Category: Flatiron District


Why I Don’t Go To Singles Events

May 4th, 2014 — 8:56pm

One of my dating resolutions this year was to declare a moratorium on going to singles events. Friday night, I was reminded of the many reasons why.

A good friend of mine asked me to join her at a 40+ singles mixer. As she hadn’t been to one in a while, I gladly obliged, telling myself I was going strictly to be a supportive friend. Of course, despite my prior experience with these things, a small part of myself couldn’t help thinking—maybe this one will be different.

The venue (Pranna in NYC’s Flatiron District) and price point ($20) were both great. The crowd that turned up?

Not so much.

Pranna in NYC's Flatiron District

Pranna in NYC’s Flatiron District

Simply put, the event was a perfect microcosm of what makes dating in New York so frustrating. Women far outnumbered the men. We were also the ones who were obviously expected to do the heavy lifting.

Over and over again, I watched women approach men as said men either stood idly by waiting for that to happen or looked down at their phones. Though everyone received a list of mostly odd icebreaker questions (“have you ever cried in a movie theater?”), it was only the women in attendance fast and furiously working the room with it.

My friend wryly observed that the entire scene felt like a repeat of awkward high school dances. I said this was decidedly worse. At least in high school, guys eventually stepped up to the plate and took some initiative. Yes, I know times have changed, women feel empowered to make the first move and are more independently minded, etc. etc. But I can’t help wondering, at what cost? Has all of this progress come at the expense of good old fashioned romance?

As Savvy Auntie Founder Melanie Notkin writes in her fantastic memoir Otherhood, men mistakenly assume that our more equal footing in the workplace means we’ve somehow lost our femininity when it comes to dating and relationships. News flash—we haven’t. We still want you to plan a first date (maybe even a second one too).  We still need to be courted (instead of being asked from day one, ‘what do you want to do tonight?’). None of the rewritten rules have changed any of that.

As for singles mixers like the one I just went to, I have another pet peeve: no free cocktails. Considering how much work it takes to mingle these days, $20 should at the very least cover a shot of liquid courage.

| dating rules, Flatiron District, Pranna restaurant, singles events

Stirring It Up With Match.com

September 9th, 2013 — 9:11pm

Thursday, I headed down to Sen in NYC’s Flatiron district for a Match.com-hosted game night event.

Part of the website’s Stir series for singles, this one featured Spontuneous — a fun new game that that tests your recall of favorite songs. I had the chance to try it out at home with a girlfriend and we had a blast. Charming, cute Spontuneous founder Rob Ridgeway and The Bachelor’s AshLee Frazier were on hand to get the fun started.

(from left) Ashlee Frazier and Rob Ridgeway joined in for a round of Spontuneous

(from left) Ashlee Frazier and Rob Ridgeway joined in for a round of Spontuneous

Within a few minutes of arriving, I spotted CupidsPulse.com’s Lori Bizzoco and dating coach Tracey Steinberg. Tracey filled me in about her upcoming book release (watch this space for a review), while Lori mentioned her site’s new contributor, the awesome Yolanda Shoshana.

Lori and I also got to talking about dating. She shared that it wasn’t until years after she initially connected online with her husband that she gave him a chance. He proposed nine weeks later.

As I looked around the room at my fellow singles, I felt a weariness settle in — no doubt the result of having attended many similar events over the years. Even with a fun premise like game night, it doesn’t entirely mitigate the awkwardness of being in a room with strangers whose only commonality is their dating status.

And so, my latest resolution was decided: a much-needed break from singles events.  Meeting new people is a lot easier when it happens organically, through shared interests that have nothing to do with being unattached.

| Flatiron District, Match.com, singles events

Girls Night Out: Granduca Di Sicilia

August 31st, 2012 — 10:28am

One of the great things about living in New York is discovering a fantastic new restaurant. During a recent girls night out with my friend Stacy, I had the pleasure of eating at Granduca Di Sicilia – and enjoying it from start to finish.

Granduca serves up Sicilian charm and delicious food

Nestled in the Flatiron district, it’s easy to miss Granduca because of its location right next to Mario Batali’s overhyped Eataly. But if you’re looking for an authentic Sicilian experience, Granduca knows how to deliver — no doubt because its owners have two sister restaurants in Italy.

The inviting dining room features such flourishes as brightly colored tiles and figurines and rustic lighting fixtures. One special touch that’s easy to miss — Granduca’s glassed-in kitchen, offering a perfect view without any noise. The only soundtrack is a smooth mix of tunes from the likes of Sinatra and Michael Buble.

Stacy and I had a perfect view from our corner table, where we settled in to catch up on work, life and our longtime mutual celebrity crush, Ricky Martin. Our handsome waiter took good care of us, recommending I try the Stracciatella di Bufala appetizer. To say this cheese was beyond melt in your mouth heaven would be an understatement.

Stracciatella di Bufala: Yummmm!

Nestled in the Flatiron district, it’s easy to miss Granduca because of its location right next to Mario Batali’s overhyped Eataly. But if you’re looking for an authentic Sicilian experience, Granduca knows how to deliver — no doubt because its owners have two sister restaurants in Italy. The inviting dining room features such flourishes as brightly colored tiles and figurines and rustic lighting fixtures. One special touch that’s easy to miss — Granduca’s glassed-in kitchen, offering a perfect view without any noise. The only soundtrack is a smooth mix of tunes from the likes of Sinatra and Michael Buble.

Stacy and I had a perfect view from our corner table, where we settled in to catch up on work, life and our longtime mutual celebrity crush, Ricky Martin. Our handsome waiter took good care of us, recommending I try the Stracciatella di Bufala appetizer. To say this cheese was beyond melt in your mouth heaven would be an understatement.

Stacy and I savored every bite of this tiramisu (clearly!)

After dessert, Granduca’s charming hostess came over to check on us, pointing out the brick oven used for signature pizzas. Can’t wait to try one on our next visit!

| Flatiron District, Girls Night Out, restaurant openings, restaurants

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

Holiday Event Pick: NYC’s Largest Mistletoe

December 12th, 2011 — 8:10am

‘Tis the season for kissing – at least according to the playful team at Facemates.

For the next two days, the online dating site is sponsoring NYC’s largest mistletoe. From 8am to 10pm today and tomorrow, Madison Square Park will be festooned with two elegant mistletoe displays designed by premier florist, Michael George. The displays will be at the intersection where Broadway meets 5th Avenue at 23rd Street, in the pedestrian plaza.

What could be better than taking part in the holiday’s most amorous tradition? Puckering up for a worthy cause. For each couple that kisses under the mistletoe, Facemates will donate one dollar to Operation Smile (up to $20,000).

So head on over to NYC’s Flatiron District and happy smooching!

| charitable events, Flatiron District, online dating

Urban Girl Squad’s Five-Star Singles Party

June 17th, 2011 — 5:01pm

Last night, I headed down to Pranna in NYC’s Flatiron district for Urban Girl Squad’s Friend of A Friend Party.

The friendly (and evenly co-ed) crowd at Urban Girl Squad's party

The social networking group knows how to throw a party — this one attracted 150 people. Best of all, unlike a lot of other singles events in NYC, UGS’ party had a 50/50 guy-girl ratio. The premise of bringing an unattached friend of the opposite sex is a truly effective one.

Sachin and me getting in touch with our fiesta groove

My plus one was bachelor friend Sachin. He had me laughing when he said a 23-year-old had approached him but he wasn’t interested. I told him he must be one of the only single guys in the Big Apple not looking for a much younger woman (as a longtime fan of May-December romance, though, I recognize I have no right to complain about this).

Urban Girl Squad’s party planners made it easy for everyone to mingle, providing fun icebreakers — trivia questions for the guys, answers for the ladies — and good incentive to answer them: find your icebreaker match and you could enter a raffle for great prizes ($500 bike, anyone?).

What impressed me most about the party, though, was the crowd’s diversity in terms of age, profession and personality. You had your urban hipster types, GQ wannabes and artistic sweethearts.

Of the three bachelors I chatted with, J, my favorite, fell into the latter category.

As soon as we locked eyes, we both smiled. I told J that Sachin was trying to find out which president was the only one unanimously elected. Without missing a beat, J said George Washington, referring to him as GW. When I teased him about being so chummy with the first president, it led to a playful conversation about time travel and creative dreams.

I learned J is an aspiring author with a talent for dancing, playing the trombone — and being chivalrous. After we exchanged business cards and before he left the party, J kissed my hand. Yes, I think I swooned a little at that.

Thanks, Urban Girl Squad, for the invite. Want to find out what’s coming up on the group’s calendar? .

| Flatiron District, Pranna restaurant, singles events, singles parties

A Night Out At SD26

December 26th, 2009 — 10:51pm

Wednesday night, I headed down to SD26 in NYC’s Flatiron District for galpal Rachel’s 29th birthday celebration.

Cheers: Rach and me at SD26

Located opposite Madison Square Park, SD26 is the perfect combination of swank and low-key friendly charm — as Rach and I discovered when we informed affable bartender Renato it was her birthday.

He immediately concocted a round of delicious Bailey’s and vanilla vodka-infused shots, insisting they were on the house. Nice.

After a celebratory toast, Rachel and I joined about a dozen of her friends in a cozy anteroom.

IT trainer Angela told me how envious her friends are that she resides in New York, that she has to disabuse them of the notion that life in Gotham is always as it appears in “Sex And The City.”

I also chatted with Noam, a friendly environmental lobbyist-turned-physics professor. We talked about our respective stints in small town USA — Noam spent years in Maryland while I’ve lived in Bangor, Maine and Southern Illinois. We agreed that New York tends to spoil you for living anywhere else.

There’s still nowhere else I would rather be.

| Bangor, Flatiron District, SD26, Sex and The City, Southern Illinois

A Night Out At SD26

December 26th, 2009 — 5:51pm

Wednesday night, I headed down to SD26 in NYC’s Flatiron District for galpal Rachel’s 29th birthday celebration.

Cheers: Rach and me at SD26

Located opposite Madison Square Park, SD26 is the perfect combination of swank and low-key friendly charm — as Rach and I discovered when we informed affable bartender Renato it was her birthday.

He immediately concocted a round of delicious Bailey’s and vanilla vodka-infused shots, insisting they were on the house. Nice.

After a celebratory toast, Rachel and I joined about a dozen of her friends in a cozy anteroom.

IT trainer Angela told me how envious her friends are that she resides in New York, that she has to disabuse them of the notion that life in Gotham is always as it appears in “Sex And The City.”

I also chatted with Noam, a friendly environmental lobbyist-turned-physics professor. We talked about our respective stints in small town USA — Noam spent years in Maryland while I’ve lived in Bangor, Maine and Southern Illinois. We agreed that New York tends to spoil you for living anywhere else.

There’s still nowhere else I would rather be.

| Bangor, Flatiron District, SD26, Sex and The City, Southern Illinois

Friday Night In The Flatiron District

December 10th, 2008 — 2:47am

Friday night, my friend Leila and I met up in NYC’s Flatiron District for dinner and some bargain shopping.

Our evening began at hip home goods boutique Fish’s Eddy, which drew us in with the following sign – Economy Sucks Sale. Sure enough, there were markdowns galore. My favorite find of the night was a $32 pink pitcher on sale for $8.

Fish’s Eddy: colorful housewares at recession-friendly prices

If you’re looking for fun gifts this holiday season (think polka dotted plates and Brooklyn-themed mugs) that don’t break the bank, Fish’s Eddy is the place to be.

Having satisfied our inner recessionista, we headed across Broadway to Lunetta, a cozy Italian bistro that retains an intimate feel with leather banquettes offsetting a majestically high ceiling.

As I enjoyed duck-filled agnolotti and chicken with lemon and rosemary, I shared with Leila my joy over being (almost) fully mobile after foot surgery two months ago. We also talked about the tricky conundrum of taking initiative yourself versus allowing a man make the first move.

Our verdict — don’t be coy when dealing with a shy guy, but let him close the deal and ask for a date. After all, some ’rules’ are worth hanging onto.

Coming up…a review of Baz Luhrmann’s challenged yet riveting epic “Australia” and a new addition to the Upper East Side’s crowded Japanese restaurant scene.

| Australia, Baz Luhrmann, Fish's Eddy, Flatiron District, Lunetta restaurant, recession shopping bargains, Upper East Side

Friday Night In The Flatiron District

December 9th, 2008 — 9:47pm

Friday night, my friend Leila and I met up in NYC’s Flatiron District for dinner and some bargain shopping.

Our evening began at hip home goods boutique Fish’s Eddy, which drew us in with the following sign – Economy Sucks Sale. Sure enough, there were markdowns galore. My favorite find of the night was a $32 pink pitcher on sale for $8.

Fish’s Eddy: colorful housewares at recession-friendly prices

If you’re looking for fun gifts this holiday season (think polka dotted plates and Brooklyn-themed mugs) that don’t break the bank, Fish’s Eddy is the place to be.

Having satisfied our inner recessionista, we headed across Broadway to Lunetta, a cozy Italian bistro that retains an intimate feel with leather banquettes offsetting a majestically high ceiling.

As I enjoyed duck-filled agnolotti and chicken with lemon and rosemary, I shared with Leila my joy over being (almost) fully mobile after foot surgery two months ago. We also talked about the tricky conundrum of taking initiative yourself versus allowing a man make the first move.

Our verdict — don’t be coy when dealing with a shy guy, but let him close the deal and ask for a date. After all, some ’rules’ are worth hanging onto.

Coming up…a review of Baz Luhrmann’s challenged yet riveting epic “Australia” and a new addition to the Upper East Side’s crowded Japanese restaurant scene.

| Australia, Baz Luhrmann, Fish's Eddy, Flatiron District, Lunetta restaurant, recession shopping bargains, Upper East Side

Back to top