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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

How Learning to Navigate Change Will Help You Succeed in Dating

Robert Manni - Monday, February 26, 2018


What happened to men? Nobody knows what they are doing anymore—especially the men.

There's no denying that women are on the rise and finally getting the recognition they’ve long deserved. The future is about the ascension of women and they are not going to take crap from men, especially those in power any more. But, that is not bad news for guys. If you are a real man, a Guys Guy if you will, there has never been a better time for dating. Women want the world to be a place where both men and women stand side by side and win. And that’s a very good thing. But right now, there is a communication chasm between the sexes. With all the changes and the #MeToo movement, many men don’t know who they are or how to act with women. Our culture is changing and if guys don’t learn how to adapt, it will seriously impact their ability to attract women and build relationships. Today’s women are shaking up the world and making things happen so understandably, they want to date men who know who they are, what they want, and focused on becoming the best they can be.

Let’s first acknowledge that men have an identity problem.

With their overdue recognition and all the success women are experiencing today many men find themselves out of touch, falling behind or out of sight. Men are at a crossroads in how they see themselves and how they fit in. A lot of guys’ masculinity is caught somewhere between the MMA and manscaping, and that’s no place to be. We are facing a male crisis and it’s up to men to evolve so women will appreciate and respect them. The good news is women are on men’s side. They want men to succeed. So fellas, it’s up to us do whatever needs to be done to get back in the game. Here are a few suggestions to help men be their best and become more attractive to women as people and potential partners.

1. Celebrate women

Men need to realize that women are not the enemy. They should support women's achievements in the workplace and throughout our society. A real man wants his partner to succeed and shows pride in her success. This is a quality that today’s women seek out. Men need to learn how to celebrate women. Women’s ascension and recognition is not a threat. It’s actually very good for men. With women taking on more of the heavy lifting and financial responsibilities, men are free to grow in other areas, including their education, spirituality, emotional intelligence and things they can do for their partner beyond providing for them financially. Today’s women are offering men this gift. It’s up to men to accept it and work on themselves. That’s seems like a good deal to me.

2. Go inside

It's an old adage, but the answers do come from within. The media is constantly bombarding us with fear and worry. Media and its forms of messaging intrudes into our subconscious so it distracts and hypnotizes us. For today’s men to maintain a true sense of self they need to learn how to "tune into themselves and tune out the noise." Although some men are exploring spirituality, holistic practices for optimal health, ways of getting in touch with themselves, the vast majority of following this path are still women. It’s time for guys to take that trip inside to learn what makes them tick and what is most important in life and to the women they love. Energetic practices including Reiki, hypnosis, meditation, tai chi, yoga, and even calligraphy are a few of the disciplines that show positive effects on men's self-knowledge and wellbeing. Women are good at sensing and reading energy, and a man with balanced, positive energy sends the right message to potential partners. But it’s an inside job.

3. Eat to win.

The benefits of cleaning up one’s body shows up many ways. Cutting back or eliminating habits like smoking, alcohol, red meat, preservatives, GMO's, dairy, and sugar not only improve a man’s physical well being, it also increases his mental clarity and his appearance. Autoimmune diseases begin in the gut, which is proven to work as our second brain. That means making the right choices when it comes to food and drink. Diet is an issue that many men overlook.

Too many guys still eat and drink the way they did in college. Men in their thirties are for the first time being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s symptoms which arguably due to diet and stress. . Unfortunately, many men still eat what tastes good rather than what's good for them. As a result, many men are becoming obese and breaking down much earlier nowadays. This is not sexy. Back pain, hip replacements, etc. take their toll on how a guy feels and appears to the opposite sex. Men prefer fit women and so it’s fair that women want men fit and capable of dealing with modern life’s challenges. Guys, evolving your diet as you age is critical to your appearance and mental fitness. Even modest change in diet has benefits. If you take care of yourself in a responsible way, and that does not mean you have to be a bodybuilder, women will respect your effort and find you more attractive.

4. A man is more than his job.

Many men define themselves solely by their jobs title and weekly paycheck. Sure, the economy's tough and we need that cash to keep us rolling in the style we’re accustomed to, but in today there is no job security. Jobs and titles change and most eventually fade away, leaving many men alone, and depressed with an identity crisis. So yes, money counts, but for a man to be truly successful and as attractive as possible to women, it's important for a man to know and love the guy he’ll spending the rest of your days with—himself.

No matter how smart or successful a man is, it's game over when he thinks he knows everything. Education keeps men on point and there are infinite opportunities for men to feed their minds and nurture their souls. Take a class, read a book, study a language, learn an instrument, practice yoga. Life is short. Take the time to do what strokes your passion. Discover the things that bring you joy. The more a man learns the more curious he becomes and the more interesting he will be to his partner. Knowledge is sexy.

Our world is changing, but there has never been a better time to be a man. Women are watching us closely, and I assure you that they are seeking qualities in their men beyond the size of their wallet and biceps. Men and abs help, but ultimately, today’s women want to date guys who know themselves and maintain a curiosity and passion for life. When a man develops these qualities, it definitely shows. And if men recognize and respect women, they can become very desirable to the ladies.

It's up men to take advantage of the resources available to live as vibrantly as possible. If guys make the effort to accept change and work on themselves, lots of available, intelligent and attractive women will be there to welcome them with open arms.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Valentine's Day

Robert Manni - Monday, February 12, 2018


Valentine’s Day is a day most guys dread. It’s commercial, pressure packed, and commercially exploitative.

If you’re single, you’ll feel left out. If you’re in a relationship, you’re running around at last minute looking for a cool gift for your lover. That’s not very romantic. But it doesn't have to be that way. What can a Guy’s Guy do to make this annual task of love work for you? The answer is to get out of the equation. Check your ego and make February 14th day all about your partner. If you personalize the day for her, you’ll get more satisfaction than you could hope for. Here are three Guy’s Guy hacks for turning this challenging into a day you truly celebrate.

1. Tried and true ideas can work if they are not the expected. Dinners, flowers, chocolates, jewelry, champagne, and lingerie have been the standard bearers. If you customize them, there is nothing wrong with choosing any or all of the above. If that’s the case, what separates a champion from a chump comes down to one thing— paying attention, personalizing the gift, and choosing something that first pleases your partner.

On Valentine’s Day, and on any day, women love receiving flowers. But, contrary to popular thinking, not every woman considers a dozen red roses her first choice. As you know, women have particular tastes about everything, and preferences for flowers are no exception. To make your choice special, find out which flowers she prefers ahead of time, even if you need to ask her friends.

2. When love is new, fan the flames. If you want to get intimate with a woman for the first time you are probably considering buying lingerie in the hopes that she’ll wear it for you on Valentine’s Day. But pause before picking out something small and red and just for you. She’s more than aware that you want her to give you the show. But unless she’s given you a big hint about recreational activities for Valentine’s Day, your Guy’s Guy says DO NOT buy her lingerie for Valentine’s Day if you haven’t been to bed with her yet. Take your time and don’t make her feel like she’s under pressure about getting it on with you on Valentine’s Day. If you want to get her in bed, there are other less obvious ways than buying her lingerie. Start by being thoughtful and unpredictable. Keep her off balance, be romantic, and use the element of surprise. Pick up tickets for that show she wanted to see, cook her a special dinner, or take her to that place she mentioned in passing or to somewhere she’s always wanted to go. The little things will get you over the top, amigo.

And instead of buying a big, red printed card with a long rhyming message, pick put a classy, elegant card with very little text so you can scribble your own heartfelt message about how much fun it is getting to know her and how much she means to you. Point out the little things you’ve noticed about her that make her special and why you want to get to know her better. Believe me, she’ll notice that you’re paying attention, and most likely you won’t need that red lingerie to get where you want to go. She’ll have something picked out just for you. If you express your feelings in a heartfelt way, she’ll bring it on when the time is right. And when she does decide to rock your world, fasten your seat belt.

3. Keep the fires burning… Again, it’s about personalization. If you buy her jewelry pick something that you think she’ll like and then kick it up a notch by inscribing it with a personal message. A former paramour once bought me a silver necklace and an understated pendant. Nice. When I looked closer at it I noticed that she had inscribed on the underside, “Love Slave”. Talk about marking your territory. It worked. Of course once my next girlfriend took one look at it, it went to the scrap heap.

Whether you are in a long-term relationship or marriage the written word really goes a long way. If you buy a card, write in it the ten special things that she does that make you love her. Tell her why she all those reasons why she’s so important to you or what makes her sexy and fun and giving. Let her know her in no uncertain terms that she is the one for you. And it won’t hurt if you clean the house before cooking her a special dinner.

You’ve got the idea now amigo. The key to a successful Valentine’s Day is making the dreaded day all about the other person. Then it becomes a good day.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Paul McCartney. After all, isn’t he the Beatle who wrote all those silly love songs?

Valentines Day: The Holiday About Love that Everyone Hates

Robert Manni - Friday, February 09, 2018


No, I don’t hate Valentine’s Day. I dread it.

I’d like to have a chat with good old St. Valentine. He may be a saint, but he’s got some explaining to do. The myth behind the man is as confounding as the commercial celebration of romantic love that sprang from his legend. What happened to this guy? Was he beaten to death with clubs, beheaded after restoring sight and hearing to the daughter of his jailer, or was he just a romantic legend created by Chaucer? Until the twentieth century, the tales surrounding this man had been spun more times than a soggy gym towel in the dryer. Eventually people figured out ways to make money and the real myth was born that we know today. Corporations that produce syrupy greeting cards, milk chocolate hearts, and jewelry saw the dollar signs and lovingly embraced Saint’s “brand”.  And since it’s a holiday, we are subjected to price gouging at restaurants and florists. In my informal survey the majority of men and women I spoke to conjured up emotions far from loving when they saw February 14th and a big red heart on their calendars.

What’s the word that comes to mind when men and women think of Valentine’s Day? 

Pressure. If you're single, Valentine’s Day reminds you that you are currently not on the invitation list to life’s love-in, which only makes you feel lonely and less than saintly. If you’re in a relationship, you have to step up your game and deliver the goods—big time. Women still dig flowers and chocolates, and receiving them unexpectedly… on any other day. And women love jewelry, but on February 14th it has to sparkle and be made of diamonds or gold.

Guys love seeing their woman dolled up in red lingerie, but consider this before making the purchase. Is that outfit for her or for the dude who buys it on Valentine’s Day? Tiptoeing around Victoria’s Secret and sifting through teddies, garters and thongs can be uncomfortable. A lot of guys are unsure as to what size she wears and they do not want to make a mistake.  You’ve seen them wandering around Victoria’s Secret checking out other women’s boobs while trying to figure out if they’re the same size as his girlfriend. It’s nerve-racking. Trust me - a man gets no kicks from discussing his lady’s cup size with the sales girl.

So how do guys get through this annual ordeal?

I have no clear answer. And, dialing up my own personal pressure cooker, my wife’s birthday is February 12th. I’m totally screwed. But there’s hope for some, even those not in a relationship. Some experts say that February 14th is the best night for single ladies to get lucky. That is, if they can rally their squad and muster up the juice for a manhunt. So, if you are a single guy, get your butt to the bars. And when you get there, keep your eyes off the hoops game playing on the big screen and open for those ladies on the lookout for some fresh man-meat.

If you’re a guy in a relationship, you’ve still got time to come up with something cool. Consider buying her a well-deserved pampering session at a top shelf spa. Or, maybe offer to cook her a romantic dinner. If you’re a woman, bust out the deep red lipstick and push up bra ensemble and rock his world. Trust me. That’s all he wants. As for me, I might end up cleaning the bathroom before taking my wife to her favorite restaurant. Then I’ll wish for February 15th.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Saint Valentine. He was an interesting guy and a saint. It’s not his fault that his life’s work was high jacked by commerciality.

5 Reasons the Eagles Lose the Big Game

Robert Manni - Friday, February 02, 2018


Don’t believe the hype. I’ve watched every Super Bowl, and besides enjoying a few timeless games, I learned one thing. Immediately following the end of the NFC and AFC Championship games, trust your gut and pick the team you feel will win the Super Bowl.

If you are a betting Guy’s Guy, place your bets with friends or whoever as soon as Vegas posts the spread.  The tricky part is…don’t change your mind.

It’s amazing how many tales are spun in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. If you swallow all the hype served up during those fourteen days, you’ll be convinced that the Eagles are going to maul the Patriots. You might bet big on the Eagles—maybe even offer to give points. Don’t do that. The NFL and media-driven hype machine are powerful. Why? Follow the money. Over 110 million people watch the Super Bowl. That’s a lot of Pepsi and Doritos. The NFL’s marketing machine needs to create a narrative that generates interest and drama in the game to attract a monster audience for its biggest event of the year. If you’re a sports fan, you know that the NFL’s ratings are down. They need a really big viewer turnout this Sunday night to protect their image.

Putting the hype machine aside, your Guy’s Guy is setting things straight by sharing five reasons why the Eagles won’t win the big game. For context, I’d like nothing more than the New England dynasty to end dramatically this week. I attended Villanova University for my undergraduate studies, and after living four years on the Main Line, I came to respect the Eagles for their grit and heart. I hope they win their first Super Bowl. But they won’t. Here’s why:

1. The Eagles defense is strong, but… There has been so much written about the speed, strength, and surge of Philly’s interior defense. The pundits tell us the way to beat Tom Brady is pressure up the middle, and that’s exactly what Philly’s Fletcher Cox led D-line does so well. What they don’t tell us is that a few weeks ago Eli Manning, QB of this year’s woefully bad New York Giants, passed for 429 yards as he shredded the Eagles porous secondary. Malcolm Jenkins is Philly’s lone star in the secondary. He won’t be enough to hold down a scrappy group of Patriot receivers and the massive Rob Gronkowski at tight end.

2. New England’s underrated defense and offensive line – Like I said, we’re hearing all about the ferociousness of Philly’s pass rush and defensive front line, but nothing about a Patriot offensive line. Let’s not forget that in the AFC Championship game, the vaunted Jaguar defense was sealed off and remained on their heels throughout the second half.  The Pats have a stout offensive line that usually knows how to protect Tom Brady. The other thing we’re not hearing much about is New England’s underrated defense, led by coach Matt Patricia. This group improved as the season progressed and let up a total of just 80 points in their last five games. Patricia is a whiz at shutting down his opponent’s top two offensive weapons. His schemes take them right out of the game. The Eagles do have decent running backs and wide receivers. They are balanced, but they have no real superstars on offense. They will have trouble scoring points. That projects a Patriot win if they score over seventeen points against Philly. They will.

3. Nick Foles – I was one of the numbskulls who bought into the Nick Foles hype when he replaced Carson Wentz after his injury. As a result, I lost my fantasy football championship when Foles only scored nine fantasy points in a December night game after the Raiders had been eliminated. Wentz, the Eagles starter, is a young stud QB. He is not easily replaced. Nick Foles is a capable journeyman who had a handful of eye-opening performances and some major duds. I don’t see him outdueling arguably the greatest quarterback of all time on the biggest stage he’s ever been on. A lot of people are wondering which Nick Foles will show up on Sunday. Your Guy’s Guy says it will be the run of the mill journeyman who throws two interceptions after seeing his trusty tight end, Zach Ertz, covered like a blanket.

4. Tom Brady – GOAT? It’s hard to argue against it, but he’s had a few strokes of luck in past Super Bowls against Seattle, and most recently Atlanta. And, he’s forty years old. That’s not enough reason for me to bet against him. He might be this year’s Most Valuable Player and his passing is as accurate as ever. How can you bet against this guy? I’m not. I say he throws three touchdown passes on Sunday.

5. Belechick – GOAT? Arguably. Bill Belechick is not a guy I’d ever root for. He abandoned the Jets, has been caught cheating, and comes across as miserable and kind of a dick. But, he’s a winner and he’s proven he will do anything to win. The Eagles are not a complicated team. They have good balance, pride, and a burning desire to avenge their loss in the 2004 Super Bowl to this same Patriot team. It would be nice if they won. But they don’t have enough weapons. They run a predictable, conservative game plan, and have a second string QB. They cannot afford to make mistakes this week. That does not add up to the Lombardi Trophy.

So there you have it, the cold hard truth about Sunday’s big game. It’s going to be another painful-to-watch victory for the Patriots, unless you are a Patriot fan. Most fans will be pulling for an upset. Sorry, it isn’t happening. Not with Nick Foles at the helm. Maybe next year though…

Final score New England 30 Philadelphia 20, and only due to a let game surge by the Eagles.

This week’s Guys’ Guys of the Week are the New England Patriots. Yikes, it was painful to type that, but a Guy’s Guy means being a good sport, having integrity and recognizing greatness. This is a great team that knows how to adjust during the game and almost always find a way to win.

5 Signs We're Lowering the Bar (And What We Can do to Raise It)

Robert Manni - Friday, January 26, 2018


Each time I scroll through the news online or even a good, old-fashion newspaper, I’m amazed at how crazy and dysfunctional our culture has become. The online news feed is a parade of real news, fake news, and oddities.

It seems like everyone is in debt, too busy trying to keep their job before being replaced by robots or AI, or too damn tired to realize they are being fed garbage and being told to like it. As a result, we are wallowing in a vast cultural slush. The bar has been lowered, amigos. People can’t afford to travel so they take boring “staycations”. They work more for less money, brown bag their lunch, and eat at their desks. They binge-drink in cramped apartments because they can’t afford to go out and drink at bars. These are desperate times.

Since technology shrank the world, entertainment is global. There’s less fresh thinking because the creative concepts need to travel. So we get K Pop, shitty sequels to bad movies, reboots or movies based on bad television shows, and generic music pumped up and pushed out by producers instead of talented new artists who can actually read music. When was the last time you heard some really fresh music? Cardi B? Timberlake, the new, urban woodsman? Really.

While we are being distracted by pop culture, regulations like net neutrality that protect people are being decimated. The rich keep getting richer while the rest of us are left fighting over the crumbs. Our culture reflects the discrepancies in income through the garbage sold to us as entertainment, often the same pile of refuse served up a different way.

Do we need another go at the XFL? Do we need to pay $100 to see an MMA fighter in boxing gloves get schooled by a boxer? They keep selling us crap. Why?  Because we buy it. Everyone was warned about the folly of the Mayweather vs. McGregor “fight”, but people still shelled out a Franklin because consumers are suckers who exposed to a month of media overselling can be brainwashed. Yes, a sucker is born every minute. Our culture is a mess. People are so fearful, worried, and in debt that they will consume almost anything corporate America feeds them just to escape their lives for a few hours.

So what’s a Guy’s Guy to do? Start by educating yourself and making your own decisions about how you want to invest your valuable time and hard-earned dollars.  Know that we the people collectively have the power to create change. People ultimately control what they buy. If they don’t open their wallets, products will be changed to suit their demands. Take organic food, for example. The only reason we’re not completely drowning in GMO’s and processed foods is that people realized that processed foods could be killers. Smart consumers don’t buy as much of the products sold down the aisle in cans or boxes. The change happened because consumers demanded better foods that foster good health.

So, we have choice. We may pay more for organic foods, but we forced Big Agra to listen. But change only occurs when our collective consciousness demands it. So the next time you reach for your wallet ask yourself if you are settling for garbage because you are flat-out tired and just need an escape, or if you can save that cash or put that money to use somewhere else until you get what you want.

Here are five examples of the dumbing down of our culture. I’m not discounting the fun quotient in some of them, but we can do better.

1. Eating Tide pods – This is not a joke. Young people are actually consuming those bright, swirly little plastic pouches that look like candy. They are not candy. This is DETERGANT and it is a very disturbing trend. Young folks, you can do a lot better things to entertain yourself besides eating soap. I have nothing else to add except, hey, P&G, how about changing those pods so they don’t look so tasty?

2. Bars featuring axe throwing- For me, the combination of alcohol, hatchets, and axes is not optimal. Is drinking and throwing axes fun? (editor’s note: surprisingly, yes) It must be, because there are more and more bars getting tricked out with an axe throwing area. What happened to bar shuffleboard and pool? I shudder thinking about what’s next after chasing Jack Daniels with axe throwing? Fight clubs for women? Hmmm, I think they already have that. If we need to get drunk and throw axes to blow off steam as a culture we are too angry and we drink too much.

3. Lipstick on pigs – If you haven’t noticed, those fast food and QSRs (quick service restaurants) are promoting the hell out of cheap menu items at $1, $2, $3 and whole meals for $5. We live in a fast-paced, fear-driven society where people eat suspect food quickly and on the go. There’s nothing wrong with a quick fast food fix in the rare times it’s absolutely necessary. But, many consumers live on fast food and the brands know it.

Lately, it’s gotten crazy. One affordable hamburger chain is now taking reservations for couples on Valentine’s Day so they can come to the store and celebrate their love with burgers served by table service. Be prepared ladies. Some broke dudes will give this a shot.

To keep their peeps coming back for more, chains also offer all you can eat delights like $3.99 for all the pancakes you can swallow. Here’s where we need to ask ourselves a few questions. How many pancakes should we be eating in one sitting? Three? Maybe four? What kind of flour is used in those pancakes? What’s in that syrup? Is it grade B organic maple syrup or high fructose corn syrup and food coloring? Ask questions and use your power. If it quacks like a duck…

4. Uninspired Hollywood – There are three trends in Hollywood just won’t slow down: superheroes, dysfunctional people, and violence. Every time I walk along the subway platform I’m inundated with posters for the latest movies and television shows. Besides posters for “Big Bang Theory” re-runs and “Young Sheldon”, the most frequent images are actors pointing their gun my way, people with blood spattered on hands and faces, or grim, angry, people dressed in black staring at me. And enough with the comic book superhero movies. Are we all still eleven years old?

There is another trend to blow out any movie that makes a few bucks into a franchise. Most of them are violent. Take the “John Wick” movies. The second one was actually better than the original, but the violence… Hundreds of brutal kills filmed beautifully. People love Keanu and this character, but when you think about it, aren’t we a bit insane to consume so much violence and murder as entertainment? Bad television shows like “Baywatch” somehow ran for years. Did we need a “Baywatch” movie? Did we need three “Hangover” movies? Nope, but here’s why they exist: The terrible sequels actually grossed more than the original because of sales in international markets. Hollywood is all about creating franchises that unfortunately have to get dumbed down in order to travel.

5. People don’t read – Every time I’m riding the subway and I see some reading a book I say to myself, “Hooray for New Yorkers”. Unfortunately, this is the exception, not the rule. Studies show that the vast majority of both college and high school educated Americans never enter a bookstore or read a book after graduating from their highest level of education. This truly is the dumbing down of society.

I’ll give you this. When we surf the Internet, we are technically reading. But reading a book is a commitment. I prefer fiction and the power of story, but the simple act of reading and finishing a book is critical to our individual and collective future. It’s bad enough that we’re confused about what is news or fake news. Read books and grow.

That’s my rant. Why was it necessary? Because as a Guy’s Guy, I want the best for me, for you and for us collectively. If we accept all the garbage shoved our way, we’ll only get more.  We have power in our pocketbooks and wallets to foster change. Use this power wisely and will help change our collective consciousness.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is you, the reader. Yes, I mean all the people reading this post. The simple fact you’ve invested the time to explore one man’s, or in this case, one Guys’ Guy’s perspective on the precious state of our culture is important. I thank you and hope you’ll be back for more next week. 

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Aging Part 4: Aging Gracefully

Robert Manni - Sunday, January 21, 2018


In our youth-oriented culture, the greatest challenge for many is recognizing and accepting the cold hard facts about aging. Regardless of how the botox, tummy tucks, hair restoration procedures, and teeth whiteners temporarily hold back Father Time, the clock keeps ticking.

We’ve all seen those attractive cougars pumping away at the gym or photos of them on social media in their bikinis on tropical vacations, and their male counterparts showing off their cars, guns, or trophy wives. I get it. We all want to stay relevant.

But as we age we need to come to terms with the reality that God-willing, we will all grow old. The party is not going to last forever. So what’s a Guy’s Guy to do when his hair is streaked with gray and his scrotum sags? You can plumb up your ball sack and hope for the best or you can take a deep breath and tell yourself, “Hell yeah! I’m a man of experience. Don’t mess with me.” I suggest the latter, and that’s my inspiration for this week’s post. I want to help us guys step into their unknown future with pride and élan. Heck, we’ve made it this far, so let’s show some class as we when approach the third semester of our lives.

1. Learn to adapt – I’ve got news for you. If you continue eating and drinking the same way you did in your twenties, unless you have Jagger’s metabolism, you’ll pack on the pounds by the time you hit forty. The real problems arise, though, after you gain the weight when you are not really aware of it and continue your indulgent habits. By the time you enter your fifties, your body will probably respond to the abuse with adverse reactions and begin its long descent of breaking down systematically.

There is some good news though. The world changes and you do, too. Your body replaces all of its cells every few years, so you are constantly regenerating and evolving. That means it’s important to step back every so often and take stock in how you eat, sleep, drink, how much you work, and how you either love or loathe the person you’ve become. Your cells are changing and so can you. So, get with the program, consider your life and lifestyle and what it is doing to you and make the necessary changes.

2. Stay fit. Eat well. – If you’ve been following my blog, by now you know how much importance I place in maintaining a healthy diet and physical fitness. Your diet comes down to choosing this or that during every meal. It’s that simple. Of course you don’t want to eat before bedtime, but beyond that, a healthy diet is built on choice. Beware of longevity’s enemies like sugar, alcohol, processed foods, and meat. Yes, meat. The average American consumes 212 pounds of meat every year. I stopped eating meat ten years ago. That means I’ve avoided eating more than one ton of meat over the past decade. I’m sure that has saved an immense amount of wear and tear on my internal organs and systems that have to break down all the burgers, steaks, chops, and bacon strips. If you are concerned about a lack of protein from going to a plant-based diet, don’t. Beans have way more protein and far less fat than meat.

I stay in shape, no matter what else is going on in my life. It has been a lifelong commitment that has always served me well. I do basically the same workouts as I did twenty years ago and maintain the same weight. It’s a fun challenge and a point of pride for me to keep my body clicking on all cylinders. And it helps buffer the ravages of aging. Cardio health and bone density are important markers for a strong and fit body. If you stay in shape, when something goes wrong, as things do, know that you’re doing all you can to stay fit. Following back-to-back robotic surgeries three years ago, my doctors continue praising me for how well I bounced back and maintained my body. That’s beyond looking fit, which I admit I like. It’s tending to and taking care of the totality of my body, mind and spirit. This is what keeps your Guys’ Guy’s engine running smoothly. If I sound cocky, forgive me. The thing is, I put a lot of work and I’m glad I have.

3. Accept the truth – Let’s face it. We’re getting older each and every day. There is no escape. So what’s a Guy’s Guy to do? Embrace it. Own it. Love your life and make the most of each day. Treat yourself well. Forgive yourself and others. Ignore the haters. Keep moving. You, and only you, chart the course for your life. Might as well do what you like and take those shots when they present themselves.

Forget about your chronological age. New opportunities arise every damn day. If you take care of yourself and make solid choices there is no reason you can’t keep rolling and rolling. Don’t fret about screwing up in the past. It’s over. Karma happens quickly so don’t worry about what was. If you stay positive, your energy and attitude will show. You’ll be a beacon to others. Love them, but don’t think just because your friends or family members have certain health issues that you will, too. Your body consists of ninety percent microbes. There are trillions of them inside of you. They are constantly at work killing off bad stuff. Thank them, support them, and tell them you love them. I promise you will feel a difference. You don’t have to succumb to disease. Stay positive. Your microbes are listening.

4. Be mindful of what you wear – If you’re like me, you like feeling young. That means I, like other boomers, need to be careful what we wear. That does not mean we have to wear beige khakis and a yellow polo shirt all the time. You can let your style evolve as you age. Pick jeans that fit well and look good. I dig raw selvedge so I spend a few extra bucks and wear them repeatedly. I never wash them either. Depending on your body shape and size, slim fit is fine if you can swing it. Say no to skinny jeans. Once you hit forty, rethink hockey jerseys, Zubaz pants, tank tops, and wearing your Yankees cap backwards. Keep the bling simple, buy a good watch, and ditch the cropped pants. If you really feel a need to wear a rock band t-shirt, keep it simple. Nothing wrong with the Stones logo, but dudes in their sixties don’t look totally awesome in Duran Duran, Star Wars, or WuTang Clan t shirts and caps. As you age, update your closet and give your choice in clothes some thought. Only wear what feels right for you. And ladies, if you are in your fifties, you probably don’t need to still let your hair grown down to your ass. And while you’re combing through your closet, think about giving that ocelot print mini skirt to your daughter.

5. Know yourself. Manage your emotions.  – It certainly feels like we live in an angry world these days— a function of our dysfunctional collective consciousness. I’m a Guy’s Guy, but I get angry, too. My pet peeve is people saying and doing stupid shit. That has occasionally made things kind of tough for me. So, I continue investing in extra time working on managing my thoughts and emotions. We are all works in progress, so even if I still blow my stack now and then, I do my research and I’m usually right about the issues that push my buttons. But at times I need to do a better job of softening my delivery of the truth.  Over the years I have come to know my behavioral triggers and flaws. Self-awareness, living one’s truth, and reducing anger can help us live longer. The truth absolutely sets us free. The question frequently is, can we handle the truth about ourselves? Life is a school. Learn your lessons well, amigos.

The week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Jeanne Louise Clament, the longest living person on record. She died in 1997 at the ripe old age of 122. I’ll bet she knew herself well, maintained her optimism, and managed her anger all those years. Stay classy… 

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Aging Part 3: Longevity

Robert Manni - Friday, January 12, 2018


For the first time, the average lifespan of Americans has gone down.

Can you believe it? Who doesn’t want to live a long, healthy, purposeful, life? Who doesn’t want to look and feel like they did five, ten, or even twenty years ago? It can be done, but you can’t trust Big Pharma, Big Agra or the government to do the work for you. WE need to do it ourselves and that takes education, and making the right choices every day. Time waits for no one and there is no better time to begin than right now. The good news is that you can build the foundation for rich, ripe and rewarding golden years if you make the right choices. Randomness aside, if you live right, you can play a major role in determining when “old age” begins.

Ever get those reminders from Facebook that looks like a recent, familiar photo with a friend? You look at the image thinking, wow, that was last year. You look closer and realize that the post was from five years ago.

Time is relentless. It never lets up and as we age it seems to go faster. If we want to stay on point as the years flash by, we need to treat our mind, body, and spirit with respect. With that in mind, I offer you my latest tips for living a long fruitful life, Guy’s Guy style.

1. Hydration – The leading cause of death for old people is lack of hydration. Simply put, two thirds of the human body is made up of water. Leave a glass of water on the windowsill for a week and what happens? It evaporates. That’s precisely what happens to our bodies as we age and fail to replenish the liquids. Take a look at senior citizens—some look great, but too many are hunched over and shriveled up with faces and bodies fraught with wrinkles. A big cause for that is a lack of water. Sure, aging plays a role, but the lack of hydration drives the process. Studies show that 80% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Drink, amigo. Drink lots and lots of filtered water. I use the ZERO brand water filters, but there are many to choose from. It’s worth it. Water is life.

2. Claim your health – This morning someone asked me what year I was born. I almost never think about my chronological age because I don’t believe it is the main factor in how old our bodies and minds really are. If you focus on the number, you’ll compare yourself to folks the same age, which can be misleading and downright depressing. I still have friends from high school, many of whom are overweight. Some have hip replacements or back problems, and more and more are no longer with us.

Of course anyone can fall victim to disease or an accident, but we can all participate in prevention and recovery. Three years ago, I experienced back-to-back robotic surgeries on my kidneys. I was stunned, but decided to take the necessary steps to reclaim my health. I researched the cause of the disease, not the effects, with the goal of reconfiguring my internal system so it would no longer accommodate the disease.  Robotic surgery probably saved my life, but Western medicine is primarily focused on reacting to problems rather than preventing them. That’s just the way it is, so it’s up to us to learn everything we can about caring for our bodies. This takes time, and the choices required are not always easy, but it can be done. My check ups have been great. I feel better and better. And my workouts are the same as prior to my surgeries. I never look back on what happened or what could have happened. It’s about the now, and my ability to keep learning and making the best decisions about how I live. I am confident I will continue improving, and I know a positive attitude makes a difference. We are what we think. We create our lives through how we manage our thoughts. Claim your health.

3. Feed your mind – Here are some fun facts—according to the Jenkins Group, eighty percent of families did not buy or read a book last year. Forty-two percent of college grads have never read a book after college. Seventy percent of American adults have not been in a bookstore in the past five years. People are hooked on TV, their computers, and devices, and as a result they don’t find time to read. You can argue that a lot of the time spent on our devices and computer is actually reading, but a good portion of what we consume is TV shows, music, and mind-numbing ads, little of which nourish our minds. Make an effort to read books. It will keep your mind sharp and nimble.

4. Feed your body - I could devote multiple posts to the importance of diet to longevity. With respect to your time, let’s simply explore the view from thirty thousand feet. By now we’re all aware of the crisis in our food supply. GMO’s, pesticides, nutrient-lacking processed foods, sugar, and factory meats are factors to consider when managing your diet for longevity. Are organic foods better for us? Yes. Is supplementation important? Because so much of our food lacks nutrition, yes. Is sugar hidden in our foods under other names? Yes. Are GMOs good for us? Nope. Do your research. Read the labels. If the label does not say non-GMO, it has GMOs. If it doesn’t say organic, it’s not organic. Choose wisely at every meal, and bon appetite.

5. Get outside- Stomping around the big city with rubber soled shoes on concrete while being pulverized by wifi, radiation, and noise pollution is not a healthy way to live. But, like pounding too many beers, we do it anyway. It’s a means to an end, but unfortunately we blind ourselves to the fact that these toxins can contribute to the end of us. Fortunately, nature has some antidotes. We live in an electric universe. The sky is positively charged while the ground carries a negative charge. When we walk barefoot on the grass or even lie down in a meadow (you can do both in Central or Prospect Park) your body is grounded, and grounding is good for you. Studies have shown that earthing or “grounding” improves blood viscosity, heart rate variability, reduces inflammation, helps us sleep, and reduces the effects of stress. We spend a disproportionate amount of time sitting indoors at work and home, and we need nature to help us rebalance. Get one with nature whenever possible.

6. Exercise – While you’re outside, consider the benefits of sunshine and cardiovascular activities. Whether you’re walking, running, golfing, playing tennis, sailing or swimming, exercise is a key building block of your foundation for longevity. Of course you can enjoy working out indoors, but wouldn’t you prefer a yoga class on the beach rather than a cramped, sweaty room in Midtown? Over the years, many of us develop issues with our joints and skeletal system, which curtails our ability to run distances, play tennis, or golf. If we are determined enough, we can always find alternative avenues for getting in a workout.

One thing I’ve picked up over the years is learning to listen to my body and adjust my workouts based on what it is telling me. I stay in good condition and listen, so I avoid pushing myself into a “no pain, no gain” mentality. That’s for your twenties and thirties. Like the greats who have enjoyed long careers, (think: Nolan Ryan, Tom Brady, Derek Jeter), we can still maintain our fitness and competitive edge if we listen to what our bodies are telling us.

I’ve ran three marathons. I could probably squeeze out another, but during my most recent race I distinctly recall my body advising me very strongly not to run another twenty-six miler in this lifetime. I was in my best condition ever for a marathon, but I ran my worst race. I bonked way too early and had a rough time rebalancing my blood sugar afterwards. So, I listened. I still log in eight, nine, and ten-mile runs without any issues, but I doubt I will ever want to run another marathon.

Listen to your body and then find alternative avenues for working out. Yoga, stretching, Pilates, stationary bike, elliptical, whatever. Find your way and just do it, amigo.

I think you get the picture. If you want to live a long, healthy life hydrate, eat well, read, maintain a positive attitude, get outside, and keep moving.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Mick Jagger. At seventy-four he still sings, dances and gyrates with the same élan he and the Stones have entertained us with for the past fifty-five years. Jagger is a great grandfather yet is constantly creating, while maintaining his fitness and a positive attitude.

Two Cool Practices to Reset and Ignite Your New Year

Robert Manni - Sunday, January 07, 2018


We’re a week into January and it’s been cold as hell, so no worries if you already fell off the wagon or never got around to setting your New Year’s resolution. There’s still time to lock and load, and I’ve got two top-notch Guy’s Guy’s tips to help you get a firm grip on the wheel for the long year ahead.

We’ll help you purge all the toxic garbage from last year, set your plans and start a kick ass, easy-to-manage additive diet plan to help you shed pounds and feel great all year long. We’re already a week into the New Year so we’ll keep it short and get right to it.

1. Purging and manifesting – Let me begin but clearly stating that this first suggestion is not my creation, but I’ve done it and it’s fantastic. Bill Phillips is a well-known psychic medium. You may have read about him or his contributions on Huff Po. That’s where I found his most recent post focused on manifesting what you want in the coming year, or really in any time frame, although it fits nicely into an annual practice. I will summarize momentarily, but you can read the whole article here.

All you need is a bowl, some paper, an envelope, and something to write with. First, write down all the things you want to release on a piece of paper.  This should be a list of stuff you believe no longer serves you. Then either burn the paper or tear it into little pieces and drop it in the bowl. Take a deep breath and visualize a pink light surrounding you and filling you up. Think of all those nasty things you want to jettison and exhale while visualizing a gray mist coming from your mouth filled with all that bad stuff. Do it a few more times or until you feel a release in the heart area. Now, take another piece of paper and jot down all the things you want to manifest this year. Start with something like “In 2018 I create….” Then seal your list in the envelope, and then hold it between you hands. Say a silent prayer asking for help in manifesting. Put the envelope away or give it someone close for safe keeping for the year. At this time next year, open it up and see how you did. My wife and I shared this exercise on New Year’s Day and it felt very fresh and cleansing. Again, all credit to Bill Phillips. At the end of 2018, we’ll find out how much we made happen. 

2. The Guys’ Guy’s Additive Diet –Most people are interested in losing weight in the New Year and starting on January 1st, gym memberships skyrocket, treadmills are jammed, and lots of people commit to “Dryuary”, a new term for giving up booze in January, after those alcohol-fueled past two months.

Over the years, I, like others, have tried and experimented with lots of diets and in many cases lost a lot of weight. But, like so many others, slowly packed all those pounds back on after returning to my former eating pattern and consumption. I asked myself how could I set a program that would assure me of losing weight and keeping it off for an entire year, without too much pain and sacrifice.

In fact, I recently finished my second attempt at intermittent fasting, a practice where you only eat during an eight-hour window each day followed by sixteen hours of “fasting”. During my two-month stint, I didn’t lose any weight. I’m not pointing a finger at the practice because I’m sure it works for others, but not for me. Maybe I ate and drank too much to compensate for the fasting hours, but whatever I did wrong, it resulted in my gaining weight. So I decided to come up with my own program that I’m doing right now and will be following for the next twelve months. Here’s what I came up with:

First, to make this a real program, I wanted to eliminate something that adds empty calories and saps energy.  The obvious answer was giving up all alcohol for the year. I’ve stopped drinking twice for five months, so I know I can do it. The practice usually turns into an “out of sight, out of mind” scenario where I don’t pay attention to booze, even if I am at a bar with the fellas. It’s a similar situation to what I experienced when I became a non-smoker almost thirty years ago. I underwent hypnosis and to this day, I still never really “see” or “say” the word or name of that product that comes in packs that people light up. I made the decision not to drink this coming year a few months ago, so I had time to get it out of my system. I didn’t want to pine for that one last a glass of buttery Chardonnay that I could have enjoyed over the holidays, so I drank to my delight from Thanksgiving through the end of the year. This made the first few days of the New Year easier to get through because I was mentally prepared. Because I always pack on the pounds when I drink, the key to the success and the bedrock of my yearlong diet is keeping booze out of my belly.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. Since there are so types of food, I have a pretty good notion about what triggers my weight gains. My main culprits were booze, pizza, ice cream, bread and pasta, and eating late in the day or in the evening. Of course, lots of other foods that made the list, like candy, chocolate, desserts, dairy, and that demon, sugar, which is hidden in almost everything we consume. So I decided I would write a list with fifty-two slots, each representing a week of the year. Each Sunday I will add a specific food item to the list that I’ll eliminate for the remainder of the year. Sound crazy? Maybe, but I like the approach because it provides me with a week to get a sense of what else I am ready to give up. I filled in alcohol for week one. As the week unfolds, I’m contemplating what item should be next. I’ve narrowed it down to ice cream or pizza. On Sunday, I’ll make my choice and see how I feel next week. Since I already know that alcohol is in my no-fly zone, all I have to give up is one item each week. I’ll attack a few big ones in January to get me off to a strong start.

By the end of 52 weeks I will have eliminated fifty-two items from my diet. Hopefully, by then I will be lean and feeling studly and strong, physically and mentally.  Along the way I’ll glean results with each thing I give up, so hopefully that will spur me on week after week. This may sound nuts and it might not be the type of program that works for you, but I have a strong sense that this is going to be one killer program that provides fast lasting results. The biggest challenge might be figuring out what to give up next by week forty or so. But that’s a fun task and when I get there it means I’m winning, winning, winning.

So that’s it. Give up something you crave for the entire year and add one thing to your list each week. Can I do it? We’ll see. You’ve got to admit that it’s a clever approach. I think that a key to success is visualizing my new weight, my increased energy, and a healthier appearance, instead of focusing on the negative and what I am giving up. Maybe it can work for you, too. Your call, amigo.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is psychic medium Bill Phillips for sharing his practice for manifestation. It’s worth doing any time you’re seeking a reset.

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.


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