Get Smart: Top Places to Take a Cerebral Date in NYC

By Ella Riley-Adams

We love drinks and dinner as much as the next dating blog, but there comes a time in everyone’s romantic career when diversification is necessary. You get too used to the table-for-two routine and pretty soon your conversations feel repetitive. So, you change your context. Branching out can mean boning up on intellectual pursuits and connecting with someone on a new plane. This time, don’t go straight for the heart; start with the brain.

Our thoughts:

PS1 Sunday Session From September 2012 to June 2013, MoMA PS1’s performance dome is hosting a wide array of artistic performances. For example, Sunday, October 14 will feature two live musical performances, a feature-length film, and a book launch with a talk by its designers. The museum also opens their installations outside the dome, so you and your Intro can wander around the place. Attempting to understand or simply feel what you experience at PS1 certainly counts as a cerebral workout. Get headstrong!

Try a Poetry Reading Group at McNally Jackson, or any reading for that matter. We’re partial to McJ’s because it’s schedulable (the group meets the third Wednesday of every month) and the space is sublime. Though all bookstores seem to have a sense of calm about them, McJ does this especially well. It’s light, clean, and perfectly placed in SoHo. After you discuss the poetry of the month, walk through the shelves with your Intro. What’s she reading right now? Is he into magazines?

Continue the conversation a couple blocks over at Public, a delicious and ambiance-laden restaurant on Elizabeth Street. There will be candles.

Go BAM The Brooklyn Academy of Music features film, theatre, opera, comedy, and more. No matter what event you choose, it’ll be unlike anything you’ve ever seen, and you’ll probably walk out with food for thought. Ask your date whether they want something loud or soft. No guarantees, but for loud we’d try Maya Beiser’s cello performance. Soft, a talk from author Orhan Pamuk.

Sudoku in Toby’s Estate If you’re looking for a low-key pursuit, ask your date to this Williamsburg coffee shop. Toby’s has high ceilings, plenty of seating, and walls of charming shelves featuring old photos and a vintage lunch box or two. Plus, their coffee is roasted in-house and their toast menu is unbeatable.  Buy a Sudoku booklet from a magazine stand and challenge your date to a couple contests. Or, if you’re not into competition, work on a puzzle together. Either way, you’ll get to connect without immediately jumping into the high-pressure “What are your goals and why do you do what you do?” conversation.

Learn Spanish Invite your date to learn a few new verbs and vocab words with a 90-minute introductory Spanish class. They’re only $20.00 per session, and you’ll get a chance to laugh at yourselves, exercise your brains, and then rehash the class over tapas afterwards. If it feels too much like high school, awaken your inner rebellious teen and skip out halfway through for an extra margarita. We won’t tell.

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Filed under Impromptu Date Ideas, Meeting Up, New York

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