date.

| Chambers hotel, first dates, HurryDate, Midtown NYC, online dating, Papillon bistro, speed dating, Twitter

Another Great First Date…To Nowhere

November 13th, 2009 — 5:55pm

Tuesday night, I enjoyed another fabulous first date with a guy that I met at HurryDate – one that has me rethinking my approach to dating in NYC.

Bombay-born Taz and I met up at the swanky Chambers Hotel in Midtown for drinks. We settled into a cozy corner of the upstairs bar (complete with a sofa and hardcover coffee table books), where the conversation was as smooth as the service and menu selections.

The Chambers Hotel: A great date spot

Over cocktails, yummy appetizers and – unexpectedly – milk and cookies, Taz and I found plenty to talk about. Along with the usual first date subjects of career, travel and hobbies, we chatted about U2’s brilliant shows at Giants Stadium and the merits of speed dating versus online dating, i.e., less time wasted on interminable back and forth.

Though we lingered until closing time, neither of us wanted to call it a night so we walked a few blocks to Papillon, an inviting bistro and bar.

Finally, after nearly four hours of effortless conversation and playful teasing, it was time to say goodnight. Taz leaned in for a quick kiss before taking off.

He texted me the next day to say what a great time he had. And, much like fellow HurryDater John, that’s the last I heard from him.

Having gone on two great first dates to nowhere in a row now, I can’t help thinking about the lopsided female-male ratio here. And how it breeds a plenty-of-fish mindset among NYC men – especially among those who belong to the thirtysomething age bracket.

I’m also thinking that I had it right in my early twenties when I dated older men. It’s time to up the age ante and go for the fortysomething bachelors.

Coming up…my first Twitter flirtation and another HurryDate date.

| Chambers hotel, first dates, HurryDate, Midtown NYC, online dating, Papillon bistro, speed dating, Twitter

Back to top