If you’ve done a lot of traveling, you know that many of the so-called “most romantic destinations” on the planet can be sadly underwhelming in person. The Eiffel Tower, for example, is small by modern standards and surrounded by vocal souvenir vendors. Central Park is crowded and frequented by noisy, colorful characters. For a person looking for last-minute date ideas in NYC, the fear of boring one’s date with a succession of tourist traps and overworked hotspots is therefore very real. How do you choose an activity that will not only impress a first date, but also show them a unique view of this famous city?
If you find yourself grasping at straws while looking for fun first date ideas, why not try one of the five unique first date ideas below? These fascinating, lesser-known attractions are sure to create romantic memories that last a lifetime:
1) The High Line Park
The High Line Park was only recently developed, so it remains one of NYC’s true hidden gems—and one of the most unique date ideas you could ever hope to find. The High Line is nothing like your average city park. Instead of being a plain patch of trees, grass, and benches, the High Line is built entirely on top of an old above-ground railway line. According to the Culture Cheat Sheet, “There’s a lot to love about the High Line, but most fascinating of all is the perspective this park offers as you navigate the “wilderness” of downtown Manhattan. The High Line combines historical architecture and rugged natural beauty with a view of the steady commuter traffic below, creating a surreal — and totally incomparable — urban landscape.”
2) Jet ski Tours
Though jet skiing is often associated with rural settings, you can actually do it right here in NYC thanks to SeaTheCity jet ski tours. What better romantic getaway is there for the active couple than an exciting, adrenaline-pumping ride through NYC’s iconic waterways? There’s no easier way to see the city—and experience exhilarating freedom away from the crowds—than a jet ski tour. When it comes to awesome date ideas in NYC, this one’s got some serious horsepower behind it.
3) The Dream House
If you’re looking for creative date ideas that don’t involve art museums or concert halls—most of which your artistically-inclined date has probably visited before—check out the Dream House on Tribeca’s Church Street. Created in 1993 by married couple La Monte Young (a composer) and his visual artist wife Marian Zazeela, the Dream House represents the zenith of their 40 years of creative collaboration. In the Dream House, as Zazeela explains, “Together, the sound and light can be experienced as a new form or new media: the sound and light environment. The experience of the two mediums together as one requires a new, or at least different, mode of attention.” To produce this effect, every move a visitor makes in the Dream House creates a different array of sounds. Meanwhile, surreal pink lighting guides them through their journey.
4) The Cloisters
This often-overlooked branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in northern Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, is replete with lush gardens and medieval art and architecture. If you’re looking for memorable date ideas, the authentic historic pillars (many of which have been imported from Europe) and over 2000 works of art in the Cloisters are sure to please.
5) Greenacre Park
If you have ever wished you could sit next to a stunning waterfall with your date, but you assumed such an experience was impossible in the middle of NYC, let Greenacre Park expand your horizons. Located in the heart of midtown Manhattan on 51st street, this “pocket park” (at just 1/4 of an acre) boasts a 25-foot waterfall, tranquil greenery, and ornate benches and patio tables. There is no finer urban oasis in which to impress a first date.
Just as we often find love unexpectedly, many of NYC’s most romantic locations are also among its most hidden. Don’t be afraid to look beyond this list when planning your second, third, and fourth dates—there are many more quietly charming locales left to be found in the Big Apple.
At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.
Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.
One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.
When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.
So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.
Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day
This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.
Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.
When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.
Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity
One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.
Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.
An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.
When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.
Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day
Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.
We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.
By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.
Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment
While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.
I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.
You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.
Con #1: We Move a Lot Less
When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.
Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.
Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.
Con #2: Less Human Interaction
One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.
Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.
Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.
This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.
While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.
Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment
Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.
This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.
For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.
Con #4: Unique Distractions
Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.
For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.
To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.
Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.
We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.