Great Dates in 50 States: New York, NY
by Christy Purington, CliqueinNYC.com
New York City is an intense place. Some days, it beats you down with incessant traffic, sludgy sidewalks and rude residents. But it’s the days in early spring, when the sun is shining, that you look up to see these magnificent, towering buildings and silently smile to yourself, I actually live here. The city only gets better when you have someone to share it with; someone to laugh at your nutty cab driver or indulge in the many enticing eats found around town. These are some favorites.
This place specializes in—you guessed it—mussels. The eatery offers up a bunch of different tastes, all centered around the delectable shellfish. From Thai to Mexican to the traditional white wine/herb/garlic classic, the resto just does not get it wrong. Be sure to order up a side of frites—perfectly fried to a crisp—to nosh on alongside your seafood feast. The décor is laid-back chic, making it feel like a date spot without being overly stuffy. Better yet: there are locations both in the West Village and the Upper East Side, convenient no matter where your abode lies. (http://www.flexmusselsny.com/)
Subway Ride Past the Old City Hall Station
This is a little-known secret nestled in New York: If you hop on the 6 train heading downtown, you’ll be prompted to evacuate the train at the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall stop. BUT! If you stay on the train (don’t worry, no one will kick you off), it does a quick turn around, passing the old City Hall station. You have to pay attention or you’ll miss it, but it’s really neat to see—well preserved and intricately detailed; a little trip to yesteryear. Snag some French fries at Pomme Frites near Astor Place before you go; that way you can nosh while you ride. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Hall_%28IRT_Lexington_Avenue_Line%29)
Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria
Now that the summer is here, this is a great spot to hang out in the sunshine. There are dozens of picnic tables and plenty of beers on tap; you could literally spend all day here if you wanted to. On weekends, they often have live music—sometimes of the apropos German variety!—which offers a kick-back ambiance while you chug your Hefeweizen. Once you’ve downed a couple of pints, grab a bite at one of the many Greek restaurants that Astoria is famous for. You’re guaranteed to find hummus unlike any you’ve tried before. (http://www.bohemianhall.com/en/Index.php)
Take a walk along the West Side highway—a gorgeous path runs all the way down that side of Manhattan—until you hit the marina. After ogling the many yachts that are docked here, stroll just a few blocks east to Stone Street. Partake in some awesome people watching as you sip cocktails at the tables that line the cobblestone drive. The best part is, all of the restaurants that line the street serve here, so you can have your pick of cuisine. Afterwards, wander over to Wall Street and snap a photo of your date next to the iconic bull outside of the New York Stock Exchange. That is definitely a Kodak moment! (http://www.yelp.com/biz/stone-street-tavern-new-york)
Spend a day on this kitschy island—the other island, as it were—where you’ll feel miles away from the city. The free ferry departs from the Financial District, and takes you directly over to this outdoor wonderland. The expansive land offers up various art exhibits, silly shenanigans from Big Apple Circus, and—get this!—free bikes to rent on Fridays. Be sure to get there early to snag a couple, and tote along a picnic to enjoy on the plush grass once your tootsies tire of pedaling. Note that Governor’s Island is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; this season opens on May 27th. (http://www.govisland.com)
Christy Purington (@cpurington) is one of the co-founders of Clique, a dating site that connects friends of friends. It’s like meeting people at a party, brought online.