Mon, 04 Feb 2013 13:03:32 -0800Weebly <![CDATA[The Date Nobody Can Say No To: Last Minute Getaway  #The Cure ]]> Fri, 01 Feb 2013 10:00:51 -0800 Leave on a jetplane for 80% less during NYC Flight Week
by David Colon
Despite the fact that it involves partaking in the miracle of human flight, air travel is a pain in the ass. It’s expensive too. But it’s less expensive this week on JetBlue owing to NYC Flight Week, a veritable orgy of discounted flights, to the tune of 80% off. Each day this week, the carrier is offering three bargains. But like all great deals in life, there’s a catch.
In this case, it’s that there’s a very limited timeframe in which you can take advantage of the deals (you have to be willing to do the traveling in the next couple of weeks) and you can only go to the places that JetBlue picks. Not all of them are winners (“Hey guys, let’s go to FLORIDA!”) but there were also two deals offered yesterday, to Costa Rica and to St. Maarten. Plus, 80% off translates to something like $300 in savings for some flights, which sounds pretty great.

Keep checking the site this week to see what else is offered, but don’t think too long and hard about your plans. Based on the number of “sold outs” currently on the JetBlue landing page, tickets are going quick.
]]> <![CDATA[Top 10 First Date Ideas ]]> Tue, 29 Jan 2013 15:55:00 -0800 Picture
Top 10: First Date IdeasSometimes [DV: all the time] dinner and a movie just don't cut it. These first date ideas virtually guarantee a second date. 
A good first date allows for conversation but at the same time takes some of the focus off you so that you’re not under pressure to talk incessantly. The first date ideas on this list provide the right balance of conversation and pleasant distraction. Just recognize that not every first date idea will work for every type of girl. Before you plan some kind of outdoorsy activity, you’ll want to make sure she’s the outdoorsy type. And you don’t want to take a girl to a museum if she’s going to be bored to tears. Think about her interests and her personality before you decide which of these10 first date ideas to try.
[The Date Valet likes numbers 4 through 7 and number 10. Which ones do you like?]

#10: Bowling

Bowling is an old-school date idea with a great casual vibe. The two of you can have a beer or a slice of pizza while engaging in a friendly competition. Just about every town has a bowling alley. It’s a low-stress environment, so your date is guaranteed to feel relaxed and comfortable, which is important. If she’s comfortable, she’ll have more fun, and if she’s having fun, you’ll get a second date.

#9: Hiking

Exploring the great outdoors and getting some physical activity is a terrific first date idea, provided your date is up to the task. You need to check first to ensure that she’s the outdoorsy type. A high-maintenance woman does not want to go on a hike (you know, that martini-sipping girl with the perfectly manicured nails probably isn’t up for it). But for the cute surfer girl you met at the pub, it’s perfect.

#8: Aquarium

Aquariums aren't just for fourth-grade field trips; they're also a great place for a first date. You can walk leisurely with your lady friend as the two of you survey all of the sea life. And underwater creatures are colorful, slimy, toothy, and weird enough to keep things interesting.

#7: The theater

The theater is another one of our favorite first date ideas. It’s more original than a movie, plus it’s a little classier. The two of you can get dressed up and enjoy yourselves. Plus, there’s typically an intermission during which you’ll have a chance to chat, unlike a movie, where you’ll spend the entire time sitting in the dark. The theater is a good date for just about any type of woman, but it’s particularly well-suited to bibliophiles and art lovers.

#6: Driving range

Taking a date to the driving range is another fun outdoors activity. It’s not particularly strenuous, though, so your date doesn’t need to be athletic to have a good time. The driving range makes a great daytime date. It’s also a good first date idea because if she’s not a golfer, helping her with her swing is a great opportunity to get up close and personal. Alternatively, if she’s a little more experienced, it’s a chance for some playful competition.

#5: Art gallery

A trip to the local art gallery is a great first date for the artsy girl. It’s not a bad idea to do a little research on the exhibit beforehand, though. Not just because it’s good to seem at least a little knowledgeable, but also because you don’t want to accidentally take her to an exhibit on the horrors of meat-processing plants or the atrocities of war.

#4: Local music show

Remember that conversation is probably the most important part of a first date. However, the right music in the right venue can provide the perfect ratio of conversation to pleasant distraction. You don’t want a stadium show. You don’t want heavy metal or techno -- the emphasis there is more on dancing than listening. But if you can find a more mellow act in a smaller venue, you’re golden.

#3: Play tourist

We sometimes take our hometowns for granted. Think about it: Every year, scores of people probably travel to your city on vacation. Try to see your hometown from a tourist’s perspective. Check out the local tourism office; it will have guides and information on all kinds of festivals, events and sights worth seeing. Take your date on a touristy excursion around your hometown and see the city from a different perspective.

#2:  Ice-skating

Ice-skating is innocent fun. That’s why it makes this list of our favorite first date ideas. It’s a great date for women who love to be active. And if she doesn’t know how to skate, so what? Holding hands as you help her stay on her feet is a fun way to spend an afternoon and an excellent opportunity to get to know each other.

#1: Try new cuisine

Sharing new experiences together is a great way to build a connection with someone. That’s why if you’re going to take her out to a restaurant, you should try taking her somewhere a little more adventurous. Check out a new ethnic cuisine -- something neither of you have tried before. The element of adventure will add some excitement to your date, and, who knows, maybe the two of you will find a new favorite.

]]> <![CDATA[What is Social Proof?]]> Tue, 29 Jan 2013 15:13:28 -0800 Picture
The Psychology of Social Proof
Jamie Bardwell
The Professional Wingman
One of the most fascinating psychological principles that have been shown to influence how attractive people find you is the concept of Social Proof. 
This simple, yet highly influential mechanism can help drive women to you and boost your level of attractiveness. 
What is Social Proof?

When you take a woman out, or whenever you meet female in a club or in the bar, she will be unconsciously filtering in information to gauge how other people around are reacting to you. If the people around you respond to you in a positive way, this provides her with social proof that you are worthy of her time, and increases her attraction to you. 

Based on this cognitive bias, it's more likely that women will find the same guy more attractive if he is talking with a group of people and having a great time as opposed to standing there on his own. 

At an unconscious level, she is judging your general impact on your social surroundings. She's gauging whether other people are pleased to be around you, and your level of integration and engagement with other people, and whether they're eager to interact with you in return. 

If other people regard you in a positive light, you are creating what's known as a positive social proof effect! That is, people are responding positively to you in the environment, which leads everybody else to adopt a similar perspective (without ever having to talk to you or meet you), purely based on the opinions of others in the environment.

In attraction terms, creating a positive social proof effect and interacting with others around you substantially increases the likelihood of women finding you attractive, and can dramatically increase your success with women. 

“Generate the "social proof" effect, no matter where you are.” Tweet this.

How to generate a social proof effect …  You should always be looking for opportunities to engage with other people in the environment, and across different situational contexts. It doesn't matter if they are male or female; the idea is to get a strong social impact by engaging people near you. 

There are no limits to how you can create a social proof effect. If you're in a bar, you might want to create small talk with the bar staff and bouncers. If you're on a nightclub dance floor, and you see a group of people doing the same dance, cheekily copy their dance moves! 

Imagine you’re at a bar and a group in front of you orders a tray of shots…. 

You     -  "Hey guys what shots are they, I don’t think I’ve tried them before" 
Group - "They're a mixture of different ones, sambuca, apple sours & jager" 
You     -  "What's that green one? I've never tried that before but it looks tasty as hell"
Group -  "You gotta try it, it's the nicest one"
You     -  "Thanks for your advice, I’m gonna order myself one of those! If it's disgusting, you guys owe me a drink!" *smiles

Creating a positive social proof effect can take many forms, and requires that you adapt to the demands of the situation. Be on the lookout for ways you can communicate with people in the context. Particularly, if people know who you are and you have a reputation in certain places (it doesn’t have to be bars or nightclubs), providing it's a positive reputation, this can create the desired social proof effect. 

Overall, social proof is an important factor that can significantly enhance your success with women at a subconscious level, and provide women with a certain degree of confidence about your social nature, which cognitively biases their judgment of you beyond their conscious awareness. If others find you a blast to be around, and there is enough evidence stemming from our people’s perceptions of you that you’re a great guy, your chances of success will skyrocket! 

]]> <![CDATA[New York's Most Popular Date Spots]]> Mon, 28 Jan 2013 15:40:11 -0800
]]> <![CDATA[I Want You….To Put Away Your Smartphone: Propaganda Posters for the Modern Age]]> Sat, 26 Jan 2013 16:19:55 -0800
I Want You….To Put Away Your Smartphone: Propaganda Posters for the Modern Age 
by Brett & Kate McKay on January 8, 2013

During the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, the use of “propaganda posters” were popular for encouraging good behavior — teaching safety, boosting worker morale, and rousing wartime sacrifice. I’ve always enjoyed the art and design of these posters, and decided to have Ted whip up a set of originals to address an area of behavior where modern society is often lacking: smartphone etiquette. Enjoy.

]]> <![CDATA[Facebook Map Shows NFL fan Loyalty by Region]]> Sat, 26 Jan 2013 16:11:19 -0800
The National Football League is one of the most popular sports in America with some incredibly devoted fans. Facebook has about 35 million account holders in the United States who have Liked a page for one of the 32 teams in the league, representing one of the most comprehensive samples of sports fanship ever collected. Put another way, more than 1 in 10 Americans have declared their support for an NFL team on Facebook
]]> <![CDATA[Restaurant Week 2013 is Underway]]> Fri, 25 Jan 2013 16:32:16 -0800 Restaurant Week is On! Try some new spots at half the price.  Dinner $38, Lunch $25.
]]> <![CDATA[For The Abbey Fans out there]]> Tue, 22 Jan 2013 16:52:28 -0800
]]> <![CDATA[Five Keys to a First Date]]> Tue, 22 Jan 2013 16:43:16 -0800 Picture
by The Professional Wingman

There are a lot of rules and guidelines for successful first dates.
Instead of reading through all the nonsense, I will just tell you the 5 things that are most important to remember.
Never do dinner as a first date ...

It baffles me to this day why guys continue to believe dinner dates are great first dates.

Dinner dates set up two things: 

1. An obligation of her time. Knowing that she HAS to stay a specific amount of time, she’ll feel pressured to stay longer than she may want to and immediately puts her in a different mindset. 

2. An obligation of your money, where dinner dates cost an average of $140. If you’re lucky enough to have 2-3 first dates a week, that adds up VERY quickly.

The first date is really about getting to know each other and building on physical chemistry. 

It is not about how much money you have to throw around. This also begs the question of why would you invest so much in a woman you don’t even know.

First dates generally should be just two people having drinks in a fun environment. This allows the two of you to focus on each other and not worrying if you’re practicing good dining etiquette.

And yes, guys, the same rule applies here: pick up the tab on the drinks.

PRO TIP: If you had a good time, let her know you’ll pick up this round and she’ll get the next one.” Her reaction will be a great way to gauge her interest for a second date.

First date expectations are set by how you ask her out The word “date” sounds very formal, and although there are some women who like to hear the word, it creates expectations that build unnecessary pressure for you.

Instead, say, “I’d love to take you out for a drink (notice the singular in “drink.”) [add date and other specifics],” or if you want to be even more casual, “let’s get together for a drink...”

In context of a good conversation with a woman that’s attracted to you, it works well and comes out perfectly natural.

Do not meet up with friends, whether hers or yours Never agree to this kind of date, nor set your date as such. All this says is, “I don’t value you enough to give you time alone with me.”

If she really likes you, she’ll make time to be alone with you. It’s as simple as that.

Friday and Saturday night first dates are not recommended Most people go out on Friday and Saturday nights so any place you’d like to take her will likely be crowded and noisy, making it hard to connect with her.

Also, these are what I consider “high-value” nights, where most will have plans to go out, hang with friends, and even hope to meet someone. These dates are very important to those people and will typically not want to sacrifice them for someone they don’t know, no matter how exciting they may be about the date.

Your best bet is to set up a date any other day. Personally, my favorite nights are Thursdays and Tuesdays. Expectations will be more realistic and you won’t need to be full of “party-style” energy in order to match the environment you would on a weekend night.

Take her to a place that is comfortable and on the quieter side On first dates, the environment should hint at some intimacy. This will better allow you two to find out if there’s a “spark.”

Good places to take your date are venues that are on the smaller side, have some charm (artwork, a rustic ambiance, etc.), and doesn’t play terribly loud music.

Guys always ask me what’s the ideal seating arrangement for first dates. The answer is simple. You want to be sitting next to her, not across. This is one of a million reasons why dinner dates are so awful.

Ideally, it would be great to sit on a couch but if that’s not an option, sitting together at the bar is fine.

You want to focus on being interesting and interested on the date and you don’t want the environment to distract you from those two things.

Remember, if she’s going out on a date with you, she’s already attracted to you -- that’s one battle won. There’s no need to go out of your way to impress her. This date is ONLY about you two getting to know each other and deciding if a future is promising.

]]> <![CDATA[My Brooklyn: Unmasking The Takeover of America's Hippest City]]> Tue, 15 Jan 2013 14:59:03 -0800
'My Brooklyn' Tells a Story of Gentrification and Loss
Sarah Goodyear
The word 'zoning' may be one of the least sexy in the urban planner’s vocabulary, usually eliciting polite but blank stares from members of the general public. Even the sound of it is snooze-inducing.

Wake up to reality: Zoning is one of the most powerful tools that government has to shape places and the lives of people who live there, for better and worse. A new film by Kelly Anderson, My Brooklyn, aims to document the very tangible effect that rezoning has had on Downtown Brooklyn over the past few years. You can guess from the film’s tagline – "unmasking the takeover of America’s hippest city" – where the director’s sympathies lie.
Not with the city’s Economic Development Commission, or with the planning department, or with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, all of which pushed for the 2004 Plan for Downtown Brooklyn. The plan rezoned key parts of the borough’s core commercial district, including the Fulton Mall – which, unbeknownst to many New Yorkers, had long been the third-most-profitable retail area in the city, after Manhattan’s Fifth and Madison avenues.

The Fulton Mall flew under the radar of many New York residents because it catered predominantly to African-American and Caribbean customers. It was never just a place to shop, but also a place to meet friends, flirt, debate politics, and show off the latest fashionable looks. The mall and the surrounding neighborhoods were an epicenter for New York’s emerging hip-hop culture in the 1970s and ’80s, and Anderson shows us that time through the wonderful photos of Jamel Shabazz.

But New York never stands still for long. In some of the film’s most enlightening segments, Anderson and the film’s producer, Allison Lirish Dean, delve into the history of redlining, the banking practice that helped propel white flight for an earlier generation, drove down property values, and made the later return of white “creative” types like Anderson herself possible. When she moved to Brooklyn in 1988, she was typical of the borough’s changing demographic. The transformation picked up momentum as the economy started to boom and whites like herself bought affordable real estate in neighborhoods that had long been predominantly black.

The villains of her story are the developers and city officials who smilingly insist that "change is good."

By the early 21st century, the city and developers saw an opportunity in the Fulton Mall and the long-neglected streets around it. Here’s how the thinking went: back in the 1950s, this was an upscale shopping strip, which had since become the province of sneaker shops and cell-phone stores. Why shouldn’t it go upmarket again, now that Brooklyn was the place to be? Opening up downtown Brooklyn to high-rise office and residential development, the Bloomberg administration argued, would create jobs, improve shopping options, and restore the borough to its erstwhile glory.

But as Anderson documents, the transition has been marked by pain, loss, and alienation for the small business owners who had kept the Fulton Mall thriving for all those years. In some of the film’s most powerful sequences, Anderson interviews the people being displaced by the rent increases and demolitions resulting from the "improvements," and their stories are wrenching. The barber who took such pride in giving Isaac Hayes a shape-up; the wig store owner who wonders how she will pay her children’s college tuition; the man who ran the diner for 26 years and watches helplessly as his business is taken out from under him. It’s hard not to feel that H&M and the Gap are a poor replacement for these locally owned enterprises. The character and cohesion they bring to the street will surely vanish with them.

Anderson doesn’t pretend to present a balanced picture here. The villains of her story are the developers and city officials who smilingly insist that "change is good," and the residents at a nearby farmer’s market who dismiss, with oblivious racism, the place where generations of black Brooklynites came of age and created a culture that the rest of America is still busily consuming. She creates an ugly portrait of a city where disregard for the needs of the less privileged is as stark as it ever was in the much-maligned days of Robert Moses.

This is not an organic sea change, argues one scholar interviewed for the film, but rather a deliberate strategy on the part of city government. "It’s actually about tearing down neighborhoods and building different neighborhoods," he says. And this: "This is not the only way a city gets governed. This is not the only way that development happens."

In the past 10 years, Brooklyn has become a kind of Rorschach test onto which urban observers can project their ideas about the future of cities. Is gentrification a scourge or a boon? Are white, yuppie newcomers a positive part of the borough’s revitalization or the harbingers of its fatal homogenization? My Brooklyn is a powerful, deeply researched telling of the borough's story from one woman’s point of view, a lament for the human price paid by many to ensure great profit for a few.

After seeing it, you probably won’t think that zoning is dull any longer. It can, as Anderson demonstrates, create human drama on an epic scale.