Best New York City Pick-Up Spots for Awesome Single Millennials

 

Wear this to your next networking event, Meetup, tech conference, or 5-year high school reunion.

Wear this to your next networking event, Meetup, tech conference, or 5-year high school reunion.

If you are a self-respecting Millennial seeking personal fulfillment through meaningful relationships–as opposed to instant gratification via Tinder hook-ups–then you already know that it’s tough to find someone you would want to introduce to your parents the next time they visited.

Social media has actually complicated dating prospects for Millennials.  Contrary to popular belief (among all your married/attached friends, anyway), social media has not made it easier for single Millennials today.  From the inherent checklists on any Match.com profile, to the casual encounters on Craigslist, the unplanned/spontaneous meet-cute moment featured in your favorite romantic comedy film has disappeared with Friendster, VHS tapes…

...and your old infatuation with Cameron Diaz as a funny & sexy actress.

…and your old infatuation with Cameron Diaz as a funny & sexy actress.

“Our generation is lonelier now than ever before because of our use of social media.” — observes author Mark Vernon in his 2010 book “The Meaning of Friendship“.

meaning_of_friendship

Yes, Millennials will indeed be smarter than Gen X’ers one day.  And they should be!!!  They grew up learning with the help of Google, YouTube, Lynda.com, and any other online resource tool accessible via the Web.

But single Millennials (particularly those living in New York City) are lonelier than they would ever admit off-line to their circles.  Any self-respecting single guy or girl in New York City is exhausted just by the mere thought of spending another weekend night in a packed, noisy bar trying to connect with anyone over the noise of hundreds of singles with fewer standards & expectations.

If Harry had met Sally in a Manhattan bar today, not only would they have never married, but it's doubtful they would have even connected enough to connect with each other on LinkedIn!

If Harry had met Sally in a Manhattan bar today, not only would they have never married, but it’s doubtful they would have even connected enough to connect with each other on LinkedIn!

Would you rather spend your free time discovering whether some stranger (that you rather serendipitously met) shares your same passions?

Aren't you tired of pounding Stella and wrapping your lips around Mary Jane?

Aren’t you tired of pounding Stella and wrapping your lips around Mary Jane?  Find someone!!!  Find an actual off-line relationship.

If you want to find a relationship prospect that you will one day want to proudly introduce to your family (probably through Facetime or Skype), then consider these New York City pick-up spots for meeting really awesome Millennials like yourself!

{Speaking from experience, this is the male point-of-view on where/how to find high-quality women who take care of their heart, body, soul and mind.  But if you’re a high-quality woman and spot a guy at one of these spots, then maybe you’ll realize that you’re already overlooking a way to meet high-quality men.}

 

FREE YOGA IN BRYANT PARK

Bryant Park group photo 1

Guys, imagine hundreds of fitness-oriented women taking care of their bodies and spirit on a hot summer day.  Don’t sweat it if you don’t already belong to a yoga studio, or if you don’t know the difference between downward dog and doggy-style.  Take a break and do your body good at Bryant Park Yoga.

http://www.bryantpark.org/plan-your-visit/yoga.html

Helpful volunteer instructors roam the crowd to help the obvious beginners.  Free yoga mats are even provided.  Along the steps at the east end of the park on summer Tuesdays 10:00am and Thursdays 6:00pm.

No, guys, you won’t be viewed as pervert as long as you can capably accomplish all the stretches, poses and balances–and keep your eyes in the direction they are supposed to be going.  And no, guys, don’t make advances to a woman during the hour of yoga.  But if you can make the right eye contact and trade smiles, perhaps after the hour is over when you are all rolling up the yoga mats, you can ask someone how yoga enhances their life.  Don’t talk, man, just listen!  Guys don’t take enough time to shut up and listen…and discover a woman’s passion like yoga.

 

tango in Central Park

DANCING & DANCE LESSONS IN THE PARK

Dancing is a contact sport in New York City, particularly during the summer when so many different dance lessons are offered outside for free.  You don’t need to show up with a partner of the opposite sex; you will find plenty of them there.  At most of these events at outdoor venues like Bryant Park, Hudson River Park, and Central Park, the first 30-45 minutes feature careful lessons for beginners.  So don’t be fashionably late!  Get there early, and find a way to position yourself relatively near someone that you’ve already traded eye contact and smiles with!  Guys, don’t dismiss the older women; chances are, their millennial daughter was meeting them here after work, so you have a chance to earn an instant wing-man in her mother.  And as far as patience, the older women will be grateful for your enthusiasm to dance with them–so you can polish your mistakes with them, instead of making dance mistakes with a younger Millennial who will then find a partner who was a better learner.

Salsa, Bachata, Tango, Lindy, West Coast Swing…there are many outdoor (and indoor) events in New York City!!!  Here are a few of my favorites.

http://www.bryantpark.org/plan-your-visit/dance_in_bp.html

http://www.salsanewyork.com/events/salsa-at-the-central-park-bandshell.htm

http://www.hudsonriverpark.org/events/series/moondance

http://celebratetango.wix.com/celebratetango#!

Because even Jack Osbourne looks good dancing beside a hot partner!

Because even Jack Osbourne looks good taking dance lessons!

Dance Manhattan Dance Studio downtown also hosts these really cheap $5 practice dance nights.  They don’t offer free lessons, but invest in a one-day weekend intensive class at Dance Manhattan Dance Studio, and then go to the practice dance nights where you’ll surely find a more experienced & patient partner who can help guide you.

http://www.dance-manhattan.com/

I admit, I dance better in my head than I do on my feet.  But if you have the confidence just to show up and walk out onto the dance floor, women in particular give you bonus points for doing so.

 

Met women

FREE GUIDED TOURS AT THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

This tip isn’t limited to just the Met.  (No, guys, I’m not talking about the baseball team.)

At pretty much any cultural facility in Manhattan, there are group tours offered.  And since the Met is “free” (you can ignore the posted admission rates, and just pay $1 to the cashier), the tours are likewise free.

http://www.metmuseum.org/events/programs/tours

Do you prefer a smart woman who would rather un-wind from a busy work week and do something more stimulating than involuntarily body-slamming with strangers at a happy hour tavern?  Believe it or not, she is probably taking advantage of the Met’s evening hours.

Take a free guided group tour at the Met.  Make clever observations to an attractive stranger (or strangers, as women also tend to come in groups of friends); this might invite her to share her own observations if she thinks you are there for the right reasons (the art, and then her).  Again, be confident to start the conversation–and then shut up and listen to her talk!

naked statues at Met

After the tour, either invite her to tour the rest of the museum’s exhibitions (or speaker events) with you on a future date (a cultured man would use the word “rendezvous”) back here at the museum.  Or if you’re really feeling great about the way it’s going, suggest you grab a quick cocktail on the rooftop if the weather is nice, and watch the sunset overlooking the top of Central Park.

Friday Happy Hour draws a much bigger crowd than this.

Friday Happy Hour draws a much bigger crowd than this.

Find your inner artist, dude!  And earn yourself some bonus points if you leave your smartphone inside your pocket the entire time!

 

APPLE STORE SOHO

Apple Store Soho class

If the Apple Store in SoHo actually sold booze, this particular store would be the most amazing singles bar in all of New York.

It doesn’t take a Genius Bar to realize that:

* Everyone always leaves the Apple Store happy…even when they’ve spent a shitload of their hard-earned money on a product that will probably be obsolete next year.

* People spend hours here.  It is their happy place, and they find reasons just to hang out.

* A beautiful mind is a beautiful mind.  Ever attend one of their many Apple workshops?  Yes, most Apple Stores teach hardware/software workshops to reinforce their Apple products.  But the SoHo store is different; the second floor has a small theater-style seating area (with ample WiFi) so people often come to watch the daily presentations–or just to hang out in air-conditioning and chill with their gadgets.  I’ve been noticing that a lot of young women in the marketing field in particular frequent the workshops like Photoshop, Illustrator, Pages for Mac, and Final Cut; they are smart enough to realize that free training will help them get/stay ahead of their elder professionals that hired them mainly because they supposedly know more about technology than the Gen X’ers.

* Can I emphasize the free WiFi enough?  And they have plenty of electrical outlets along the floor between the seats.  With the theater-style seating, you can do a Jason Bourne-like scan to see who is reviewing matches on eHarmony, who is downloading music that you love on iTunes, and who is finally catching up to “House of Cards” after wasting so many hours watching “America’s Top Models” instead.

Perks of Being a Wallflower

* It’s generally understood that if you include the word “perky” or “chill” anywhere on your resume, you’ll likely get hired by an Apple Store.  (Apple HR uses a keyword search!)  The Apple Store SoHo staff is accessibly attractive…in that sort of “Perks of Being a Wallflower” kind of way…not that “I’m not capable of any deep thoughts because I model in-store for Abercrombie & Fitch” kind of way.  Even if you’re not there to date one of the staff, you will feel much cooler about yourself just by being next to their aura.  (Disclaimer:  that aura lasts up until you finally leave SoHo).

Apple Store soho_hero

http://www.apple.com/retail/soho/

C’mon, Apple, if you really want to revolutionalize the way that society does things, then start serving wine & beer at your stores.  Offer drink discounts to everyone who uses iPhones, and refuse to serve drinks to anyone with a Blackberry or Samsung Galaxy.

 

NYC SUBWAY – “L” TRAIN

L subway sign

The L train between Manhattan & Brooklyn is the only subway line where riders are quite comfortable making eye contact.

Why?  Because this line is filled with hipsters from Brooklyn!  Yes, they’ll be wearing headphones listening to Pandora or their favorite playlist, but their eyes are always wandering the L subway car and platform.

So, be confident…don’t suddenly turn away and pretend like you weren’t staring and hoping the hipster would notice you staring.

Enough said.

 

Women at IWNY 2014

THE TECH START-UP CRAZE = CONFERENCES

Just like Orange is the new Black, tech conferences are the new singles bars.

New York City would never want to be San Francisco’s little brother, but it’s hard to compete with the innovation and talent concentrated in Silicon Valley.  However, only programmers and daddy figures like Larry Ellison live within Silicon Valley.  The fun single types hop on their Google buses for the two-hour commute back to the bar scenes in San Francisco–and even Oakland.

Fortunately, the young, smart professionals who eat, sleep and breathe tech in Manhattan are all living in Manhattan & Brooklyn.  And while that entire potential dating pool lives within a couple transit lines of each other, they all tend to flock to annual entrepreneurial tech & social media conferences such as Social Media Week, Internet Week New York, and NYC Uncubed.

http://socialmediaweek.org/

https://www.internetweekny.com/

http://uncubed.com/events/

Sure, most of these events cost money.  These tech conferences usually have different pricing tiers and Early Bird rates.  Although these events are well worth the investment for the knowledge and the contacts gained!

Helpful tip:  Unless your company is paying so that you’ll bring all that knowledge and experience back to them, you never need to buy the “VIP packages”.  Just get yourself into the building for the speaker events and main vendor expo.  (Home base is always somewhere like Highline Studios or Metropolitan Pavilion downtown.)

Be flexible.  If you’re a guy and want to meet someone for a potential date, skip the programming events and attend something with more of a marketing or PR angle to it!  If you’re a woman and want to meet someone for a potential date who can afford dinner, skip the marketing and programming events in favor of the keynote speakers and panel discussions where semi-successful entrepreneurs are looking for tips to get from good to great.

From the schedules posted online, select speaker events that don’t necessarily fit into your wheelhouse; arrive to events early so that you find a good seat, and then start talking to another eager, early arrival and mention to them that you know very little about the subject–but you’re curious to learn on behalf of your company.  Then, as always, shut up and listen!  Guaranteed, that stranger will break into his/her pitch and hand you his/her business card and phone number before you ever have a chance to ask for it yourself!!!

And even if you cannot afford the money to buy the cheapest conference entry offered, there are still a couple more ways to attend.  For example, many of these conferences require volunteer staff; if you donate a day of easy volunteer duty, then they will give you a pass to attend another day of the conference.  Look for the volunteer links on the event website.

But really, spring for the basic entry cost, and get a badge.  Because nobody wants to date someone who would wear an event T-shirt!  Besides, once you’re inside, these tech conferences always offer plenty of free SWAG!!!

Popcorn from SheKnows IWNY

Free health juice samples.  Free exotic waters.  Free popcorn.  Free Popchips.  Free energy bars.  Free candy.  Free chargers.  One sponsor at Internet Week New York even offered free manicures while you listened to the speakers on-stage nearby.  Leave your laptop at home, and just bring your empty laptop bag to fill up!

Additionally, other allied companies in the industry love to latch onto the promotion and attention from the main event.  Many digital agencies, law firms, and other start-ups will host their own events in the evenings.  Some are just mixers at a local bar, where all you need to do is show up and buy your own drinks.  Others are special presentations where the host firm serves free appetizers and drinks!  (Yes, they assume that all attendees came straight from the conference, but I’ve hardly ever seen anyone check for event badges.)

EventBrite and Meetup are especially awesome at featuring those events.  (And if you don’t already have those apps on your smartphone, then you must be a Gen X’er looking for tips to meet singles almost half your own age, you pervert!)

Think of these tech conferences as the sort of social networking filter that you wish had been used at the last Meetup Professional Networking event–where just about any crazy or weirdo with questionable social skills could show up!!!  Whenever I hear one of my single female friends lament that she’s tired of dating arrogant, self-absorbed investment banking types, I encourage them to attend a networking event with tech entrepreneurs; find the people who take risks on themselves…who can articulate their passion…who invent ways to solve problems…and then invest your love and support in these risk-takers.  Because when they become successful and sell their start-up to Facebook for billions before the age of 30, they will remember how you believed in them when maybe nobody else would.

Don’t come dressed in your comfortable hoodie, nor in your best suit & tie.  Instead, wear something that says, “I’m ambitious, confident and secure, even though I haven’t secured funding yet for my start-up and/or beta website.”  I find that women do this so much better at these conferences than men do.  I find few things more attractive than a woman at these conferences who dress so that you’ll notice their face and legs–but you’ll ask for their email address because of their brains and network.

Even Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen attends tech events.  (Internet Week New York 2014 panel about her foodie blog "So Delushious".

Even Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen attends tech events. (Internet Week New York 2014 panel about her foodie blog “So Delushious”.

And guys, if you’re feeling especially secure in your manhood, and you think that you can handle a room with a 10:1 female-to-male ratio, then check out Women 2.0’s Monthly City Meetups!  Purchasing an Early Bird ticket will cost you the same amount as any after-work drink.  Besides, the Women 2.0 events always start and end with some informal networking, adult beverages, and snacks.

http://women2.com/city-meetup/new-york-city-2/

There are monthly panels and presentations to discover the female professionals’ perspective in the NYC tech ecosystem.  The women are usually impressed by the guys who are secure enough to show up–if you have the right intentions.  I certainly consider meeting smart, ambitious women to be the right intentions.  You would have a hard time discovering that in your typical loud, crowded Upper East Side bar.

———-

There’s an old expression that goes something like:  “You get what you pay for.”

(And if you are a woman who already understands that expression, then you are the type of woman that I’d like to date!  Millennial or otherwise.)

For those who don’t understand, it usually means that if you get something cheap or free, then there probably wasn’t much value to it.

But with my helpful tips above, you might be fortunate to find someone valuable at one of these cheap or free spots.

***Let us know if you have any other great suggestions worth sharing for our readers!!!***

Just be your awesome you...but free or cheap.

Just be your awesome you…but free or cheap.

 

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