For a city that’s infamous for its hellish dating scene, New York is certainly one of the best places to go on dates. We’ve all been through the daunting conversation with friends and family back home who can’t understand being single in a city with so many people in it (that’s not how it works, Dad!). But dammit, being single is great; it’s dating that can be a royal pain in the ass. Luckily, the endless activities in this city don’t discriminate based on relationship status. In fact, many of them are better as a solo ride, anyway.
Whether you’re in a friendless first year of living in New York, or refuse to Netflix your way through another Sunday alone, put last week’s tragic Tinder date behind you and make your next social appointment with your one and only — you. A deflated bank account is no excuse for passing up these single-friendly excursions; not one will run you over $10.
Watch a $4 Movie at Syndicated Theatre,
If the thought of spending a solo night out intimidates you, the movies are a natural place to start. New York is home to multiple theatres with table service (I have a hard time accepting that regular theatres exist now), but none of them beat the prices at Syndicated on Bogart Street. Catch a new release for $7 or a classic for $4, and popcorn will only dock you another $5. As someone plagued by flashbacks of wandering hands on doomed movie dates, there is nothing sweeter than kicking back with the whole Syndicated booth to yourself. And I’ve never had trouble finishing a whole bag of popcorn, either).
Buy a Book (and Beer) at Molasses Books
This unassuming book store at 770 Hart St. has been supplying Bushwick residents with a place to drink, snack, and barter reading material since 2012. Bring your copy of “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo (I cleared my ex out of my life, but the stuff crammed in my apartment was still screwing me), or pick up a used book and sip a coffee or beer while reading your day away.
Get Lost in the Stacks at a Record Store
Even if you’re strapped for space and your record player is (temporarily) stashed in your parents garage somewhere, record-shopping is a fine way to spend the afternoon. Stroll from Second Hand Records in Bushwick over to Human Head Records in East Williamsburg where you can walk out with a few records from their many rows of $2, $3, and $5 vinyl. Who knows, you just might bump into the one person who loves ABBA as much as you do — meaning me.
Take a Meditation Class at Catland
If you need to zen out after dropping two day’s allowance on a regrettable second date (for the love of god, never tell someone you want to “take them out for dinner” and then ask to split the $100 bill), this metaphysical boutique and event space at 987 Flushing Ave. hosts monthly meditation circles for just $8. Even better, shun yourself from humans altogether and reconnect with the earth at their Bioregional Animism for the Urban Witch class on March 30th.
Go to a Show at Secret Project Robot
As our latest photoessay shows, this art space and bar at 1186 Broadway hosts events almost nightly, ranging from movie screenings to record releases and drag shows. Tickets usually cost $8-10 and all the bar proceeds go to keeping the not-for-profit space alive and running. Keep an eye on the rotating decor (which often provides excellent camouflage to hide behind) or take advantage of some cheap liquid courage and chat up the cutie next to you during happy hour from 4-9 p.m.
Start Writing Your Memoir at Forrest Point
With spring technically here and hopefully making an appearance soon, it’s time to replenish that vitamin D you lost over winter — I did a lot of that at the Forrest Point patio last summer. From cathartic journaling to writing pitches, and casually eavesdropping on people’s conversations, there’s nowhere better to hang out while enjoying a $6 breakfast sandwich during the week, a beer, or a mimosa.
Do a Workshop at POWERPLNT
Great news! You can finally prioritize your career in music production after your last relationship got in the way — POWERPLNT is here to help. This inclusive, multi-purpose workspace promotes shows, exhibitions, and talks; but its main purpose is hosting donation-based workshops aimed at making creative software education accessible for everyone. While they don’t have any upcoming seminars, you’re always welcome to stop by during lab hours.
Drink and Draw on a Wednesday at The Living Gallery
Do you lament having only your own nude body to stare at day after day? Flex your creative muscles and appreciate someone else’s human form for a change at Drink and Draw on Wednesdays from 7-9 p.m. at The Living Gallery, 1094 Broadway. Ten dollars gets you drawing supplies and unlimited beer, or you can BYOB. No reservation necessary!
Eat a Falafel While Strolling the East Williamsburg Murals
Take it from me: There are far worse places to have a walk of shame than on the streets of Bushwick. Skip the Uber and direct your morning stroll through the ever-changing walls of East Williamsburg and Bushwick instead. After all, you don’t have to worry about ‘B-Girl’ judging you for last night’s choices from her corner on Winston and Willoughby. Neither will the staff at Newtown, if you find yourself near Scholes Street. Their $8 falafel sandwiches will cure any hangover and smother any shame with fluffy goodness.
Become a Regular at a Bar
Granted, this one costs money to save money and I can’t promise you won’t get hit on, but solidifying your status as a regular at your neighborhood bar promises free drinks aplenty (and hangovers, lots of hangovers).
Cover image courtesy of Tom van Hoogstraten