NYC attracts cultural obsessives. It's part of what makes living here so interesting. But, it also makes dating really, really hard. How will you ever meet your soulmate when you're both at home boning up on experimental French cinema? Where can you find someone who will love you and your stacks-upon-stacks of classic comic books? Will anyone ever get your Doctor Who jokes? What's a single nerd in the city to do?
Well, the answer is simple: Don't just stay home binge-watching Buffy — get on out there! But, make sure you're heading to a place where you're bound to meet-cute with someone just your style. And, luckily for you, Nerd York City is full of places where you can do just that.
Unnameable Books There are many great bookstores in New York City, and while almost all of them have potential for a rom-com-worthy introduction ("Oops, did I just graze your hand while reaching for that obscure Russian novel?"), Unnameable is special. It’s small and intimate, the selection is top-notch (so you know the patrons will be, too), and once you’ve decided who gets first dibs on that copy of Oblomov, you can stroll down the street to Milk Bar and have a toastie.
Milk & Roses Do you need a little lubrication to approach that literary love of yours? Chat up the lucky bibliophile amongst the gorgeous book-lined walls of this Greenpoint getaway — it's a café by day and a wine bar/restaurant by night. Because, reading never sleeps.
Bryant Park The New York Public Library is a great place to peek at potential dates, but it’s a little harder to actually meet them — most rooms are too quiet for that bombastic laugh you do when you’re trying to flirt. The lawn, however, is another story. In nice weather, you can find lots of studied-out bookworms relaxing and, perhaps, looking for a friend to explore the card catalog with.
Twenty Sided Store Yearning to find the perfect 8th-level rogue for your 7th-level cleric? Want to meet someone who’d rather tap mana than a keg? Need a new, er, dungeon master? Swing by Brooklyn’s Twenty Sided Store, which hosts gaming events (from Magic: The Gathering to D&D to board games) every day of the week. There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to light the flames of love.
For Television Fanatics:
The Way Station Attention Doctor Who fans: This is a bar with a TARDIS. There’s also a themed drink menu, great music, and lots of events to break the ice between you and your next companion.
The Way Station, 683 Washington Avenue (between Prospect Place and Saint Marks Avenue), Brooklyn; 347-627-4949.
The Paley Center for Media Sometimes, it can get a little lonely streaming Netflix on your computer. In bed. On a Friday night. With the lights off. Instead, stop by the Paley Center to catch weekend screenings of shows like '90s Nicktoons or The X-Files. You might just meet someone who will curl up with you — and make you popcorn in bed.
For Film Buffs:
Landmark Sunshine Cinema Sure, you kinda have to keep it down once you’re inside the movie theater, but in line outside the Sunshine is a great place to strike up a conversation with a fellow Godard-head. Then, grab a seat together and split a box of Junior Mints.
Landmark Sunshine Cinema, 143 East Houston Street (between Forsyth and Eldridge streets); 212-260-7289.
Hook & Ladder Who you gonna find loitering outside the famous Ghostbusters fire station? That’s not an evil spirit — it’s a kindred spirit.
Hook & Ladder 8, 14 North Moore Street (at Varick Street).
American Museum of Natural History For a love written in the stars, what better place to meet your Cosmos-obsessed, Neil deGrasse Tyson-quoting soulmate than under the celestial dome of the Hayden Planetarium? Or, you know, over in the main hall making jokes about dinosaur bones.
Secret Science Club at The Bell House Half lecture series, half social club, this awesome event — which hosts experts from astrophysicists to linguists to, um, poisonologists — happens once a month at Brooklyn’s Bell House. Sip the cocktail of the night (themed to the presentation), and mosey on over to the cutest person in the room. Striking up a conversation has never been so fun. (Example: "What's your poison? And, what would a poisonologist's poison be?")
Secret Science Club at The Bell House, 149 Seventh Street (between Second and Third avenues), Brooklyn; 718-643-6510.
Apple Store Nothing can bring two nerds closer than grousing over their technology woes while waiting for attention from the Genius Bar. The store also happens to be gorgeous, especially at night — all that illuminated glass is surprisingly romantic. If only your phone was working so you could save that number.
For Comic Book Geeks:
Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. This place doubles-down in the nerd department: It’s an awesome supply store (you’ll be asked to identify yourself by your superhero name at the door), and it's also the headquarters for the nonprofit kids writing program 826NYC. So, who will you meet there? Compassionate, literary superheroes who are good with kids. How's that for a super-power?
Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., 372 Fifth Avenue (between Fifth and Sixth streets), Brooklyn; 718-499-9884.
Action Burger Stuff your face and your brain at this cheery spot full of people who want to chat about both comics and fries. A winning combination, to be sure.
Gotham City Lounge If you like your bars divey, this is the hangout for you. It has cheap beer, friendly people, and what must be a lifetime collection of comic memorabilia covering the walls. In a Batcave this cozy, your chances of unmasking that shadowy figure amongst the figurines can’t be beat.
Gotham City Lounge, 1293 Myrtle Avenue (between Cedar and Hart streets), Brooklyn; 718-387-4182.
Scott Eder Gallery Looking for an artistic type? Take a stroll around the Scott Eder Gallery in Dumbo, the only gallery in the city dedicated to comic book art. Perhaps you can find a special someone to rewrite thought-bubble conversations with you amongst the prints.