Monday, November 30, 2009

The Downside of Virtual Flirting

When you’re single, social networking often takes on a whole new dimension -- as I discovered not too long ago with a brief Twitter flirtation.

It began with a direct message from Tom, one of my Twitter followers and a Connecticut-based fellow PR practitioner. Our conversation moved quickly from business practices in a down economy to playful banter.

Referencing my Twitter bio, which mentions a previous stint in broadcast news, Tom said --

“Well, you're TV gorgeous.”

A few more direct messages and texts later, we were sharing favorite cocktails and planning to get together in person. Tom asked me when I was Connecticut-bound, and I countered with asking when he was coming to the city.

“Whenever you say yes to letting me buy you drinks,” he replied.

Though our e-flirting didn’t end up materializing into a date, I couldn’t help thinking about how the Internet, text messaging and the like have become a double-edged sword when it comes to romance.

For as much as technology makes it easier to interact with new people, it also makes truly connecting more difficult -- because it has overtaken traditional methods of communication like ye old telephone.

Whatever happened to the ritual of extending a date invitation by phone? Or following up after a great date with an actual conversation instead of a text message? You can say a lot more by using your voice than you can with your Blackberry.

Which is why I’m happy to skip the virtual flirting in favor of making connections through more old fashioned means -- speed dating.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Dazzling House Concert

Earlier this week, I had the great pleasure of hosting an NYC House Concert at my place.

Pre-Concert Smiles: Violinist Clauda Schaer, me and Michael

The ongoing concert series, produced by my friend Michael, features top classical, jazz, and folk musicians performing in homes throughout the New York metropolitan area. Monday’s featured artist was delightful solo violinist Claudia Schaer.

During the pre-concert cocktail hour, I mingled with the lively, interesting crowd of about fifteen people.

Real estate exec and fellow Upper East Sider Nadia and I chatted about the charms of both her native Vancouver. Samsung exec Soo and I had a laugh over the tendency of many Gotham men to try rushing into the bedroom -- especially when I told her the tale of an ex’s best friend who once disrobed without invitation.

First-class Talent: Claudia dazzled everyone with her performance

As soon we all took our seats and the room filled with Claudia’s versatile sounds, I was mesmerized. Her performance of a four-part Bach Sonata followed by a Bartok Sonata were unlike anything I’ve heard.

It’s no wonder Claudia has been the recipient of several international competitions. She is a stunning talent who carries herself with the elegance and poise of a true artist.

Visit Claudia’s website to find out more about her and her upcoming performances. For info about NYC House Concerts, click here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty Six

When you’re facing a devastating loss, your partner becomes much more than a significant other -- he becomes your anchor. That was most definitely the case eleven years ago, when dashing, noble Brit David came into my life a few months before my mother passed away.

Totoya: David and I had one of our first dates at this UES Japanese eatery

The friend of a college’s friend husband, David had contacted me at his suggestion when he moved to NYC. The chemistry between us was immediate, and we quickly fell into a relationship. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of ‘98...

August 9, 1998
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

David is the nicest guy I’ve met in ages. He’s charming, funny, affectionate and -- hoorah! -- British. And he takes me away from the pain of Mom’s illness.

I waited until I got back from my recent trip to London to confide in David about what is happening to her. He could not have been more supportive or understanding.

David is a thousand times more fun and uncomplicated than the baggage-laden older men I’ve usually attracted to. Then again, it’s only been two months. He could develop three heads or never call me again. With my track record, I’m prepared for anything…I think.

* * *

August 24, 1998

David is so wonderful -- everything I’ve wanted in a man for so long. The first guy who is not only good to me but good for me. No ex wives, no kids, no tortured background.

He’s continually coming up with ways to make me smile (cute emails, gifts, flowers). For two months now, his track record has been a very good one. He’s seeing me at my worst and yet he hasn’t run scared or pulled back. Part of me wouldn’t blame him if he did.

* * *

David remained steadfast, and our bond continued to deepen, as my mother’s condition deteriorated. Our love, however, would be put to the test by the return of an old flame -- at the worst possible time.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Charitable Event Pick: Starlight’s Holiday Happy Hour

When it comes to festive, first-class events, the Starlight Children's Foundation always does it up right. Experience the fun for yourself at Starlight’s upcoming Holiday Happy Hour.

Set for Wednesday, December 2nd at 7pm, the fundraising event will take place at Mad River Bar & Grill on NYC’s Upper East Side. The $25 ticket price funds the purchase of a teddy bear for a hospitalized child.

For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Counting My Blessings

When it comes to celebrating the holiday season, one of my favorite traditions is taking the time to reflect on what I have to be thankful for. This year, my gratitude attitude comes from a long list of blessings both old and new.

I’m thankful for dear friends who share in my triumphs and comfort during my trials – blessing me with their compassion and understanding, and reminding me time and again that there is no greater gift than true and abiding friendship.

I’m thankful for my family, most especially my beloved and very much missed parents, whose legacy of love and strength continues to inspire me in living life with the zest that was so much a part of who they were.

I’m thankful to be part of the blogosphere, a rich, vibrant community that has connected me with many fabulous, smart women whom I’m fortunate to call peers.

I’m thankful for new beginnings and the willingness of the human heart to take its umpteenth chance on romance when someone wonderful enters the picture.

Finally, I’m thankful for my beloved hometown, for the continuing excitement of living in the world’s greatest city – a joy articulated so perfectly by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys in “Empire State of Mind:”

In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothing you can't do, now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let's hear it for New York

New York, New York

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An Exciting Second Date

Friday night, I enjoyed an exciting second date with adorable 37-year-old PR executive E.

Bond 45: Great food and service in a bustling Theater District landmark
(photo courtesy: Shanna Ravindra, New York Magazine)

We met up at historic steak and seafood restaurant Bond 45. E took my face in his hand and greeted me with a quick kiss.

“You look great,” he said as he sat down. I smiled, grateful for the good hair day that I was having thanks to a quick blowout at lunchtime.

Over a delicious dinner (skirt steak cooked to perfection), E and I talked about our shared appreciation for architectural history and “NYPD Blue,” and our fondness for the good music and fun to be experienced at weddings.

Upon mentioning that I’ll be attending a friend’s nuptials in Boston next month, E asked if he could be my plus one. If only I had been invited with a guest.

After dinner, while walking through Times Square, E kissed me. I could feel every part of me ignite at his touch and, for a moment, I literally forgot where I was. Heaven.

E treated us to one of the most entertaining Broadway shows I’ve ever seen, “Burn The Floor.”

The high-energy two-hour ballroom dance extravaganza features stunning choreography, fantastic music and couples that truly sizzle. Anya and Pasha of “So You Think You Can Dance” were among the show’s talented troupe, which also boasts dancers from as far away as Russia and Australia.

Next, we headed downtown to E’s office on Hudson Street, where we took in sweeping city views from the roof deck -- and shared a few kisses in the moonlight.

Over drinks at a nearby Irish pub, E leaned forward and pulled at the ribbon on my top, clearly not realizing it was purely decorative.

“You need level 3 clearance for that kind of access,” I teased, “Right now, you’re only at level 1.”

“That’s okay,” he responded with a smile. “I have a lot of patience and I’m not going anywhere.”

Our last stop of the night was a tiny eatery designed like an old ship, where we shared a few appetizers and talked about favorite TV shows and portable gadgets.

Later, E walked me to a cab and pulled me into another knee-weakening, lingering kiss.

When it comes to second dates, it simply doesn’t get any better than this.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thursday Double Header

Thursday night, I headed over to swanky event venue Hudson Terrace for C Squared Group’s Fall Entrepreneurs networking mixer.

Hudson Terrace: C Squared group took over the swanky space for its fall event

More than 150+ people from a variety of industries filled the space, which boasts nearly 360-degree city views.

HR consultant Patrick and I talked about what makes a great vodka gimlet and why, in his view, “American Psycho” is a must-see/read. Sourcepad CEO Joe filled me in about his company, which is a great online resource for hiring freelance IT professionals that you can work with using live video.

Joe also told me the delightful story of how he met his wife -- during a Scrabble game at a friend’s place.

“She was beating everybody, and I’m terrible at Scrabble,“ he said with a laugh. “She took pity on me and started to help me, to the chagrin of everyone else.”

A Scrabble aficionado myself, I loved this tale of finding love across the game’s lettered tiles. As I’ve discovered with previous boyfriends, wordplay can be a great prelude to romance.

After having my fill of schmoozing, I met up with galpal Rachel at one of my favorite Hell’s Kitchen eateries, Cara Mia.

Over a delicious dinner (grilled calamari, spinach fettuccini in vodka sauce), Rach and I reflected on the multi-step process of getting over a big love -- and the importance of keeping busy along the way with good friends and meeting new people.

Speaking of new people, I filled Rach in about HurryDater E and how much I enjoyed my first date with him. Up next…details about equally exhilarating date #2.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dinner With An Online Dating Trailblazer

Wednesday, I headed over to Tenzan restaurant in Midtown for dinner with Dating Revolution founder and CEO Ross Felix.

Tenzan: The Midtown outpost of this Upper West Side eatery offers swift service & tasty sushi

Over a delicious selection of sushi rolls, we talked about the highs and lows of online dating, and being single in New York.

Whether it’s following certain rules or throwing out the playbook altogether, many Gotham singles seem to think there’s a strategy that has to be followed when it comes to making a lasting connection. Ross and I both agreed that common sense and putting yourself out there are the most important keys to dating success.

A success story, Ross -- with the support and creative input of his fiancée – is breathing new life into the Internet dating space. Currently in beta testing mode, Dating Revolution will offer a number of safeguards and tools that and other existing sites don’t.

Dating Revolution will solicit member feedback to help enforce dater honesty, while color coded searching will make it easier to find matches faster. And you can also maximize opportunities for connecting by joining niche communities within the site specific to religion, hobbies, etc.

For a limited time, membership to the site is free. Click here to find out more.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Girls Night Out: Whiskey Trader

Tuesday night, after seeing “Superior Donuts,” I headed over to the Whiskey Trader in Midtown for a happy hour hosted by The Lost Girls.

Bartending Goddesses: (from left) Lost Girls authors and bloggers Amanda, Jen and Holly

While enjoying a couple of cosmos mixed perfectly by Jen, my Divalicious friend Heidi and I talked about male profiling -- i.e., making assumptions about men in suits. She presumes they’re dull and conservative, I think a suit usually spells sophistication.

Speaking of assumptions about the opposite sex, I decided to vet my theories on texting versus calling with a couple of friendly guys at the bar.

When I said that texting to make plans is less considerate than making a call, both men balked. They maintained that it’s hard to know when is a good time to call a woman, and one even tried to liken texting and emailing to the lost art of letter writing.

With all due respect, I think these are just excuses for not taking initiative and picking up the phone. As DatingRevolution founder Ross Felix puts it so well in this blog post, guys need to man up here. A quick call goes a long way toward making a girl (this girl, at least) feel courted.

Coming up…a look at Broadway’s sizzling “Burn The Floor” and an action-packed night out in Hell’s Kitchen.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An Eventful Week

When it comes to the perfect mix of female bonding, nights out on the town and budding romance, this week had it all.

Girls Night Out: Heidi and me at The Lost Girls happy hour

From a happy hour celebrating The Lost Girls and their upcoming memoir and a schmoozefest at one of NYC's hottest event spaces to an exhilarating second date with adorable HurryDater E, I’ve been on the go non-stop and enjoying every minute of it.

Coming up…details of all the action and the debut of a new SGITC feature.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Charitable Event Pick: Friends Of NY Toy Drive

Tis the season for festive fun and giving back – and you can enjoy both at the upcoming Fourth Annual Friends of New York Real Estate Toy Drive.

Set for Monday November 30th, the benefit for The NY Foundling & HELP USA will take place at Knoll. The event runs from 6-9pm and will feature wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and raffle prizes including signed memorabilia from the cast of "The Sopranos" and much more.

Tickets are $25 with a toy, $40 without. Toys accepted for newborn through 15 years old and must be new or used in good condition.

For more info and to RSVP, email Sandy Snyder at or call 212-576-8400.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Superior Donuts: A Sheer Delight

Tuesday night, I went to see “Superior Donuts.” Written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Tracy Letts, the show is a deliciously worthy follow up to his debut hit “August: Osage County.”

A Broadway Treat: Michael McKean (Arthur) and Jon Michael Hill (Franco) in “Superior Donuts”

The show starts off with a bang, after a break-in at the titular Chicago donut shop run by aging hippie Arthur Przybyszewski (Michael McKean). Divorced and alone, Arthur is resigned to maintaining his quiet existence at the family-run shop – until young dreamer Franco Wicks (Jon Michael Hill) shows up looking for a job and the opportunity to breathe new life into Superior Donuts. When an unexpected tragedy befalls Franco, Arthur is forced to decide whether he’s going to continue playing it safe.

As he did so effectively in “August…,” Letts tells a story that is equal parts poignant and funny, with crisp dialogue and believable, flawed characters. McKean is touching as hopeless Arthur P, but it is Hall who steals the show as smart, tough talking Franco. The supporting cast is equally superb, especially Yasen Peyankov (Max Tarasov) as a fiery Russian neighbor trying to make Arthur an offer he can’t refuse.

“Superior Donuts” is first-class entertainment, with a story that delivers big laughs and lump-in-your-throat emotion. Don’t miss it.

The show continues its run at Broadway’s Music Box Theater. For tickets, click here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Double Dose Of Female Bonding

Saturday, I enjoyed a double dose of female bonding that began with galpal Amanda.

Pershing Square: This cozy bistro is conveniently located right across from Grand Central Terminal

Over brunch at cozy bistro Pershing Square in Grand Central, we caught up on work, life and dating. Amanda filled me in on PR plans for her upcoming travel memoir The Lost Girls, including a book club tour across the U.S. I told her about an industry award that could lead to winning Best of Show with my colleagues for the second time in my PR career.

We also talked about one of our biggest pet peeves in the dating world – text messaging. Phone-o-phobia, as Midtown Girl calls it, has reached epidemic proportions among single men. Both Amanda and I have recently gone out with great guys who choose texting as a means for making plans. Sorry, but romance simply doesn’t go hand in hand with messages of 160 characters or less.

Later, I headed to lively bar Joshua Tree in Midtown for my good friend and former colleague Cristina’s bachelorette party.

All Smiles: Bride-to-be Cristina and me

Over multiple rounds of cocktails and shots, we toasted the bride-to-be on her pending nuptials in Boston next month to longtime love Chris. Thanks to an endless loop of 80’s videos, I got my groove on on top of a chair – until a grumpy bouncer instructed me to sit down. I should’ve told him to relax, because I’ve done this particular maneuver several times over the years without incident.

Shaking My Booty: The music at Joshua Tree made this inevitable

After bidding the bride-to-be goodnight, I was feeling wistful so I decided to walk up Third Avenue for awhile. I remembered when Cristina got engaged two years ago and felt unnerved all over again about still being single.

But then I reminded myself of the upside about being unattached, namely the adventure of what’s right around the corner. HurryDater E is taking me out for date #2 on Friday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Perfect First Date

Friday night, I went out with E, a charming, cute 37-year-old public relations exec that I met at HurryDate a few weeks ago.

Our evening began at Tracks Bar & Grill in Penn Station, home to a 105-foot long mahogany bar and a tasty seafood menu.

Tracks Bar and Grill: The venerable eatery has been around for more than 50 years

Over shared appetizers (the lobster ravioli was divine), E and I talked about our mutual experiences of moving from journalism to PR, and some of the far-flung destinations that working in PR has taken us to. Just back from a three-day business trip to Korea, E impressed me with his lack of jetlag – and his razor-sharp wit.

From Tracks, we walked over to Madison Square Garden to watch the Knicks square off against California’s Golden State Warriors. It was my first-ever basketball game, so I soaked up all of the on-court action, which included team dancers, trampoline acrobatics and two random celeb sightings --Actor Anthony Michael Hall and rapper Fat Joe.

What A View: Our initial seats offered a panoramic view of the on-court action

E gave me a crash course in Basketball 101, leaning in closely as he explained game rules and his knack for upgrading to closer seats after half time. Sure enough, we eventually made our way from one of the upper-level rows down to the 200 section.

After the game, I briefly excused myself to use the bathroom. Upon emerging, E suddenly pulled me toward him for a brief kiss. Completely caught off guard and happily dazed by the major sparks between us, I quipped--

“Who knew Penn Station could be so romantic?”

The romance continued as we exited Penn to find that it was raining. While huddled under an umbrella at a nearby garage waiting for E’s car, he kissed me again.

We drove up the West Side Highway then over to the UES, where we parked ourselves at Merchant’s.

Much to my delight, E sat beside me while we talked about the enduring merits of 80’s sitcoms and the fun of karaoke.

“I guess,” he said, interlacing his fingers through mine for added emphasis, “This turned out pretty well, huh?”

“I was just thinking the same thing,” I said with a smile and we fell into another kiss – interrupted this time by our amused waitress, who asked if she should come back later.

Two more hours passed before we decided to call it a night. E parked in front of my building and kissed me goodnight. Several times.

“Thank you for a perfect evening from start to finish,” I said as I exited his car.

What a night.

Up next...dinner with a new online dating expert and a review of one of Broadway's hottest shows.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Celebrating 2ChicksINC At Cellar Bar

Thursday night, I headed over to the swanky Cellar Bar at NYC’s Bryant Park Hotel for a tweetup organized by social media maven and dating blogger Simone Grant.

Cellar Bar: The cavernous, candlelit space is long on ambience and service

Celebrating the launch of new website 2ChicksInc, the gathering attracted about 35 Twitterers and gave me the opportunity to finally meet in person some of my favorite fellow bloggers. In addition to Simone, I chatted with The Lost Plum, Under-Employed Girl and Tomfoolery, as well as Yahoo dating columnist and author Andrea Syrtash.

I ended up spending most of the night talking to Peter, a charming IT systems designer with a penchant for helping bloggers revamp their sites in his spare time. Born in Germany and now living in Utah, Peter shared his take on the differences between U.S. and European dating. Dating abroad, he said, is an easy, organic process.

“Here, it’s like a job interview,” he observed.

An especially tough job, no doubt, when you’re residing in Mormon country where most folks marry young. I assured him he’ll find a completely different -- and, of course, much more populated -- singles scene when he moves here for a three-month stint.

Who knows? Maybe I can help show him the ropes.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty Five

When you find out an ex is getting married, it’s always a shock -- especially if you’ve harbored hope for reconciliation. The shock was never greater than it was with California-based old flame Mark (a.k.a Sparky).

Since we had kept in close touch and seen each other several times after breaking up, it was the last thing I expected to hear. I now Open The Vault and take you back to February of ‘98...

February 27th, 1998 -- Bangor, Maine

Dear Diary,

During our phone conversation the other day, Mark said that telling me about his marriage was hard because we haven’t been just friends over the last couple of years.

“I know,” I answered.

“You’re moving on with your life,” he said -- as I stared out the window feeling like that is not at all what I’ve done. But, he added, his new wife Caroline knows about our history together. And he said the last thing I would ever have expected to hear after what he’d already told me.

“I still care about you…I love you.”

“I love you too,” I said, for what was undoubtedly the last time.

Somehow, we managed to laugh a little. I told Mark the only reason I’d called was because it was my turn to do so, reminding him that even after all of this time, I’m still keeping score.

As our conversation drew to a close, Sparky and I talked about staying in touch. I told him that just because he’s married it doesn’t mean I don’t care about him. He assured me he would keep me posted on his health and even gave me his new email address.

“So, you’ll email me today?” he asked.

“Maybe…if I know it will garner a response,” I replied.

“It will,” he said firmly.

After telling me to take care, he said goodbye -- and I started crying.

You see, I was so certain that there was a reason behind Sparky and I remaining in touch over the years. Like our sporadic reunions were part of a grand design to eventually restore our romance to its initial glory. That we would at least get the chance to be what a distance of 3,000 miles never allowed us to -- a normal couple.

I’ve spent two and a half years holding onto that dream. Letting go of it is like losing a part of myself -- a very big part.

* * *

As I adjusted to the new reality between me and Sparky, eventually a new love found its way into my life. Fate being what it is, though, Sparky and I would be thrown together again -- at what would be the most vulnerable time ever of my life.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Calling All SATC And Gossip Girl Experts

If you’re an expert on “Sex And The City” or “Gossip Girl” with a comedic flair, On Location Tours has the job for you.

SATC: On Location Tours is looking for ladies to lead their tour of NYC hotspots featured in the series and film.

The tv and movie tour company is looking for guides to lead their popular SATC Hotspots Tour and “Gossip Girl” Sites tours.

“We are looking for extremely outgoing, personable, fun actresses in their 20's and 30's,” says Meagan of On Location Tours. “Stand up comedy experience a plus.”

Tours are approximately 3.5 hours in length. Position is part time -- three or four tours per month, and candidate must be willing to obtain New York City tour guide license.

If you're interested in either position, please email acting resume and headshot to Only attach your headshot, cut and paste your resume in the email and indicate which tour you're applying for in your subject line.

You can read more about On Location Tours on the company’s website. And don’t forget Single Gal In The City readers receive a 10% discount when booking either o the Hotspots tours. Click here for more info.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Great First Date...To Nowhere

Tuesday night, I enjoyed another fabulous first date with a guy that I met at HurryDate – one that has me rethinking my approach to dating in NYC.

Bombay-born Taz and I met up at the swanky Chambers Hotel in Midtown for drinks. We settled into a cozy corner of the upstairs bar (complete with a sofa and hardcover coffee table books), where the conversation was as smooth as the service and menu selections.

The Chambers Hotel: A great date spot

Over cocktails, yummy appetizers and – unexpectedly – milk and cookies, Taz and I found plenty to talk about. Along with the usual first date subjects of career, travel and hobbies, we chatted about U2’s brilliant shows at Giants Stadium and the merits of speed dating versus online dating, i.e., less time wasted on interminable back and forth.

Though we lingered until closing time, neither of us wanted to call it a night so we walked a few blocks to Papillon, an inviting bistro and bar.

Finally, after nearly four hours of effortless conversation and playful teasing, it was time to say goodnight. Taz leaned in for a quick kiss before taking off.

He texted me the next day to say what a great time he had. And, much like fellow HurryDater John, that’s the last I heard from him.

Having gone on two great first dates to nowhere in a row now, I can’t help thinking about the lopsided female-male ratio here. And how it breeds a plenty-of-fish mindset among NYC men – especially among those who belong to the thirtysomething age bracket.

I’m also thinking that I had it right in my early twenties when I dated older men. It’s time to up the age ante and go for the fortysomething bachelors.

Coming up…my first Twitter flirtation and another HurryDate date.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Women In Digital Media Mixer

Tuesday night, I joined my new friend, SingleEdition founder Sherri Langburt at a Women In Digital Media (WIDM) cocktail party.

Held at the fabulously futuristic Sony Wonder Lab in Midtown, the mixer attracted over 100 women from a variety of industries working in the digital media space.

The Schmoozing Scene At Sony (photo courtesy: Aileen Atkins)

Since launching less than a year ago, WIDM has quickly grown from 4 to 400 in membership. Based upon the smart, savvy ladies I met the other night, I’m not surprised.

I chatted with branding consultant Jennifer and TV host Vanessa about the upcoming new webisode series “Girl Blog” and the need for more shows profiling intelligent women.

Upon mentioning Single Gal In The City, Vanessa asked me about the pros and cons of online and speed dating. I told her I’m all for both -- as long as you don't rely on them as your only mechanisms for meeting new people.

Sherri, whose hubby is New Jersey born and bred, says I should cast a wider net geographically speaking. Brooklyn and Westchester speed dating, here I come.

Much as I wanted to continued schmoozing, I had to make an early exit....for my date with HurryDate guy #2.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An Attempt To Flirt At The Gym

When you’re a single New Yorker who belongs to a gym, you can’t help noticing that it’s one of the few places where Gotham’s lopsided male-female ratio actually evens out. And you also can’t help wondering, is there any truth to the notion that romance can blossom on the treadmill?

In my experience, the answer is usually no. As I first discovered years ago while working out outside beside hunky actor Chris Noth (a.k.a Mr. Big), men go into another zone when they’re grunting and groaning. And it’s hard to feel flirtatious when you’re surrounded by spandex-clad supermodel types. Except, of course, if you repeatedly encounter the same cute guy working up a sweat.

Over the last two months, this mystery man and I have made eye contact many times. It’s often said that if a guy looks at you twice, it means he’s interested. Given that mystery man’s intense stares are generally unaccompanied by a smile, though, I’m left to question whether he’s flirting or simply suffering from pheromone overload.

Earlier this week, while exercising with my trainer Crystal, I shared my little conundrum. Mr. Mysterious happened to be on the floor, so Crystal decided to play Cupid and steer me toward a machine right in front of him.

“He’s totally checking you out,” she said with a smile.

After catching his breath for a few minutes, mystery man stood up and walked over to where we were standing.

“Are you using this machine?” he asked quietly.

He speaks! I thought to myself. Crystal and I gave him first dibs on the machine, and I did my best not to stare at him through a set of pullups.

“That’s more progress than we’ve made in two months,” I whispered.

The big question now – what next? Do I make the first move and say hello?

Crystal says this is the ideal scenario for delivering a clichéd opening gambit with a twist of irony--

“Do you come here often?”

Though I’m not usually one for cheesy pickup lines, I think I might have to make an exception. Watch this space to see what happens – my next session at the gym is tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Fleeting Moment On Dr. Oz

As I mentioned yesterday, the cardio dance segment I taped for “The Dr. Oz Show” airs today. You can also watch it on the show’s website by clicking on the "Get Thinner Thighs Now" link.

Not So Ready For My Closeup: Cardio dancing (in the back) for Dr. Oz

You’ll have to look closely to catch me – I’m in the back and, unfortunately, it turns out that I stood in the wrong spot camera-wise. More than a little disappointing after spending a long 7- hour day prepping for the segment!

At least I got to connect with dynamic dance master Stepp Stewart and some fabulous women, my fellow Oz-ettes. And those cardio moves are no joke. We all felt the burn in our thighs for a good 24 hours afterward!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Single Gal Online And On TV With Dr. Oz

When it comes to websites geared toward unmarried individuals, breaks the mold.

In addition to providing great information and resources for those of us who are flying solo, is one of the only sites that actually celebrates singlehood. Which is why I was delighted when founder Sherri Langburt asked to profile me for SingleEdition’s Solo Spotlight.

As part of the Q&A, I share my favorite activities and mingling spots for singles in NYC – and why, lopsided guy-girl ratio and all, there’s no better place to be if you’re minus a plus one. Click here to read my entire interview.

In The Green Room: Cardio dance superstar Stepp Stewart and me at NBC Studios

Speaking of media appearances, I’m happy to report that "The Dr. Oz Show” cardio dance segment I taped last month is finally scheduled to air tomorrow. It will be part of an action-packed episode that also covers the world’s deadliest bacteria and body odor. Dr. Oz and his producing team definitely know how stack a show!

Coming up…drinks with another HurryDate guy and an attempt at flirting at the gym.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fun First Date

The other night, I went out with book publishing exec John -- one of the guys I met during my recent HurryDate experience.

Tall, adorable and easy to talk to, John planned a perfect evening of drinks and live entertainment. Our night started off at Aroma, a cozy wine bar in the East Village. Upon asking him how his day was, John said--

“It went quickly having this to look forward to.”

Aroma: a cozy wine bar and great date spot

Over drinks and a couple of appetizers (including a yummy cod-filled ravioli), we shared a laugh about the HurryDate hostess assigning the same number to multiple guys.

We also talked about our respective stints as Toronto residents, a shared affinity for freelance writing and where our international travels have taken us.

From Aroma, we walked over to the Public Theater to see “County of Kings,” playwright Lemon Andersen’s riveting one-man show. Based on his tough upbringing in Brooklyn, Andersen’s intense, brilliantly staged tale covers everything from AIDS and drugs to death and first love. It captivated through to the final curtain call.

After the show, John and I wanted to see how the Yankees were faring in the World Series so we headed to a nearby sports bar. The effortless conversation continued -- and so did the flirting as we started leaning in closer and closer to each other.

By the time we said goodnight, it was no surprise when John bent down to kiss me. John said he’d love to get together over the weekend and I told him that would be great.

Since our date, John reiterated in an email what a great time he had. Curiously, he never followed up about getting together again. But that's the great thing about speed dating -- I’ve got plans with two other HurryDate guys. There's definitely something to be said for dating in numbers.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Singles Event Pick: Vino-Versity At Divine Bar

One of my favorite activities for mingling is wine tasting -- and no place in NYC does it better than Divine Bar in Midtown.

Divine Bar’s Vino-Versity series offers thematic wine tasting sessions in a social, cocktail party setting. On November 24th, Vino-Versity will host “Tuscany and Parmesan” from 630-830pm.

The tasting will feature dozens of Tuscan and Central Italian wines paired with warm garlic-crostini bread topped with fresh parmesan shavings or a Reggianito Parmesan and olive tapenade puff pastry. Wine professionals explain each variety as they pour, and take-home help sheets are also provided.

Tickets are $40 per person. Vino-Versity events always sell out, so click here if you’d like to be part of the wine and cheese-enhanced fun.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Live The Life You Love 3: Part Two

Tuesday’s Live The Life You Love panel hosted by SingleEdition continued with a spirited conversation about work and dating.

SingleEdition founder Sherri Langburt led the lively Q&A

Human Resources Consultant Alyson D’Anna talked about the importance of self-promotion when it comes to managing your career.

“It’s the key to creating visibility,” she said.

Career expert Alyson D’Anna

Alyson outlined a three-step approach to personal PR – self inventory, career situational analysis and using information from both to advance yourself professionally. She also advised getting a mentor and perfecting your elevator pitch.

Twenty first Century Guide To Bachelorhood author Brad Berkowitz offered some straight talk about where to meet men and how to shake up your social life.

Author and dating expert Brad Berkowitz

“Expand your horizons by going to new restaurants, clubs and bars,” he said. “Never eat alone [at home], because you’re not meeting anyone but the Domino’s delivery guy.”

When it comes to online dating, Brad suggests having a male friend review your profile before you post it. Speaking of the Internet, he recommended Facebook as a great way to connect with single friends of friends.

Brad also said the gym is a great venue for meeting men – though in my experience, you’ll encounter more endorphin-induced scowls there than come hither smiles.

Offline, Brad and I chatted about how to look approachable when you’re out and about, especially in the bar scene. Guys won’t approach a closed circle, so open it up.

I liked Brad’s take on dating and really putting yourself out there. Stay tuned for an in-depth Q&A with him.

Coming up…an exhilarating first date with one of the HurryDate guys and a look at my favorite NYC spots for singles.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Live The Life You Love 3: Part One

Tuesday night, I headed over to Saks Fifth Avenue for the finale of Single Edition’s “Live The Live You Love” series about lifestyle issues from a single woman’s perspective.

Guests enjoyed complimentary make-up applications

Focusing on career, cooking and relationships, the event featured cocktails & hors d’oeuvres, make-up applications, after hours shopping – and a lively expert panel discussion led by founder, the fabulous Sherri Langburt.

Business Startup Advisor Beth Schoenfeldt offered some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, making the case that singles are well positioned to strike out on their own.

Business Startup Advisor Beth Schoenfeldt

“It takes so much time and energy,” says the three-time entrepreneur. “When you are single, you have more freedom to work as much as you want.”

Beth’s top tips – create a strong support system, be passionate about what you’re doing and start (small) with the end in mind.

“Know what your goal is,” she said. “Whether you want to go public, sell it or just make money for a few years.”

Sherri , a successful entrepreneur herself, chimed in about the value of persistence.

“You can turn a no into a yes,” she said. “Unlike the bedroom, there’s always another entrance.”

Entertaining and Food Expert Karine Bakhoum got the crowd excited about cooking for one. The frequent Food Network “Iron Chef America" judge encouraged singles to make the most of their solo lifestyle.

Entertaining and Food Expert Karine Bakhoum

“Enjoy the moment and the time with yourself,” she said. “Think about what you want to eat and enjoy the process of cooking.”

Karine recommends treating yourself like a guest who is coming to dinner – put on some music and break out the wine.

Get inspired, she says, by shopping at quality markets like Whole Foods and stock up on tasty staples (extra virgin oil, balsamic vinegar and tapenade are Karine’s top 3). And be sure to make your kitchen environment cook friendly.

Up next…advice from Single Edition's experts on navigating your career and jump starting your love life.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty Four

When you remain friendly with an ex, you can feel it when there’s another seismic shift in your relationship. So it was with my California-based old flame Mark (a.k.a Sparky).

After breaking up in the summer of 1995, Sparky and I kept in close touch, communicating at least once a month and rekindling things whenever business brought him to New York. As 1998 began, I was surprised that two months had passed without a word from him. Sensing that something was wrong, I decided to call Sparky. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the winter of ‘98...

February 27th, 1998
Bangor, Maine

Dear Diary,

There’s a hole in my heart today. The reason for it -- the unexpected revelation that Sparky and I are through, for good.

I’d sensed Mark pulling away from me when I moved here a couple of months ago. When he failed to call on my birthday, I wondered if that was his way of saying he was letting go.

Then, on my way to work yesterday, two songs that always remind me of him came on the radio. I had the strongest impulse yet to get in touch with Sparky.

I was sitting here in my living room when I called Sparky

“Call him,” my mother urged when asked for her opinion. “He’s been a very good friend to you and you never know what’s going on in someone’s life.”

So, I dialed Mark’s work number. A secretary answered and then he picked up.

“Hello there,” he said, sounding very upbeat. “I’m so glad you called.”

“I figured I should find out what’s been going on in your part of he world,” I replied.

“Happy belated Birthday,” he said (He
didn't forget…). “How are you? Is everything okay?”

Anxious, for once, to skip my end of the conversation, I quickly brought him up to date on work, grad school applications and Mom’s condition.

Finally, I asked him--

“So, what about you? Are you sick or married?”

“Well, you’re partly right,” he answered, adding that a lot has changed in his life recently.

I fell into a chair as Mark told me that he is indeed ill again -- and that he got remarried two weeks ago. Tears welled up in my eyes and I fought to steady my voice.

Mark said his diverticulitis and colon cancer returned during the holidays and that was why he didn’t call on my birthday (he didn’t want me to worry). The marriage happened on Valentine’s Day in Hawaii.

“I’m really glad you called,” Mark kept repeating. “I just didn’t know how to tell you.”

“Understandably so,” I said meekly.

* * *

The shocking news of Sparky’s marriage felt like the final death knell for our complicated love. It would only be a matter of time, though, before fate threw us together again.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kerry Rhodes Foundation Bash

Last night, I headed down to NYC’s Meatpacking district for the third annual Kerry Rhodes Foundation dinner.

I attended the swanky event on behalf of my client and silent auction prize provider, the Westin St. John. Held at trendy new steakhouse STK, the fundraiser benefitted New York Jets star Rhodes’ efforts to provide educational and financial opportunities to students in underserved high schools nationwide.

The well-heeled, male-dominated crowd at STK

While enjoying a vodka cocktail at the bar, I chatted with charming Sicily-born NYC restaurant owner Vito. There’s something about a man with an Italian accent – especially when he’s talking about what goes into making a good Carbonara.

In the small world department, I found myself standing next to WNBC anchor/reporter Demarco Morgan. It turns out he had the same professors as I did at Columbia University’s Journalism School, shared the anchor chair with a classmate of mine, and knows the WNBC team that I worked with back in my freelance writing days.

“We’re family,” he said. “We should break bread sometime.”

Once business associate Michelle -- who handles PR for the Virgin Islands – arrived, it was time to take our seats for dinner. On the menu, Caesar salad, skirt steak and mashed potatoes, and a vanilla ice and molten chocolate cake that I’m still daydreaming about.

A couple of NFL stars mingled during the meal, including our gracious host.

Me and Michelle with New York Jets safety and philanthropist Kerry Rhodes

We also met Rhodes’ teammate Jerricho Cotchery, who smiled good naturedly when Vito said he had a bet riding on how the Jets do this season. Other celeb attendees included ABC sports anchor Dr. Marvell Scott and Miss USA Kristen Dalton.

After a stirring performance by John Legend’s brother Vaughn Anthony, I decided to call it a night. For a Monday, business definitely managed to mix with pleasure!

Monday, November 2, 2009

An Action-Packed Halloween

New York always puts on a quite a show for Halloween – and this Saturday was no exception.

For the first time in years, I opted to join the costumed ranks by dressing up as a gypsy. A rhinestone-crusted headscarf and some fake eyelashes, and I was good to go.

Sala One Nine: Great tapas in a cozy, candlelit setting

First stop -- dinner at Sala One Nine with good friend Leila. Over some delicious tapas (ham croquettes, cheese plate, shrimp in garlic and olive oil), we had a good laugh thanks to our two servers. One was dressed as the cowboy from the Village People, another as the grim reaper.

Afterward, we caught a glimpse of the colorful crowd lining up to watch NYC’s legendary Halloween Parade. Along with an assortment of devils, cats and pinstriped inmates, I spotted a bloody health care patient and a pregnant smoking nun. Only in New York.

Trick Or Treat: Sara (left) served up plenty of Halloween goodies

Leila and I headed to the Upper West Side for our friend Sara’s intimate Halloween bash. Sara outdid herself with homemade treats. Among the creations she spent 12 hours preparing were pumpkin cake, meringue kisses, Rice Krispie treats, apple cake, chocolate chip cookies and vanilla and chocolate cupcakes.

Once I had eaten enough to go into a sugar coma, I made my way back across town to meet up with galpal Heidi at UES bistro Baraonda for “Scaraoke.”

All Dressed Up: Heidi and me at Baraonda

It was an endless parade of great costumes at the party, from Alice in Wonderland characters and hippies to a drag queen emcee and – my personal favorite – a cereal killer (get it?) wearing a knife and blood-stained Cheerios.

What A Crowd: Colorful costumes reigned at Baraonda’s bash

While waiting to submit my Karaoke song (Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional”) to the DJ, I chatted with her cute assistant and cowboy-for-the-night Tim. Later, as I was leaving the party around 2am, Tim asked—

“Can I walk you home and make out with you?”

Laughing, I said that he could walk me home but there would be no making out.

“But, it’s Halloween,” he insisted.

“Technically, it’s not Halloween anymore,” I said.

Ghoulish excuses or not, it was fun to flirt with a cowboy – as any good gypsy would do.

Coming up…a date with my favorite HurryDate guy and a swanky party some of NFL superstars.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Charitable Event Pick: Arts Beats 2009

When it comes to meeting new people, talking about art can be a great icebreaker. Next weekend, you can enjoy some modern masterpieces and mingle at Art For Change’s Art Beats 2009.

Art For Change creates programs that inspire people to take an active role in social justice. Art Beats 2009 will offer a sneak peak at the organization’s new gallery, which will exhibit artwork by emerging and established artists from local and global communities.

Scheduled for Friday, November 6th, the event will take place at NYC’s Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center and feature an open wine and beer bar, live music and an art auction.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Click here for more information.