Monthly Archives: April 2012

Ten unconventional NYC impromptu date ideas

By Brienne Walsh

Meeting up with a new MeetMoi Intro can be a great opportunity to do things that you’ve always been interested in, but don’t really have the time—or courage—to try by yourself.

On your next MeetMoi date, rather than just connecting for a conversation, why not suggest something unconventional? To help you out, we’ve put together a list of ten weird and wonderful ideas that we think make for great first date experiences.

1. A class at the Sandra Cameron Dance Center: Located in downtown Manhattan, this studio focuses on partner dancing, with classes in Swing, Fox Trot, Salsa, the Argentine Tango, and the Viennese Waltz, among many other traditions. Once a month, the company has a free introductory session for new members, to whom they also serve wine and cheese.

2. Rollerskating at RollerJam on Staten Island: Something of a disco party on wheels, this rink is open every Saturday night from 9-12pm for adults only. Maybe your latest Intro will impress with you with his Saturday Night Fever moves. More likely, you’ll both end up giggling on the floor. Either way, it will make for a fun, throw-back kind of evening.

3. A ride on Jane’s Carousel under the Brooklyn Bridge: A fully restored monument from 1922, this carousel is housed in a pavilion built by the famed French architect Jean Nouvel, making it the perfect diversion for a nostalgic architecture geek. Plus, there’s an ice cream stand just a few paces from the entrance.

4. A lecture At McNally Jackson: Located in the heart of Soho, this bookstore has some of the best literary programming in the city. From writing workshops to conversations with authors, events occur in the basement of the store every night of the week. Afterwards, grab a coffee in the café on the street level, and test your date’s intellectual mettle by discussing what you both thought about the lecture.

5. Trivia Night at Pacific Standard in Brooklyn: Hosted every Sunday night at 8pm, this trivia session is famous for being one of the most challenging in the city. Invite a date to be your teammate, and if you don’t win, at least the bar has a great selection of beers.

6. Life Drawing Class at Spring Studio: With lessons from morning through the evening, Spring Studio in downtown Manhattan is one of the best places to learn how to draw in the city. Completely open to all ability levels, it’s a great way to test out whether or not your date has an artistic side—or if he’s averse to naked figures.

7. An afternoon at Brooklyn Flea: There are myriad outdoor markets held in New York City during the weekends, but we think the best is Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene. Full of delicious food stands renowned by foodies, vintage clothing booths, locally made crafts, and furniture vendors, the market is the perfect place to test out whether or not you and your date share similar taste.

8. A screening at the Film Society in Lincoln Center: There are so many great movie theaters in New York, but one of our favorites is located at Lincoln Center. Hosting screenings of both new releases and classic flicks, the center also features talks with filmmakers. Choose a movie you’ve never heard of, and ask a fellow cinephile on MeetMoi if they’d like to find out what it is with you on any given evening.

9. Take a course at LifeLabs: Offering expert courses on the “real stuff” that happens in life—including how to tune up your posture, and how to read people—this center is located in Greenpoint. Catch a last minute class with your newest Intro, or join them for one of LifeLabs’ adventures on the weekend, which include races through mud and rock skipping.

10. Ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram: If you live on the Upper East Side, then you’ve seen the tram float back and forth over the East River every day. Even so, we’d wager a bet you’ve never ridden it. Why not go sky high with an Intro one evening, when the sun is setting over the city? Nothing is more romantic, after all, than the way Manhattan lights up in the dark.



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Impromptu date ideas: Date places for a NYC art lover

MeetMoi is all about introducing you to new and interesting people nearby that you can meet up with in person. This is the first in a series of posts to give you hints on where to take your new Intro on an impromptu date.

By Brienne Walsh

If you had to recommend a museum to a tourist who’s never been to New York City, chances are you’d probably suggest a stalwart like the MET, the Guggenheim, or the Whitney. But where do you take an art lover who’s a longtime resident of the city?

We’ve put together a list of our favorite secret art spots, so that even if you know nothing about the art world, you’ll still be able to impress the culture lover you meet on MeetMoi with your insider knowledge.

1.    The Noguchi Museum, Astoria, Queens: Built by the minimalist artist Isamu Noguchi to house his sculptures, furniture designs, drawings, and architectural models, this zen museum is one of the most peaceful places in the entire city. If you go, set aside some time to spend in the outdoor rock garden, which often hosts concerts and poetry readings.

2.    Luhring Augustine, Bushwick, Brooklyn: An outpost of the blue chip Chelsea gallery, this space, located in an old warehouse in an industrial neighborhood in Brooklyn, houses long-term experimental installations. Check out the Charles Atlas video projections currently been exhibited, and then stop by Roberta’s, the famed pizza joint, just a few blocks down the street.

3.    The Museum of the City of New York, Upper East Side, Manhattan: Located on a quiet strip of 5th Avenue, on the
Northern tip of Central Park, this museum has an extraordinary collection of works that celebrate New York’s rich cultural history. Featuring exhibitions of photographs, paintings, costumes, video, sound, maps, and many other mediums, a visit to the museum makes you feel proud to be a New Yorker.

4.    The Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn: The museum itself isn’t much of a secret, but the quality of its programming is consistently underrated. From newly installed period rooms, which feel deliciously haunted, to an exhibition of iconic downtown New York artist Keith Haring, open through the end of the summer, there’s never been a better time to visit the institution.

5.    DIA: Beacon, Beacon, New York: If you can find a date that has an afternoon free—and has a taste for adventure—hop on a train from Grand Central, and follow the Hudson River to DIA:Beacon, a museum in a former Nabisco printing factory. There, you’ll find one of the most fantastic collections of minimalist art in the world.

6.    The Kitchen, Chelsea, Manhattan: A non-profit performance space located in the heart of the gallery district in Chelsea, The Kitchen offers free events including book readings, video screenings, and experimental theater performances almost every night of the week. The perfect place for an intellectual art lover, or anyone who wants a taste of the contemporary avant garde.

7.    The Earth Room, Soho, Manhattan: One of the true hidden treasures in New York, this historic installation by the famed artist Walter de Maria—who designed the ephemeral “Lighting Field” in Western New Mexico—features 250 cubic yards of raw earth in a 3,600 square foot room. It’s totally weird…and completely wonderful.

8.    Hunts Point, the Bronx: A 200-foot strip of desolate warehouses adorned with murals, Hunts Point is an undisturbed canvas for numerous graffiti artists. Updated by both established and emerging taggers at least once a month, this virtually unknown open-air gallery is perfect for a date who loves street art.

9.    MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens: An outpost of the iconic Museum of Modern Art in Midtown Manhattan, this museum hosts programming like “Warm-Up,” a fantastic outdoor music festival held every Saturday throughout the summer. If you can, try to catch the sunset in “Meeting,” James Turrell’s open-aired site-specific installation on the third floor.

10. Gallery-hopping in Chinatown, Manhattan: Forget Chelsea. Chinatown has become the hottest place to open a gallery in New York City. Our two favorites are Allegra LaViola and Reena Spaulings, although wandering down East Broadway, you’ll spot numerous exhibitions open to the public from the street. If your date is into emerging art, this is the best place to take him in the city.

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Ten NYC coffeeshops to bring your Intro

By Brienne Walsh

Although alcohol can make the whole process a little less, well, awkward, not everyone wants to drink on a first date. Fortunately, New York is even more populated with spots for caffeine addicts than it is with bars for drinkers.

With such a wealth of options, choosing a place to meet your latest MeetMoi Intro is the only challenge. To make the decision easier, we’ve put together a list of the best coffee shops for a casual meet-up in the city.

1.Lost Weekend, 45 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, New York: Outfitted with long wooden table, a projector that shows classic films, a wall of curated photographs, and a single sofa facing the street, this coffee shop on the border between the Lower East Side and Chinatown almost always has the perfect saturation of customers. Not too busy that you can’t find a seat, but not too empty that it feels awkward, it’s a great spot for caffeine connoisseurs and art lovers alike.

2.Urban Vintage, 294 Grand Avenue, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn: Located on a quaint street in this up-and-coming Brooklyn neighborhood, Urban Vintage is just as much a design store as it is a coffee shop, given that all of the perfectly curated antique furniture in the interior is for sale. Serving pastries baked on the premise, by the gorgeous family who owns the store, the atmosphere is romantic and chic.

3. Hungarian Pastry Shop, 1030 Amsterdam Avenue, Upper West Side, Manhattan: More of a neighborhood institution than a mere coffee shop, this spot has been catering to Upper West Side intellectuals and Columbia University students for years. Spacious and softly lit, there’s no Wi-Fi available, giving the shop a distinctly old-world European feel.

4. Birch Coffee, 5 East 27th Street, Manhattan: Started by two friends with sustainability in mind, this expansive space next to the Gershwin Hotel features locally grown food and great cold-brewed ice coffee. It also has plenty of seating, both in the main room, and in the cozy library located on the second floor.

5. Stumptown, The Ace Hotel, Manhattan: Since it opened a few years ago in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the Ace Hotel has become known as a foodie paradise, thanks in no small part to Stumptown Coffee. Meet a date in the shop, and then carry your coffee into the lobby of the hotel, which features plush sofas, moody lighting, and lots of well-dressed people.

6. Housing Works, 126 Crosby, Soho, Manhattan: A staple of the neighborhood, this wonderful book store has a café in the back that serves coffee and snacks. Grab a seat at one of the tables near the barrister, or make your way up to the balcony that lines the store, where seats are buried among stacks of classic novels.

7.Café Grumpy, Chelsea, Manhattan: With locations not only in Chelsea, but also on the Lower East Side, Greenpoint, and Park Slope, this shop caters to a young, hip crowd that takes their coffee seriously. In Chelsea, the interior is sleek and modern, and the exterior features benches where you can sit and enjoy the spring weather with your latest MeetMoi fling.

8.Joe, 1045 Lexington, Upper East Side, Manhattan: Another coffee shop that prides itself for the quality of its brews, this local chain has locations all over the city. In its outpost on the Upper East Side, the atmosphere is decidedly modern and relaxed, a breath of fresh air from the more crowded diners, Starbucks, and cafes that line Lexington Avenue.

9. Gimme Coffee, 107 Roebling Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Featuring not only great coffee, but also pastries from Dough, the incredible donut shop in Clinton Hill, this spot is located on a quiet strip just a few short blocks from the heavily trafficked Bedford Avenue.

10. Sweetleaf, 10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens: Located just a few short blocks from MoMA PS1, the owners of the café kept the original 19th century tin walls and ceilings of the space intact. Decidedly chic in a neighborhood full of bodegas and gas stations, it’s a great stop on the way to the museum, if you want to extend your date.

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How to bail from a bad Intro

By Natasha Burton

Going on an impromptu date doesn’t mean it will always be a good experience. But just because they happen sometimes doesn’t mean that you have to suffer through the experience. That said, it’s important to understand the difference between a boring date and a bad one. Here are some tips on how to escape, when you absolutely need to, with grace.

1. First, see if you can save the meet-up. If the person you’re with is not very talkative or awkward or a little weird, in your opinion, and you know that they know that things aren’t going so great, get it all out on the open. Just an easy “Whoa, this is kinda awkward, right?” might be enough to break the ice and get it on the right track.

2. Assess your reasons for wanting to bail. Okay, so the guy you met with is totally not your type (you prefer geeky and he’s just another fratty-McFratterson), or the girl you grabbed coffee with looks nothing like her picture. So what? Superficial reasons like those are not good excuses to leave him or her. Stick it out and you just may learn something about the person — and even yourself. Seriously, it’s just one cup of coffee, one drink or one meal. You can handle it. If the date drags on past an hour or so (and you’re ready to leave but the other person can’t take a hint), then you can tell a white lie for the sake of sparing a nice person’s feelings and say you need to meet a friend or catch up on work. Just be sure to give the person a chance before writing him or her off.

3. Don’t make a scene. No, I’m not talking about the kind of scene where you might walk away from the table with a hrmph! while tossing a drink in the other person’s face, I’m talking about those dumb “escape tactics” that women’s magazines tend to suggest you employ when dates go downhill. You know, like going to the bathroom and faking an illness, or having a friend call you mid-way through the date so she can be your ploy to leave. We’ve all been around the block for some time now and we’ve seen, heard of or even done these things before. Assuming the other person is dumb enough to not pick up on your fibs is just plain rude.

4. Speaking of rude, if the other person’s being a jerk, say something. So the guy or gal you met with keeps putting down your job,women, the waiter, minorities–you name it. Not cool, obviously. If you feel the urge to leave for legit reasons, be honest and tell the person that you are really uncomfortable with the things they’re saying or how they’re acting and you think it would be best to call it a night. This upfront way of handling things is far more mature than sneaking out and it allows the person you met with to get some honest feedback (and it may also help them understand why they’re single).

The Bottom Line: When it comes to leaving a date, the most important thing is to be direct, but courteous. Thank the person for meeting you, shake hands, wish him or her well and walk away. Simple as that.

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Best parks in NYC for an impromptu date

By Brienne Walsh

Spring has arrived in New York, and love (to rely on a cheesy phrase) is in the air. What better place to meet your soulmate than outdoors, in one of the city’s many secret gardens?

Don’t fall back on the usual suspects— Central Park, Bryant Park, or the closest beer garden—the next time you connect with someone on MeetMoi. Suggest one of the following outdoor spaces, which we think are some of the most charming places to fall in love in New York City.

1. The Brooklyn Bridge Park, Dumbo, Brooklyn: Beginning under the base of the bridge, and stretching for almost 2 miles down the waterfront, this recently refurbished wonderland features acres of rolling lawns, pathways through mazes of wildflowers, a promenade with an old-fashioned ice cream store, and, on certain summer evenings, outdoor screenings of classic films.

2. The High Line, Chelsea, Manhattan: Although the High Line is no longer a hidden secret, the elevated oasis never ceases to stun. With a new strip of parkland opening last year that extends the park an extra ten blocks, from Gansevoort Street to West 30th, there are myriad hidden coves in the carefully curated landscape where a couple on a date could have a private conversation.

3. Fort Greene Park, Fort Greene, Brooklyn: Comprising of over 30 acres, this hilly landscape is Brooklyn’s first park. Full of lush lawns that never get too crowded, and terraced hills dotted with ancient trees, the location’s high elevation affords for great views of Brooklyn.

4. Fort Tryon Park, Washington Heights, Manhattan: Although it’s farther uptown than most New Yorkers tend to venture, this gorgeous outdoor space, with its commanding views over the Palisades, is worth a trip. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., and donated to the city by John D. Rockefeller in 1917, the park is crowned by the Cloisters, an old castle that holds the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s medieval art collection.

5. Wave Hill, West 249th Street and Independence Avenue, Bronx: Once an estate leased by Mark Twain, among other notable residents, this 28-acre landscaped garden features vistas of the Hudson River. Carefully landscaped and exploding with flowers, it’s the perfect place for people who have romantic notions about American History.

6. Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, Queens: Founded by the sculptor Mark di Suvero, this quiet space on the East River hosts artists who use the garden as their outdoor studios. Open to the public, it’s a walk from the subway, but a great space for art lovers.

7. The Elevated Acre, 30 Water Street, Manhattan: Although this space is sometimes closed for events, on most nights, it’s open to anybody. Cradled by buildings, and completely secluded, it’s a pretty place to watch the sunset with someone who works in the neighborhood.

8. Greenacre, 51st Between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Manhattan: Midtown Manhattan may seem like a concrete jungle, but it’s fully of tiny parks and gardens. The best of these is Greenacre, a lush courtyard that features, among other delights, a functional waterfall.

9. Tudor City Greens, 42nd Street Between 1st and 2nd Avenues, Manhattan: A privately maintained garden that’s fortunately open to the public, this park is slightly raised from the street, and full of quiet benches. Perfectly manicured and mostly empty, it feels like Gramercy Park, only you don’t need a key to access it.

10. East River State Park, Williamsburg, Brooklyn: In recent years, the waterfront in New York’s famously hipster neighborhood has exploded with outdoor spaces, including the seven-acre East River State Park. Featuring a beach that is best avoided barefoot, it draws a more subdued crowd than the one that flocks to McCarren Park right down the street.

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How not to scare your new Intro

By Natasha Burton

Meeting up with a MeetMoi Intro for the first time is not the time to unload your life story, every weird thing you did in high school and your deepest, darkest secrets. While it’s always important to answer questions honestly and to be yourself, here are a few topics that you’ll want to steer clear of the very first time you meet someone.

1. Your desire to get married and have babies

If the conversation turns to the future, and you and your date enter into a more serious discussion to see if you’re compatible for a serious relationship, by all means put your life goals on the table. But don’t bring up marriage and kids unprompted. Ladies, no guy wants to know about your wedding boards on Pinterest. Guys, no woman wants to hear that you’re looking for the mother of your children after knowing her for 10 minutes.

2. Your bad relationship with your parents

Pretty much everyone has family issues—there really is no such thing as a “functional” family. That said, you might not want to tell your date about the screaming fight you had with your mom on the walk over to the coffee shop, or how your dad drained your college fund so he could buy himself a yacht. If you have a strained relationship with your parents and your date asks you about your folks, you can say that you’re not super close with them and change the subject to something else. Family issues run deep and they aren’t fodder for exploration with someone you barely know.

3. Your ex

While being open and honest about your relationship history is always a good thing, you don’t want to spend a first date dwelling on the past. It’s fine to mention that you have an ex or when you got out of your last relationship but going on a 15-minute tirade about what a jerk your last boyfriend or girlfriend was will only make your date wonder if the jerk was actually you.

4. Your eating disorder, DUI, etc.

Everyone has a past of some kind and some of us may have done things that have caused damage to ourselves or others. However, unless you are currently on parole or in treatment of some kind—making you obligated to share something like an addiction or a crime committed—you want to keep the rough parts of your past in the past on a first date. This isn’t so much about scaring your date off (though, it is to some extent), it’s more about protecting yourself. Wait until you can really trust someone before opening up about the parts your life that are private or messy—for your own sake.

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First Date Rules You Can Break

By Natasha Burton

It’s a whole different dating world out there today, so there’s no reason why you should feel compelled to follow the antiquated “rules” for first dates from your parents’ generation. Here are some long-established guidelines that you should consider giving the heave-ho.

Rule to Break #1: Be sure you make a good first impression.

Sure, you want to put your best foot forward on a first date. But sometimes that can manifest as putting forth a polished, perfect and—let’s be honest here—downright sterile version of yourself rather than showing your date the real you. Don’t get so hung up on how you might come off. Be yourself and you’re more likely to attract the right person for you.

Rule to Break #2: Keep him or her guessing.

Some advice books advocate making yourself appear a little mysterious in order to keep your date’s interest. That means not expressing how into the person you really are because it’s “too soon” or putting on a stand-offish front to keep yourself from possibly getting hurt. Come on, you’re braver than that. If you’re digging your date, let him or her know. A person who shirks away from your honest feelings really isn’t worth getting to know better anyway. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

Rule to Break #3: No talking about the past. 

Okay, so you don’t want to go into detail about that awesome night you had with your ex-hook-up buddy in college, but there’s nothing wrong with exposing a bit of your baggage on a first date (if you’ve been hurt in the past, you are well within your right to explain upfront that you’re so not into shady behavior from the get-go). As long as the conversation doesn’t turn into an one-upping competition of who’s ex was worse, talking about your pasts can help lead you and your date toward a brighter romantic future together, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Rule to Break #4: Don’t go home with him or her. 

Look, we’re all adults here. And hopefully we’re mature enough not to buy into the outdated notions that all girls who go home on a first date are easy, and all men who do so are players. While it’s probably not the best idea to go to bed with every person you meet for coffee or drinks, if you’re both really into each other and feel like testing out the chemistry between the sheets, don’t let old-fashioned rules stop you. Any one who judges you for getting busy too soon—especially if that person is the one you got busy with—doesn’t deserve to get busy with you ever again.

Rule to Break #5: The guy should always make the follow-up call. 

Ladies, pick up your phones. Yes, the guy is “supposed” to call. And, yes, we all know that he’s “supposed” to wait those magical three days. But, be the strong, independent woman you are and take matters into your own hands, if that’s what you want to do. Any guy who is worth your time will appreciate the fact that you’re interested in him—and that you’re not interested in playing games.

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