You know what's a really nice thing about fall? Besides artificial pumpkin flavor and bulk halloween candy (like these Cadbury "Screme" Eggs, which apparently now exist)? Going on a date and not having to worry that you're sweating through your shirt, or getting all weird and puffy from mosquito bites. If for that reason alone, autumn is genuinely underrated as a really good time of the year for dating.
And even if it weren't, what, were you just gonna hole up, depressed and alone, only looking for love and fulfillment from May through August? Oof. No need. There are a lot of great ways to date in Brooklyn this time of year, whether your thing is whiskey, Al Pacino, tarot card readings, or all of the above.
Visit Tiny Mystery Houses in Carroll Gardens
What with rapid development and a constant influx of new residents, it can sometimes feel like there aren't any undiscovered pockets of Brooklyn left anymore. There are still a few weird little mysteries, though, and one of the best is Dennett Place, a one-block stretch in Carroll Gardens
where, for reasons still unknown, a bunch of the houses have teeny, tiny little doors that would seem to better befit some
sort of mythological character (as opposed to a well-nourished 21st century adult). Take a walk by, swap conspiracy theories, then head on over to nearby Abilene for a couple of low-key beers and maybe an order of onion rings. A nice thing to do any time, but especially good when the leaves are changing.
Abilene, 442 Court St.
Sample beers at Brooklyn Pour
A no-brainer. While you never want to get too drunk on a date (ugh), everybody knows that having a few drinks tends to make everything a little easier. As does sampling a bunch of good beers, and thus having an easy default topic of conversation (and, I suppose, a positive shared experience) should you find yourself in a lull. Anyway, the Village Voice's upcoming craft beer festival
thus far has 56 different beer makers and over 100 different beers on the docket, so even if the date doesn't go well, you'll have some pretty good consolation.
October 12, 3:00pm—6:00pm, Skylight One Hansen Place
See Devil's Advocate at Nitehawk
Not necessarily first date material—this is a brunch screening, which requires both meeting early in the day and gracefully negotiating the sharing of food in a relatively dark theater—but still, snacking on some tater tots while taking in Al Pacino as satan sounds pretty nice (and seasonally appropriate) to us.
October 26th and October 27th, 136 Metropolitan Ave.
Get A Tarot Reading (And Some Whiskey)
I guess it's a good idea to know your audience for this one—not everyone is down with the occult!—but I can't think of anything a whole lot more autumnal (assuming "autumnal" means "Halloween-y" to you) than a stop by Bushwick's Catland Bookstore, which specializes in things like lunar alchemy and psychic development, and also regularly holds tarot readings. Even if there isn't a reading happening, no harm in picking up a tarot deck then heading over to (equally autumnal) Alaska, where you can vaguely decipher each others' futures while working your way through their extensive whiskey selection.
Catland, 987 Flushing Ave., Bushwick
Alaska, 35 Ingraham St.
Just Get Whiskey at Isle of Skye
If drinking whiskey in a dim, lovely bar was the only part of the last option that really appealed to your idea of what a date should be, then you'll be more than happy camping out for the night in Isle of Skye, Williamsburg's low key whiskey mecca that opened up this past spring. The selection is staggering, but also accessible to non-booze nerds (they make great cocktails, too). Perfect if all you want to do is sit and talk to each other for hours on end.
488 Driggs Ave.
Watch Something at the Coney Island Film Festival
- Image via Coney Island Film Festival
This weekend, Coney Island once again plays host to its scrappiest (and only) film festival, with screenings of locally made productions like Vamp Bikers
, a new project from the guys who did that Warriors re-make last year
. For $12, there's also a screening of the original Warriors
on Saturday night, which seems like a good enough excuse to get down to Coney before it gets too cold to visit for the next six months.
Coney Island Film Festival, September 20th—22nd
Celebrate the Autumnal Equinox
The weather may have gotten notably chillier in the past week or two, but technically, we've still been eking out the last bits of summer. This changes on Sunday (9/22) at exactly 4:44pm, the marker of this year's autumnal equinox. There are probably more traditional ways to celebrate this, but heading to Prospect Park with a locally made hard cider (here are a bunch of good options
), a fancy loaf of bread, and a couple hearty cheeses (Wensleydale would be perfect) seems like a pretty good place to start. If you do bring cider or another kind of adult beverage, just remember to take off the label
See Nosferatu at BAM
Nothing says romance quite like a work that's being called "a vampiric symphony of terror," or more generally, a trip to BAM. As part of their annual Next Wave festival, they're playing host to the US premiere of this Polish interpretation of Bram Stoker's Dracula
, all set to music by New York avant garde composer John Zorn. A good way to seem smart and
totally unsettle your date.
October 30th—November 2nd at BAM
Go for dinner at Atrium
Fall is one of the very best times of year for seasonally specific food, and Atrium, DUMBO's newest restaurant (in the former space of dearly departed Governor) is already one of the very best places to eat it. Chef Laurent Kalkotour's menu shifts by the season around a series of excellent staples (especially their sweetbreads), all to be washed down with cocktails that incorporate unexpected elements like pumpernickel and olive oil. It's getting to be the time of year for rib-sticking food, and anyway, you don't win friends (or love) with salad.
15 Main St., DUMBO
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.