Tag Archives: meeting up

First Date Advice: How to Click in 4 Minutes

By Jackie Potts

Good news for singles: You only need four minutes to hit it off with someone new, and we’ve got some first date advice to help tip the scales in your favor.

Think dating chemistry is all about money and appearance? It really has nothing to do with your car or designer labels, according to a new Stanford University dating study. It’s all about showing compassion, enthusiasm and using the following conversation skills.

By analyzing nearly 1,000 dates, geeky guys Dan McFarland and Dan Jurafsky found that how words were delivered, when and for how long determined the strongest connections. And four minutes is all it takes to spark “a meaningful relationship,” they said.

During these mini-dates, women were definitely the deciders in whether or not the conversations would continue, but both genders can do several things to ensure a second date.

  • Show approval. Use phrases like “That’s awesome” or “Good for you.”
  • Be empathetic. If a date shares a hardship tale, respond with, “That must be tough on you,” or something supportive. Women like guys who seem to understand their problems.
  • Share a short personal or funny story. Spilled BBQ sauce on your shirt? Rode an elevator once with Lil Wayne? Talk about it. But avoid complaining or “Can you believe my ex?” anecdotes.
  • Watch out for the “I” monster. If every other word out of your mouth is “I,” you’re losing your date.
  • Show vocal enthusiasm. Laughing and making your voice louder or softer to mirror the other person’s help create an emotional connection.
  • Don’t grill the other person. What’d you do today? Where do you work out? Hey, where are you going? People lose interest when asked question after question.

Interestingly, both guys and girls reported stronger connections when the conversation focused on her. Take it from Beyonce: Who run the world? Girls.

Jackie Potts is a blogger at MarketSmiths.com. 

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Filed under Chat Tips, Date Etiquette, Dating Tips, Meeting Up

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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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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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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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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