Monthly Archives: May 2013

Spring Fever Series: On The Waterfront

by Sabrina Cohen

As the weather warms, millions will be coming out of hibernation with rampant enthusiasm, skimpier clothes, and bodies they’ve been working all winter to flaunt! Though it’s not quite beach season yet, we encourage you to get out and into the spirit with these NYC waterfront date spots.

  1.  The Boat Basin Café is one of my favorites! This casual, unpretentious restaurant on New York’s Upper West Side is the perfect spot to unwind after work or over the weekend. Outdoor tables overlook the Hudson River, so you and your date can enjoy a meal while marveling at the sailboats nestled dockside at the Marina. We recommend arriving just in time for sunset. Just walk towards the water on 79th street—this gem’s hidden underneath the highway!
  2. Just 10 blocks south is the Pier i Cafe. Open-air seating offers unobstructed views of the river and all the eye candy passing by. Chillax with freshly squeezed blueberry lemonade, sangria, draft beer, or perhaps something from the coffee bar for you early risers. The menu boasts fresh ingredients and something for everyone, any time of day.
  3. Even further down NY’s west side, is The Frying Pan, a salvaged lightship serving beers, burgers, and a slice of seafaring history. One of only 13 remaining lightships, the Frying Pan now sits at Chelsea’s Pier 66 and often plays host to live music, parties, and even the occasional “sea sick” passenger. Arrive early for a good seat on the deck, enjoy the sunset, and perhaps find someone aboard to take back on dry land.

Are you a fan of waterfront dating? Share your favorite spots with us below!

Sabrina Cohen is a blogger, copywriter, and creative consultant for MarketSmiths.com.

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Filed under Impromptu Date Ideas, New York, Spring Fever

Spring Fever Series: Beer Gardens Part 2

by Sabrina Cohen

Beer garden buffs will be interested to know that this beautiful tradition began in 19th century Germany. Though now a worldwide phenomenon, Germany still holds the trophy for the largest traditional beer garden in existence—Hirschgarten in Munich seats a whopping 8,000! Here are some more local selections to check out as the weather warms up.

The Beekman Beer Garden promises to be up and running in several weeks following damage from Hurricane Sandy. Located at Pier 17, the beautiful views of the Brooklyn Bridge are pretty hard to beat. Play some pool overlooking the East River, or slip off your shoes and enjoy the sand at your feet as you mix and mingle. If the water’s edge proves too chilly, heat up on the couches by the fire pit!

Greenwood Park is 13,000 square feet of fun. With 25 beers on tap, bocce ball courts, and happy hour from noon-7pm M-F, this former gas station/auto body shop is worth a trip to Brooklyn. It’s a family-friendly space by day—it is in Park Slope after all—but it’s strictly 21+ after 4PM. Heat lamps warm things up on crisp nights, while the indoor bar boasts large screen TVs and a fireplace.

At 30,000 square feet, The Garden @ Studio Square is beyond impressive. As part of a larger event complex in Long Island City, choose from your pick of six bars, two covered open-air seating sections, and of course, the cobblestone courtyard—where hand-crafted picnic tables beckon. Check their calendar for special events!

What’s your favorite thing about beer gardens? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sabrina Cohen is a blogger, copywriter, and creative consultant for MarketSmiths.com.

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Filed under Impromptu Date Ideas, New York, Spring Fever

Your Summer Music Festival 2013 Party Guide

By Jackie Potts

The scent of cocoa butter and sizzling bratwurst, girls in bikini tops and furry animal hats. How easy is it to hook up at a summer music festival? Easy as tripping hipsters at a Postal Service show.

Just sidle up to that hottie in the crowd and mutter, I love this band.

Whether you’re into Beyonce, the Band Perry, Tegan and Sara or Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, there’s a 2013 summer music festival coming to a green space near you.

Here are a few around the country to get you in the mood (in chronological order) …

Electric Daisy Carnival (May 17-18 in Flushing, NY; May 24-26 in Chicago, IL; & June 21-23 in Las Vegas, NV) Various electronic artists including Afrojack, Armin Van Buuren, Bassjackers, Calvin Harris, Empire of the Sun, Kaskade, Eric Prydz, La Roux, Zeds Dead. (Check cities for lineups.) http://electricdaisycarnival.com/NewYork/

Great GoogaMooga (May 17-19 at Prospect Park Bandshell, Brooklyn, NY)  De La Soul, Matt & Kim, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Flaming Lips, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings plus food and drink from Umami Burger and more than 100 vendors. http://brooklyn.googamooga.com/

2013 CMA Music Festival (June 6-9 in Nashville, TN) Dierks Bentley, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band. http://www.cmaworld.com/cma-music-festival/2013/home

Bonnaroo (June 13-16 in Manchester, TN) Bjork, Billy Idol, Japandroids, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters and Men, Tame Impala, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Wu-Tang Clan. http://www.bonnaroo.com/

Lollapalooza (Aug. 1-2 in Chicago, IL) Steve Aoki, Azealia Banks, Baauer, The Cure, Ellie Goulding, Icona Pop, The Killers, Lana Del Rey, the Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Nine Inch Nails, Phoenix, The Postal Service, Tegan and Sara, Thievery Corporation, Vampire Weekend. http://www.lollapalooza.com/

(JAY-Z’s) Made in America (Aug. 31-Sept. 1 in Philadelphia, PA) 2 Chainz, Beyonce, Calvin Harris, DeadMau5, Imagine Dragons, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Nine Inch Nails, Public Enemy, Queens of the Stone Age, Wiz Khalifa. http://www.madeinamericafest.com/

Electric Zoo (Aug. 30–Sept. 1 at Randall’s Island Park, NY) AVICII, Above & Beyond, Knife Party, TIESTO, Bassnectar, Armin Van Buuren, Steve Aoki, Krewella and more. http://www.madeevent.com/ElectricZoo/venue.php

Jackie Potts is a blogger at Marketsmiths.com.

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Play Peter Pan: Forget You’re a Grown-up with These Dates

by Ella

Remember your first few dates? You spent hours prepping for the event even though it was just your parents dropping you off at the movies. You and your date barely spoke, except to joke about your English teacher or share locker room drama. The sexual tension was incredible, and you had to stop holding hands every fifteen minutes in order to wipe the sweat onto your pants. You may not miss the nerves, but especially with a shot of nostalgia, middle-school date ideas can bring playfulness to a new relationship. Remember simpler times with these potential plans, in the city and at home:

Ride the Cyclone at Coney Island Though adults are commonplace at amusement parks, the oversized stuffed animals and saccharine snacks at Coney Island automatically invoke childhood memories. Ride the rickety Cyclone and then take advantage of the adrenaline to be extra affectionate (i.e. make out on the beach). Restore your energy after with a funnel cake and some cotton candy.

Go camping in your living room After you’ve had a couple “getting to know” you dinner dates, invite your intro to your house. Raid your linen closet for all the best blankets and make sure your pantry is stocked with s’mores supplies. Part 1: Roast hot dogs (on the barbeque or in the oven, whatever you have) then make your marshmallows golden brown over the burner. Part 2: Use the blankets to build a fort, with a window for stargazing or TV-watching. Then cuddle up close, because we all know camping gets cold.

Hang out like it’s after school Get popsicles from People’s Pops’ East Village location and find an empty bench in Tompkins Square Park. If you have a stoop, that will do just as well for the main event: share your favorite music with your date, teenager-on-a-schoolbus style, one headphone each. You may no longer own a walkman or even an iPod mini, but the intimacy of listening to the latest Shins or Strokes hasn’t changed.

Explore the play space on Governor’s Island Last year, Governor’s Island hosted a colorful, alternative playground structure. When it reopens this month, it will again be home to public art installations and plenty of open space for bike-riding and strolling. The developers want it to be a place of “leisure and delight,” so expect more whimsical additions soon. Pack a picnic and reminisce on back-in-the-day soccer games with juice pouches. The best part? They’re filled with wine.

Eat with your fingers Indulge your age-old love of carbs and sauces (smeared on your face, ideally), and stop by Pommes Frites, by Saint Mark’s. Since the place is tiny, get a cone of their delicious Belgian fries to go and spread out your sauces on any nearby stoop. Then walk to JoeDough for a Stoner’s sandwich–we’re pretty sure it’ll make your grade-school self drool in delight.

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Let’s Talk About Sex: 10 Questions to Ask a New Partner

by Ella

Talking about sex can be awkward, which is why most people just do it, no questions asked. But pillow talk can be the perfect opportunity to learn more about your partner, and asking questions often lightens a nervous mood. Here are some ideas for someone you’ve just started sleeping with. Not too graphic, not too intimate, but enough to start a teasing tête-à-tête.

1. How was your first kiss?

Take a trip down memory lane and find out if there were fireworks when your date had his or her first kiss. Where were they? Was it expected? 

2. How do you like to be touched?

Finding out the answer to a question like this means you then have the ability to give your partner exactly what they want. If they have no idea what their preference is, stroke them softly and ask, “Do you like that?” Try different pressure or speed until you get a resounding yes.

3. Are there certain everyday things you find erotic?

We’re all familiar with the tropes: a woman eating a banana or a man holding a baby might be reliable erotic triggers for your partner. But who knows, maybe the smell of fresh laundry turns them on. Maybe they get off on jumping jacks.

4. Where’s the strangest place you’ve had sex?

With all these questions, the key point is to alleviate judgment. Maybe your partner has done it on a park bench in broad daylight, maybe they’ve never left the bed. Either way, you won’t do anything to further the relationship if you label them “dirty” or “vanilla.” Instead, further the subject: Where’s the strangest place you’d like to have sex in the future?

5. What are your thoughts on sexting?

Practically, this is good to know before you dash off a “I’m touching myself thinking of you” text.

6. What physical feature do you notice first?

Likely your partner will end up mentioning your body. If he loved your red lips, you know what to do when you want to be especially seductive. If she was struck by your smattering of chest hair, you might want to pull out the deep V more often.

7. What kind of music do you like to have sex to?

We hear Autre Ne Veut’s “Ego Free Sex Free” is today’s top sex tune, but your partner might be more into Barry White or Bon Iver. Obviously the next time you hook up, you’ll have their favorite tracks in a playlist on Spotify.

8. When did your parents give you “the talk”?

If it never happened, how did your partner find out about the birds and the bees? Did they get any misinformation? Compare stories of embarrassing adolescence–we have faith you’ll laugh about it all now. 

9. Do you have any secret sensitive spots?

This could translate to ticklish or erotic, but whether the area is a no-go or “yes please, go,” you–as a considerate partner–need to know.

10. Where in this space do you (or would you) like to have sex?

Nothing is off limits. Corners, counters, the tempting shag rug in the middle of the room…

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Alternative Pick-Up Spots

by Sabrina Cohen

Bars have always been the typical go-to spot for mixing and mingling. But there are so many other places to meet people. Whether you need a temporary break from the scene or just want to diversify, here are a few suggestions worth checking out.

Farmers markets are in season and loaded with wholesome, chill people. Conversation starters abound with interesting culinary delights at every turn. The colorful sights and flavorful fresh eats are enough to stimulate the senses, inspire bold smiles, and attract some eye candy.

Grab a dog and walk, because nothing attracts more promising attention than an adorable pooch. It’s a great excuse to approach someone and strike up light-hearted conversation without the pressure. Forget your wingman/woman and head to the park or for a stroll around the hood with your canine companion. Don’t have a dog of your own? Offer to walk a friend’s!

Intramural sports are great for exercising your athleticism, enjoying camaraderie among peers, reliving old high-school glories, and engaging in healthy, testosterone-fueled competition. Most are also great opportunities for socializing—both during and after the game. Find a co-ed team and unleash your inner athlete.

Networking events are really “flirtation-fests” in disguise. Dress in your professional best and start schmoozing! Getting someone’s number will never be easier than simply asking for a business card. Some events involve cocktails for further encouragement. Just remember to keep it classy. And when you get home, connect on LinkedIn to review the goods and engage the relationship further.

Where do you have the most luck picking up dates? We want to know!

Sabrina Cohen is a blogger, copywriter, and creative consultant for MarketSmiths.com.

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Best Food Trucks in LA

by Ella

Now that Coachella has launched the festival season and summer is rolling in, we know we’re going to be hitting up food trucks more and more. Whether they’re parked beach-side or in the midst of the urban sprawl, these gourmet vehicles will deliver the perfect addition to your next date.

For pre-dinner snacks: Ta Bom! Try Ta Bom!, LA’s first and only Brazilian food truck, for a bit of pre-dinner experimentation. Pick up a pastel (Brazilian empanada) for an appetizer, or try Coxinhas, croquettes filled with shredded chicken and cream cheese. Go for the spicy version to show you’re up for a some heat.

For dinner itself: Don Chow Tacos Unfortunately Jason Segel won’t be serving these tacos to you with his adorable face (à la Five Year Engagement), but Don Chow’s special Chinese Mexican fusion food will quickly make you forget that fact. In addition to traditional Mexican tacos, you can order Kung Pao Chicken or Soy Ginger Tofu tacos. Check their Twitter to get their latest locations.

For dessert: Coolhaus You’ll never know what weird flavors Coolhaus is serving, which makes them the ideal date truck. Seduce your intro over Balsamic Fig & Mascarpone ice cream sandwiched between Potato Chip & Butterscotch cookies, or reminisce over your best camping trips with some artisan marshmallows. The Coolhaus crew are wanted all over town, so check their calendar to make sure you know where to find them, and to ensure they’re not parked for a private event.

For an energizing juice: Kreation Truck They’ve got plants growing out of the side of their truck, so you know their ingredients must be fairly fresh. In fact, all Kreation’s juices are organic, and they specialize in cleansing, nourishing concoctions. Whether you fancy a freshly squeezed watermelon juice or a cold pressed nut mylk, Kreation will hand it to you with a smile. It might also start a multitude of conversations: to start, ask your intro how they feel about health trends, or if they have a favorite fruit.

For morning-after brunch: The Buttermilk Truck We dare you to look at The Buttermilk Truck’s menu without drooling. Push away your hangover, put on some sunglasses, and make your way to the truck for ridiculously delicious items like Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Pancakes (served with butter and syrup?!?!) and Hawaiian Bread Cinnamon French Toast Sticks. Indulge your sweet tooth and roll back into bed afterwards; it’s the perfect start to a lazy Sunday.

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Filed under Impromptu Date Ideas, Meeting Up