Sex & Dating
A Date in Greenpoint
(Photo: Lea Faminiano)
Movies, the fountain from which our notions of city romance springs, always make it seem as though Manhattan is the island for moonlit strolls and star-gazing, and Brooklyn is just a great place for mafia henchmen to dump bodies. But this is not so. The truth is that this borough’s diverse neighborhoods, empty streets, and idle waterways lend it a great deal of romance that is often overlooked. To enlighten us all, Brooklyn Exposed presents a series of sample dates in neighborhoods whose amorous appeal is yet to be discovered.
As Williamsburg's neighbor to the north, Greenpoint has recently been gaining more and more attention, and rightfully so. Packed with a growing collection of adorable eateries, coffee shops, and perfect date spots, Greenpoint is the place to be (if you know where to go). There's still something about the neighborhood that makes it feel a little undiscovered, and this guide is here to help you dive in and get to know it a little better - from a romantic point of view. Take a special someone with you so that you two can explore the neighborhood…and potentially, a new relationship!
Where to Meet: Since the G train will be down on the weekends for quite some time, walking might be your best bet. There is a shuttle bus, but the leisurely stroll from the Bedford or Lorimer L train stops will give you ample bonding time before your adventures start for the day, and you can both share your frustrations over the continually elusive G train.
(Photo: Newtown Creek Nature Walk - cityphile.com)
An Out-of-the-Box Activity: You don't normally think "wastewater" when you think of romance (at least, I hope not) but if you're looking for something that is literally off the beaten path, trek north approximately to where Paidge Avenue and Provost Street meet, towards the Newtown Creek Nature Walk. To call it a "Nature Walk" is really a stretch, and it most definitely does not smell like roses over here, but you'll be able to view a little part of NYC that most people don't know about. Enjoy a spectacular view of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant's giant silver balls and explore this secret little oasis in the middle of Greenpoint.
(Photo: Enid's - Lea Faminiano)
Dinner: For a no-frills, Southern-style meal, head over to Enid's (560 Manhattan Avenue). It definitely holds an elevated diner feel, with its vintage-y decor and hipster-y waitresses - pay more attention to the food and you'll be set. Their dinner menu rotates a tasty selection of Southern staples, such as po'boys and fried chicken (obviously). It's amazing (and perhaps) more well-known for brunch, so if you love it that much, you can come back the next morning...possibly together?
(Photo: River Styx - flickr, scaredykat)
For something a little more upscale, stroll down to River Styx (21 Greenpoint Avenue), on the border of the East River. It's a little pricier than Enid’s, but you definitely get what you pay for. The menu is creative, fresh, and much of it is sourced locally. Their dishes are known for being great for sharing, so get their famous nachos with creamy "pump" cheese, shredded chicken, and pickled jalapenos, or split an al dente bucatini pasta with sugar snap peas, fresh pesto, grated cheese, and salty braised pork (because, really, what's more intimate than sharing food?). Snag a table at the back and canoodle while you watch the chefs make your meal in the open air kitchen.
(Photo: Ovenly - Lea Faminiano)
Post-Dinner Dessert: The always welcoming, light and airy Ovenly flagship store (31 Greenpoint Avenue) feels like a bakery that's a hidden little secret - it's filled to the brim with all sorts of delicious goodies, both salty and sweet, and they also offer a range of coffee and teas. You'll have a hard time choosing just one tasty treat, so why not grab a bunch and share? Don't leave without picking up one (or a few) of their gluten-free peanut butter cookies, especially if your date is gluten-intolerant (you'll get points for being attentive!).
(Photo: Peter Pan, kathyylchan.com)
If you want to take your date on a nostalgic escape from the present, Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop (727 Manhattan Avenue) is a neighborhood staple that’s got you feeling like you stepped back into time together, complete with a totally retro feel and servers wearing 1940s style aprons. The selection here is daunting, but never fear - donuts are only about $1 each, so you can sample several flavors, or stick a fork into a couple and do a donut-recreation of the adorable bread-roll dance scene from Benny & Joon.
(Photo: Beloved - Lea Faminiano)
Post-Dinner Drinks: One of the cutest little bars in Greenpoint, Beloved (674 Manhattan Avenue) is a romantically lit spot that also boasts the most charming backyard space, complete with walls of ivy. After being in one too many crowded bars, where the liquor and mixer are slapped together in two seconds, it's nice to visit a spot where the bartender seems to actually care about the quality and presentation of your drink. Their signature Milk Maid cocktail is a winner (tequila, coconut, lime, cucumber, and salt), and will give you the courage to wow your date with some dance moves in the bar later on.
(Photo: Lulu’s, lulusbargreenpoint.com)
If the both of you aren’t frou-frou cocktail people, or you're not into dancing, then Lulu’s (113 Franklin Avenue) is your joint. It’s somewhat of a dive bar, yet still cozy, and the best place to take a date that just wants to chill. The rotating beer selection is the star here, and with a completely unpretentious vibe, you can both just throw back a couple of brews, let your guard down, and concentrate on getting to know each other. Grab a seat on the balcony upstairs and spend your night people-watching from above – enjoy some live music as well, and as an even better perk, enjoy the free pizza that comes with every drink.
(Photo: WNYC Transmitter Park - http://www.nycgovparks.org)
Romantic Stroll: Head right down the street towards the water where WNYC Transmitter Park, which opened just last year, is still pretty squeaky clean, compared to most public parks. Enjoy a panoramic view of Manhattan and some good people-watching while you recline on the lush green lawn and marvel at this little pastoral gem amongst the old industrial warehouse buildings.
Where to Part: There's nothing more romantic than a boat ride on the East River, right? Take the East River Ferry at the India Street stop and cruise right on home whether you're heading back to Manhattan, or somewhere else in Brooklyn. Settle back and admire the sparkling views of the city together - you can't definitely beat $4 for a boat ride with the beautiful city backdrop at the end of the perfect date. And if you haven't made your first-kiss move yet, now's definitely the time.