Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Romantic New York

My friend CT, who is just about to move to NYC from London with her husband, emailed me today asking for ideas for a special and romantic evening out in the City to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

It is with a touch of sadness that I realized that, while never having given it much thought before, I knew exactly what the ultimate romantic night out would entail for me ... yet I have never done it precisely in that way with someone I love.

To be frank, from a romance perspective, this City has been a disaster for me. I moved here a year after the (amicable) end of a 10 years relationship and while it took me some time to get used to being by myself, I was very much enjoying being single and carefree. Was I looking for a fresh start? Yes of course, but the last thing I expected in these heady first couple of weeks in New York was to fall in love ... but I did, head over heels, and quickly embarked on a short, intense and very much doomed from the start relationship (though "entanglement" may be a better description!). It took me 2 horribly long years to quash any lingering feelings I had for him and mend my broken heart. And despite various distracting flings, I have not met anyone since that I have felt any special connection with and would therefore want to spend a truly romantic evening in the company of!

Still, for what it's worth, here is what - to me - is the ultimate romantic night out in the City ...

Meet at the Metropolitan Museum late in the afternoon. Perhaps linger in the museum a little first for a stroll through the Greek and Roman gallery with its collection of handsome marble statues and imposing columns, or through the Sackler wing which houses the Temple of Dendur under a huge conservatory. Then head for the rooftop sculpture garden or more precisely the Martini bar there. Sipping a couple of cocktails above the green expanses of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline in the background is simply incredible.

Walk across the park before it gets dark, heading South West. Make your way towards the Boat House and the Bethesda Fountain and then hop into one the many rickshaws available across the bridge that overlooks both. They're great fun and will get you out of the park much faster than walking.

Arriving at the Time Warner Center, at Columbus Circle, in time for dinner is the plan. In the event that you can't score a table at the amazing but eye-wateringly expensive Per Se (which I was lucky enough to go to once), Landmark (lively) or A Voce Columbus (classy) are both great restaurants with beautiful food and plenty of dark corners to huddle into.

The perfect end to that evening for me would be to catch a late night performance at the Dizzy Jazz Club, also located in the Time Warner complex. The Club is both intimate because of its size yet impressive because of its high ceilings and particularly the wall of windows affording a magical view of Columbus Circle, the Park and the glittering skyscrapers in the distance ...

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