Dating! Who has the time, amiright? When I was single, I was constantly falling victim to a problem I started to call the second date vortex. First dates are fine and easy to find some time for — you just want to meet for drinks or whatever and do some spark reconnaissance. But the second date? That’s when you want to carve out some hours to get to know the person/do something non-basic, but who has the time? In this economy? With deadlines and television programs to live tweet, bike repairs to make, that stack of unread New Yorkers to tackle and a pile of laundry threatening to become sentient and drink all your beer while you’re away.
Well Valen Time is coming up, and seeing as multitasking is breaking through as the defining trait of our generation, we have a solution: multitask dating! We rounded up the most productive dates you can have in Brooklyn, where you can knock somethings of the errands list while still checking off some names on your tinder matches.
GO ON A DATE WHILE … DOING YOUR LAUNDRY
Doing laundry is important for your dating life. But sometimes you’ve got to wing it when all you’ve got is a 20-year-old pair of Jncos and an XL Billabong sweatshirt. But at least you can tackle that pile of your dirty whites while you get to know someone.
Sunshine Laundromat in Greenpoint recently expanded from a laundromat that happens to have a few pinball machines to a full-on bar and pinball paradise that happens to have a laundromat in front. You go through a speakeasy entryway made of dryer doors and emerge into a huge back room with skylights and three walls lined with pinball games, and one fortune-telling ape. The bar serves craft beer and Roberta’s pizza, and the selection of pinball games might be the second biggest in the borough (after Jackbar). Bring your laundry, bring your date and a fat stack of quarters. Maybe you’re date will get wild and the night will turn into a chance to win an extra ball: LIT.
GO ON A DATE WHILE … DOING YOUR TAXES
It’s tax season, and unless you’re one of those people who don’t file your taxes, it’s time to start thinking about it. Freelance taxes are a beast, and regular taxes can be depressing too, so you might need a drink to ease the pain anyway. This is why you should invite your date to Bushwick’s Yours Sincerely this month, where the bar will have a tax preparer on hand you can pay to do your dirty paperwork.
Tax preparing is not the most romantic thing, but the craft cocktails there might set the mood, and doing your taxes in front of your date is a way to show off and say hey I’m a responsible adult who also makes enough money to be considered a real taxable human by the government. Each tax session comes with a free drink and depending on the size of the refund you get, you might even be more inclined to pick up the check.
GO ON A DATE WHILE .. WATCHING A MOVIE AND WORKING OUT
Woah did we just kick it up into TRIPLE multitasking? Told you our generation was good at this. Let’s say you’ve got a date in mind and they’re not averse to sweating a little. But you’re also averse to direct human conversation so you’d also like to bring your date to a movie. Retro Fitness, that ketchup-and-mustard-colored gym on Berry Street in Williamsburg, has the perfect combination: Cardio Movie Theater, a workout room and theater that offers a wide selection of cardio equipment (treadmills and the like) while showing movies.
The gym offers free guest passes for first timers; annual memberships are $100 + fees. The gym is right across the street from The Levee, which makes for great, post-workout cheap beer-and-shot drinks.
GO ON A DATE WHILE … GETTING YOUR HAIRCUT Like the magic of a 90s teen romcom, you could turn yourself from dud to stud or from zero to shero right in front of your date’s eyes. Blind Barber in Williamsburg is a mashup barber shop, bar and cafe, with barber-themed drinks including the Sweeney Ted (Jameson Irish whiskey, lemon juice, honey, egg White, creole bitters) and food such as grilled cheese sandwiches and reuben tacos. Everyone getting a haircut gets a free drink too, so try to get yourselves in chairs next to each other and you can hold hands and chat away as your hair falls to the floor (keep your hands above the smock though). Lots of other shops offer drinks with your haircut too, including other hip spots like Persons of Interest and smaller joints like Clinton Street Barber. ________________
GO ON A DATE WHILE … FIXING YOUR BIKE Having a good set of wheels is key to successful dating in Brooklyn lest you be stuck underground waiting for a delayed G train for an hours and your date has already met and run away with a Tinder Waffle House by then. If your ride is busted, set the date at Red Lantern, the Fort Greene bike shop that doubles as bar, coffee shop and occasional event space. The cafe has a good selection of beer, house-made nut milks (try not to say “nut milk” on a first date though), vegan empanadas and a bunch of sandwiches, including one of the best vegan sandwiches in Brooklyn, with BBQ smoked seitan, charred sweet potato, avocado, red onions and sprouts. The bike shop guys are friendly and, talking about bike stuff is a good way to find out if your date is a horrible person who writes letters to the New York Post about bike lanes. And they happen to have a February sale for 50 percent off a complete overhaul of your bike too.
GO ON A DATE WHILE … DOING YOUR LAUNDRY AND SEEING A SHOW
If you are indeed crunched for time on your dating schedule, taking someone to an oddball Brooklyn show is a good way to determine their tolerance for the kind of cool shit you’re into before you wait until date four or five to find out it was a bad idea to take them to Punderdome.
Muchmore’s in Williamsburg has a reputation for hosting a wide swath events, techno punk dance nights, debate nights, dreampop concerts, improv and more. And it also has a laundromat! It’s not as big as Sunshine’s, but it does have a cafe with coffee, po boys, wine and soju cocktails and more. This is a good place to take a date that doesn’t drink but is also into outsider art, if such a creature exists.