Whether you’re new to New York or a stranger to Seattle, if you’re single you come to the city with the hope that you’ll meet the man or woman of your dreams. Bigger city, bigger chance of love, right?
Even though there are more fish in the sea, the chance that any of them swim in your direction is a lot slimmer than you might think. Here are all of the cliché places I have tried (and failed) to find someone at least halfway decent enough to have dinner with.
1. That really trendy coffee shop by your apartment.
We’ve heard it a million times before: you walk into a coffee shop and accidentally bump into someone, spilling their coffee all over the floor. You apologize profusely and look up into the eyes of a person who just so happens to have the looks of Channing Tatum. You strike up a casual conversation and soon he’s buying you coffee there every Friday before work.
Now let me tell you what actually happens. First, you end up spending way too much money on a cup of coffee so small that a cup sleeve won’t even fit around it. Second, you realize the only people in this trendy hipster coffee shop are staring intently at their laptops and have very little to no interest in you trying to strut to a seat in the corner. Third, you end up sitting by yourself using up most of your 3G plan because trendy coffee shops don’t always have Wi-Fi like Starbucks does.
Moral of the story: you will leave feeling as bitter as your tiny unsweetened organic coffee.
It’s Sunday and you honestly can’t bring yourself to make another omelet and the thought of washing all of the dishes that pancakes create makes you want to curl up in bed and never leave. Instead, you decide to go to brunch. Your friends aren’t available and you’re hesitant to go alone, but you decide to just bring the Sunday paper along. Plus you heard about this one girl who went to breakfast by herself and while she was reading the paper she glanced up and made eye contact with a man across the restaurant sitting alone. He ended up coming over and eating with her and now they’re married and living behind a white picket fence.
So paper packed and makeup done, you go to brunch. The fact that you’re eating alone doesn’t bother you, but the amount of couples at brunch makes you want to add more vodka to your mimosa. You’d forgotten that no one likes brunch more than couples and families with adorable children. Don’t forget about the couple that just got engaged and don’t release each other’s hands during the entire meal. Vomit.
Moral of the story: you will leave brunch slightly hungover and green with envy.
3. The subway
You’re running late to work and traffic looks like it won’t ever move out of the city so you decide to take the subway. You have your day planner tucked away inside your bag and as you snag a seat you pull it out and jot some things down. As you write in your schedule for the week in immaculate typewriter-esque handwriting, you put your pen between your teeth to think and as you look up you make eye contact with the businessman in the suit and tie across from you. At the next stop, he gets up and moves to sit next to you and comments on your busy schedule. You flirt a bit while you continue writing (you really do have a busy schedule) and you leave the subway with both his number in your planner and your ego soaring.
In reality, everyone had the same idea as you. Since traffic seemed impossible, all of New York City’s working class decided to cram themselves into the one train and you have no choice but to join them. You squeeze yourself in so close to the person next to you that you can read every one of their text messages without even trying. Plus with that many people it’s so hot and noisy that you start sweating which really ruins the hairdo you spent a half hour on that morning and you put in your headphones to drown out all the noise.
Moral of the story: Take a taxi when you’re running late. You have a better chance scoring a date with the driver than with anyone you accidentally brush hands with while grasping for a subway pole.
4. A bookstore
Even if it’s Barnes & Noble and not some hole in the wall bookstore with ladders strewn across the room to reach the top shelf, it has the potential to be a good place to meet someone. If you’re into the nerdy, coffee loving, mysterious type then books are always a good place to start. Plus a bookstore is a great place to spend a couple of hours when the weather isn’t the greatest. You could spend hours roaming the shelves and reading summaries when suddenly as you reach for the next book your hand touches someone else’s who just so happens to be reaching for the same one. You apologize and stare into the clear blue eyes of an indie God with a smile that makes you go weak in the knees. You hold a conversation about Tolstoy and agree to read the book you both touched and discuss it over dinner on Friday.
What you may have forgotten when you walked into said bookstore is that a majority of the people inside love to read. When you walk in, their heads will all most likely be buried in a book, only glancing up to sip on their cappuccinos. Then there’s the fact that generally cities don’t provide a lot of seating in public places so you’re stuck reading summaries on the floor or standing the entire time.
Moral of the story: Bookworms can be hard to approach and may startle easily. Proceed with caution.
5. A museum
Whether it’s raining or profusely hot, a museum is always a good place to spend a day off from work when the weather just isn’t cooperating. You can go inside and walk around leisurely for hours, and most museums cost next to nothing for entry. As you glance at a painting by Monet, a man walks up behind you and makes a corny but flattering pick up line about how he’s already starting at a work of art (meaning you). You laugh politely, and when you turn around you find out he’s actually very attractive and refined. You discuss the difference between brush strokes and the pros and cons of oil paint. You make plans to attend a swanky art gallery opening he’s been invited to next weekend and you shop for an appropriate dress on your way home.
Unfortunately, museums are also a very popular tourist attraction, especially when the weather is not ideal. Paintings can often be overcrowded and not a peaceful place to stroll. Additionally, a lot of those refined art-loving men attend nearby colleges like NYU and are only there because it is an assignment for class.
Moral of the story: Don’t discuss logistics of a painting if the only thing you know about painting is how to do it with your fingers.