Signals that Men Won’t Admit

Posted in Dating on February 14, 2013 by Bright Lights


Over the years, I have written many articles on dating in “these” complicated times.  It is true that internet dating has changed the disease, but the symptoms remain the same.  As such, I thought I would share a few points that men have not shared with women.  This is primarily because men wouldn’t recognize these as facts but rather subliminal impulses weighing in on the all important question “should I talk to that girl or not?”  It is important to note that these points will only be helpful for women looking to find a man of substance and not just someone looking to get a piece.


Sunglasses:  Women love their sunglasses.  But sunglasses hide a woman’s eyes making it harder for men to make eye contact and gain confidence to approach or maintain conversation.  I’m not saying don’t wear your designer sunglasses, but when you find yourself under the shade of the pool bar, you may want to take them off and see who comes to talk to you.  Lets be honest, the hunkety hunk with washboard abs, no shirt, and a degree from Devry is gonna come up to you no matter what in that bikini you “gotz” on.  But the quiet guy sitting at the bar talking with his friend about the old times in law school may now feel the confidence to approach you as well.  He has his shirt on and can’t compete in a purely shallow muscle and body competition.  Don’t make him feel he has to in order to talk to you.  Take those glasses off and let him see your soul.


Separate from the Herd:  Woman often go out in groups of 3, 4, or 5.  These are not girls night out but rather a night out with friends.  They stand around and despite being dressed to the nines, they get very few suitors.  The reason, of course, is that men hunt similarly to a lion.  Men are waiting for the woman he is pursuing to be alone, if only for a minute.  So he must wait till she goes up to the bar or is waiting on line for the bathroom.  Both of these are proven methods.  But wouldn’t it be easier (and more sanitary) if women would just recognize that men do this and be sure to spend about 3 – 5 minutes either alone or in smaller groups for a few minutes every hour.  Ironically, while in college I met two woman who did just that.  I would go to a party with the two of them, and they would demand about 10 minutes every hour where I had to be away from them, and they had to be away from each other.  Some call that desperate.  I call that efficient.


“I like your hat”:   If you believe that more men would talk to you if they had a good opening line, then becoming a hat lover and hat wearer might be for you.  Show me a girl with a cute fedora, and you can bet that several men will come up to her and say “I like your hat” throughout the evening.  Any line that men can use instead of “you are really pretty” or “do you come here often” is very much appreciated by the male community.

These signals may not be true for every man, and most men probably haven’t given it much thought.  But now you know a little bit more about the man behind the curtain.

Bright Lights, Big City.


Town & Country Presents New York New York

Posted in Events on December 8, 2011 by Bright Lights

Last night I attended the Town & Country event for the release of New York New York, a book of amazing photographs by Harry Benson with text by Hilary Geary Ross.  The book showcases prominent society doyennes, politicians and movie stars in New York from the early 60’s to today.

Harry Benson is a scottish-born photojournalist known for his contributions to Life magazine.  He has photographed every US President from Eisenhower to Obama.  Hilary Geary Ross is the Society Editor for Quest and Q magazines.

The event was held at the majestic event space of the Hearst Tower on the mezzanine level.  This was my first time inside the Hearst Tower and was delighted to see how the Historic Landmark base of the building is very much on display.  The six-story, cast-limestone façade of the original landmark building meets glass and steel support beams in what is truly a work of art in its own right.

The well-dressed crowd shmoozed and mingled throughout the night while checking out the large framed photos from the book.  Some of my favorites are shown below.  These photos capture a moment in time and in many ways have grown in significance over time.

Al Pacino and Diane Keaton filming the Godfather outside Radio City Music Hall

Chevy Chase - East Hampton, NY

Mayor Michael Bloomberg riding the subway

The event was filled with beautiful people who were most likely watching their figure, which translated into more hors d’oeuvres for me and my +1.  All in all, it was a charming event and I met some delightful people.  I look forward to many more events in the Hearst Tower in the coming years.

Bright Lights, Big City.

Living in Clinton – West 55th Street

Posted in Hot Places on October 29, 2011 by Bright Lights

Central Park - Southwest Corner - Midtown West

For the past 12 years, I have lived in Manhattan.  For the past four years, I have lived happily in Clinton on West 55th Street, and I cannot express how surprisingly positive the experience has been.  West 55th Street between 8th & 9th Avenue is the best block in Clinton.  It is the only block in the neighborhood that is 100% residential which makes it a calm oasis and an escape from the hustle and bustle.

West 55th Street - Between 8th & 9th Avenue

Everyday, I walk to and from work which is located in Midtown on the east side.  In the summer, while my co-workers emerge from the subway sweating bullets from the horrible underground humidity, I am able to arrive at work cool as a cucumber from my leisurely walk across town.  Sometimes, I don’t step on the subway for over a month which not only keeps me cool but also saves a lot of money on transportation.  During the summer, I often walk past Rockefeller Center where the Today Show is being filmed.

Bruce Springsteen Performing - Today Show

From free concerts (James Taylor, Maroon 5, Cold Play, Sting) to interviews with celebrities, everyday is something fun and interesting.  Not to mention the fact that walking nearly 2 miles a day keeps you feeling healthy, especially on weeks when you can’t make it to the gym.

Kristin Davis - Today Show - Rockefeller Center

Living near the Theater District is special treat for anyone who enjoys Broadway shows.  No longer is it a huge project to swing by TKTS or even going straight to the box office to buy tickets.  Instead, one can just have a serendipitous night of dinner and a show on short notice.  The same can be said for shows at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, Roseland Ballroom and New York City Center.

Lincoln Center - Midsummer Night Swing

My apartment on West 55th Street makes for easy access to go running and biking Central Park.  While my building has a bike room, there is so much price competition in this area that bike rentals can be very inexpensive.  For instance, Liberty Bicycles at 55th and 9th Avenue offers bike rentals at just $6 per hour.  And for those that want to eat healthly, lets not forget about Whole Foods located conveniently at Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle.

View of Central Park - Time Warner Center

For those that like to get out of the City on a regular basis, Midtown West is walking distance to major transportation centers like Port Authority and Penn Station.  But also, if you are a car owner, Midtown West offers some of the most reasonable prices for parking garages.  I currently pay just $280 per month for an indoor 24/7 garage whereas most garages in Manhattan are closer to $500 per month.

9 Restaurant - 53rd & 9th Ave

Some of New York’s finest restaurants are located in Midtown, and I am able to walk to all of them.  From Per Se to Nobu 57, I can easily pop in for a late dinner with no reservation necessary.  In addition to fine dining, Midtown West is tops for casual dining options as far as diversity and affordability.  Ninth Avenue is restaurant after restaurant with every ethnic cuisine you could want.  Thai, Italian, Mexican, Greek, Afghan Kebab, Ethiopian, Brazilian, and Indian food are all available for your nightly dinners.

Southern Hospitality (9th Ave) - Owned by Justin Timberlake

In conclusion, living in Midtown West can be a wonderful experience because of the tremendous access that it affords its residents.  From walking to work to walking to nightlife and entertainment, Midtown West allows one to live a truly green lifestyle.  There is something to be said for being close to everything.  It’s easy to go Uptown, it’s easy to go downtown, and crosstown is walkable.  If you are looking for a new lease on life, try Midtown West.  I’m sure you will love it.

The Critical Path

Posted in Life's Ponderings on August 18, 2011 by Bright Lights

In dealing with any task or challenge in life, there is an inherent critical path.  In the world of real estate development, we define the critical path as “the sequence of activities that must be completed on schedule for the entire project to be completed on schedule.”  In short, the critical path recognizes which items need to be addressed, and in what order, to minimize the time till completion.  I believe that this concept of a critical path can be very useful in finding a suitable mate.  The cat and mouse system of courtship, the mind games, and dating itself can be time consuming, expensive, and often frustrating for men. So why don’t men do the specific things that would put themselves on a more efficient path to finding a partner?  In this article, we will examine a few high percentage activities that could be an effective part of your critical path.


We all know what its like to be at a party or a wedding and there is one guy out on the dance floor winning over the ladies while we are sitting there staring down at our drink.  Many guys have an “I don’t dance” policy because they want to feel macho.  But when it comes right down to it, would you rather impress your macho cousin Eddie who hasn’t danced since 1986 or the ladies at the party?  If we think about things rationally, men everywhere should be learning to dance like Usher with the hopes of wooing the ladies.

Target Rich Environment:  

There are many activities and places that are frequented predominantly by females and where men would be a commodity by just showing up.  For instance, yoga classes, salsa lessons, farmers markets, and Bloomingdales just to name a few.  Make no mistake, most fellas that I know would rather sit home watching the game than go any of these places.  But its not about thoroughly enjoying the farmers market, its about giving yourself a few at bats while you buy some fresh fruit and veggies for the week.  With respect to salsa lessons, there is often a shortage of guys in the class to a point where girls are dancing with girls.  A man doesn’t have to be good at salsa in order to find himself in a spicy situation.


Party Hard, Party Right

There is a misnomer that women want a man who appears to be settled or settling down.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Woman want a wild man who they can attempt to tame down and whom they can try to change.  Many men feel that they are better off showing off their maturity or the depths of their wallet.  But neither of those, on their own, can compete with a wild night out that is more fun than classy.  To ensure that you on the right path, put forth the illusion that you are somewhat of a party animal.

Note that being a party animal doesn’t mean drinking too much and passing out at Burger King at 4am.  In this case, it means frequenting the newest hot spots and showing an interest in having night out on the town that are memorable.  Most people in their 30’s don’t go out as often as they did while in their 20’s because they don’t have as much energy and they likely have less people to go out with.  As such, wild and crazy memorable nights can be hard to come by.  In some ways, a memorable night is like a work of art, and finding a way to show that you can paint a beautiful picture on the palate of life is sure to win her over.

Overall, it is obvious that people generally make choices based on their comfort level and their preferences rather than taking the route that they know deep down will likely produce the best results.  In this world we live in where luxuries are all around us like the remote control and the internet, I am not surprised that most men do not think in terms of a critical path.  We are all spoiled by convenience and we want finding a significant other to be convenient as well.  However, that just leaves more opportunity for those who follow a critical path.

So next time you are at a wedding, tell your cousin Eddie to hold your drink while you cut a rug with the brides maids.  And when Eddie gives you a funny look, tell him that if he doesn’t like the new you, he can go watch Lord of the Rings back at the house.

Bright Lights, Big City.

Just A Dream. Downtown

Posted in Hot Places on July 26, 2011 by Bright Lights

For those of you who are looking to beat the heat, you may want to avoid the Dream Downtown’s rooftop pool bar.  For I am afraid the scene is red hot.  On June 13th, Vikram Chatwal unveiled his latest creation, Dream Downtown.

While New York’s elite are probably summering in the Hamptons, Dream Downtown has slowly but surely been building some well deserved buzz.  The pool area has the feel of an oasis with plush landscaping and also has a separate sandy beach area for those who like to feel the sand between their toes.

In addition, the pool has portholes on its floor which see straight through to the lobby below.

The Dream’s modern build-out and interesting decor create an ambiance that is reminiscent of South Beach.  Spend 5 minutes in this hotel, and you will start to wish you were better looking.  Once you get past the self loathing, you will realize that there is no better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  The pool is packed with beautiful people, and the bar menu serves plenty of cool and interesting drinks.  Don’t let the summer end without taking the plunge.  Dream Downtown is located at 335 West 16th Street, New York, NY.

Bright Lights, Big City.

High Marks for the High Line

Posted in Bars, Hot Places on June 10, 2011 by Bright Lights

Wednesday was the hotly anticipated opening of the second section of the High Line, which added more than 10 extra blocks to the elevated park.  The addition runs from 20th to 30th street along 10th ave, which actually doubles the existing park. But, perhaps the best addition is the Lot at 30th Street, which is a temporary public plaza underneath the northern entrance to the park and includes the new Colicchio & Sons “Lot on Tap” beer garden.

This new beer garden boasts domestic wines, non-alcoholic sodas and local beers – even featuring a beer made exclusively for Lot on Tap by the Brooklyn Brewery, called Brooklyn High Line Elevated Wheat.  Drink prices are enough to keep away your alcoholic Uncle Charlie, but just right for New York’s young and fabulous with a beer costing $7 and wine $9.

You can tell that the Lot wants to keep the historical feel of the High Line as the Lot on Tap bar is flanked by the original girders of the High Line and both bars and some benchs and tables are actually made out of the original High Line beams that were removed during the building of the park.

Along with the drinks, the Lot on 30th has a rotating series of food trucks, including lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster, dumplings from Rickshaw, and ice cream sandwiches from CoolHaus.

Additionally, next to the Lot on Tap there is an open area currently housing “Rainbow City” presented by AOL that is an open area filled in with colorful, inflatable balloons and moon bounces.

Rainbow City

The lot will be open seven days a week with food and drink available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

After having a few brews, head out and enjoy the newest section of the High Line.   Don’t be surprised if someone with a robotic voice starts giving you life advice while you are at the drinking fountains.  Thats right, the drinking fountains talk as a sound piece of public art by Julianne Swartz called “Digital Empathy.”  Its gonna be a hot summer, so be sure to stay hydrated.  And who doesn’t like some free advice while they sip from a fountain?

Sweet Lights.  Sweet City.

Gotta Go To Yo

Posted in Hot Places on May 5, 2011 by Bright Lights

Last night was the official launch party for Yotel New York.  For those of you who have never heard of Yotel, its a hotel brand from the UK which draws its inspiration from first class airline travel and Japanese capsule hotels.  I had the opportunity to tour the hotel and its amenities at the launch party, and I was nothing short of impressed.

First of all, Yotel’s decor, while ultra modern, has an informality about it which is welcoming.  From the moment that you enter the hotel to an area they call Ground Control and see the Yobot (a robot to store your luggage before check-in or after check-out), you are having fun.

After checking in at a kiosk, much like an airline kiosk, you take an elevator to the 4th Floor to an area they refer to as Mission Control.  The friendly staff will make you feel at home with their informal, yet stylish dress of jeans and white button down shirts.  With all this talk of Ground and Mission Control, you will be tempted to ask for Major Tom and I’m sure they won’t mind.

The 4th Floor houses most of the hotel’s entertainment options including the Dohyo Restaurant, The Club Lounge and Bar, private lounge cabins, and a terrace bar.  Yotel has one of the largest, if not the largest, outdoor terraces of all New York City hotels.  Note that all food and beverage service is provided by the renowned restaurateur Richard Sandoval who is the genius behind restaurants like Pampano, Zengo and Maya. He also is behind Pampano Taqueria which I wrote about last year.

I was both surprised and delighted to see that the rooms of Yotel do not seem cramped.  Technically, they are on the smaller side, but their efficiency and high quality finishes more than make up for the lost space.  According to Yotel, the average hotel room cost in New York City is $250 a night, and they are offering their cabins starting at $150 a night.  As you take a closer look at the room, you find that it has many interesting and useful features that other more expensive hotel chains do not have.  For instance, the bed can adjust to sit up (like British Airways first class) or it can be completely horizontal like a typical bed.  In addition, there are built in reading lamps over the bed and the bathroom has a heated towel rack.

The launch party included a truly inspirational speech by Simon Woodroffe where he discussed how and why he started the Yo! brand and Yotel in particular.  He talked about when he started the Yo! Sushi brand and how market research was useless when there is not an existing market for the product you are selling.

Woodroffe joked “how could I prove that people would enjoy eating sushi from a conveyor belt and drinks served by a robot when it had never been done before.”  I had the opportunity to speak with Woodroffe after his presentation, and he talked about how people are more likely to regret not taking risks to follow their dreams than they are to look back and say ‘i’m sorry I took that risk.’  He followed it up by talking about how the statistics of entrepreneurship don’t give the entire picture.  He spoke of how you can’t just look at the success ratio in a vacuum.  “How many of these people end up succeeding on their second go-around because they had the guts to follow their dreams?”

Yotel New York has done a marvelous job building out their hotel.  Rooms are expected to open to the public on June 1, 2011.

Several years ago, I flew first class on a business trip to London.  The first class flight experience was unique and exciting.  I believe that Yotel has captured that same essence and travelers to New York will soon be going out of their way to stay there.  With affordable prices, a high level of service, and a fun atmosphere, Yotel is a win, win, win.

Yotel New York is located at 510 Tenth Avenue in Manhattan.

Bright Lights, Big City.