Category: Midtown NYC


Girls Night Out: Midtown West

May 19th, 2013 — 8:23pm

Friday, I enjoyed a girls night out with my Starwood colleague and friend Anna.

Gaonnuri: authentic Korean fare set against NYC’s stunning skyline

Gaonnuri: authentic Korean fare set against NYC’s stunning skyline

Anna introduced me to Gaonnuri, an upscale Korean barbecue restaurant located on the top floor of 1250 Broadway with stunning city views. She read my mind when suggesting it as the perfect date venue (especially the drinks-only window seating area). I may have to return here if my tentative date with a recent Speed Dating bachelor comes to pass.

While enjoying white wine and beef bibimbap (served with rice in a traditional hot stone pot), we talked about being true to where you are in the single versus settling down trajectory, the allure of living abroad and the good fortune of working for a company that is rich with opportunity.

That last tangent of conversation continued over Cosmopolitans at Hotel Metro’s rooftop bar. I confided in Anna about the challenging first few days of my new job – Marketing Manager of the Sheraton New York Times Square. I’m now a two-hotel girl, dividing my time between the Sheraton and my beloved Westin New York Grand Central.

They’re very different hotels so, inevitably of course, I felt somewhat overwhelmed at first. I started to settle in, though, as soon as I received words of support from both my Westin and Sheraton colleagues. For the first time ever in my long and winding career, I finally feel like I’m in a place where I can truly grow and stay put. The management at Starwood Hotels & Resorts is that rare breed capable of pushing you beyond your comfort zone while ensuring you are ready for it.

I’ve said it many times but it bears repeating here. Professionally speaking, I’ve gone from kissing a frog to finding Prince Charming. I was so miserable in my last job that I never thought I would find this kind of career fulfillment again. I can’t help thinking that’s also a good metaphor for dating too. There is always the possibility for something really wonderful to happen.

With an out of town old flame heading this way in a few weeks, I’m looking forward to some kind of wonderful becoming a reality.

Comment » | career changes, Girls Night Out, Midtown NYC, Midtown NYC hotels, new jobs, Sheraton New York Times Square, Westin New York Grand Central

Girls Night Out: Hudson Place

October 7th, 2012 — 8:14pm

Earlier this week, I enjoyed a girls night out with my good friend Faith. It had been a few months since we last got together, so there was plenty for us to catch up on.

Hudson Place is a great Midtown bistro (Photo Courtesy: HudsonPlaceNYC.com)

While enjoying a delicious dinner at Hudson Place in Midtown East, we talked about relationship turning point, our exciting new jobs and balancing work with time for fun and romance.

I couldn’t help thinking how time has just raced by since I started at the Westin New York Grand Central a month ago. It’s been an exhilarating start to an exciting new chapter of my career. With that, though, I’ve come to realize how easy it is to use work as an excuse for not prioritizing effectively.

Prior to joining the Westin in September, I allowed being unhappy job-wise to be justification for a hiatus from dating. The thing is, it’s all too easy to continue that I’m-too-busy mindset and not carve out any time to meet new people. Dating fatigue seems to grow exponentially when you’re out of the game for awhile.

Which is one of many reasons why it’s so important to have girlfriends like Faith. Faith makes every night out an event and loves to play matchmaker. She suggested we make girls nights a bi-weekly occurrence. Sign me up.

Comment » | dating fatigue, Girls Night Out, Midtown NYC, new jobs

Girls Night Out: Midtown

April 20th, 2012 — 2:41pm

Wednesday, I enjoyed a girls night out with galpal and fellow publicist Lauren.

I met up with Lauren at Midtown French bistro Papillon, at the tail end of a cocktail reception sponsored by National Geographic Traveler. We chatted with adorable Australia-born photographer Jeremy about our favorite places in his native Melbourne. As we also dished about the eternal rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne, I was reminded of why Aussie men are so charming – the combination of an accent and a crisp sense of humor is a pretty irresistible one.

Papillon gets a great happy hour crowd & is rapidly becoming a favorite after-work spot

From Papillon, Lauren and I walked over to Wollenski’s Grill, buzzing with a dinner crowd and surprising both of us with steep prices ($40 steaks, etc.). A glass of rose helped the sticker shock go down a little more easily, as did – of course – the pleasure of catching up with a good friend. I first connected with Lauren about eight years ago, when I was making the transition from journalism to PR. We clicked immediately.

Over our pricey but delicious meal — we shared hash browns and I enjoyed a perfectly cooked veal chop – Lauren and I talked about doctors who overstep when it comes to offering advice, real estate shopping in NYC and dating outside of your comfort zone. I admitted that I didn’t think twice about a 16-year age gap when I was in my twenties. Now, though, I find myself drawn more to men who are my chronological contemporaries or only a few years older. The irony, of course, being that guys in their thirties tend to want much younger women, a dynamic I can hardly criticize considering that I was once on the other end of it.

Ultimately, I think age is just a number and a relationship is about meeting each other somewhere in the middle. That gets harder, though, as the male-female divide seems to widen once you reach the second half of your thirties. All the more reason I’m profoundly thankful for the joys of good friends.

Comment » | dating in your thirties, Girls Night Out, Midtown NYC

Nominate A Date #2

February 21st, 2012 — 8:18pm

There are some nights that remind you why you stay in the journey that is dating — and should remain open to wherever it takes you. Saturday night was one of them.

Introduced for Nominate A Date through a mutual friend, 36-year-old Long Island native M and I first connected a few weeks ago. After talking on the phone, we exchanged a series of texts that revealed M’s playful sense of humor and more than a few common interests. Among them – an affinity for Scrabble, live music and beachside getaways.

Seven Bar & Grill provided the perfect setting for a perfect first date

The conversation continued effortlessly when we met up at Seven Bar & Grill in Midtown West. M greeted me with a kiss on the cheek and gallantly took my coat, as I found myself thinking he was even cuter in person than his Facebook profile picture.

Over a delicious dinner (tuna tartar, lobster bisque soup, pan roasted snapper with lobster crushed potatoes), we bonded over our appreciation for good food and of course dessert (we shared tiramisu and coconut rice pudding). I also learned more about M’s work as a contractor, his longstanding love of guitar playing and why seeing an 80’s cover band – my suggested post-meal activity – wasn’t his first choice.

I happily said yes to his proposed alternative, going to see the Channing Tatum-Rachel McAdams romance, “The Vow.” During the previews, M leaned over a few times to make small talk. I could feel the kind of click that happens when you’re genuinely having a good time with someone.

We both enjoyed the movie – as far as on-screen love stories go, this one managed to be sweet without being too cloying – and, much to my delight, M didn’t let his hour-long journey home cut our evening short.  Our last stop was Houndtooth Pub, where we talked about Caribbean cruises, spiritual retreats and outgrowing the antics of being in your twenties.

It was after 1am when I walked M to Penn Station. Later, I texted him to say thanks for a great night and for coming into NYC.

“Worth the trip,” he replied.

The feeling was more than mutual.

Comment » | first date ettiquette, first dates, Midtown NYC, Nominate A Date

Celebrating My 38th Birthday

January 22nd, 2012 — 8:45pm

When it comes to celebrating your birthday, there’s no greater gift than being able to spend it with the people you love. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of doing exactly that with a supersized girls night out.

Girls Night Out: (from left) Faith, Crystal, Alexandra, Julie, me, Lisa and Sara

After a relaxing afternoon – homecooked brunch with a mimosa followed by a massage – I kicked off the evening’s festivities with my cousin and best friend Alexandra, who greeted me with flowers and a beautiful card. A makeup goddess, Alexa worked her magic on my face before we headed down to Café Iguana in Midtown West.

Joining in the festivities – my good friends Sara, Lisa, Julie, Faith and Crystal, five additional reminders of how blessed I am in the girlfriends department.

Mariachi Fun: Me and Lisa enjoying Cafe Iguana's serenade

In between serenades from Iguana’s lively mariachi band, the sangria and conversation flowed. Among other things, we talked about Faith’s engagement, Crystal’s passion for belly dancing and, of course, my upcoming dating adventure. It has to be said, being bold is much easier when you have a posse of fabulous women cheering you on.

The night was still young, so we continued the celebration 80’s style at Culture Club. With its neon-tinged walls covered with music and pop culture icons (MJ, Molly Ringwald, Pacman, etc.), the recently-reopened venue  provided a perfect backdrop for getting our old school groove on.

If my birthday is any indication, 38 is going to be a fabulous year!

Comment » | celebrating with friends, Girls Night Out, Midtown NYC

8 Minute Dating: Not Worth The Time

January 14th, 2012 — 7:57pm

Continuing my 2012 resolution to do more mingling, I did a second speed dating event last week – hosted by 8 Minute Dating.

I was especially curious about this one, because every other time I’ve done speed dating, each mini-date lasted only 4-5 minutes. And I remember a woman telling me years ago that she didn’t like it because eight minutes can be very long when you’re sitting across from someone you don’t immediately click with.

World Bar, located in a Trump building known for being home to celebs

When I arrived at World Bar in Midtown, I was struck by two things right away – the venue was very swanky while the crowd was, well, awkward.  Both the women and men seemed equally uncomfortable, a group not nearly as outgoing or approachable as what I’ve experienced with 8 Minute Dating’s competitors. Another difference — 8 Minute Dating gives you three different options for saying yes to someone you’ve met. You can select any or all of the following – friendship, networking, second date.

As it turns out, though an eight-minute mini-date definitely feels less rushed, it doesn’t necessarily improve your odds of connecting with anyone. I’ve done speed dating about dozen times over the years and this was the first event I walked away from without any matches (my average has been 4-6 at previous events). In other words, not really worth $4o — and I wasn’t the only one who thought so.

“How’s it going?” I asked one guy during a cocktail break in the evening.

“It’s going,” he said flatly.

For my money, HurryDate is still the best bet when it comes to speed dating. Which is why it is also on my to do list for 2012 — and so is giving it a try outside the tricky terrain of NYC. Stay tuned!

Comment » | Midtown NYC, speed dating

Girls Night Out: Midtown West

December 17th, 2011 — 2:08pm

Last night, my friend Kristina and I headed down to Concrete Bar and Restaurant in Midtown West. I arrived first and noticed something unusual right away – there were about 18 guys and less than half as many ladies. When I tweeted the welcome change in New York’s typically lopsided ratio, a bachelor friend in Atlanta quickly responded –

“That’s how every bar in Atlanta is. #notmykindofratio.”

I laughed, thinking maybe it’s time for me to pay another visit to the second stop on my Great Dating Blitz last year.

After Kristina arrived, we took a corner table upstairs and over cornflake-encrusted chicken fingers and spiced fries, dove into some serious girl talk about work, dating and biological clocks. Like me, Kristina is a thirtysomething bachelorette who appreciates the traditional mores of dating that seem to be so fleeting these days.

I told her about the handful of dates I went on earlier this year with a guy who subscribed to those old-fashioned ways – making reservations for someplace special, picking up the phone just to say hello, etc. Interestingly, the night we met started off disastrously. Introduced by mutual friends, we didn’t click at all because he pummeled me with questions about this blog. Maybe it’s hypocritical of me, but I’m not a fan of being given the third degree right after meeting someone for the first time.

Anyway, I actually had a backup date on standby and was prepared to beat a hasty retreat once our mutual friends took off. Much to my surprise, the guy turned to me and asked—

“Would you like to get some dinner?”

I was floored. Here I had been practically rolling my eyes at him for nearly an hour and he was brave enough to ask me out. What the hell? I figured.

“Sure,” I said.

And so the worst blind date ever ended up turning into the best. For some reason, once our friends had left, the chemistry between us fell into place and eight blissful hours later, we were smooching like teenagers.

Though it would turn out we had less chemistry emotionally speaking, the evening taught me a very important lesson about being open to possibilities. Up next, how that’s becoming the basis of my number one New Year’s resolution.

Comment » | being single in your thirties, blind dates, Midtown NYC, new year's resolutions

Girls Night Out: Midtown

November 8th, 2011 — 9:18pm

Friday, I headed over to Redemption bar in Midtown for a girls night out with my friend Natalie.

We hadn’t seen each other in a few months, so we had a lot to catch up on — new jobs, old favorites when it comes to home cooking and, of course, dating in NYC.

Over cocktails and shared appetizers (tuna tartar tacos, sweet potato fries), I told Natalie about my recent reconnecting with an old flame from 14 hours ago. Now divorced with six kids, he went from reaching out on Facebook, to writing me twice a week, to calling me five times in one day.

I’m all for demonstrating interest, but experience has taught me there is such a thing as too much too soon. And I’ve learned that kind of timetable usually spells disaster, so I snuffed out said old flame — and felt pretty damn good about doing it.

Natalie had a few stories of her own to share. One about the twentysomething guy she met in a bar who entertains at kids parties on weekends. When Natalie asked how he spends the rest of his time, he said–

“Reading comic books and getting high.”

Yes, we both talked about that Sex And The City episode in which Carrie finds herself going out with just such a guy. When you’re single in NYC, truth is definitely at least as strange as fiction – if not more.

2 comments » | Carrie Bradshaw, Girls Night Out, Midtown NYC, Sex and The City

Matt Nathanson Rocks Terminal 5

October 1st, 2011 — 1:51pm

Friday evening, I headed to Midtown West for a girls night out celebrating @MicheleKerepesi’s birthday.

We met up at cozy wine bar Ardesia, where Michele, @SimoneGrant, @MelissaPNYC and I talked about working with twentysomethings, how Facebook makes reconnecting with old flames too easy and the delights of cannoli pie.

From Ardesia, the four of us walked over to Terminal 5 for the evening’s main event – Matt Nathanson in concert. We arrived in time to catch the last twenty minutes of Vanessa Carlton’s tepid performance (which, strangely, skipped her biggest hit, “A Thousand Miles.”). Her flat and kind of depressing vibe only made the standing room only crowd even more excited for Matt, who did not disappoint.

Matt Nathanson brought the house down with his music -- and his hilarious comedy

During a rousing hour and 40 minute set, Matt – backed up by his fantastic band – proved why he’s become as well known for his comedic flair as he has for his irresistibly soulful pop music. Unlike many other artists whose stage patters feels contrived and makes you want them to stop talking altogether, Nathanson really know how to connect with a crowd. His hilarious (and occasionally raunchy) on-stage dialogue had everyone applauding.

“Have you ever dated anyone who was just pure evil?” he asked by way of explaining the inspiration for one song – a question which was greeted, of course, with huge cheers.

Though he gave ample stage time to joking about past relationships, the married Nathanson also alluded to happily ever after as he led into “Room @ The End Of The World.”

 “You’re so in love that you don’t care if the house burns down, you’re just lying there naked and playing Scrabble.”

Along with “Room…,” “Queen of Knots,” “Kiss Quick” and the title track off of his new album “Modern Love,” Nathanson played classics like “Show Me The World” and “All We Are.” Along the way, he weaved in a few covers – “The Dog Days Are Over,” “Tainted Love,” and a flawless acoustic version of “Little Red Corvette” that would make Prince envious.

Just before leaving the stage for his encore, he quipped–

“It’s an age-old show business tradition where we leave the stage and pretend we’re not coming back, and you applaud ferociously and we act surprised.”

Everyone happily obliged.

Nathanson returned to perform his current single “Faster” and then, of course, ended the night with a rousing rendition of his biggest, most beloved hit ‘’Come On Get Higher.” Everyone, myself included, was singing along with him. This is one of my favorite songs of all time and it was incredible hearing Nathanson perform it live.

It’s no surprise that Nathanson has built up such a loyal following over the years. He’s a talented singer/songwriter who brings his A-game to the stage. I can’t wait to catch him next time he’s in NYC.

Nathanson’s All Night Noise tour continues through November 5th. Don’t miss it!

1 comment » | concerts, Girls Night Out, Midtown NYC

Reconsidering Who Makes The First Move

August 12th, 2011 — 1:05pm

When it comes to so-called dating rules, one of the most tried and true is waiting for the guy to make the first move.  I’m usually a big believer in this approach – though a recent conversation found me considering exceptions to it.

Over drinks at Midtown watering hole Sutton Place, galpal N shared her conundrum about the cute guy she encountered at a bar. The friend N was with could see she was smitten and opted to be bold for her, walking over to Mr. Cute and telling him he should ask N out. He immediately approached N – and gave her his number.  N proceeded to suggest they go out sometime, then immediately questioned having taken the initiative.

I empathized with her completely. Female or not, going out on a limb when you first meet someone isn’t easy. Having said that, why stand on ceremony if you’re interested enough to act on it? Inspired by N’s courage, I opted to throw a little caution to the wind myself.

Months ago, OkCupid matched me with a former colleague with whom I had a contentious (to the say the least) relationship. Ignoring our complicated history, he took a chance and invited me out for dinner. Sensing my lingering reticence, he gave me his card at the evening’s end – making it clear the ball was now in my court.

So I emailed him and proposed meeting for drinks, holding my breath a little as I hit send – and appreciating a little more what men go through when they do the asking.

He responded with an enthusiastic yes. Sometimes, it pays to break the rules.

1 comment » | Girls Night Out, making the first move, Midtown NYC, OKCupid, online dating

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