From World News Views:
Matchmaker Café, a pop-up cart at the plaza and beer garden outside upscale hotel Andaz Wall Street, has been serving coffee — and connecting couples — since launching two weeks ago.
The shop is an outpost for longtime New York City matchmaker Nancy Slotnick’s virtual concierge dating service of the same name, which she started in November.
“We’re really happy to have an actual spot for people to meet,” Slotnick said.
“We’re trying to help harness that serendipity that naturally happens between two people — and maybe give it a little bit of a push.”
The cafe, which serves coffee from Brooklyn Roasting Company, is part of the city’s new effort to energize the publicly owned private spaces — known as POPs — that run along Water Street. The program, called Water Street Pops!, includes a variety of activities and events through Labor Day, to help reinvigorate the Sandy-hit neighborhood.
At the cafe, as matchmaker-baristas serve up coffee they also try to find out if the customer is single.
“Since we have a huge sign that says Matchmaker Café, people usually ask about it, but sometimes we just let them know what we’re all about,” Slotnick said.
“The idea is to connect local people with each other, get them offline and actually meeting, even if it’s for a quick 20-minute coffee.”
If single customers are interested, Slotnick takes their picture, chats about their dating life and uploads them into her database of New York City singles.
The single guy or gal can then look through the database of photos on Slotnick’s iPad of other people who stopped by the pop-up cafe, to see if anyone piques his or her interest. If so, Slotnick or one of her matchmakers will make the connection between the potential couple.
For this week, making a call to potential dates is still free, but starting next week Slotnick will charge $5 for three calls and $10 for 10 calls. She also offers longer dating advice sessions and subscriptions to her online dating site, which has more than 5,000 members.
New customer Kathleen Christatos, 27, who stopped by the pop-up recently, said she was excited to get offline with dating, and have Slotnick guide her through the process.
“This just feels simple,” said Christatos as Slotnick emailed several young men from the cafe, whom Christatos chose by perusing the database on Slotnick’s iPad. “It makes it feel a little easier and personal.”
The pop-up is a continuation of Drip Café, an Upper West Side coffee shop Slotnick launched in 1996 which was devoted to helping people find relationships during its nine-year run.
At Drip, customers could spend time flipping through binders of hand-written dating profiles, and then Slotnick would help schedule a date at the cafe.
Slotnick, who was featured on “Oprah” thanks to her cafe and dating book, “Turn Your Cablight On,” said hundreds of marriages came out of her Drip days.
Since launching Matchmaker Café’s pop-up, Slotnick said she has collected about 30 profiles and set up a handful of dates.
“We’d like to make this permanent, and have this in neighborhoods across the city,” Slotnick said. “I think the idea of a cafe is [a] very friendly, inviting place — a regular hangout where you can let your guard down, and maybe be open to something more.”
From Glamour magazine:
When I heard there was a pop-up cafe in NYC intended to serve up great coffee and matchmaking services, it was obviously my responsibility as your dutiful dating blogger to check it out and report back. (Lindy requested I bring back a round of blonds, as in a coffee and a man.)
Here’s a little background: Nancy Slotnick, the mastermind behind the pop-up, is a life coach who specializes in dating and marriage issues. Back in the late ’90s, before online dating was the Thing with a capital T it is today, she founded a dating cafe called Drip on the Upper West Side of NYC. Now, she’s launched a matchmaking site on Facebook called Matchmaker Café; hence, the pop-up shop of the same name (serving Brooklyn Roasting Company coffee, yum).
Last night I was meeting some friends in the neighborhood, so it seemed like the perfect time to drop by. Unfortunately Nancy was out of town, but the two ladies working the coffee stand were delightful to chat with and might be my new best friends. (CALL ME, YOU GUYS!) They set up a profile for me right then and there, snapping some pics on their iPad and entering my basic information. While it’s a little weird to be posing for a profile pic in the middle of a crowded beer garden (the pop-up cafe is sort of in the middle of one), it totally helps that the girls were all like, “You’re beautiful!” and encouraging and helpfully shouted out “This is for professional research, people!” when I mentioned I was kind of embarrassed to be doing this in public.
Now I’m tasked with searching through the database of profiles they’ve collected, and the team said they’d definitely want to follow up to help me set up an awesome date. The idea of the Matchmaker Café is to get people offline and onto real dates, so hopefully you’ll be hearing about that in the future. In the meantime, if you’re in NYC you should totally stop by for fun! It combined all my great loves: delicious iced coffee, potentially getting dates, and oversharing my entire life story with strangers.
Has anyone else checked this place out? Would you? It’s outside of the Andazs hotel on Wall Street, if you’re interested!
My 8-year-old son wrote me the card pictured above: “Love is the best thing a family can share.” Somebody call Hallmark—I think they have a future employee. But it got me thinking- how do we share love with family? And that got me sad. Because sometimes we put our best foot forwards when we are in the company of strangers and we save the worst for family.
What kind of love do we share with family? Insults, criticism, unbridled emotion, long boring stories, unreasonable expectations.
When people say on the street: “Give me some love,” I don’t think that’s what they’re referring to.
So I’m going to respectfully disagree with my son. Or at least I’m going to ask him to clarify to what subset of the noun “love” he is referring. Luckily my boy is wicked smart so he will know what the heck I am asking.
Ok, I conferred with my boy genius and he said that he was referring to “Fun with the family”, so that I will definitely support!
How many people can say to themselves“I had too much fun this year?” I don’t even think there is such a thing. So I will show you the Shrinky Dink charm bracelet that was my gift that went along with the card.
And, with that, I am off to go have fun on my birthday, which includes not being bogged down with blogging unless it is fun. Which this was. Off to ice skating!
And to save you Recovering Politician staffers the trouble of asking me—Yes, I did get the copyright permission from my son to reprint his card. J
“You never don’t know” is what my mother-in-law says when she means “You never know.” It must be said in a Polish accent with the conviction that only a Holocaust survivor could pull off while using a double negative. So by the theory of transitivity, “You never don’t know” equals “You always know.” I’m going with that theory. You always know.
If you can tap into your instincts, and distinguish them from anxiety, you always know. “Is he the One?” You know. “Should I have that opening line?” You know. “Should I write that email to reach out?”
You know, but you don’t always listen to your gut. You talk yourself out of it.
Do you expect greatness to come your way or mediocrity? Or disaster? Murphy’s Law is more about Murphy than about a law of nature. I think Murphy attracted bad luck because he’s always expecting bad luck and it feeds on itself. Of course if you want to attract good luck you have to do the work. There’s plenty of good luck out there and it will come your way sooner or later. You just have to be prepared to seize your luck.
Here’s how: Let’s say you’re on a train traveling for the holidays, like I am right now. Let’s say you’re single and you secretly wish that the man of your dreams would sit next to you. You do hold out the hope for good luck. But you also dread the fat lady who talks your ear off or the crying baby that blocks the audio of Gossip Girl Season 2. Even though you’ve already seen it. You are tempted to just put your backpack up on the seat next to you, put on your headphones and go into “Do Not Disturb” mode. If you’re lucky, then the train is not sold out and you will get two seats to yourself. But is that what you really want?
If you know that you want more, you may have to put your “Cablight” on, as I call it, and try to show that the seat is available for the right guy. There is a strategy you can employ. Put the backpack up as you scope the crowd passing by. Choose your target. He may not be your Brad Pitt, but pick the best one of the lot of train travelers with your mind’s eye and start your training to attract what you want in life.
As he gets about 2 seats away from you, move the backpack and look up. Make eye contact. This will be hard. Be vulnerable for a second and make it visible to him in your eyes. Then look away and go back to Gossip Girl so he doesn’t think you’re a stalker and he knows that you aren’t going to be annoyingly forward. Let him come to you. This should work if you do it right, with confidence and humility at the same time. It probably won’t though. Law of averages.
But if it doesn’t, get up and move seats. Why? Because you still have hope that there’s a better guy in another car. Because you’re willing to give up the comfort of a window seat near the Café car for the chance of finding something better. Someone better. Like Deal or No Deal with the universe. You believe that the banker has something good in store for you in that briefcase and you’re willing to take risks.
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Nancy Slotnick: You Never Don’t Know
Paper towels are my guilty pleasure. Is that pathetic or what? But I’m totally serious. Especially the Viva ones, that are so soft and absorb everything. I never have to touch a sponge. My husband wipes up turkey grease with a Crate and Barrel hand towel and it kills me. Why? I wish it didn’t. I’m trying to train myself not to care. Shalom Bayit is the term for letting sh*t go for the sake of peace in the family. It’s more than that. It’s letting go of thinking that the way I do everything is the right way. Realizing that there are many ways to skin a cat. And that some of us would never dare skin a cat. But my husband would if we were hungry enough. I respect that. He does love cats too.
So I have to pull it together when he puts the Tupperware on the bottom shelf of the dishwasher. I stole that line from Liz Lemon on 30 Rock, btw. I was encouraged to know that I’m not the only one who worries about crap like that! But a little scared to think that I’m about as sexy as Liz Lemon sometimes. I used to be sexy though. And I think I still can be on a good day. In further tribute to Tina Fey, I don’t own Mom Jeans. But I’m not quite Nancy [MILF] on Weeds. That’s probably good news for my son, as well as for the paper towel industry, but it might not be so good for me.
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Nancy Slotnick: You Sexy Think
“Don’t you know you’re my everything?” Chaka Khan sings in Sweet Thing. She is singing to her lover who is being shady and trying to run away. “I wish you were my lover, but you act so undercover.” Oh shoot- now I am distracted by “Chaka Khan let me rock you, let me rock you Chaka Khan. Let me rock you.” That’s all I want to do. Rock you. I feel for you. Chaka. I really do. But I also feel for me. Waiting for you is really hard. Chaka.
The waiting is always the hardest part. Waiting in line especially. I was waiting in line in the Ladies Room of the Empire Hotel Lobby recently and a stubborn-looking older woman was in front of me when I walked in. There were a few stalls there and one looked vacant to me, even though the door was closed. I attempted to check to see if it was available and the woman cockblocked me. Well, not literally because this was the Ladies Room but she did it in her own feminine way—by standing in front of me and blocking me!
Then in a very faux helpful voice she said “there’s someone in there.” I had fully intended to let her go in first if it was free, but being the good girl that I am, I backed off, fuming. (She did have about 50 lbs on me.) As soon as she went into her stall, I breezed into the stall that was supposedly occupied and of course it was vacant. (I do know how to peek under and look for feet!) The dilemma was that there was no move for me to make that would bring me justice. Should I wait for her to come out of the bathroom just to say: “man, were you wrong, lady!”? It would defeat the purpose. But it’s still bugging me two months later.
Don’t blow my high, that’s all I’m sayin’. Chaka. (sorry it’s going to keep coming out of me like a hiccup now.) I feel for you, and if you want to wait in line in the Ladies Room, that’s your prerogative. But don’t stand in my way, please.
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Nancy Slotnick: Sweet Thing
I was watching Lena Dunham on Charlie Rose the other day and despite the fact that
I’m not loving her new haircut and the second season of Girls is proving to be overly ambitious, I was inspired. And I shouldn’t be so hard on her. It would be almost impossible not to choke under the pressure that she is facing at such a young age.
Emphasis on the almost impossible. Which brings me to the part of the interview that was so inspiring.
When asked about how she accomplished such a meteoric rise, Lena quoted her Dad as saying, “Love the possible.” That stuck with me. Especially because I am trying to make that kind of meteoric rise happen in my life. So I am embracing that idea. My new year’s resolution is, as I have told you previously, (see my blog that quotes Will Smith’s new movie) to be fearless.
When you are fearless, anything is possible. Or is it? I embarked on a quest to see what is possible and what is in store for me, on a Tuesday morning recently. I was hoping that a store front is in store for me. I was contemplating the fact that anything is possible if you believe that you can achieve it. How do you draw that line? Is it possible that I could go to one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city and procure a retail space by the end of the day without more than a stick of gum, $20 and a Metrocard in my pocket?
Well, let’s see what the universe said. I was able to procure a grilled cheese. And it was good. And then, as I was strolling around, following the path of whatever the universe sent me, I passed by an art gallery with a grafitti-esque painted canvas. It read:
“Enough is possible.” Thank you, universe, I have my answer!
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Nancy Slotnick: Love the Possible
I love girls.
I love girls. Ok, I should really say I love Girls, the new HBO show, but the previous sentence was my feeble attempt to capture the attention of my male readership. Anyway, the show is awesome. The guy’s line “I want you to know, the first time I f*ck you, I might scare you a little, because I’m a man, and I know how to do things,” makes Marni need to masturbate before she even makes it back to her apartment. This is alpha male behavior. Does it exist outside of cable television? Can it be taken seriously or are players, pick up artists and sketch comedians the only guys who really talk this way?
Women want a contradiction in terms, and Lena Dunham does a fantastic job of pointing this out. We want men to take us by storm. We tell ourselves “If he really wanted to meet me, he would come over and talk to me.” But yet when they do take charge, we don’t want to be bossed around. Our girlfriends shame us if we cancel plans because we have a date, as if a whipped boyfriend is the only kind of boyfriend that is acceptable. Maybe they’re just jealous?
I’ve been a dating coach for the last decade, and every girl I meet wants to nab the bad boy who is also a good guy: a husband/father candidate who is an Alpha male in the bedroom. Because I found one for me, I’m in a pretty good position to help in this regard. But the first rule of being married to an Alpha male is very similar to the first rule of Fight Club. In case you haven’t seen it- the rule is you do not speak of it- but I shouldn’t even tell you this because if you want to date an Alpha male you should see Fight Club. And commit not to cringe. Then see it again and watch it as a relationship movie- fascinating on a whole nother level. But I digress.
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Nancy Slotnick: I Love Girls
I read recently that 35% of Americans suffer from chronic loneliness. Ok, I did read it on the American Bible Study building’s electronic billboard. But that doesn’t mean it ‘s not true. When I was single in my 20s, after a really hard break-up, I was so lonely that I could physically feel an ache in my stomach. Maybe that had some direct correlation to the emotional eating frenzy that was definitively not a sign of wallowing. No, that was not it.
With my coaching clients, I dole out a lot of strategy and advice. But the most valuable service I provide is a lifeline to a world where a healthy relationship can be a comfort. Unfortunately for the state of affairs on marriage in this country, loneliness is not confined to singles. But it is much harder to dig yourself out of the loneliness hole when you are single. I think of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, banging and clawing her way out of the coffin that she was nailed into and buried 6 feet under. Almost impossible but she did it. Such is the work here. But it’s so worth it.
So how do you go from the isolation of living alone in a Facebook-induced haze of faux connection? Not that I am knocking Facebook. Geez, my wholeMatchmaker Café business is based on Facebook. But there’s a reason that all of this social networking makes us feel more lonely. We use it as an end in itself instead of a means to an end.
If you want to use Facebook for dating (which everybody does), take specific action. Connect with 10 old friends, message someone to ask them to set you up, or message me to stalk someone for you! (Yes, I do this and it’s very discreet – I’ll explain if you write me).
Don’t resort to emotional eating and watching the Real Housewives – that only makes it worse. Eat and drink from the cup of life – it’s scary but it’s the only way.
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Nancy Slotnick: Only the Lonely
The hierarchy of communication:
Text is largely considered the lowest common denominator in the food chain of communication. Although arguably Facebook chat is lower. I mean you have to have someone’s cell # in order to text, right?
Yet I love texting. It’s quick and efficient and concise. And I am rarely concise- ask my husband. I once told a friend who was editing an interview of mine that I am better when edited, and he wisely said “Everyone’s better when edited.” (Thank you, Dave Adox) And here I babble.
Anyway, text forces me to edit myself, and I appreciate that. Apparently Harvard Magazine reported that young people say phone conversations slow them down. I agree! Yet a lot women (and some men too) feel that it’s rude to text in dating rather than calling. Who has time for all this calling? Who knows how to win at the game of phone tag these days? I sure don’t. These phone-o-philes think that they are standing up for healthy communication and true connection. They often have quite a moral high ground about it. I find their superiority complex on this topic to be unwarranted. The era of the phone call (ala “we talk on the phone every night”) has ended. This battle has been already lost.
I see texting as men’s revenge. The phone call era gave rise to a lot of annoyed guys and the phrase “chewing my ear off.” Many of these guys were pretty keen on technology and thus the text was born. Or maybe Al Gore invented it; I’m not sure.
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Nancy Slotnick: Text in the CIty