Category: East Village


March 31st, 2013 — 8:04pm

Thursday, I headed down to the East Village for a girls night out with my good friend Bobbi.

On my way to meet her, it occurred to me that I need to visit this neighborhood more often, teeming as it is with inviting little bistros and bars. Case in point: , the cozy wine bar and restaurant I stumbled upon online.

Giano (Photo Credit: Dailydishblog.com)

Ideal for either a date or girls night out, Giano has rustic charm and an Italy-born host who makes every menu item sound buenissimo.
Over drinks and a delicious dinner, we talked about women who forget themselves once they’re married, our recent respective speed dating experiences, and increasing dating fatigue.

With the big 4-0 looming in 2014, I am definitely feeling a cumulative weariness from decades of dating. People often say love finds you when you’re not looking. That may be true but it has also been my experience that no one will find you if you’re sitting on your couch.

The question then becomes – how do you balance putting yourself out there with not getting worn out from it all? How do you remain hopeful about happily ever after when today’s dating culture (in New York especially) seems more accommodating of right now romance?

As I continue trying to figure that out, I also remain profoundly grateful for wonderful friends who make such heavy contemplation a lot more fun.

Happy Easter all!

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January 9th, 2012 — 10:23pm

As part of my Just Say Yes mantra for 2012, I’m getting back into the swing of things dating wise – and that means taking another stab at speed dating.

Though I’ve done it a handful of times over the years, Thursday marked my first experience with . The event was held in the back room at cozy Latin American fusion restaurant La Zarza in NYC’s East Village. During the pre-event mingling period, I chatted with friendly fortysomething bachelor David about why we love New York more than California (seasonal changes, more to do anytime day or night, etc.) and the rush of zip lining.

La Zarza: the cozy East Village restaurant and lounge is an ideal venue for speed dating

David casually mentioned he was divorced – one of many bachelors on hand in this category. Much like bars or restaurants, every speed dating company has its own personality and attracts a certain kind of clientele. If Thursday’s event is any indication, NYMinuteDating attracts its fair share of divorced men with children and guys who work in IT. Of the 17 bachelors in attendance, about half of them were software developers.

Another trend with this group – revealing a little too much. One of the divorced men took up most of our four minutes together talking about being divorced, why his teenage daughters want him to start dating again and the new house he just moved into. Speaking of real estate, another bachelor was a little too eager to talk about his 10,000 square foot pad on Central Park West and the huge New Year’s party he hosted.

Then, there was the bachelor who began his conversation with the girl to my right by asking—

“Why are you still single?”

Call me picky, but that’s not exactly the friendliest conversation starter.

Thankfully, there were a handful of guys who reminded me why this round robin approach to meeting new people can be so much fun. Nashville native turned Brooklyn resident Chyld charmed me with his slight accent, affection for barbecue and playful smile. World traveler Greg entertained with tales of a recent visit to one of my favorite cities, Berlin, while Canadian-born Alistair admitted that he trekked all the way from Connecticut for the event.

As someone who’s a big fan of crossing state lines to put yourself out there, I loved his candor about it. David was equally candid his agenda—

“I want to meet someone.”

Who says all NYC men are players?

FYI – NYMinuteDating is a great last-minute option for a fun night out. While most speed dating events sell out for women well in advance, many of the singles (myself included) booked on Thursday and the event was still well attended with a balanced ratio and guys and girls. Bottom line — $35 well spent.

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March 15th, 2011 — 1:54pm

If age really is just a number, then there’s nothing like a night out with good friends to make you believe it. Last Saturday, I enjoyed a delightful reminder of that.

The action-packed evening began over dinner on NYC’s Upper West Side at beloved Italian bistro Gennaro’s. Joining me were twentysomething galpals Caroline and Mimma and their hilariously fun high school pal Chris. Over seafood risotto and the most scrumptious plate of hot and cold antipasto you can imagine, we talked about travel, beauty pageants (Chris is a pageant coach) and favorite 80’s movies.

All Smiles: Caroline and me at Niagara

Next, we headed down to Niagara, a lounge in the East Village, to put in an appearance at a former colleague’s birthday celebration. As I caught up with her and few other ex-co workers, I couldn’t help thinking how much has changed in my life since leaving my full time PR gig a year ago. I’ve experienced two life-changing trips, started a and concentrated on my writing for the first time ever.

I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, a happy sentiment that continued when all of us walked over to Alphabet Lounge. We danced the night away to 80’s music and I felt thankful all over again to live in the world’s greatest city — and have the greatest friends to share it with.

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February 22nd, 2011 — 1:56pm

This week, you can mingle and learn more about a new kind of philanthropy at ’s launch party.

Set for Thursday February 24th at the Professor’s Loft in NYC’s East Village, the
party will run from 7- 0pm and feature open bar and appetizers. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the group’s team and learn about their mission.

UniteChange aims to create a more interactive approach to charitable giving, where donors can watch every aspect of a charitable project unfold. The group will broadcast projects on an ongoing basis, through email updates, blogs, and photos/video from the project site. Donors will see each project grow from start to finish, get to know the people they’re helping, and be able stay in touch with the community after the project is complete.

Tickets to Thursday’s launch party at $50 in advance. for more information.

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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.

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July 3rd, 2010 — 5:29pm

As the action winds down this week, party with fellow soccer fans during the World Cup Celebration at The Central Bar in NYC’s East Village.

Hosted by Flaunt Africa, the event will feature raffles for autographed soccer memorabilia and give guests the chance to recreate the excitement in South Africa. 32 pre-qualified players selected from the attendees will represent the 32 countries participating in South Africa 2010 matches. These players will take part in what Flaunt Africa is calling an “adrenalin soaked virtual game.”

Think you’ve got what it takes on the field?  Sign up to play by emailing info@flauntafrica.org.

The event is scheduled for Thursday July 8th at 7pm and admission is free. For more information, .

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November 8th, 2009 — 7:00pm

The other night, I went out with book publishing exec John — one of the guys I met during my recent HurryDate experience.

Tall, adorable and easy to talk to, John planned a perfect evening of drinks and live entertainment. Our night started off at Aroma, a cozy wine bar in the East Village. Upon asking him how his day was, John said–

“It went quickly having this to look forward to.”

Aroma: a cozy wine bar and great date spot

Over drinks and a couple of appetizers (including a yummy cod-filled ravioli), we shared a laugh about the HurryDate hostess assigning the same number to multiple guys.

We also talked about our respective stints as Toronto residents, a shared affinity for freelance writing and where our international travels have taken us.

From Aroma, we walked over to the Public Theater to see “County of Kings,” playwright Lemon Andersen’s riveting one-man show. Based on his tough upbringing in Brooklyn, Andersen’s intense, brilliantly staged tale covers everything from AIDS and drugs to death and first love. It captivated through to the final curtain call.

After the show, John and I wanted to see how the Yankees were faring in the World Series so we headed to a nearby sports bar. The effortless conversation continued — and so did the flirting as we started leaning in closer and closer to each other.

By the time we said goodnight, it was no surprise when John bent down to kiss me. John said he’d love to get together over the weekend and I told him that would be great.

Since our date, John reiterated in an email what a great time he had. Curiously, he never followed up about getting together again. But that’s the great thing about speed dating — I’ve got plans with two other HurryDate guys. There’s definitely something to be said for dating in numbers.

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November 8th, 2009 — 2:00pm

The other night, I went out with book publishing exec John — one of the guys I met during my recent HurryDate experience.

Tall, adorable and easy to talk to, John planned a perfect evening of drinks and live entertainment. Our night started off at Aroma, a cozy wine bar in the East Village. Upon asking him how his day was, John said–

“It went quickly having this to look forward to.”

Aroma: a cozy wine bar and great date spot

Over drinks and a couple of appetizers (including a yummy cod-filled ravioli), we shared a laugh about the HurryDate hostess assigning the same number to multiple guys.

We also talked about our respective stints as Toronto residents, a shared affinity for freelance writing and where our international travels have taken us.

From Aroma, we walked over to the Public Theater to see “County of Kings,” playwright Lemon Andersen’s riveting one-man show. Based on his tough upbringing in Brooklyn, Andersen’s intense, brilliantly staged tale covers everything from AIDS and drugs to death and first love. It captivated through to the final curtain call.

After the show, John and I wanted to see how the Yankees were faring in the World Series so we headed to a nearby sports bar. The effortless conversation continued — and so did the flirting as we started leaning in closer and closer to each other.

By the time we said goodnight, it was no surprise when John bent down to kiss me. John said he’d love to get together over the weekend and I told him that would be great.

Since our date, John reiterated in an email what a great time he had. Curiously, he never followed up about getting together again. But that’s the great thing about speed dating — I’ve got plans with two other HurryDate guys. There’s definitely something to be said for dating in numbers.

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October 29th, 2009 — 9:59pm
Last night, I headed down to East Village bar Sin Sin for HurryDate – my first speed dating event in well over a year.

Sin Sin: Not nearly as inviting as it looks here

Of the handful of times I’ve participated in HurryDate, this was the most lackluster in terms of logistics. Sin Sin’s downstairs lounge was dark and poorly ventilated. And the friendly hostess was having such a good time that she inadvertently gave the same number to multiple men – a mistake that could’ve led to missed connections because of incorrectly filled out scorecards.

Fortunately, all of this proved to be a good icebreaker during my 12 four-minute dates. It was a very international crowd, with men from Europe, India, Mexico and Hong Kong. And, much to my great relief, I enjoyed meeting most of them.

Handsome Italy-born Paolo and I chatted about Columbia University – my alma mater and his current employer. Charming Brit David impressed me with his dry wit and shared my opinion that London and New York are sister cities.

Of the American born and bred, former Milwaukee resident and book publishing exec John was far and away my favorite. Especially after I discovered that he was one of the men who’d received a duplicate number.

A few minutes after our date, the frazzled HurryDate host came over to tell me the number to which John had been reassigned.

“He told me to make sure you know,” she said.

Meanwhile, soft-spoken New Yorker Assim and I commiserated over our shrinking pools of single friends. Upon informing him that my favorite wingwoman recently married, Assim sighed empathetically and said his go-to buddy is now forever lost to domesticity too.

Of course, there were a few HurryDaters who didn’t leave a great impression. Like the one who said I sound like I’m from Brooklyn (trust me – this is not a compliment). Or the guy who said abruptly—

“You don’t have a lot of free time, do you?”

When I asked what prompted this observation, he said–

“You speak very quickly.”

Not surprisingly, I can’t remember his name.

All in all, for $35 and one hour, not a bad deal. I met a dozen men and enjoyed two glasses of wine for the price of one. That’s my kind of recession-friendly fun!

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October 29th, 2009 — 4:59pm
Last night, I headed down to East Village bar Sin Sin for HurryDate – my first speed dating event in well over a year.

Sin Sin: Not nearly as inviting as it looks here

Of the handful of times I’ve participated in HurryDate, this was the most lackluster in terms of logistics. Sin Sin’s downstairs lounge was dark and poorly ventilated. And the friendly hostess was having such a good time that she inadvertently gave the same number to multiple men – a mistake that could’ve led to missed connections because of incorrectly filled out scorecards.

Fortunately, all of this proved to be a good icebreaker during my 12 four-minute dates. It was a very international crowd, with men from Europe, India, Mexico and Hong Kong. And, much to my great relief, I enjoyed meeting most of them.

Handsome Italy-born Paolo and I chatted about Columbia University – my alma mater and his current employer. Charming Brit David impressed me with his dry wit and shared my opinion that London and New York are sister cities.

Of the American born and bred, former Milwaukee resident and book publishing exec John was far and away my favorite. Especially after I discovered that he was one of the men who’d received a duplicate number.

A few minutes after our date, the frazzled HurryDate host came over to tell me the number to which John had been reassigned.

“He told me to make sure you know,” she said.

Meanwhile, soft-spoken New Yorker Assim and I commiserated over our shrinking pools of single friends. Upon informing him that my favorite wingwoman recently married, Assim sighed empathetically and said his go-to buddy is now forever lost to domesticity too.

Of course, there were a few HurryDaters who didn’t leave a great impression. Like the one who said I sound like I’m from Brooklyn (trust me – this is not a compliment). Or the guy who said abruptly—

“You don’t have a lot of free time, do you?”

When I asked what prompted this observation, he said–

“You speak very quickly.”

Not surprisingly, I can’t remember his name.

All in all, for $35 and one hour, not a bad deal. I met a dozen men and enjoyed two glasses of wine for the price of one. That’s my kind of recession-friendly fun!

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