How DO These Guys Find These Places?

Winding up in a hotel lounge or a Starbucks is never a shock. Standard fall-back go-to place. When in doubt, get a drink.

What surprises me is when otherwise apparently sheltered yeshiva-type guys take you to a trendy little thematic lounge in SoHo or some cute little coffee shop in TriBeCa. Where do they find these places? Have they randomly searched it up online, or are these things passed along word of mouth from guy-to-guy-to-guy-to-guy…? (That would mean that an initial single black hat would turn into a trickle into a stream, but so far I’ve never seen another pair in these places. It’s not the Marriott lounge yet over there.)

Well, turns out I’m not the only curious one. Josh wants YOU to fill out his market research survey. It’s only about a minute long, it’s multiple choice, and really isn’t painful. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GVSVRWH

Then come back here and tell us: where’s the best dating spot you’ve ever been?

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40 thoughts on “How DO These Guys Find These Places?

  1. Random parks in the Catskills were nice. Catskills fail: Fish hatchery. Catskills win: Getting really lost on backwoods roads. Bring some good field guides and learn something new. Peace and quiet with nature sounds. Great scenery. BYO picnic. Romantic even for unromantics. Just hold the rain.

  2. Unfortunately, some of my favorite spots are not in NYC. My all time favorite spot is right behind the King David hotel is an amazing little park that hardly anyone knows about, with nice little fountains, benches, and an incredible view of the old city at night. Once went rowboating on a lake (NOT in central Park) for a date, that was really nice and relaxing and a nice change of pace. Hiking the Rocky Mountains on a crisp summer day was a fantastic date.

    Also, the campus of Hebrew U in Givat Ram has an amazing beautiful long walk in the middle of the campus with tons of trees and flowers, and feels like you temporarily left Yerushalayim for a bit.

    Another great place in Israel would be taking a day trip up to Zichron Yaacov and going around the Rothchild’s nature reserve.

    I think going to see a horse race at Belmont and putting a dollar on a pony for a couple of races would be a great idea, never tried it, but hopefully someone will take me up on it.

    Let’s see…a very underrated date is walking around battery park at night and then taking the SI ferry there and back. Nice views of Manhattan, and for a cheapskate like me, can’t beat the price! 🙂

    Once suggested to a girl maybe we could take an archery lesson…completely out there, yes, and yes, she turned it down, but I figured I would try anyways…some girls are just no fun. 🙂

  3. I once convinced a guy that instead of going to the Brooklyn Marriot we should walk across the Brooklyn Bridge instead! 🙂

  4. i’m pretty sure i know about that park. really nice, peaceful place with a lot of big rocks to sit on

  5. I count two people just put pretty isolated wilderness jaunts as dates. Yichud, anyone? Or am I missing something?

    Archery is only a good date if you (1) aren’t afraid of competing with your date and (2) don’t want to talk about anything very personal.

    Nathalie – next guy who tries taking me to the Marriott will get that suggestion! Thanks. Battery Park at night sounds nice too.

  6. that was my reaction also bad4. yichud would definitely be an issue. i would even say a drive in movie theater in the catskills could be yichud as well but then again i doubt youd go for a movies date in the first place.

  7. When you stop thinking about transgressing on a date and start thinking about actually enjoying your date you’ll be amazed at the creativity that can go into it. Some dates I’ve done have been going to a gun range, hiring a professional pool player to give classes, and buying a board game and going for coffee/hotel lobby and playing it.

    When you’re too wrapped up about yichud issues then clearly whatever activity is not a good date choice to begin with. Romping into the wilderness is probably not the best first few dates idea, albeit heading to a park/wilderness area for a picnic/hike isn’t a bad idea…

    As for yichud issues – I dare anyone to say yichud has ever been an issue once they get past several dates with the person. You’re either lying to yourself or to us. Most people, a majority will let yichud (in the strict sense) slip once they feel comfortable with that special someone they are going out with.

  8. As far as lounges, the 2 best ones I’ve been to (perfect combo of classy and quiet)were Jumeirah Essex House and St Regis Hotel.

  9. Went to a hobby shop and raced slotcars against each other. Alternatively you can do that with RC cars in a park, also lots of fun.

    @Jewishwhiteguy: why shouldn’t keeping halacha be something to consider. I’ve had plenty of good dates without transgressing, and when in doubt I asked a rabbi. So no fishing trips on remote lakes, no hiking, and no remote roads where you will not see/be seen for hours (or minutes). Just because you do it, doesn’t mean noone else is careful.

  10. I apologize, I don’t mean to disregard halacha. I just think many people get so caught up with the idea of breaking a halacha they don’t look for creative ways to get around it. They see halacha as a brick wall and instead of thinking about how to make it work for them they see it and reverse out.

    Judiasm isn’t easy, but it’s meant to be enjoyable. There is no reason why we can’t do normal things… date ideas that would normally interfere with halacha prohibitions and find kosher ways of doing them.

    For example most people would never ever dream of doing a home cooked dinner date or snacks and drinks by a fire place. From issues of yichud to the awkwardness of bringing a girl home on a second date… it’s almost unimaginable that it is doable, yet I’ve pulled it off. Hats off to family members for being incredibly accommodating (albeit I owed them a ton of favors afterwards).

    Long story short my parents agreed to go out shopping, and my sibling stayed upstairs. It was a second date, we had just finished a nice dinner and didn’t really want to do a boring coffee shop. I brought her home, lit the fire place and we heated up some apple cider and made a tray of snacks.. We sat down in front of the fire place talking for the remainder of the evening and then I took her home. The door was unlocked the entire time and my brother could have come down at any moment. We were in an open living room that didn’t have any doors.

    Romantic – check, Alone – check, Kosher – check.

  11. so what?- what makes that Yichud? the other cars parked a foot away from mine? I opened the back of my SUV and we sat comfortably in the trunk with close to a foot of space in between us. I did it on a 5th date, it was amazing. Highly recommended, if the girl is cool with it.

  12. @MCP I’m sure you’re the type of person that feels the need to keep the doors unlocked while driving the girl on a date because otherwise it’s not yichud.

    What a jokester.

  13. I’m wondering, Jewish White Guy, if you have a problem with the restrictions of yichud, what would you make of the harchakot? Yichud is much, much easier to avoid than passing things directly. Yes, that’s a real prohibition for harchaka time instituted since Rashi’s day. And, we many frum Jews really abide by it, though the world at large, undoubtedly, would find it crazy. Yichud for singles was instituted back in the day of David Hamelech after Tamar was raped by Amnon when she was left alone in the room with him.

  14. JWG- Ya, not so much…I don’t consider driving anywhere Yichud…

    Dr Brown, ironically enough, the same situation would not constitute Yichud, cuz they were half-siblings.

    I don’t think JWG was saying he has a problem with the restrictions of Yichud (as evident by his story where he went out of his way to accommodate them) he was just saying that a large majority of people are not super strict about it, not necc. intentionally, but because it doesn’t always cross your mind that what you are doing may constitute as Yichud.

  15. Just to clarify Bad4, I also thought about the yichud issue beforehand with the hiking, and therefore chose a national park (not an isolated wilderness) with other hikers all around, there was never any time when we weren’t within 10 yards of another set or group of hikers…plus, it was on a 9th or so date, and for whatever reason we both decided it wasn’t right after a couple more dates.

  16. MCP they were not halachic siblings b/c it was not considered incest, only [if one could say only on that] rape. Tamar even suggested that David would let them marry. How could he if they forbidden to marry according to Torah law? Even half-siblings are barred from marrying each other. Because David married an eshes yifar toar, who was the mother of Tamar, she is not considered Amnon’s sister in a halachic sense.

  17. BTW when my husband and I were doing some setting up in our apartment before the wedding, we left the door wide open so that the neighbors could see and even venture in. IIRC someone did.

  18. Some good dates:

    milking sheep, shearing wool, and farming- fun if you don’t care to get dirty (yes, i told my date beforehand so she could prepare accordingly)

    cycling to a vineyard, walking through it, visiting the tasting room, cycling back

    building snowmen, igloos, and participating in a massive snowball fight

    kayaking

    Frisbee and soccer at a park

    rollerblading from the GWB to battery park and back

    going to an outdoor jazz or classical music concert in the summer, with a picnic at a beautiful hudson valley venue at sunset

    Then again, I love simple outdoor walks or going to B&N and discussing books and seeing who has read more and what we think of each others’ taste.

    aidel maidels need not apply.

  19. @MCP, I think you understand me. 🙂

    @Ariella, I’m not sure where you come to think I have any problems with yichud, furthermore there is nothing wrong with harchakot, and no doubt it’s probably the most healthiest thing for a married relationship (there’s actual studies on this, but since I don’t recall the names of the researchers off hand so I’ll refrain from quoting).

    To be more clear, I’m saying 3 things:
    1. People are often too busy worrying, putting efforts into not breaking any halachas… when they should really be putting those efforts into a good date. Stop worrying about what you can’t do, and start thinking about what you can do!
    2. I’m not saying ignore yichud. I’m saying identify where the problem arises when planning a date and use your yiddishe kop to solve the problem. It’s why hashem gave you one… to be used. This leads to the best and most creative dates.
    3. It’s human nature to let things slide when you become comfortable with someone. I’m not saying everyone, just many. With respect to yichud, it is a very important halacha… it’s just not something to bellyache over. Just mentally note and rectify the situation as soon as you can in a sensible way.

  20. Agree with tech, and sparkle..those do sound fun..but i have yet to go out with a guy who has that kind of imagination or has even put that kind of effort into planning a date..

  21. I’m female and I agree. I can see where some people might not. You don’t want to go biking unless you know that she’s been on a bike in the past decade.

  22. LSD- where is there a vineyard in cycling distance? I’m game…

    Let’s go girls, LSD is single- which of you want to date him? At the very least, you know you will have a good time on the date…

  23. Ohhh LSD = Law School Drunk… I thought people were talking about tripping on LSD the drug as a fun date. I was like what is going on?!!

  24. AM – I think when guys pick vanilla dates it’s because they’re being wary of your feelings as an aidel maidel.
    Possibility 1: Pointless date. One thing about rollerblading Manhattan is that you don’t get a whole lot of communication time. Some might consider that kind of pointless as a date.
    Possibility 2: Modesty alert. Lots of maidels won’t bike in “public,” (which is to say, anywhere someone from high school might see them).
    Possibility 3: Inability problem. Due to the exigencies of life or possibility #2, many young ladies haven’t been biking or blading or skating in a while and might feel awkward about it. Or they might just not want to compete with a guy who can undoubtedly go faster for longer.

  25. Bad4 – Regarding possibility 2, if what they are doing is kosher, what is wrong with someone else seeing them? Or is it because people are uncomfortable dating in public? Maybe guys are also uncomfortable seeing people they know while dating, so they look for places where there aren’t any frum people around. I’ve had someone ask me how it’s going with a certain girl before we even went out for the first time. Is that awesome, or what?

  26. Double Trip – The way I understand the modern bais yaakov thought on the matter, biking in public is no good, but biking somewhere that is especially for biking is okay. So a mountain biking trail is okay, while the bike lane on the street is not okay. And apparently bike trails that abut streets are not good either, thus the Hudson River Greenway or Ocean Parkway are not okay.
    Of course, that’s just for the maidels who have to justify the fact that they’re biking. The truly aidel don’t ever get on bikes.

  27. You can talk when you roller blade, I did it on a date. The girl had told me on a previous date that she used to roller blade all the time as a kid and loved it, so that wasn’t an issue, and if she was the type of girl to cringe at the possibility of someone she knows seeing her as she roller blades across the GWB, we would not have still been dating at that point.

    It’s also not that difficult to find out beforehand if the girl would be cool with it. Just sayin.

  28. I’ll be next on the list for lawschooldrunk! I’m just unable to rollerblade…for lack of coordination reasons.

  29. I think the best date I ever went on was an early-evening walk along the promenade in Battery Park, interrupted by an impromptu ferry ride to NJ and back (basically, there are a lot of ferries to NJ along the promenade, and in making conversation, I remarked that I wondered where the ferry we were passing went. The guy responded with, “Let’s find out!”), followed by a casual dinner at Circa Downtown (in its previous incarnation). It was the perfect combination of planned and spontaneous, serious and fun.

  30. The publishable, memorable accounts: (the rest are just too identifying and/or unbeleivable to post – being that I’m still single)

    – A walk on the beach at night – beach was locked so I suggested we climb a fence. With lots of encouragement, the guy was able to take me seriously and climb over. Ok, I made him turn around while I climbed over. It was very romantic – moonlit beach, sparkling darkened ocean…..until the beach patrol spotted us an hour later and we climbed back out and drove off – only to be followed around the beach town, as we tried to lose the trail.
    – Any nearby beach for that matter. Plenty of local ones in Brooklyn, 5 Towns in NY
    – Hudson hotel near Columbus Circle – funky place lots of sitting choices – has a lovely paneled library room w games available to play as you sip overpriced drinks. Has an outdoor garden w a bohemian flavor.
    -The Marriot Marquis in Times Square to round out your dating portfolio.
    – Sneaking a guy into my summer camp – eating cereal on the back steps of building slightly off the main path, sneaking him onto the dock and sitting on a docked boat.
    – The Downtown Boathouse in NYC on the Westside Highway has free 15 min kayaking in an enclosed area in spring and summer.
    – SPin NYC – table tennis place
    – a remote rock overlooking a boatin lake in central park

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