So you’ve finally asked that cute girl out…and she accepted! Now you’ve got to decide where to take her.
First dates are a great chance to get to know a woman, and in your mind, that’s all this outing’s going to be. You don’t know if this will evolve into something long term, and in fact, you haven’t even thought about it. But if she’s like most women, odds are she’s thought about it plenty.
It’s rare that a woman meets a guy and doesn’t wonder what the future holds. While this sort of female reaction is inevitable, there are a few things you can do to keep her grounded.
The following are 5 first-date ideas that are sure to get her browsing the David’s Bridal Web site.
A lot of first dates take place at a movie theater. There’s minimal pressure to talk, the atmosphere is dark and cozy, and the story feeds the conversation afterwards. In reality, the movies can be a bad date idea if you choose the wrong film.
Romantic comedies are called “chick flicks” for good reason- they feed the need for drama that’s innate in all females. While they may seem innocent enough for a first date, they’re not. Think of it this way: All of the mushy dialogue and on-screen kisses are subliminal messages to your date.
Going to her place is the epitome of a bad first date. You’re putting all of the control in her hands. That’s when she starts cooking for you.
While some women won’t admit it, cooking for and taking care of a guy comes natural to them. That’s what they saw their mothers do for their fathers, and that’s what they want to do with a guy they care about. By feeding into her domestic instincts, you’re sending her the message that you’re ready to settle down.
While it’s uncommon to go to a wedding for a first date, it does happen. Even if it’s not the first time you’re taking her out, steer clear of bringing her to weddings for a couple of months or so. The sight of true love bring out the warm-fuzzies in a woman, and pretty soon, she’ll be fantasizing about the day she marries you.
First dates are, by their very nature, awkward. Romantic strolls are even more awkward. There’s nothing to fill in the odd conversational gaps, or if you two do manage to hit it off, she’ll likely think she’s found her soul mate. Wait for the third of fourth date before you two discover the great outdoors together.
The instant you meet her friends, you’ve become more than just a guy she’s dating. In essence, you’ve become her boyfriend. The same holds true for introducing her to your social circle, so hold off on this one.
First dates are designed to better acquaint two people, but when you let others in on the deal, you’re suddenly subjected to their critiques too. Her friends may not approve of you, in which case, she’ll probably heed their advice. On the other hand, they could really like you, thereby having high expectations of your relationship with her.
The more intimate the environment, the more you’ll feed her thoughts of a relationship. A first date should allow for two people to get to know one another, and nothing more. With that said, if the occasion is high on romance, squash the idea.
Play Me, I’m Yours Austin – Piano No. 10, photo 7 – Apr 18, 2011
Image by Ed Yourdon
This photo was taken of the piano located at the top of Doug Sahm Hill, looking out toward the river and the skyline of downtown Austin in the background.
When I reached the piano, I found another photographer, and two gymnasts who were somehow involved in the weekend reggae festival that had been held in the large park at the bottom of the hill. There was also a large map of Texas inlaid in the stone at the top of the hill, so that you could see how far it was from Austin to other Texas cities like Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Houston. But nobody was playing the poor, lonely piano; it just sat there, atop Doug Sahm Hill.
I know what you’re going to ask: who the heck is Doug Sahm, and why should we care? Well, for what it’s worth, this Wikipedia article tells us that Mr. Sahm (who died in 1999) was a San Antonio-born musician who became a significant figure in blues, rock and other genres. He is considered one of the most important figures in Tejano music, and was the founder and leader of the 1960s rock and roll band the Sir Douglas Quintet. He played later with Augie Meyers, Freddy Fender and Flaco Jimenez in The Texas Tornados, and also in Los Super Seven supergroup.
So now you know.
A few years ago, a British artist by the name of Luke Jerram came up with the intriguing idea of spreading pianos around the city, with an open invitation for anyone nearby to wander up and begin playing something. Anything. He started in London, and has subsequently brought his festival — known as "Play Me, I’m Yours" — to some 19 cities around the world, including such varied cities as Moscow, Sydney, São Paulo, Barcelona, Bristol, Bath, Birmingham, Cincinnati, San Jose, and Pécs.
And then New York City — which is where I heard about it, in June 2010. Sixty pianos were donated, painted, and "installed" throughout the five boroughs of New York; you can see the locations here. Over a period of two weeks, I managed to visit every single one of the pianos — except for two in Queens, which had been vandalized and removed before I could get to them — and photographed them all in this Flickr set
I had such a good time with the New York pianos that I checked Luke’s website periodically to see what plans he had for 2011. I learned that he was planning a festival in Adelaide, but that was too far away; and he was planning a festival in Geneva, but the date conflicted with some other plans I had made. I heard that he was considering Salt Lake City, but then it turned out that he actually scheduled a festival in Austin, TX for the month of April — so that’s where I decided to go.
You can see the details of the Austin festival at this Internet site, but the first thing I noticed was that it would be much smaller than the one in New York: only 14 pianos, most within walking distance of one another, and several of them located along the river that runs through the center of the city. As with New York, one of them had been vandalized and removed before I got to it; I heard that a replacement piano was being brought in, but I had only four days in Austin before I had to return home, and I never had a chance to see if it actually arrived. There was also one piano that I simply could not locate: it was supposed to be located on a hiking path in the midst of a wooded area in a rather strange area of on-ramps and off-ramps of the MoPac Expressway, but despite repeated references to two different Google maps on my iPhone (one showing exactly where I was standing, and another allegedly showing me where the mysterious piano was located), I never did track it down.
As for the pianos that I did find: like New York, it turned out that roughly 2/3 of them were sitting empty and alone when I got to them. In several cases, I sat there for half an hour or an hour, waiting for someone to show up and start playing something … but nobody did. So there were only five pianos where I could actually listen to people playing music; and for each of them I made video recordings with my Sony Alpha 55 camera, and used Apple’s iMovie program to clean up the videos and make them more presentable. In order to make them accessible on Flickr, I kept them all very short: Flickr only allows 90 seconds of video for an individual clip. I was also hoping to get some good HDR shots of the pianos at sunrise and sunset … but nobody else gets up at sunset to play the pianos on public display, as I discovered on my first dawn excursion in Austin.
While I was there, I couldn’t help taking some additional photos of the people in Austin as they enjoyed themselves in their canoes and rafts and paddle-boats out in the river. Those photos have nothing to do with pianos or the "Play Me, I’m Yours" festival, so I’ll be placing them in a separate Flickr set.
So now I’ve done two cities … and I think I’m done. It’s been great fun, but it’s time-consuming and expensive to venture off to a strange city for the single purpose of photographing a bunch of pianos … which, alas, turn out to be unoccupied most of the time. Indeed, even if the "Play Me, I’m Yours" festival comes back to New York City at some point in the future, I think I’ll skip the pianos located in Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx — most of the action is in Manhattan, and that’s a lot easier to deal with, logistically.
But if you haven’t seen this festival, I urge you to check Luke Jerram’s website periodically, and see whether he might be bringing his festival to your town. If so, take a look at the map, and you can probably figure out which pianos are likely to visited by lots of people — e.g., in New York, it doesn’t take a genius to guess that Times Square is going to get a lot more visitors than a piano in a remote corner of Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Once you’ve got this figured out, go spend some time watching the action; chances are you’ll be amazed and delighted by the variety of people who wander by, do a double-take when they see a piano that they had not expected to see, and then sit down to start playing …
If there’s a "Play Me, I’m Yours" festival coming to your city, and you think there might some interesting opportunities for photos or videos, drop me a note and let me know. I might drop in and say hello…
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You are killing with grooming, style, and being a gentleman – but money’s tight! How can you impress your date when low on cash? In this video men’s style, grooming, fitness and lifestyle expert, Aaron Marino of IAmAlphaM, AaronMarino, and Pete & Pedro presents 10 inexpensive, but awesome, date items for these times.
Remember that it’s not what you do – it’s who you’re with. You don’t have to spend a ton of money!
1. Backpack + wine & opener + two glasses + blanket
2. Go to a city festival
3. Hit a farmer’s market or flea market
4. Coffee and crossword puzzles
5. Go for a hike
6. Buy bread then feed the ducks at the pond
7. Take the dog for a walk and get ice cream (don’t forget a ‘doggy dish’!)
8. Play a board game
9. Candy + drinks stuffed in your bag and go to a matinee movie
10. Go for a bike ride – you can rent them if you don’t have them