Category: Rockefeller Center


April 28th, 2013 — 9:10pm

Thursday, I enjoyed a girls night out with my good friend Lauren.

After a brief stop at Faces & Names bar and walking past the NFL Draft red carpet on Sixth Avenue, we settled at the bar of Del Frisco’s in Rockefeller Center. Over a round of Blue Moon and some shared appetizers (cheesesteak egg rolls and tuna tartar tacos…delish), we talked about career moves, bad dating behavior and my most recent speed dating experience.

I’ve said it here and to other singles many times – speed dating is a thousand times better than dating online. Still, some outings are better than others and this particular one was a very mixed bag.

Most of the 15 guys I met were first timers bleary eyed from the frenetic pace. Many used their four minutes to ask questions straight out of Match.com (where do you work? What do you like to do when you’re not working? etc.). Others didn’t know what to ask. Among the more memorable bachelors: a 67-year-old who laughed a little too hard as he shared that he is divorced because he likes dating thirtysomething women; a cute British expat whose charm rapidly dissipated when he remarked how there are so many more single women than men in NYC.

Inevitably, if you do speed dating multiple times, you run into familiar faces. I cringed when I spotted a guy I dated briefly back in January who went all X-rated in his sweet nothings on date #2.  For a city of 8 million people, New York is way too small sometimes.

Which is why I’m feeling especially thankful for the gradual yet seismic attitude shift I’ve been feeling lately when it comes to finding love. A combination of spring weather and Amy Spencer’s uplifting book about dating optimism, is fueling the change.

There’s definitely something to be said for positive thinking. In the last week alone, I’ve reconnected with an old flame and met a matchmaker-inclined florist.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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March 11th, 2012 — 6:12pm

As someone who is bone tired of online dating, I’m a big fan of websites that make it easier to connect offline. So I was excited to hear about , a site created by veteran bartender Teresa Rivera that connects members and suggests ideal bars based on a variety of variables.

Each bar has a profile highlighting hook-up potential, guy-to-girl ratio, vibe, etc. The website’s team also stalks the City’s top bars, so that members can see the hottest venues for a particular evening. During the registration process,  Barstalk.com asks you to fill out a brief profile with info including favorite spots in the city, neighborhood, and what qualities you’re looking for in a match, etc. One of my favorite features — an “Anonymous Check Out” button that enables members to view matches while remaining discreet.

When my date for this weekend fell through, Barstalk.com founder Teresa graciously and quickly came up with an alternate candidate – 34-year-old J, a good-looking, soft-spoken personal trainer and Connecticut native.

Del Frisco's Grille in Rockefeller Center has a much cozier vibe than its sister restaurant on Sixth Ave nearby

J trekked in from the Bronx for our drinks date, which got off to a good start with him guessing that I’m closer to 30 than not. We met up at in Rockefeller Center, which has a fantastic cocktail menu and ideal low-key ambience for conversation. J filled me in on his upcoming trip to South Beach, why nothing and no one comes between him and an Oakland Raiders game and what he doesn’t like when it comes to food.

He also mentioned a seven-year relationship. His ex-girlfriend actually came up a handful of times. Even though it happened organically, it got me to thinking about mentioning old flames on dates in general. It’s a topic that has surfaced a few times since I started Nominate A Date about a month ago. One guy did it only in passing as we were comparing notes about online dating disasters. Another bachelor, the only one I’ve gone out with multiple times, spent the last part of our third date telling me about his month-long stint on OkCupid.

Admittedly, these stories can be amusing at times (after all if they weren’t, dating blogs wouldn’t exist). I’m just not so sure the first few dates with someone should be a forum for them. Because, frankly, it’s a buzzkill.

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May 19th, 2011 — 8:51pm

As a native New Yorker, I’m always happy to be reminded that even here, it really is a small world. So I discovered yesterday during a girls night out in Rockefeller Center.

Joining me was fellow single gal and British expat Antoinette. Antoinette and I connected through a mutual friend, immediately discovering we are both Columbia Journalism alums of the same class and that we worked for a financial newspaper publisher at the same time.

Morrell’s Wine Bar: this cozy bistro in Rock Center has a fabulous menu (photo: NYCGO.com)

Over a delicious dinner and dessert at Morrell’s wine bar — risotto with shrimp, sticky toffee pudding — Antoinette filled me in about her experiences working for one of the top entertainment magazines. My favorite tale — George Clooney proving he’s a real charmer when Antoinette interviewed him at a red carpet event. Swoon.

We also talked about why texting kills romance more often than not, how Europeans have a much better work-life balance and whether a dating hiatus is worth doing (in a word, yes!).

Antoinette’s charm and wit reminded me why I have a soft spot in my heart for the British. There’s a good chance she’ll join me when I round up some friends to do speed dating en masse. Stay tuned…

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May 18th, 2010 — 1:02pm

As readers of my recent Great Dating Blitz know, I found love with Chris in Cleveland and we happily reconnected there at the end of my journey. This week, Chris and I are experiencing the Big Apple together.

All Smiles From Up High: Chris took this picture of me at Top Of The Rock

Yesterday, we headed down to Rockefeller Center for a visit to the Top Of The Rock observatory. Less crowded than the Empire State Building — and offering views unobstructed by caged wiring — Top of The Rock is a much better bet. And an ideal spot for a smooch with a stunning backdrop of 360 degree views.

Our next stop — Bryant Park for some people watching and then one of my favorite places to unwind in NYC, Roommate Grace Hotel’s indoor pool. Open to non-guests after 5pm, the pool area boasts a swim-up bar, sauna and steam room.

Over a round of cocktails in the water, Chris and I talked about the fun of finding off the beaten path places in the Big Apple, the constant surge of hustle and bustle here, and of course, our future travel plans.

I can’t wait to renew my passport.

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July 13th, 2008 — 9:16pm

When you live in the concrete jungle of Manhattan, it’s inevitable that you sometimes feel landlocked and crave an escape — especially when the mercury rises. It can take some ingenuity to stay cool during summertime here. With the help of an article in Time Out New York, I managed to do just that yesterday, during a visit to that piece of NYC nirvana known as the private pool.

The privilege of bypassing family-deluged public pools is something locals are willing to pay dearly for — a one-year membership to trendy hotspot SoHo House will set you back $1,400 (Sex and the City‘s Samantha opted to masquerade as a member there instead just so she and the girls could access the rooftop pool). I discovered a much more cost effective and delightfully low-key urban oasis yesterday, at Room Mate Grace.

A boutique hotel located a few blocks from Rockefeller Center, Room Mate Grace offers indoor relaxation to non-guests after 5pm daily. The hotel’s small but more than serviceable pool is 3 foot 9 inches deep and connected to a bar, so you can order a cocktail while going for a dip. Best of all, it will only cost you a few drinks, or $10 on weekends, to get wet.

Against the modern chic backdrop of soft, spa-like lighting and an eclectic soundtrack ranging from 60’s classic “Hang on Sloopy” to a trippy cover of “Let’s Get Physical,” I kicked back on a lounge chair before going for an exhilarating swim. Not only was the water comfortably cool, but I had the pool all to myself.

Still, it was easy to imagine New Yorkers mingling underwater, so I asked the bartender what the poolside vibe is usually like.

“Pretty chill,” she said of weekends at dusk, adding that it becomes quite a scene as the evening progresses.

I was feeling pretty chill myself post-swim and more than happy to pony up my $10 for it. The bartender, however, told me not to worry about it and to “just go and have a great day.”

Her generosity exemplified one of New York’s least-publicized and yet most enduring assets — the kindness of strangers. Even in a city of 8 million people, it’s easier to find than you might think.

And, yes, I tipped the bartender.

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July 13th, 2008 — 4:16pm

When you live in the concrete jungle of Manhattan, it’s inevitable that you sometimes feel landlocked and crave an escape — especially when the mercury rises. It can take some ingenuity to stay cool during summertime here. With the help of an article in Time Out New York, I managed to do just that yesterday, during a visit to that piece of NYC nirvana known as the private pool.

The privilege of bypassing family-deluged public pools is something locals are willing to pay dearly for — a one-year membership to trendy hotspot SoHo House will set you back $1,400 (Sex and the City‘s Samantha opted to masquerade as a member there instead just so she and the girls could access the rooftop pool). I discovered a much more cost effective and delightfully low-key urban oasis yesterday, at Room Mate Grace.

A boutique hotel located a few blocks from Rockefeller Center, Room Mate Grace offers indoor relaxation to non-guests after 5pm daily. The hotel’s small but more than serviceable pool is 3 foot 9 inches deep and connected to a bar, so you can order a cocktail while going for a dip. Best of all, it will only cost you a few drinks, or $10 on weekends, to get wet.

Against the modern chic backdrop of soft, spa-like lighting and an eclectic soundtrack ranging from 60’s classic “Hang on Sloopy” to a trippy cover of “Let’s Get Physical,” I kicked back on a lounge chair before going for an exhilarating swim. Not only was the water comfortably cool, but I had the pool all to myself.

Still, it was easy to imagine New Yorkers mingling underwater, so I asked the bartender what the poolside vibe is usually like.

“Pretty chill,” she said of weekends at dusk, adding that it becomes quite a scene as the evening progresses.

I was feeling pretty chill myself post-swim and more than happy to pony up my $10 for it. The bartender, however, told me not to worry about it and to “just go and have a great day.”

Her generosity exemplified one of New York’s least-publicized and yet most enduring assets — the kindness of strangers. Even in a city of 8 million people, it’s easier to find than you might think.

And, yes, I tipped the bartender.

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