February 16th, 2014 — 9:30pm
I’m a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Contrary to the media, greeting cards and jewelry companies, it is not an occasion exclusively for couples. It’s a day to celebrate all kinds of love – and I was reminded of that several times this past Friday.
My morning began at The Westin New York Grand Central, which welcomed staffers with hot chocolate, donuts and brightly colored balloons. Awaiting me inside my inbox – emails from colleagues and business associates wishing me a happy Valentine’s Day.
Friday was a dual hotel day on the job for me, so I headed over to the Sheraton New York Times Square.
In the Valentine’s Day spirit: my colleague (and awesome former boss) Kristin and me
All of us in sales and marketing were treated to a fun lunch (empanadas, cake pops) in our festively decorated conference room.
It is one of my wise coworkers whom I can credit with encouraging me to reach out to someone special who has been on my mind lately. I took the leap and he responded lovingly – reminding me exactly why he has restored my faith in the existence of good guys. And what better day to have that lesson resurface?
After work, I headed home to spruce myself up for a night on the town with good friend and fellow bachelorette Lauren. We ventured out of our neighborhood and down to the Financial District. First stop, watering hole Ulysses on Stone Street, where we enjoyed complimentary Champagne and hearty entrees (red snapper and seafood paella for me, Shepherd’s Pie for Lauren). Then, it was off to Bar 7even 5ive at the Andaz Wall Street.
As bartenders dressed like Cupid and wearing big feather wings roamed the room, Lauren and I talked about online dating disasters, turning 40 and taking steps toward new beginnings.
For me, one of those steps will involve a new direction for my little corner of the blogosphere. Looking forward to sharing it with all of you soon!
Comment » | being happy at work, Girls Night Out, Sheraton New York Times Square, Valentine's Day, Westin New York Grand Central
February 9th, 2014 — 3:28pm
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the coupled up set. It’s an occasion for celebrating all the love in your life – and, if you’re single of course, getting out there and having some fun. Two NYC events are offering the chance to mingle on February 14th.
Singles Parties NYC is hosting what it’s calling “The Largest Valentine’s Singles Party.” Get your flirt on from 10pm-2am on Friday at popular 80’s nightclub Culture Club.
Get your flirt on 80s hotspot Culture Club (photo courtesy: CultureClub.com)
The venue has been reserved exclusively for the party, so everyone there will be unattached. Drink specials include $5 beer, wine and well drinks til midnight. Ladies, use promo code VDAYLADIES to pay only $10 for your ticket. Gents, use promo code VDAYGENTS to pay only $20 for your ticket. For more info and tickets, click here.
Looking for something more intimate and chic? Head on down to Bar 7even 5ive at Andaz Wall Street.
Bar 7even 5ive at Andaz Wall Street is playing Cupid
From 8 pm – midnight, the bar will have its very own “Cocktail Cupid” serving the night’s signature drink, The Wrecking Ball – comprised of strawberry simple syrup, Ketel One, fresh lime juice and champagne.
Guests that spot someone they like, can purchase The Wrecking Ball drink from the Cocktail Cupid, who will personally deliver it while discreetly pointing out who the admiring sender is. Connection Caddies will also be placed throughout the bar, filled with vintage valentines to fill out that the Cocktail Cupid can send with the drink.
To cap the night off, anyone who sends The Wrecking Ball to a crush will be automatically entered to win great prizes including a one-night stay at Andaz Wall Street with breakfast in bed, bar tab for the night to be on the house (up to $100) and a cooking lesson for two with the hotel’s Executive Chef, Victor Cruz.
How will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day? At the top of my February 14th to do list—making sure the people I love know how fortunate I feel to have them in my life.
Comment » | 80's music, singles events, singles parties, Valentine's Day
February 15th, 2012 — 9:25pm
I couldn’t have picked a better day than Valentine’s Day to kick off my Nominate A Date adventure. Yesterday was exactly what February 14th should be – a celebration of love in all its forms.
After a joyous afternoon marked by texts from friends and cupcakes and candy at work, I headed over to Mickey Mantle’s in Midtown to meet up with life coach A. A charmed me when we met at a singles mixer last week, especially when his response to hearing from a mutual friend about Nominate A Date was to say –
“I’d like to nominate myself.”
A thoughtfully followed up with an email the next day and didn’t balk in the slightest about getting together on Valentine’s Day. He surprised me with a card and we both laughed about the inevitable challenge of finding one that isn’t on the excessive scale of Hallmark sentiment.
Over wine and a shared plate of delicious popcorn shrimp, we fell into easy conversation about overseas travel, my Hispanic heritage and how much we enjoyed Sunday’s poignant Grammy telecast. We both agreed that the showstopper was Jennifer Hudson’s haunting , tear-inducing version of “I Will Always Love You.”
The Artist: filmmaking at its best -- and a great date movie
Speaking of powerful performances, we went to see Oscar-nominated hit “The Artist.” Though A had watched a screener version at home a few weeks ago, he graciously agreed to see it again with me. We joined a packed crowd at NYC’s legendary Paris Theater for two of the most delightful hours I’ve spent at the movies in a long time. A love letter to films from a bygone era, “The Artist” takes you on a joyful, heartfelt journey – led capably by Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin. They light up the screen with their irresistible chemistry.
Afterward, A suggested we go to a piano bar. With an early morning the next day, I asked for a rain check. He walked me to the bus and, as we said goodbye, called out—
Great ending to a great night.
Coming up…the scoop on date #2. Want to Nominate A Date for me? Click here for more info!
Comment » | first dates, Nominate A Date, Valentine's Day
February 6th, 2012 — 9:45pm
Single or not, I’ve always been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. If you look at the occasion more broadly than greeting card companies or popular media does, it’s an opportunity to celebrate love in all forms – and that includes pampering yourself too. And what better way to do that than with a girls day out?
On Location Tours is offering the perfect way to have fun with a galpal – two free tickets to their fantastic Gossip Girl tour around NYC. The tour takes you on dozens of locations featured in the popular TV series, from Blair Waldorf’s apartment building to Gilt, the swanky restaurant where (among other key GG moments) Chuck tried to win Serena’s affection with a special-ordered grilled cheese sandwich with truffle oil.
Share the YouTube link (above) for Nominate A Date to be entered to win!
To be entered to win, all you have to do is share this link to my YouTube video for Nominate A Date – either on Twitter (hashtag: #NominateADate) or via Facebook ( and tag my full name: Melissa Braverman) in your post. The winner will be announced right here on, yes, February 14th!
Speaking of fabulous giveaways, Daniel Ruyter — one of my favorite dating and relationship writers — is hosting one on his site, Memoirs of A Single Dad. All you have to do is share your best (or worst) dating story for a chance to win $500 in prizes! Among the items up for grabs: a free six-month membership to eHarmony.com, $100 in (Paypal) cash and a personally autographed copy of Daniel’s book, Memoirs of a Dating Dad.
All you have to do to enter is submit your story here. Winners — determined by stories that receive the most ‘votes’ (i.e. Tweets, Facebook shares, etc.) – will be announced on February 15th, 2012. And yes, full disclosure here, I’ve already entered myself! Click here to read about my best first date ever!
Comment » | dating bloggers, Gossip Girl, Nominate A Date, On Location Tours, Valentine's Day, YouTube
February 16th, 2011 — 5:29pm
Monday night, I headed down to Hotel Rivington on NYC’s Lower East Side for Jetsetter.com’s Valentine’s tweetup.
The crowd at Jetsetter.com’s tweetup
The luxury travel site, which provides members with access to exclusive deals, is celebrating the beta launch of its new service linking consumers with travel journalists in the know. Travel research manager Anthony told me the service, which has 200 writers so far, will officially launch at the end of March.
Anthony, who recently moved to New York, also filled me in about his former hometown of Austin. Echoing what I’ve heard from other people, he said Austin is a friendly, open city ideal for twenty and thirtysomething singles. It’s definitely on the short list for places I would consider if I end up taking a sabbatical from the Big Apple.
Less enthusiastic about her hometown was Anthony’s colleague, a thirty something Savannah native. She said there’s a persistent notion you’re not really an adult if you’re still single.
“All of my friends back home have kids, but they’re also on their second and third marriages,” she observed. “I have a great career and I love my life.”
She added that, during one visit home, she was invited to a family party with a date so she “wouldn’t feel awkward.”
I couldn’t help thinking that, for all the ups and downs that accompany dating here, it’s a blessing to be in a city that treats singlehood as something to celebrate. No better time to be reminded of that than Valentine’s Day.
Comment » | being single outside of NYC, Valentine's Day
February 14th, 2011 — 3:11pm
With the dizzying array of online dating websites out there, figuring out which one is right for you is often a process of trial and error. So, of course, is the process of clicking with someone in cyberspace, where a little creativity goes a long way. The folks behind HowAboutWe.com know this and have come up with a site that manages to making meeting people online more, dare I say it, fun.
I was first introduced to HowAboutWe.com last summer, when I appeared as a guest on The Fix-Up Show. During the Q&A portion, host J.Keith van Straaten asked me which of the site’s suggested date activities would be my favorite. Among the eclectic, unique ideas were a guided tour of the United Nations, golf at Chelsea Piers and lessons at shooting range.
If all of this sounds out of the box, it’s because that’s what HowAboutWe.com is. The site aims to connect people by concentrating on the art of the date. Members come up with different date ideas, and receive notifications when match their interests. So much more interesting than scrolling through your typical online profile.
Since today is February 14th, I can’t help thinking about some of my favorite date spots and activities in NYC. As an oenophile, I’m a big fan of Accademia di Vino on the Upper East Side. Another favorite of mine, when the weather’s nice, is a boat ride in Central Park. Date experiences don’t get any more vintage New York than that.
As a Valentine’s special for Single Gal In The City readers, HowAboutWe.com is offering a 33% discount off membership. To join, click here and enter the promo code VDAYFUN.
Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!
Comment » | online dating, Valentine's Day
February 12th, 2011 — 2:13pm
Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is a popular occasion for indulging in chocolate – and, according to research about dating, in prompting people to reassess their relationship. Regardless of your dating status, Baskin-Robbins’ newest creation, Heartbreak Healer, will satisfy your sweet spot.
Yum: Baskin-Robbins' Heartbreak Healer
A decadent pairing of red chocolate hearts and chocolate chunks in chocolate mousse ice cream, Heartbreak Healer is available in Baskin-Robbins stores nationwide this month. As a Valentine treat for Single Gal In The City readers, the ice cream giant is offering gift certificates so you can try this delicious new flavor.
Want to win one? Simply post a comment here by Friday February 18th sharing your best or worst Valentine’s Day experience.
Comment » | Single Gal In The City, Valentine's Day
January 31st, 2011 — 3:52pm
Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. And what better way to celebrate — or take the edge off — the occasion than by winning free stuff?
Offbeat online retailer CafePress.com is giving away three Valentine’s-themed items. Head on over to my Examiner.com column for details on how you can be one of the winners.
Coming up…the best bridal shower ever and clearing up the most popular misconception about my Dating Blitz adventures.
Comment » | Valentine's Day
January 14th, 2011 — 3:16pm
Last night, I headed down to Union Square for a charity bachelor auction with the FDNY hunks featured in this year’s City of The Brave calendar.
Calendar Cuties: Me and some of the FDNY hunks
Held at Sidebar, the event — along with proceeds from the annual calendar — supports the Thomas Elsasser Fund, which helps families of deceased FDNY firefighters.
I arrived early, which gave me the chance to mingle with a few of the guys. Much to my delight, I found myself sitting next to Mr. February, a.k.a Phil.
It didn’t take long to realize why Phil is a fan favorite. Along with killer good looks and an irresistible smile, he’s very easy to talk to. We quickly fell into easy conversation about college (he went to Fairleigh Dickinson) along with our shared passions for creative writing (he majored in it) and 80’s music.
When I said I had to leave early to meet a friend for dinner, he said playfully–
“You’re going to miss my performance.”
I was sorry to hear that. Especially when I later looked at what he had signed in the circle marked February 14th on my calendar —
“Happy V-Day. Watch ‘Say Anything.’ “
A man who likes John Cusack movies and loves to turn a phrase? My kind of guy.
As I left the bar to go and meet my friend, I couldn’t help thinking that you never know what — or who — awaits when you venture out in NYC. I may just have to put in an appearance at the calendar hunks’ upcoming Valentine’s Day event.
5 comments » | charitable events, flirting, Valentine's Day
February 14th, 2010 — 7:40pm
Having spent more Valentine’s Days single than not, I can’t help thinking about the holiday’s current incarnation — and how it doesn’t quite align with its true meaning.
If you believe all of the jewelry, chocolate and Hallmark ads saturating the airwaves, February 14th is only an occasion for couples. And yet, there are plenty of greeting cards designed for loved ones of a non-romantic nature, which is exactly as it should be given that at its heart (so to speak), February 14th is meant to be a celebration of love and affection.
Over the years, in addition to the thoughtful gifts and gestures I’ve received from significant others, I’ve been reminded time and again just how many different kinds of love make up the fabric of our lives.
Like when I was a freshman in college, and my beloved parents surprised me on February 14th with a dozen roses and festive mylar balloon. Or last year, when I received a card from my adorable little nephews. Today, my V-Day was brightened with an email from my best friend and a text message from an old flame who remains close to my heart.
That’s what Valentine’s Day is really all about – letting your nearest and dearest know you love them. Not having a sweetheart is no reason to not celebrate the people you do have in your life. After all, romantic relationships may come and go, but family and friends are forever.
What are your favorite and least favorite things about Valentine’s Day? Don’t forget to leave a comment here, so you can be entered to win a groovy t-shirt from CafePress.
Happy V-Day all!
Comment » | Valentine's Day