Contact Robert Manni:
robert@robertmanni.com
GUYS' GUY'S GUIDES
RSS Subscribe

On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

10 Cheap Dates In and Around New York City (Part 2)

Robert Manni - Saturday, December 16, 2017

New York City is a wonderful place to go on a first date, but it can cost you a bundle. If you’re creative, it’s not necessary to empty your wallet.

Last time we covered Harlem, the High Line, Central Park, Koreatown, and Battery Park City. I’ve lined up five more options for you, so buckle up and prepare to save money while having a great time. I hope you had time to check out one of last post’s recommendations. The most important thing to glean from these posts about affordable first dates is the importance of tapping your imagination to look at first dates with fresh new eyes. You don’t have to break the bank to impress a new connection. If you’re authentic, creative, and have a spirit of fun, you can find a solution to “where am I going to take her tonight?”

You might have noticed that all of my recommendations have been located in Manhattan. There’s a reason. If you live in one of the outer boroughs or fabulous New Jersey, you can usually find something to do on a first date that’s within budget. It’s not nearly as challenging to go on a cheap date in the outer boroughs. Although you can still buy a banana for a quarter, Manhattan is damn expensive. So, our focus remains in Manhattan. I will, however, include one idea that can take you away from the core of the Big Apple.

So in no particular order, here are five more cheap dates ideas in or around New York City.

6. Open Center, Meta Center, Cayce Center - What better way of getting to know what’s inside your new connection than a yoga class, metaphysical workshop, or an exploration into accessing your Akashic Records? Not everyone is in touch with their spirituality in the same way and some prefer keeping this area of their lives private, but a Guy’s Guy can meet lots of intelligent, attractive women who would welcome activities of this sort for an out-of-the-box and affordable first date. The venues mentioned above are but a few of the many spiritual outposts sprinkled throughout the city.

7. Chelsea Piers – If you like a hot workout followed by cooling off with a few brews, you’ve come to the right place. And you might order a Michelob Ultra while you are at it. Chelsea Piers offers indoor and outdoor activities for everyone. You can shoot hoops, rent kayaks, drive golf balls, bowl, skate, push iron, or take a fitness class. The list of activities goes on and on, and there’s a nice brewpub here also. And if your new date is not athletically inclined, you can take a long walk along the picturesque walking path along the Hudson River. You’ve got lots of options and it’s not expensive. Check their website for more info.

8. Any Museum – Where do I begin and end? New York City has the Met, the Guggenheim, the Frick Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New Museum, Cloisters, Intrepid Sea and Space Museum, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, Transit Museum and many more. I can’t think of any other city on the planet that offers the diverse options of museums than the Big Apple. Some of these venues are free, but most ask for a donation of your choice. In most cases you set the price. You can’t go wrong when going to a museum in the city.

9. West 79th St Boat Basin – Take the subway to 79th Street on the West Side and walk west towards Riverside Park and the Hudson River. You’ll stumble upon a cozy marina and café in front of a marina. It’s a great place when the weather is nice and you want to enjoy a mellow outdoor space away from the din and bustle of Midtown. I took my future wife here on our first date and we’ve been together ever since so I am proof of the sparkles possible at this picturesque venue.

10. Local Beaches – You probably don’t think of New York City as a beach town, but Coney Island, City Island, Long Beach, and even Asbury Park, New Jersey are within striking distance. So, if you have a day or long afternoon and early evening set aside to make inroads with a special lady you want to spend quality time with on a first or second date, the beach is a solid choice. I cannot think of a more fun way to spend a nice long day than at the beach or chilling at a café near the water. All of these quirky locales are accessible by mass transit. Coney Island is how Brooklyn rocks the beach. City Island is an oasis in the Bronx lined with seafood cafes. Long Beach is about an hour’s train ride from Penn Station that offers a nice slice of beach along the south shore of Long Island without having to schlep to the Hamptons. And if you are adventurous, consider formerly tragic and newly hip Asbury Park, NJ to experience a hipster Brooklyn vibe at the Jersey Shore.

Okay, amigos, I’ve only scratched the surface with these ten ideas out of the myriad of affordable first dates options in and around New York City. It’s up to you now to use your imagination and come up with a few fresh concepts of your own. Then, get in touch with that special new lady and set it up. Yeah, it’s that simple. Good luck!

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is your Guy’s Guy. Why? I’m here to help. That’s all. Having lived and thrived in this crazy city for many years, I know how New York is constantly changing and often overwhelming. I know they’re a lot of very cool places to go on a date in this city, but nowadays dating can be really expensive and some places are not as great as the hype. So, it’s important to keep your game on and find simple, creative ways to have fun when you’re on your way up, but still on a budget. Until next time…    

10 Cheap Dates In and Around New York City (Part 1)

Robert Manni - Friday, December 08, 2017

No matter where you live, being single and in the market for love in New York City can be expensive. And if you live in Manhattan, the stakes are raised. There are thousands of single people and cocktail and coffee bars in New York, and you can run up some serious debt once you get a taste for the amazing women and all the cool places to go in this town. So you’ve got to use your noodle if you want to be able to save some actual cash for that real relationship you may be gunning for. Dating and relationships cost money, and if you’re in the stage of life where dating is a sport, it can become a very expensive hobby or pastime. A night out with dinner and drinks can easily run up a bill over a few hundred, not even factoring in your Uber, taxi, or the dreaded mass transit ride home. And even if you are only out for drinks, at $20 a pop, two rounds of hipster cocktails and some apps, plus tax and tip can cost a C-note. With wages still stuck at 90’s levels, dating is very costly indeed. Dating should not cost an arm or a leg, and you work hard for the right to meet a few potential new partners a week while in your prime single years. This is when you want to have fun without having to think about what you are ordering and every penny you are spending. That’s a drag.

So what’s a Guy’s Guy to do? It’s easy to meet women in this city and even easier to score dates online or through all those apps. But how can you enjoy the company of a pretty lady or two without breaking the bank? Well, amigo, every romance has to start with the proverbial first date, so you need alternatives to drinks at the latest mixologist lounge. Like free bar finger food, you Guy’s Guy will offer up timeless starters for first dates that will help you get to know and make a good first impression without the stress of emptying your wallet or crypto-currency account. So, I have picked out ideas to help you get to know someone new without busting your budget. I’m also assuming that the Guy’s Guys reading this will at man up and offer to pay for a first date with a young lady who has caught their eye. I’m going to start with five options this week, hoping you give at least one of them a try before I toss out another five your way next time.

Drum roll please… 

1. The High Line – Way, way back, what is now known as the High Line used to be a railroad that shipped goods between the Meatpacking District and the rail yards near the docks adjacent to West 34th Street. The rails stayed put after the trading and shipping along the lines stopped years ago. During the late nineties, a group of smart New Yorkers, including David Bowie, decided it was time to clear away the overgrowth and turn the High Line into an above ground pedestrian walkway. It was a brilliant vision, and soon the money flowed in so that the work could begin. The transformation was handled in chunks as sections beginning around West Street and worked north until the project reached completion this year. And what a job they did. The High Line is a gorgeous path that winds its way a level above the far west side of the city through various condo projects and the Hudson Yards. It takes about thirty minutes to walk and at a cost of zero it’s hard to beat. If you want to break for refreshments there’s a brewery and a number of coffee houses and cafes along the way. The High Line is a fantastic first date location that won’t cost you a dime if you don’t feel like stopping for a brew or a cup of Joe.  

2. Central Park – Okay, so this isn’t new like the High Line, but having traveled the world, I can’t think of a better place to run, walk, enjoy gardens, fountains or flowers, play tennis or softball, throw a Frisbee, walk a dog, take a boat ride, go bird watching, hike a trail, see a puppet show, or take in a zoo than glorious Central Park. And, almost everything you do in the park is free. The park spans from Fifth Avenue on the East Side to Eighth Avenue on the West Side and from 59th Street to 110th. It’s a big, vast, and it gets better and better every year. If you are looking for a solid pick for a first date or meet up, consider all the options the park provides. 

3. Koreatown – The 32nd Street strip predominately between Fifth and Avenue of the Americas in Midtown is home to what’s often referred to as K-Town. The restaurants on the street level serve delicious, savory, healthy hot meals at great prices. On the higher levels you’ll find bars and karaoke clubs where you can drink and sing with people from all over the world. And the women are very pretty. There are lots and lots of places to choose for great food and drink and K-town is relatively inexpensive. 

4. Battery Park City – Although New Yorkers usually think of this downtown West Side strip of land as a boring, residential oasis, it’s actually a very nice area to walk along the water and take in the sights, or grab a bite or a brew. You can to learn how to sail, sit at one of the many outdoor cafes, or stroll further downtown through the sparkling new Oculus transportation hub and Brookfield Place with its many shops and restaurants. For a cheap first date it’s hard to beat a walk along the ever-improving waterfront or taking a Water Taxi to another stop along the coastline. And when there is a lot of gorgeous nature to take in with your eyes, it becomes easier to manage how much green is coming out of your wallet. 

5. Harlem – After spending a year looking for a place to live, seven years ago I moved from Midtown to Southwest Harlem. And I have never looked back. It’s a wonderful place to live. Don’t call it SoHa, though. Eighth Avenue turns into Frederick Douglass Boulevard after the circle on 110th Street. FDB, as it is known, functions as an entry point to Harlem for a surprising number of New Yorkers who have no idea what to expect or where to go when they head uptown for the first time. One of the great things about Harlem is that most of the buildings, even the newer condos, top off at around twelve floors. This creates a significantly more open purview than Midtown and the streets and avenues below in Manhattan. Although Harlem is filled with lots of history and art, if you are coming here for a first date, I suggest you begin with a walk along FDB north between 110th and 125th or up one of the blocks nearby. This gives you easy access to more options while you’re on a first date and probably learning your way around the hood. There are a number of bars and restaurants along FDB on this strip that won’t empty your budget. Harlem is not cheap, but it is not nearly as expensive as Midtown. You can also take a walk along the Harlem Meer near 110th Street in Central Park or check out the Lasker Rink for a swim or a skate depending on the time of year.

You have five very different options to consider for a cheap first date, and we’re only halfway done. Next time I’ll offer up five more hot and cool locales for you. After that, amigo, you’re on your own. I’ll hold off on naming our Guy’s Guy of the Week until part two of this post. So, now you’ve got a week until I reveal the next five options, so get out there give one or two places a try, and let me know what you think.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Dealing with Difficult People

Robert Manni - Saturday, December 02, 2017


There are a lot of truly wonderful people in the world. But why does it seem like we’re constantly confronted by difficult and annoying people who push our buttons?

I see you nodding your head right now. It could be those subway dancers swinging their limbs around the pole right in front of your face on the A train, that person in your building who never responds to your friendly greeting, those passive aggressive colleagues who are too weak to state their opinion to your face, but somehow grow muscles while sitting behind their keyboards so they can snipe at you from the safety of a group email thread, or that sibling who from some reason only communicates with you via text. Yep, dealing with these types can be a challenge for a Guy’s Guy. So how can we begin to see these people differently and not lose our cool when dealing with their tired acts?

I’m not exactly sure why it feels like these folks show up way so often, but I do have some ideas to share with you about who and what they are, and how to deal with them. Let’s call this one, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Dealing with Difficult People.  I’m tempted to call them assholes, but for the most part these are decent people whose choices all-too-often fall into the anal category. Again, let’s not be too harsh. Who hasn’t said or done something they later regretted? I have. Let’s dive in and explore why these people show up in the first place.

Every person is on a path of raising his or her conscious. We’re all coming from the same place, and are headed in the same direction. But this is a long, long journey and our ascensions are on different timetables. Eventually we’ll all reach “oneness” and become fully realized beings after we’ve learned our lessons, but due to a number of factors, each person’s journey varies greatly. There is little one can do to hasten the pace of someone else’s journey, besides simply leading by example. People have to learn on their own. If you do believe in reincarnation or a recycling of the soul, you’d agree it might take another person lifetimes before they reach your level of awareness. And the same could be said of you, compared to other more evolved souls. No one is better than anyone else, but every person’s journey has a different trajectory.

So, Guy’s Guy, what does all this esoteric babble have to do with those annoying people busting our chops? Actually, it’s all very relevant. Part of the soul’s journey within its the human form is to overcome the things holding back its ascension. For many of us, it feels like we’re always confronted by the same teeth-grinding circumstances and people who push our buttons. But unless we learn to overcome challenging circumstances and people’s behavior, we’ll continue to experience them over and over again.

If this sounds similar to movie Groundhog Day, you’re right. Bill Murray’s character kept reliving Nate Ryerson, the same day, and all the same experiences over and over again until he learned how to interact with them from a place of love. And that’s our collective challenge: How do we learn to address every issue and choice we make in life from a perspective of love, as opposed to fear? Fear turns to anger. Fear lashes out. Fear backstabs. Fear is dishonest. Fear is an asshole. And fear suckers us in through our ego. Ego is fear’s best friend. Our ego is constantly telling us that it wants to protect us, but in reality, ego only wants to protect itself. Fear keeps man enslaved in a recurring dream where we are continually confronted by the things and others that annoy us until we learn how to rise above the bad behavior of others without judgment. And that’s no easy task.

So how do I deal with those passive aggressive colleagues or that sibling who only communicates with me via passive aggressive texts? Tell me how to transcend the nonsense? Relax, amigo, you’re already getting upset. There are a few things you can do to make your way past those situations and people who continually upset you. Consider the following…

1. Become a witness – Last week I had my buttons pushed by some owners in my fantasy football league. Our commissioner sent out an email extending our trading deadline by a day because he’d neglected to remind us of the deadline, as he does every year. Within that short window four major trades were made. Our commish approved the deals and players switched teams. Yipee! That is, until one of our owners, who happened to be in first place by a wide margin complained. He said the rules are the rules and they could not be changed without an amendment to our league constitution. Yikes. He added that he had been too busy working to make a deal. Of course, his team was facing my team that weekend (and I am the reigning league champ). I had just traded for the number two running back in fantasy football and was primed to make playoff run as I did last year. I was steamed about his protest, but even more so when the other owners, who I think saw the powerhouse I had created, sided with him. I pushed back a few times, which only strengthened the group’s resolve. I soon found myself on the defensive, as if I had done something wrong. I eventually backed off and ironically; my team beat this willy-nilly owner’s ass by almost fifty points last weekend.

After I had an opportunity to review the situation, I came to the conclusion that I was right. These guys were not going to let me strengthen my team in such dramatic fashion. I stepped back though. It was time to learn a lesson about handling these types of situations and people. The word “witness” kept popping into my head. I needed to step back and separate myself from the situation, state my case, and then watch the others do whatever they decided. I would let it go and forgive them for the bullshit, but not necessarily trust them in the future. That’s my take. I’m sure they would disagree. But, I am the one who has to live with myself. I’m not really concerned about them or what they think about me. So although my trade was rescinded, I won the game and the day because I had been given a great gift from them by my learning how important it is to be a witness to my humanity.

2. Don’t take things too personally – As in the case above and the others that I cited earlier, when trying situations arise, it is usually about the other people, not about you. You can always win if you stay in your truth while being detached from the behavior of others.

3. State your case, and make it about choices – When things start getting personal, shift the playing field. Make the discussion about the issue. State your case clearly. If you think someone is being an asshole, it’s okay to disapprove of their decisions and their choices. Pull up, though, if you see they are making assumptions about your take on their character and taking things personally. In the case of the fantasy football trade, the owner I was challenging claimed I was questioning his integrity when I was only challenging his actions. He’s a decent guy, but I called bullshit on his actions, not on him as a person.

4. Don’t get sucked in too far that you blow your cool – I get upset when my sibling insists on only communicating with me via text messages. It’s become more of a means of relaying of information than a dialogue. It’s incredibly annoying, and on occasion I’ve been pissed off. I finally realized this relative has a personal issue he has to deal with. So when I get a text from him, I take a breath and wait before responding. It sucks that I have to do this, but if this is what I need to do to keep the peace, so be it. I look at it as an opportunity to learn patience.

5. Know when to let go I held my ground on the football trade until the passive aggressive email sniping got personal. At that point, I knew it was a no-win situation so I let it go. That weekend my team beat this ass. The following Tuesday a flurry of emails responses went out when our commish sent out possible playoff scenarios as we headed into the final week of the season. My name came up repeatedly in that thread and I’m sure the other owners were expecting some crowing on my part after my big win. But, I didn’t respond—they knew who won. No gloating necessary.

This has been long post, amigos, and hopefully you picked up a trick or two from a Guy’s Guy who has often learned about life, love and the pursuit of happiness the hard way. That’s okay though. We are here to learn.

This week’s GUY’S GUYS of the WEEK are the owners in my fantasy football league. Their questionable choices and behavior, some good, some bad, helped me get a grip on my own reality and the lessons I need to learn. Will I get into it again with them in the future? Probably, but hopefully I’ll take a different approach. 


Recent Posts


Tags


Archive

Connect with The Author

Visit my profile on YourTango Experts

Buy THE GUYS' GUY'S GUIDE TO LOVE Now!

Watch The Sizzling GGG2Love Video

Listen to Guy's Guy Radio!

What if you knew men's deepest, darkest dating secrets?

Sign up and find out *



Subscribe to: Pre-Launch Signup Form

*You'll receive three tasty chapters of The Guys' Guy's Guide to Love.

What People Are Saying

"THE GUYS' GUY'S GUIDE TO LOVE is the man's successor to Sex And The City
~ Dan Wakefield, author of Going All The Way
"GREAT book, fun read, very 'real'"
~ Janis Spindel, founder of Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking, Inc.
"Prepare to man up and hunker down for this exuberant guided tour of the male sexual psyche."
~ Ian Kerner, NY Times best-selling author of She Comes First
"A contemporary look at "Mad Men". Very compelling, almost addictive. Manni knows too much about women."
~Judy Wald, "the master manipulator and undisputed leader in the ad placement scene for forty years," according to New York Magazine
"Manni astutely captures the mindset of guys when it comes to dating and relationships. A well-written parable of lust, greed, and ego."
~Brad Berkowitz, author of The 21st Century Guide To Bachelorhood
© All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy