It was something he said to me as I was literally dragging him through the East Village looking for somewhere to go to dinner. We had met on Craigslist. Yes, Craigslist. In the days before I pored over OKCupid, I spent my free time poring over the missed connections on CL. Not necessarily looking for my own missed connection, but responding to ones that I through were cute and funny (this, by the way, is a largely untapped dating resource - I highly recommend it).
I had engaged in a series of banter-ful emails with a guy I’ll call Bay Ridge. We exchanged photos. His, while a bit blurry, were promising. We arranged a date - he would meet me by my (then) apartment in the East Village (because there are a plethora of options for food/drink), and we would wing it from there.
He showed up. His photos turned out to be about 10 years old, which was unfortunate because he had lost about 90% of his hair since then. However, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, and we walked out onto 1st Ave.
I asked him what he was in the mood for and he said “You pick,” which is both great and terrifying. I gave him a few options, and he rejected each one aggressively; “You want to eat burgers?!” "Ugh… Mexican food?" "Why are all these people sitting outside? It looks like a cheap diner. What is this?" The last was in response to the lovely restaurants placing tables, etc. out on the sidewalk on this warm evening. I was incredulous.
I ended up dragging him into the nearest bar because I needed a drink in my system more than I ever had before. I ordered us two beers, one of which he sipped, made a distasteful face, and then sighed and pushed forward across the bar. I finally got up the nerve to stop being “nice” and asked him what he wanted, since nothing I was suggesting was satisfying him.
He told me that when he goes out in NYC (he lived in Brooklyn), he likes to go out to “nice” places, by which he meant The Meatpacking District. I, of course, would sooner die than hang out in that area for any substantial period of time. And I told him so, and then stated “If you hate this so much, why don’t you just go home?” At which he pushed out his chair, got up and walked out of the bar.
I paid for the beers and never heard from him again.