Top 5 Date Spots Near Columbia

by Sarah Hong

You’ve been in New York City for a month now. It’s been approximately 3 months since you left your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/whoever for “cooler” things in New York (oh look at you, an Ivy Leaguer huh), and you are now itching to go on a date with a new hottie. So you download a dating app - Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel...take your pick. You exchange some words with this new interest of yours, and they suggest a date. You’re excited, until you realize two things: 1. You’re new here and 2. You’re a graduate student who rarely leaves Lehman. Suddenly, that date seems like a waste of time, with a Micro problem set and Conceptual Foundation essay due next week. Well, reader, you’re in luck - here are 5 cool dates near Columbia that you might enjoy. Disclaimer: these dates won’t guarantee you a second date - that’s all on you, pal.

  • The Riverbank State Park is a 28-acre state park built on the top of a sewage treatment facility on the Hudson River. During the summer, you can take your date on a picnic, and during winter, you can enjoy ice skating. You’ll see many community members being real humans and playing basketball or running on the track - only to be reminded that the last time you actually ran was in a high school P.E. class, and that now you only run to grab the last piece of leftover Famiglia from some info session. Thanks, OSA!

Price: Free or $ (if ice skating)

  • Are you trying to convince your date that you’re getting an MPA to save the world, and that you’re not just another gentrifier in Harlem? Then take your date to the Apollo Theater, the symbol of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. Make sure to pretend like you know West Harlem, and you actually interact with the neighborhood - make sure to make it seem like you frequent the area more often than when you go to the Whole Foods on 125th. On your way back from the theater, you can stop by the mural of Yuri Kochiyama and Malcolm X. Who cares if you don’t know who Yuri Kochiyama is? Your date probably won’t either, because Asian women (and women of color in general) are often ignored in the history of the United States anyway.

Price: $$

  • The Hungarian Pastry Shop is where you convince your date that you’re not like those *other* millennials who needs technology all the time. I mean, there are no charger outlets in the shop - how are you supposed to keep your MacBook on for 10 hours while you switch back and forth between your Quant homework, Facebook, and Twitter? Plus, you can talk about that one time you visited Hungary and how the pastries are (or are not) authentic. I’ve never been to Hungary so I can’t make that call for you, but maybe someone at SIPA can tell you the truth - over 60% of our students are international students, after all. Just make sure you take some cash with you. It’s cash only, and you want to seem like you know your way around New York.

Price: $$

  • Tired of love games and people ghosting you? Well, why not just play some game yourself? Hex and Co. is the first board game cafe in the Uptown area. With 1000+ games to play, locally-roasted coffee, and a wide range of food options, you’ll surely win your date’s heart. Although you may be inclined to choose Risk, Battleship, or Diplomacy (yes, we know you are ISP), make sure to compromise and play games that your date wants to play too. Then, when your date chooses the Game of Life, you can complain to them that these 2 years at SIPA will leave you with thousands of dollars of student debt, thus delaying your retirement. Your date, who might only have a bachelor’s degree but is still successful and makes more money than you, will silently nod, listening to your woe.

Price: $$$

  • For some reason, this spot works better for second dates. So if you had a successful first date, now it’s time to take your date to SIPA. I know what you’re thinking, reader, but hear me out. I mean, think about all those times you locked eyes with someone across the Lehman group study room during Econ office hours. Oh, the tension! Are they risk lovers or risk averse? What about the times you flirted at the water fountain in front of IAB 410, or while waiting for your Accounting textbook to print? And my oh my, those goddamn elevators that takes ages… it’d be like riding the ferris wheel; instead of the view of the Coney Island boardwalk, you’ll have the 15th floor windows. If you’re lucky, you might find a classroom that IT forgot to lock for the night! Remember - SIPA is where the world connects.  

Price: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$