Monday, March 21, 2011

The First Date is Never Just a Walk in the Park

Warm Spring days and first dates, those are a few of my favorite things. The flowers are blooming in and around downtown; you can hear the birds chirping their songs to the lovers sitting in the park. Men round up! This is your chance to provide your girlfriend or boyfriend the best date ever.

Park’s are the best first date! You have to plan everything, from what to wear, which park to go to, and to what to eat. The Inland Empire has a lot of places to choose from, it just requires YOU, yes you, providing a little bit of the leg work in research. There is no need to worry. Here are a few ideas for you!

Casual Cool to Flirty and Fun: What to wear?
Men, here is your chance to amp up your style by using very little. There are a few items all men should have in their wardrobe, especially for a sunny, Spring day in the Inland Empire. A v-neck goes a long way, from playful hues of blue to your basic black and white. Pick these up anywhere you can, I recommend Urban Outfitters or American Apparel. They always have some great deals, especially when you buy in bulk.

Next up, is a fitted blazer. The great thing about owning this item is that you can wear it casually or as a formal piece. Roll up the sleeves, add a watch and you are set for that walk in the park. I always tell men they should at least have a blue and black blazer in their wardrobe. For Spring, mix it up, get a cool khaki or light grey.

For a sunny day in the IE, the best way to go with bottoms is a pair of shorts. Men, put away the cargos, those aren’t the shorts I am talking about. Find a nice pair of navy mid shorts, or to the knee. Go to your local H&M or Forever 21, take your best friend that is a girl or your bgf (best gay friend) and let them give you their honest opinion. Once you find the right pair of shorts, get a belt to go with it. Go for something casual and vintage, try a braided belt!

With all that walking and prancing around in the park, you need to make sure to have comfortable shoes. Boat shoes are great! Also try, moccasins. Both options provide different colors. It’s Spring, be bold, be daring! Remember to always go sockless with these types of shoes! A touch of baby powder in the sole will keep moisture out and your feet in great condition.

The place to park: Finding a good park
Finding a park can be more difficult than finding a parking spot in downtown Los Angeles. One, you don’t want there to be vagrants, as you are trying to woo your potential loved one. Two, you want to make sure there are a few other things to do, such as a walk around a lake, a small hike, a refreshing flower garden, or music wafting through the air as you lay on the grass eating sandwiches and drinking wine.

White Park: Located off of Magnolia Avenue, in Riverside is a great little park, with pathways, and a beautiful aromatic rose garden.

UCR Botanical Gardens: Beauty abounds with all the different local and exotic plants. Take a stroll through the beautiful foliage or take a seat and enjoy a nice chat with coffee in hand.

Fairmont Park: Located in downtown Riverside, enjoy a nice stroll by the pond or on certain days enjoy a live band over food and wine.

Ford Park: With two ponds and beautiful grassy hills, take a day in Redlands, and enjoy a nice lunch.

Sylvan Park: Across from the University of Redlands, you will find a beautiful spacious park. Filled with eating areas and gazebos for live music. Bring a guitar, have fun, and make it memorable.

Food for thought:
After your soon-to-be-loved one gushes over the thought you placed into every detail of this amazing date, you bring out the main course, food and wine! You don’t want to bring anything that may spoil, or not keep its delectable taste. Keep it simple, and make it fun! Here are few places you can pick up some tasty tidbits for you and your date.

Casey’s Cupcakes: Sweets for your sweetie. Stop here to get some amazing cupcakes! Found in the Mission Inn Center, Riverside.

Simple Simons: Also located in the Mission Inn Center, Riverside, stop here to get some delicious sandwiches, pastas, and salads. Perfect for a day in the park!

BevMo: Not Inland Empire specific, but a great wine selection. Get something crisp and refreshing. Ask if you’re not sure. They love talking about wines!

Now that you have everything covered from what to wear, to where to go, you just have to pick the date. Surprise them! Take the day off and pick them up. Better yet get on a bike, and hopefully they have one, and ride to the nearest park! Don’t forget the picnic basket, and enjoy the day in the sunny Inland Empire! for Social Culture IE Magazine


  1. can I recommend Sweets for the soul? Their cupcakes are amazing! check out!/pages/Sweets-for-the-Soul/127868410619413

    Love the key lime coconut and the irish car bomb. DELICIOUS!!

  2. Definitely always add some other helpful hints! Check out the Forum and tell us about your town!

  3. Great read. A nice addition to your blog with some nice ideas. I love it! Kevin, I'm sure you have men lining up to date your dumb ass, and have all the answers. Go be a troll somewhere else.

  4. You're a very talented writer! I love your story. I want someone to do this for me or I hope I find someone I can do this to!