Dating IRL: Where in NYC do you meet singles when you’re tired of Tinder?



First off, let me address last week’s column: Props to Mama Hogan on a job well done. Secondly, I’ve been grounded for a month.

Moving on.

I’ve made a livelihood off of Tinder, so it’s tough for me to come down on it. However, there are times when I just don’t want to use Tinder and prefer a face-to-face interaction with a woman.

Sometimes Tinder takes the fun out of the hunt. That doesn’t sound right, but let me put it in perspective so you ladies are on the same page. For me, going to a bar is like being out on a hunting safari. I want to bag the lioness – the most beautiful and feared predator out there. The lioness is out in the wild (hot girl at a bar), and I have to be a crafty hunter or I’ll end up its prey (be a smooth talker or I’ll get rejected).

Tinder is like putting a tracking device on the aforementioned lioness and then handcuffing its legs so it basically has no chance at escaping.

There are hunting grounds in NYC that I do particularly well in when I’m not in the mood for Tinder, which is rare.


Midtown East


From Kips Bay all the way up to Sutton Place, the East Side is a watering hole for young lionesses in the making.

Joshua Tree, Mercury Bar, Sutton Place – the names of these bars alone evoke a sense of drunken stupor that even my borderline alcoholic self can barely comprehend.

I clean up at these establishments for two reasons:

As mentioned above, these places are known for creating incredibly sloppy nights for all visitors, lowering inhibitions across the board.

The young alpha male crowds at these bars are just a poor excuse of post-college hunters who don’t have the right tools for the hunt. Sorry, but frat boy Derek who just graduated from Michigan State with a degree in who gives a crap doesn’t stand a chance against myself on the safari.


The High Line


Being walking distance to the High Line is one of the many benefits of living in NYC. I venture to the High Line about once every month and I don’t think there’s a single place in Manhattan that has more quality tail per square foot.

European women seem to have a real thing for the architecture and views and blah, blah, blah. The place is packed with Panthera leo europaea – that’s European lion, to stick with the theme.

And to continue that hunting theme, I have been absolutely mauled on the Highline. I’ve pulled a couple of numbers with no success. Eventually, I’ll bag one (pun kind of intended).


Session 73


A little further north of my Midtown East hunting grounds, I’ve done a lot of damage at Session 73.

Maybe it’s the booze or the live music from wannabe 80s rock bands that sooth the lionesses into a state of comfort around me, but whatever it is, it works. This is also the place where I bagged the rare, 30-year-old Brazilian lion.

She was ferocious, but I never panicked. No, I looked into the lioness’ eyes as she lured me back to her den. When we got back, there were several of her lion family members waiting. So I, the cunning hunter, looked into the laundry room in the lobby of her den, and said, “This will do.” The lion threw me onto the dryer, pounced on top of me, and the rest is not PG-13 enough for this column.

 For the record, that’s not a real type of lion – don’t bother Googling “Brazilian lion.”

Happy hunting!




Every once in a while, I get the sudden urge to step away from the screen and try to meet guys IRL. I know, I’ll give you a second to recover from the shock. Hey, a girl can only swipe left and right for so long! For girls, picking up guys IRL isn’t hard, however, picking up guys IRL that aren’t crazy/gross/horrible is hard and can be exhausting. Thankfully, I’ve mentally bookmarked a few spots that sometimes, on occasion, prove successful when it comes to meetin’ the fellas.


The Charleston


I go to The Charleston in Williamsburg if the goal of the night is to make out with someone (Hi, Mom!). It’s the perfect combination of wonderful and completely awful, and in all honesty it’s a great place to go if you want to hook up (Hi, Dad!). Now, I don’t always go simply to hook up, but all of the ingredients are there to make for such a night:

– A mix of people to pick and choose from, from Brooklyn hipsters and eager tourists, to 50-year-old punks if that’s more your thing – I’m not here to judge.

– $1 pizza to soak up the gin

– Watchful bouncers and bartenders who are more than happy to kick out creepy guys

– Walking distance to the L train for a quick getaway


The L train


Speaking of the L…This one is mostly for the weekend, because really, no one wants to deal with the hassle of flirting when you’re on your way to work (barely awake) or commuting home (zoned out and wanting nothing but sleep). The L train is one of the best looking trains and it’s hard to not have someone catch your eye.

On a typical Saturday night, I’ll fall in love with at least two people while riding the train. The hard part, though, is going beyond the fleeting eye contact. In a study that I just made up, researchers found that 99.9 percent of the time, neither party will make the first move. Nausea and regret are the most common side effects as you watch your true love exit the train at Union Square.


Washington Square Park


My Sunday routine includes an everything bagel with plain cream cheese, iced coffee, a book and a couple of hours in Washington Square Park. And lucky for me, many people of the opposite sex also enjoy this routine. The nice thing about meeting someone in the park is that people tend to be more open to conversation. When someone hits on you at the bar on a Friday night, you can most likely guess what their intentions are – if you can’t, bless your innocent heart – but in the park it’s not expected. For me, I’m more willing to talk to you if you ask me about the book I’m reading. Pro tip: Your opening line is literally right in front of my face.  


The U.S. Open


Any sporting event is a great place to meet someone with the same interests as you, but I’ve made it a personal goal to meet my next boyfriend at the U.S Open. I used to play tennis, but after I only made the JV team, my inevitable retirement followed and I’ve since settled for being an avid (read: obnoxious) fan.

The U.S. Open is a great place to find my perfect match and weed out the dummies AKA Nadal supporters. At the end of the day, if you can’t handle me at my worst (crying the second Roger Federer steps onto the court), then you don’t deserve me at my best (crying the second Roger Federer steps onto the court).


Head to amNY.com/dating every Friday, as Matthew and Kelly take on the realities of dating in NYC from both sexes’ points of view. To inquire about NYC dating advice, email them at amnydating@gmail.com. Your question may appear in a future column, but no names will be used.

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