Jack Murninghan and Maura Kelly, two New York-based writers, got together to coauthor Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not-So-Great Gatsbys and Love in the Time of Internet Personals. Maura has worked at The Washington Post and Slate, was a staff writer for Glamour, a daily dating blogger for Marie Claire and a relationship columnist for amNew York. She graduated from Dartmouth College and received her MFA in fiction writing after studying at Hollins and George Mason University. Jack Murninghan has written multiple books, including Beowulf on the Beach and The Naughty Bits. He has a Ph.D from Duke in medieval literature, and frequently appears on NPR.
I’m always surprised when smart, single people say it’s hard to meet new people. I always ask, You want to meet a guy; do you go where guys are? Or, You want to meet a woman, hey, taken an Italian art history class lately? The problem is that people make it hard on themselves by just doing what their gender naturally does. The trick is to do the opposite, and New York has lots of options.
So, before you curse God for giving you synapses instead of suaveness, remember that New York is the great filterer, making it possible for same to match with same, Garanimals-like. There are others like you out there; just put down your book and go find them. Here are a few options to facilitate some high-Q meet and greets:
A Chess Club
The Village Chess Shop
230 Thompson St.
New York, NY 10012
Hours: Daily, 24 hours a day
Say you’re a rapier-witted woman looking to meet a brain-heavy fellow. Best place to go? Head to one of the two chess clubs/stores on Thompson Street: The Village Chess Shop or The Chess Forum, both just south of Washington Square Park. Talk about shooting fish in a barrel! Both places teem with guys at all hours (and rarely a woman in sight). But you don’t play chess, you say?…Even better! They’d love to teach you (what guy doesn’t enjoy having the upper hand on someone?). I’ll admit that the guys at the chess clubs aren’t necessarily daily bathers, but how many prodigies with 180+ IQs shower regularly? Olfactory comfort is a small price to pay for easy Mensa pickings.
A Writing Class at Mediabistro
Or say you’re Mr. Intelligent and would like to meet your female counterpart? Look no further than the bevy of writing classes available through Mediabistro.com. Not the online ones — you won’t meet anyone that way — but the in-person, after work type, where women flock and men rarely tread. And I’m not only talking about Intro to Chick Lit Writing, I’m talking memoir, personal essay, blogging. Trust me; I teach them, and the woman-to-man ratio is typically about 9:1. So grab your pencils, boys, time’s a wastin’.
A Literary Reading
The Half King
505 West 23rd St
New York, NY 10011
Hours: Mon to Fri 11 a.m. – 4 a.m.; Sat to Sun 9 a.m. – 4 a.m.
Finally, for a great place to meet the cute and cerebral of either gender, try a reading series or a literary bar. I’m partial to Sebastian Junger’s pub The Half King (with readings most every week) or the reading series at Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg (run by Mira Jacob). Both match top-notch writers with the ability to buy your fellow listener a Brooklyn lager. Feeling shy? Just ask that cute guy if he liked the story or that charming woman if she’s a writer too. Oh, really? What do you write? I see. Want to have another Brooklyn before you take off? Hang on, I’ll be right back. See what I mean? Dork-lover’s paradise.
Jack and Maura’s Much Ado About Loving was published January 3, 2012 from Simon & Schuster.