Category Archives: Impromptu Date Ideas

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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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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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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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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Spring Fever Series: Beer Gardens Part 1

by Sabrina Cohen

There’s nothing like basking in the spring sun at a wooden picnic table among a sea of friendly faces, while sipping an ice-cold, perfectly brewed beer. Yes, I love beer gardens. Best. Creation. Ever. Perhaps it’s because they recall a combination of fond memories from both college and day camp. Sigh. In keeping with that spirit, here are just a few of NYC’s best beer gardens.

Respect your elders. The Bohemian Hall Beer Garden in Astoria dates back to 1919, making it the oldest beer garden in NYC. It’s long been a local hot spot—enough so, that many Manhattanites actually venture on the train for a visit. The Czech-inspired establishment sports over 800 seats, with plenty of room to spare for wandering the traditional gravel grounds. Live music and festivals are popular, as is the fine selection of brews on tap.

The Standard Biergarten is anything but. Located at the Standard Hotel, in the uber trendy meatpacking district, this place puts a chic spin on the old tradition. It sits beneath a stretch of the newly rebuilt High Line Park overpass, where red stone pavers and exposed brick add casual charm, and the high-gloss wooden tables are candlelit at night for a bit of suggestive romance.

Local West beautified their gritty surroundings by creating an urban beer garden oasis amidst the skyscrapers of Penn Plaza. This 6,000 square foot space boasts 16 international beers and a sufficient menu of eats. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after work. When you’re sufficiently buzzed, the Penn Station is mere steps away.

Are you a fan of beer gardens? Tell us your thought below!

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

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Would You Date Someone You Met on a Plane?

by Jackie Potts

Think that blonde checking her designer luggage is cute? Want to strike up a chat with that Tom Brady lookalike you saw at the airline gate?

Virgin Airlines founder and international man of mystery Richard Branson wants to hook you up. He recently announced his “Get Lucky on Virgin America” feature, which enables airline passengers to send cocktails or snacks to newfound crushes in mid-flight.

Virgin says passengers can locate their dream seat-mates on a digital seat map and swipe a credit card to order him or her a drink through the airline’s red in-flight entertainment system. You can then follow up with a text message using the seat-to-seat chat function.

Genius? Or a little too Austin Powers groovy, baby?

The idea is certainly inspired. Virgin America planes already feel like airborne nightclubs. They’re bathed in dim purple lighting and volumes of popular music are available to spin from the seatback touch screens. Throw in a cocktail or two, and your inhibitions just melt away.

The problem is the venue. On a plane, there’s nowhere to escape if you get shot down, Scott Evil-style. Being the rejector or the rejectee becomes a lot less fun when you’re facing a 3-hour runway delay because of sequester cuts.  And what about marrieds looking for a little fun on the side with unsuspecting singles? Suddenly, Snakes on a Plane takes on a whole new meaning.

Our solution? Try your luck on the ground at airports. With Meetmoi, you can use your mobile device to scan the concourses and find cuties with like-minded music and sports interests. There are restaurants, coffee shops and bars at which to meet and, if it doesn’t work out? Oops, there’s the boarding announcement for your flight.

What’s your take? Would you rather meet on-board or on the ground?

Jackie Potts is a blogger at MarketSmiths.com. 

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Spring Fever Series: Upscale Rooftop Bars in NYC

By Sabrina Cohen

At long last, spring has officially sprung! The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and singles are prowling. Celebrate the onset of the unofficial mating season by heading to one of these swanky rooftop spots for your next MeetMoi matchup. Stay tuned for more date spots to honor all things spring!

  1. For those who say size matters, 230 Fifth hails as New York’s largest rooftop garden. The massive 22,000 square foot space juxtaposes impeccably pruned greenery and warm wood benches against a sea of concrete skyscrapers. Tropical charm ensues as you sip your coconut pineapple martini under the stars, high above the hustle-and-bustle. If it happens to get chilly, grab a complimentary red robe and cozy up with your date under a space heater, or head inside to the Penthouse Lounge.
  2. The Press Lounge is 8,500 square feet of sophisticated swank sitting atop the Ink48 Hotel. With its unobstructed 360° views, slick Miami-inspired design, and notable wine list, it’s no surprise this space has won its share of awards. Win some accolades with your date as you share sprawling views of the Hudson over seasonal small plates and classically refined cocktails. If this place doesn’t ignite the romance, nothing will.
  3. Going Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel means being transported to an urban oasis with eye-popping panoramic views of Manhattan. Enjoy bites like baby lamb lollipops and drinks like The Chrysler—made with the finest honey, fresh lemon and lime, and topped with a little French love juice (aka champagne)! Upstairs brings the living room vibe outdoors with neo-gothic furniture and a refreshingly anti-patio sophistication.

What will you do to nurse your spring fever? Share with us below!

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

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