Jordan Scott is the 24-year-old founder of idk tonight, NYC’s trusted resource for couples. For nearly two years, she has helped to curate unique, fun dates all around NYC for over 30,000 couples. We asked Jordan for her favorite date in the West Village. You can read our full bio with her HERE.
Start with a set at Zinc Bar (where Nick took me on our very first date). The underground jazz lounge has slinky, sexy vibes and a rotating cast of incredible musicians. You can pay extra to see the show behind the red curtains, or simply sit by the bar and listen in.
The Olive Tree Cafe is located directly above the Comedy Cellar. The food is surprisingly good, and you can draw on the tables in chalk. The best part is you’ll usually find the comics hanging out here before and after their sets. One of the tables in the back is known as the comics table! Come here for a drink before a show at the Comedy Cellar!
See the best comedy show in New York, hands down, at Comedy Cellar (be sure to make a reservation at least a week in advance). Comedy Cellar is New York’s most classic comedy club. You will never have a bad time here. Weekend shows tend to sell out, but celebrity comics tend to drop in during the weekdays to practice their sets.
So there’s this a magic trick called “card divination”.
It involves a magician selecting an audience member at random and having them imagine a card, “any card” in their head. Conventionally speaking, the magician shuffles the cards and magically pulls out the exact card out of their deck, to deafening applause. If they’re extra playful, they’ll pull out the card from some nefarious location, like rolled up inside of a lemon or inside the coat pocket of an audience member’s unsuspecting husband’s wallet.
But Ben Nemzer, who currently headlines at Monday Night Magic – the longest running off-Broadway Magic Show in NYC likes to step it up a notch.
The first time I saw Ben perform, he was on stage performing card divination. Just as I thought he was going to pull out the card from thin air, he pulled out a jumbo drawing pad and started scribbling furiously on the pad. When the audience member declared his card, Ben turned the pad around to see a hand-drawn card, that then… rose off the paper like Jesus when he rose from the crypt.
The trick, I promise, was certifiably a Grade A mind fuck.
Ben’s trick is the magic equivalent of Beyonce pulling Destiny’s Child out of the ground during the 2013 Superbowl. When I ask Ben the secret to the trick, he responds with the typical magician’s mantra, “Oh, I can’t tell you”.
To which I respond sardonically…”What, is there some sort of secret magical society that keeps you guys in check or something?”
A quick google search reviews that ALL of these are expansive magical societies with Illuminati-Esq histories and members worldwide in the hundreds of thousands. Many had some of the world’s most influential magicians like Houdini, Len Vintus, Gene Gordon, and Don Rogers. Ben, it turns out, is a member of not one, but TWO of the organizations and was also a guest lecturer at Princeton University on Magic and Showmanship.
A native New Yorker, Ben started performing magic at the age of 8, when he was given a magic kit from his brother. He started performing in front of his friends and family, and eventually was whisked off to magic camp at Bryn Mahr College where he worked as a counselor for years. He interned at Tannen’s Magic Shop and apprenticed under famed magician, Steve Cohen for years before embarking on his own solo journey.
Since then, Ben and his comedic magic have graced the screens of Comedy Central, live stage performances and sold out Cruise Ships and everything in between. And so, I spent the day with Ben just to see what is a day in the life of a magician.
The topic of magic tends to get a bit divisive in NYC. You either love it, hate it or think that it should be relegated to bar mitzvahs in Long Island. While yes, there are the cheesy magicians that come to mind, New York City is a hub for some of the world’s finest talent.
Ben asks me to meet him at a nondescript office building in the seventh circle of Hell that is Herald Square. Fluorescent lights and a bored doorman watching soccer on his iPhone 5 guards the door, and I make the journey upstairs.
Directly in front of the elevators is a Chinese accounting office with paper signs hawking deals taped all over the doors and windows. But my destination is further down the stock image of a hallway.
It’s the oldest operating magic shop in NYC. Founded in 1925, the shop is a NY institution, serving as a meeting ground for magicians from all over the city and beyond. The shop feels more like a museum than a magic shop, with glass display cases featuring all sorts of magic paraphernalia. Shortening ropes. Glass bubbles. Bite out coins and Chinese linking rings.
Black and white portraits of Houdini and other famous magicians permeate one wall while across the room, an entire wall of magic books. Along with the third, you ask? A life-size mock elephant, of course.
When I ask about the elephant, one of the staff members, whose name I’m told is simply, “Magick” is notoriously tight-lipped.
We arrive just as the place is closing, and the shop is mainly empty, with the exception of a few magicians testing out some last minute tricks. Another magician, Noah Levine preps the space for his own personal magic show, “Magic After Hours”.
Here’s a quick little rundown on magic. It’s spirited history dives as far back to 403–221 BC in China when women were revered as shamans who could traverse the spiritual and real worlds. Their ability to speak to the spiritual world was highly regarded amongst royalty and a must for angsty Kings who needed confirmation that they were indeed, as great as they thought they were.
In Europe, the first book on magic was from 1489, called “Natural and Unnatural Magic” and explained old-time-y tricks like sawing off heads. In the US, magic got out of its infancy in the late 1800s through Vaudeville performances when Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin (the OG magician that inspired Houdini) took his performances and elevated them for rich folks. Of course, I’m skipping the whole part with witchcraft, but this article is about Ben.
From there we head over to actor Alan Cumming’s appropriately NSFW named bar, Club Cumming for an intimate magic show featuring Ben, and about 6 other magicians ranging from mentalists to card tricks etc. For $20, attendees were surprised with Alan Cumming being pulled on stage and various acts throughout the audience.
When I coerce him into doing a card trick for a “cool picture” in St Marks Place, a trick involving geometric shuffling that is reminiscent of an AP Algebra problem, a small crowd of bystanders forms watching as Ben impresses the shopkeeper of a hat shop. The man, thoroughly unimpressed by our game of 52 card pick up in front of his shop peeks a smile by the end of the night.
You can catch Ben Nemzer and his performances when he is in town in NYC at Monday Night Magic. You can get tickets HERE to his next show on August 12th.
Our next tour is on November 3rd at 3PM. You can get tickets HERE.
So you’ve probably been to Chinatown a handful of times and gone to the same few places. Joe’s, Vanessa’s…but you’ve never really known:
Where are the BEST, LOCAL spots for dumplings in Chinatown?
How can I find the places NOT on the “Top 10” or inundated with tourists?
What’s the actual history + story behind Chinatown?
THE MOST EPIC DUMPLING TOUR
We started this tour for friends who’ve lived in NYC for years, and never really knew how to get around, or what to do in Chinatown. As a born and bred New Yorker whose father was a chef in Chinatown for 20+ years, I became the go-to Chinatown expert. So – for the person who has always wanted to get to know NYC better, wanted to make new friends or simply, just fricken loves dumplings, food + culture – this is for YOU. Watch the video below to get a better idea of what our dumpling tours are like!
When are the dumpling tours?
We do tours 1-3x a month, usually on a Saturday or Sunday at 11 AM and 3 PM. Our tours typically run for 3 hours, but sometimes, when we’re having too much fun they can run a tiny smidge longer. Either way – we are super conscientious of everyone’s time so we only run longer if everyone is down to stay!
I can just go online and find a list of dumpling places. Why should I pay to come to yours?
You totally can! There are a few spots on our list that don’t even have a Yelp or website. We support local mom and pop businesses that are beloved by locals and often miss the Top 10 lists because they’re not as social media savvy. A lot of the businesses we visit are run by hard-working families who work 6-7 days a week and are almost always behind the counter whenever we visit. We have built up relationships with them and are super proud to be able to bring them business and awareness they may not have otherwise.
Also, the whole experience is more than dumplings! The whole tour is to showcase the beauty and culture behind Chinatown! We share everything from the wild history of when Native Americans first held down the land to gang warfare of the 1900’s to the current cultural situation. We share parts of Chinese culture that go beyond just food. Our goal is to share the Chinese culture and to make Chinatown a place that you can visit and take your friends/family when they come to visit! Many of our previous fans message us when they show their friends around.
What makes you the expert of dumplings?
Our tours are curated by me, Chau, the founder of ciaooo! I’m a native New Yorker who grew up on Canal Street in Chinatown. My dad was a chef in the Chinese restaurants for 30+ years so I would consider myself an expert in these parts.
What should we expect on the tour?
We like to keep our groups small + intimate so that it’s not impersonal. On average, our groups run between 8-10 people. For special occasions like birthdays, group events we’ve done this with groups of 20! Our tours are meant to get you FULL on food + knowledge (mic drop).
You can expect a walking Tour of Chinatown including checking out favorite local hotspots that I grew up going to including Singaporean Beef Jerky, Sponge Cakes, Milk + Bubble Tea, super hidden markets + old school gold shops.
Dumplings at over 5 different locations of the steamed, fried, and soup variety!
Crazy history of Chinatown from the bloody gang fights to the most recent years of speakeasies.
A ciaooo! Branded tote bag, stickers + swagged out dumpling ranking card + pencil.
Just the most lit tour ever. Like, how often are you gonna get a real New Yorker who grew up there actually take you?
Who goes on the tours?
Most of our guests have been 20 – 30 something locals. We’ve had people who grew up on Mulberry Street or were immense dumpling fans and still told us they were in shock at all that they discovered! We like to seperate ourselves from traditional tours cause we’re not tradional people. Ummm have you seen how many “Os” are in “ciaooo!”?
In that case – we like to make the tours a fun place for you to meet other cool, like-minded people. People have come alone, with their significant others, and with friends. At the end of the day, it’s a low key + fun experience that anyone can enjoy 🙂
How should I dress?
Do wear comfy shoes and stretchy pants ’cause it’s gonna be lit. If you roll up in a full-blown dumpling costume and wear it for the whole tour, we’ll comp your ticket!!!
Jordan Scott, 24, is the founder of idk tonight, a site that helps over 30,000 couples across NYC plan fun dates. Ciaooo! infiltrated the world of coupledom, and we got tips for some of the best advice for couples and how to navigate life after the swipe.
“There are a million apps and articles for single people. What about us couples?!”
Jordan Scott is fervent when she asks the question.
She’s a petite, cute, blonde with wide blue eyes and a massive Colgate smile reminiscent of a Southern beauty queen (ironically, she is from upstate New York which, some may say, is like the south of NY state). Her whole 5-foot frame shakes with passion, and she tells me the concept had been boggling her for so long that she wound up building a site entirely for couples to reinvigorate their dating lives. Today, idk tonight helps over 30,000 couples in NYC find fun, unique dates across all five boroughs, and this Fall, the team is gearing up to launch the first date discovery app for matching unique dates and events with couples.
The first time I meet Jordan, I write “warm like she grew up in a cul de sac with a dad who took the whole team for ice cream after Softball practice” in my notes. Admittedly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. We had only exchanged a few brief messages from the wildly popular @idktonight Instagram page. “A lot of people automatically assume I’m a man when they see the name Jordan”, she tells me. “I love to surprise them and go, Here I am! Why can’t the founder be a woman?!”
More than anything, idk tonight is a love story to New York City.
For Jordan, the original iteration ofidk tonight was an itinerary generator. An app would allow you to text a local expert for suggestions of where to go and what to see, and you’d get a plan of your own. “Within two months though, we learned very quickly it wasn’t going to work…but you live and you learn”, she says nonchalantly. “One night I made a Trello board of all the things I learned that went wrong, and I realized the one thing that made sense was that people wanted date ideas. We took off with idk tonight”.
Launched in September of 2017, Jordan started the company fresh off a position at CBS This Morning, “I realized while I was working that I didn’t want to be the producer behind the show, I wanted to be ON the show”. Armed with $20k in life savings and an idea, Jordan left her job and went on to launch what would become the first iteration of idk tonight. It wasn’t the first time she had pursued the idea of being a content mogul though, while just a journalism major from NYU, Jordan had already interned at all of thegreatest news and publication sites — Refinery29, NBC Nightly News, CBS This Morning, Cosmopolitan Magazine, NY1, and Yahoo!
Since then, the site has grown organically as a resource for couples on the lookout for a fun date, though anyone could use the site. Single people should use this for fun ideas as well. All across NYC, contributors write about their favorite dates in any given neighborhood – reaching broadly, from Bay Ridge to Washington Heights.
“We wanted to showcase all that is amazing in NYC, as well. Everyone’s looking for the hidden gem. How about going 2 extra stops on the subway and finding it?”
We asked Jordan for some advice on dating. If you want to see her favorite date in the West Village, click HERE.
Q. What’s the Best Advice for a Couple to Keep Things Interesting?
A. Surprise each other. It shows you’re trying. And it feels really good to be with someone who tries. Nick (Jordan’s fiancé) and I do this thing called “Wednesday Surprise” where one of us texts the other in the middle of the day a location, or subway stop, to meet after work. You just have to go. Could be a cupcake shop, could be a Broadway show. We hope to have a feature in the app that mimics this exact phenomenon.
Q. Ok, what about the single people?
A. So clichè, but the universe will throw someone at you when you’re feeling best about yourself and couldn’t be less interested in finding a romantic partner. When Nick and I met at Exchange Bar in Gramercy (now diseased for probably 100 reasons) we were both blissfully happy in our singledom. Another thing—as soon as you go on another date with someone else and realize you would 100% rather be with whoever your version of Nick is, and everyone else is a waste of time, you’re in it.
Q. How does idk tonight work differently?
A. I think where we’re different is we’re about keeping couples good. Keeping them satisfied and helping them enjoy each other in ways they maybe wouldn’t otherwise discover. Helping them rediscover and remember why they’re together. It’s not as newsworthy, but most of life is what happens after you find the right person. We’re here for that main part.
You can follow Jordan at idk tonight to see more of her story and stay tuned for the new project. If you’d like to test out our beta this fall, do it at idktonight.com/future.
City of Swipes is our anonymous dating diary of a twenty-something female meeting New York City’s most (in)eligible bachelors. Our writer goes on a date every Thursday in an attempt to find the ONE. All men will be kept anonymous unless otherwise stated.
We meet down the street from my apartment at this intense Japanese cocktail bar, RAKU.
He was a bit chatty throughout the week via text. Not my favorite but it’s more effort than most, highly appreciated. When I get home after work, it kills me to think I’ll have to leave in 3 hours. I split a bottle of wine with my roommate and head out the door 5 minutes before my date.
He shows up in a faded plaid button-down, which for some reason, I find offensive.
I’m in a chiller version of my usual date outfit. Slouchy black tee and high waisted leggings, always, all black. I swap my usual boots for TOMS and dress it up with dangling, gold, chandelier earrings. The restaurant is tiny and packed. There’s one seat left at the bar, next to a nervous-looking dude. I take the cue and slide in.
“Hey. What’s good?”
J is not outwardly attractive, but he works on a TV show I really like and used that as his opening line. He proceeds to fill 70% of our conversation about Judaism. It’s weird, intense, and unnecessary. He’s obsessed with his identity of being Jewish. At one point he says, “I’m not taking this date seriously.”
Yeah. Really. No shit, Sherlock.
“I’m not taking it seriously because you’re not Jewish. We can fool around but I wouldn’t date you because you’re not a Jew.”
“Bit intense, yeah?” I deadpan back. I wish I had just opted for a Gin and Soda, I love cocktails like the next girl, but this sippin’ shit isn’t my style.
We split the bill despite his constant bragging about having a wealthy childhood and talks of still living on his bar mitzvah cash.
When am I ever going to get my bill paid?
He invites me over and I say sure.
20% Curiosity about his apartment.
30% Blog material.
50% I really, really want a backstage tour on this TV set.
He lives in a housing complex, probably a housing lottery winner. The building reminds me of the prison tour I went on last year.
He lives in a housing complex, probably a housing lottery winner. The building reminds me of the prison tour I went on last year. Once we get to his house, he proceeds to make out with me. It’s awful and teethy. He’s opening his mouth way too large.
We can’t have sex because I’m on my period. And I don’t want to either after feeling his erection. It’s kind of a sad penis. I have my first dry hump session since highschool. The whole thing is amusing. I spend the majority of the time thinking about the return of the Ameriboo.
He pleads for me to suck him off, but his dick is so sad looking. I love my lips too much to disrespect them. I compromise on a handjob and hock a loogy into my palm. I jerk him off until I get bored.
When I get up to leave and he asks, “You don’t wanna see me cum?”
I openly, “Hmmm.” shrug. “Well, I guess. Why not.”
He jerks off furiously in a weird genie position. The palms of his feet are pressed together, knees spread open.
It’s deeply unsettling. He cums on my shirt and surprisingly I don’t care. The entire night is already so stupid. He walks me to the door and I’m ecstatic about being able to walk home.
Encounter rating: 5.3/10
Different sects of Judaism.
I was never a bad kisser.
I give great handjobs.