By: Sophia Marina
Experiencing love and life together in New York must be among one of the most romantic, stimulating and full-throttle ways to fulfill a relationship. Endless things to do, scenic sights and routes, and a million and one bits and pieces of this thriving city to make uniquely yours. All the splendor and fast-paced flashiness of urban goodness comes with a price, however. And New York’s got an overwhelmingly high one.
Even if all you can think about in your 3 p.m. cubicle state of mind is making it home to your one and only, it’s important to make sure it doesn’t become some comfortable habit to cozy up and do nothing together. Pressure, harsh schedules, grinding commutes, long hours, city expenses and the exhaustion that comes of keeping up with it all can and will affect your relationship if you don’t fill your life with as much love as you do everything else that demands your space, time and attention.
At idk tonight’s literal core is the maxim to help couples do the most with their time, energy and money in NYC, so of course, we want you to get out there and do phenomenal sh*t with your person. Read on for a comprehensive guide on making sure your relationship not only stands up to New York but also thrives in it.
5 Actionable Ways To Sustain Your NYC Relationship
It’s impossible to avoid feeling slumped around here at least sometimes (if not all the time), and although watching your favorite show together and passing out definitely counts as bonding, it can only add so much to what you already have. Beating the city’s daily dose of stress and tiredness means rest and action—to keep moving, flexing and stretching your mind and your body to get the good energy flowing back in after you’ve had it zapped out. While this city’s got the weight and the workload to feel dangerously unhealthy, there are also so many trendy, health-positive outlets for summoning vitality and natural health to yourself in a feel-good way that only feels better together. Here are our best ideas on how to get a rise out of your energy levels and by extension, your romance.
The Dreamery by Casper—curated nap sessions in dreamily comfortable pods that you and your love can book.
Rock climbing, the best in hot yoga, gyrotonics—our workout guide lays it all out in terms of what you can do to exercise as a couple.
For wholesome, healthful meals that’ll do only good things for your bodies, consult our guide to 15 Great Places to Eat Something Healthy on Date Night.
Spring’s coming, which means opportunities to sunbathe galore. Try spots like Fort Greene Park, the sprawling Illumination Lawn at Lincoln Center, classic East Meadow in Central Park, and Brooklyn Bridge Park.
We’re attached to our schedules, and while it’s important to keep work and love somewhat separate, incorporating a specific, special moment of time into the set frame of your week means you have to do it—you have to show up for this moment with your partner like you would to work or yoga. It’s not at all that your partner should be conceived of as a task, but rather that permanently penciling in some playtime with your person is like creating a loophole in the factory line of New York that keeps you eternally busy—AKA get busy with each other. With all the recurring events, programs, classes and offerings around the city, it’s easy to sign up for something weekly together, or just cook up some traditions on your own. Here’s what we love.
Late Nites at Metrograph, aka late screenings of international cinema with a dystopian science fiction twist, with drinks and a special late night menu.
Scour the city for antiques or precious thrifts once a week at any of these legendary stores: Obscura Antiques and Oddities, the Goodwill in East Harlem between 121st and 122nd, Angela’s Vintage Boutique on the Lower East Side, Installation Brooklyn, or Repop in Williamsburg. And you don’t actually have to buy anything—it’s all about finding weird, cool stuff and laughing about it together.
Take advantage of the beautifully metallic, sprawling, and urban idyllic cityscape that is this city—it’s rife with romance, escapades and the potential for unforgettable, scenic memories. Take your dates out there, get pumped for the sights, and do some actual discovery together—you’ll appreciate the close conversations and intimate moments born of coming together in a unique moment and location. Here are some good places to walk, talk and stare around in wonder.
The Cloisters, a gorgeous, ancient monastery perched atop Manhattan with a full branch of The Met running its museum.
Socrates Sculpture Park, a huge, eclectic outdoor space in LIC to view large-scale sculptures and multimedia works of art.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a sprawling, magnificent strew of flowers and greenery.
Jefferson Market Garden, a Koi pond garden next to a Victorian courthouse smack in the middle of Greenwich Village.
The Elevated Acre, an industrial-cool and hidden park space, creates an oasis in the middle of the Financial District. Find it up the escalators in the middle of the building at 55 Water St.
It’s your basic ‘make things more interesting’ to-do, but New York really delivers when it comes to providing a plethora of options. It doesn’t have to be uncomfortably out there for you guys but could be as simple as choosing to indulge in a hobby or shared passion more seriously—like listening to Brazilian music or playing tennis or going to see more sculptures—to give your relationship a deepened sense of connection. We rounded up some weird, some sexy, some daring, and some totally comfortable things you could do to start getting the best of NYC when it comes to daring yourselves to heighten your experiences.
Participate in the vibrant festival of colors, Holi in the City.
Check out some spooky, spiritual greenery at the Witching Herbs Plant Market.
View the small, but eclectic and powerful collection of modern art at the Mmuseum.
Take a long, peaceful walk through the stoic and outstandingly beautiful and grave Greenwood Cemetery, where you’ll find graves like those of Jean Michel-Basquiat.
Join the party at weird and wild idk tonight-favorite, House of Yes.
It’s often only in the solace of your own apartment that you can feel truly alone in a city so lit up with lights, noise, and people, and even then—the perpetual hum of New York is there to remind you that only a couple of bricks are between you and the rest of the world. But as a couple that acknowledges and treasures the beings that make it up more than anything else, being alone together, as a single unit, is not only an intimate delight but also a necessary respite from time to time. Here are some suggestions for carving out alone time (truly alone) in the city.
Seek solitude atop the George Washington Bridge, a fairly unbothered stretch across upper Manhattan that’s got lots of trails, cliffs, and crags to catch some views from.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center, a botanical garden with a gorgeous, delicate Japanese twist in Staten Island—totally quiet and hidden away.
Get some glory and wonder under the huge, gothic arches and vibrant stained glass at the Cathedral of St. John The Divine, and make sure to look out for the peacocks they’ve got running around the back garden.
The Morgan Library & Museum, a magnificent, extensive and astounding collection of books, and a perfect place to discover quiet nooks.
See Our Curated Date Ideas This Week
Grab a pie of authentic NY-style pizza at John’s of Bleecker Street, in the West Village, and then grab a few beers at Down The Hatch.
Date night experts have selected these restaurants, bars, and experiences as the top 10 best in Union Square for an incredible and romantic date night.
Make your nights the sexiest they can be with our April NSFW guide to New York City, curating some of the best spots the city has to offer.
Put together a glorious, gorgeous floral arrangement at an expert Floral Design Workshop, then indulge in simple and delectable Roman fare at bougie restaurant Lupa.
Satiate your deepest Italian food cravings at Giano, then make the most of a two-for-one happy hour special at lowkey, chic wine bar Ten Degrees.
Grab a burger and some beers at Irish pub La Cheile, and then take a sunset stroll through Washington Heights’ beautiful Fort Tryon Park.
Fuel up with creative sandwiches and burgers at Gnarly Eats, in South Slope, and snack on free candy and laughs at Ed Sullivan on Acid.
Watch the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones at Indian restaurant Junoon, then head over to Sir Henri Rooftop Bar for your nightcap.
Keep it classic with date night in Astoria, starting with family-oriented Greek food at Stamatis and finishing on a sweet note at Gelato & Co.
Achieve your fried chicken dreams at Bonchon, in Midtown, and laugh like an ally at the hilarious YAS! Showcase at The Tank.
Start off with a savory, aromatic feast at staple Indian eatery Mughlai, then double down on some one-of-a-kind cocktails at unique drinks outpost Subject.
Celebrate the carnivore in you at Brooklyn steakery Chadwick’s, and then cozy up and lounge over drinks at neighborhood gem Delia’s.
Cook your own steak at Japanese fast-casual chain Pepper Lunch, then grab a pint and a game at The Three Monkeys in Midtown.
Choose from a variety of burgers and dogs at New Amsterdam Burger bar, then get frosty with a frozen margarita at Blockheads on the Upper West Side.
Get cozy with a taco at the rustic spot, The Alcove, in Queens, then head over to The Globe Tavern for a nightcap and a game.
Dine on grilled meatballs café style at Kofte Piyaz in Sunset Park, then get some sage advice in liquor form at chic bar & lounge L’Wren.
Scoop up custom ice cream flavors inspired by pop culture icons at Mikey Likes It, then stroll over to Zadie's Oyster Room wine and fresh oyster specials.
Get a taste of the Carribean at Malecon, then wander over to Forever Coffee and Art Bar for a creative, caffeinated fix at their BYOB Drink and Draw series.
Settle into an intimate dinner at the rustic chic Café Zona Sur in Sunset Park followed by no-frills, vintage bowling at Melody Lanes.
Fill up on French food in the West Village at Le Gigot, then enjoy your nightcap with some live music from local talent at The Red Lion.