I met my boyfriend, Daniel, almost two years ago today, on a frigid Sunday in February that most wouldn’t venture outside for. I wouldn’t say that our first meeting was a “date,” per se, but in the self-written folklore of our relationship, we like to say that it was. I also wouldn’t say that we actually “met” for the first time in person. Like most romances in the twenty-first century, the proverbial flames were kindled not through a chance meeting in a coffee shop, but over an exchange of e-mails.
I had been a longtime fan of Daniel’s blog, Manhattan Nest, and loved reading his hilarious slant on apartment life in the big city. One day at work, while perusing his blog when I really should have been Xeroxing files, I decided to take a chance and ask him on a thrifting excursion. I didn’t quite expect a response, and I was beyond ecstatic to find one in my inbox not long after. Daniel seemed not just interested but genuinely enthused about meeting. We decided that February 13th was as good a day as ever and made plans to meet at one of Daniel’s favorite thrifting locations in Bushwick.
Let me tell you, meeting at a junk shop is a great way to break the ice. Unlike meeting at a coffee shop, something that could very well lead to awkward silences and even more awkward conversation, junk shops provide ample things to talk about, look at and climb over. Also, there’s no chance that you’re not going to look a crazy hot mess while scrambling over heaps of chairs and debris, so you just gotta embrace it.
Like most good first non-dates, neither Daniel nor I wanted to call it quits after we checked out of the junk shop. So Daniel quite chivalrously agreed to help me carry my spoils back to my Clinton Hill apartment and then accompany me to a well-deserved dinner at one of my favorite spots: Maggie Brown. A small, cozy space near Pratt Institute, this New Orleans-infused neo-American joint is big on charm and even bigger on delicious, decadent eats. I’m not going to say that we ordered two desserts, but I’m also not going to say that we didn’t.
The rest, as they say, is history. Daniel and I have now been together for two crazy, whirlwind years that included a new apartment, two new dogs and a whole lot more thrifting. I’m so excited to see what the next two will bring! As a little nod to our first date and to offer a tip to others looking to have a good time on Valentine’s Day, we’ve decided to share a favorite drink recipe from a favorite restaurant: Maggie Brown’s Ethel O’Connel cocktail. For more photos of this fabulous place and the full drink recipe, continue after the jump! — Max
- 2 1/2 oz whiskey
- 1 1/2 oz Baileys
- shot of espresso
Mix ingredients, shake well, pour over ice. Add cinnamon stick for flavor.
Also, just an FYI — Maggie Brown has a spectacular deal going on for this year’s Valentine’s Day: a filet mignon three-course prix fixe that includes a bottle of wine — for just $50. So heed my advice and getcho self a reservation!