'Speed Friending' Takes the Stress Out of Dating at Valentine's Day Bash

By Tanay Warerkar on February 3, 2014 10:58am 

Slideshow
 This year's Valentine's Day Market features a speed friending event, a fun, stress-free spin on speed dating, where groups of six to eight people will sit a tabled, be paired off, and play games.
Valentine's Day Market
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GREENPOINT — They're giving new meaning to the phrase "fast friends."

An all-day Valentine’s Day Market in Greenpoint on Feb. 9 includes a round of "speed friending" — a spin on speed dating that tamps down on the typical pressure and anxiety for participants, organizers said.

“We wanted to do speed dating, but didn't want to exclude groups of people based on their gender preference, straight-only or gay-only speed dating,” said Jennifer Galatioto, one of the editors of the blog Greenpointers.com, which is organizing the event. “There’s not that pressure to hook up or meet the love of your life. It’s just a great place to meet people.”

During the event, which will take place the Sunday before Valentine's Day, groups of six to eight people will sit at tables, with each couple paired off to do things like listen to records or play trivia, Galatioto explained. After two minutes, everyone rotates to meet their next partner.

Apart from speed friending, the market — which will take place from 1 - 7 p.m. on the fifth floor of the Greenpoint Loft at 67 West St. will also include love-letter writing workshops, massages, nail art, couples astrology readings and a photo booth — all free of charge.

The market's vendors will sell hand-crafted maps of different American neighborhoods created by Draw North, wallets made by Ena Colors and products by Brooklyn Makers, according to Galatioto. For $60, market-goers can also fashion their own terrariums as part of a class offered at the event.

Edible treats will be served, including mulled wine, rice balls, empanadas, coffee and cookies provided by Café Grumpy, Cafecito Bogota, Ovenly and Brooklyn Brewery, among others.

Galatioto, who has lived her entire life in New York, said she felt the strongest sense of community in Greenpoint, particularly during her efforts to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. Following the storm, she raised $11,000 from neighbors for the relief effort. She said she's looking forward to the Valentines Day Market as another opportunity for the community to come together.

While the speed friending event is a new addition, Greenpointers.com organizes market fairs four times each year, and has been doing so since 2011.

The Valentine’s Day Market will take place on Feb. 9, from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Greenpoint Loft at 67 West St., 5th Floor. For detailed information on vendors, visit the event's website.

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