The Ol’ Seance Date. Works Every Time.

Plus: A feast, a flask and a goodnight kiss

By Athena Wisotsky

The Ol’ Seance Date. Works Every Time.
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17 October 2017

Dinner, drinks and maybe one of those Eyes Wide Shut masks.

That’s about as creative as Halloween gets for most gents over the age of 25.

But there are still some folks out there keeping the spirit of the season alive. Or, in this case, speaking with it from the great beyond.

A new immersive, limited-run Victorian-era seance is currently in town, and tickets are going fast.

It’s part of our ultimate October date night, complete with an intimate meal and a handsome flask for keeping you (and your date) warm and limber throughout the night.

chez (2 images)

Eat: Chez Ma Tante

What business do a raw bar and seasonal veg menu have mingling with Polish vodka, grilled bread and maple syrup? In a word: Everything. The unassuming spot opened early this year, and the Canadian expats who run it have since been discreetly wowing and stuffing the neighborhood with a beautiful mess of American-French-English-Canadian heaven.

Also of note: the absence of art on the walls means nothing to distract from the food — or each other. Sounds intense, sounds fun. Plus it’s but a leisurely walk (about 20 minutes) to the private residence where the seance is hosted.

90 Calyer St, (718) 389-3606, Greenpoint

Sasha Charoensub (3 images)

Conjure: The Other Side Victorian seance
What to expect during a conversation with the dead? Part of the fun is not knowing. A singular personality, renowned mentalist Jason Suran channels the spirit and energy of one mysterious Jacob Wax, a contemporary of Houdini with murky origins and powers of his own. One by one, Suran engages the audience of 13 in a discomfiting exchange that’s part mind reading, part coercion, part exciting game of nerves.

Evening wear is strongly advised, so dress sharp. You’ll arrive at a private residence for a cocktail hour to mingle with other well-dressed, beautiful strangers. The host will then slowly bring the group together with a good old-fashioned magic show before guiding you down dark stairs to an even darker basement, candles burning, for the seance.

I spent the evening there last week. The host was charming, surprising us with a series of lighthearted tricks. But shortly after we got to the basement, there was screaming. Someone from our party ran towards the corner. Then it went dark.

Images by Sasha Charoensub

Nightcap: Little King
Post-conjuring cocktails and mingling, if you’re not too spooked, you’ll probably want to leave the area (Bedford on a weekend and all). Walk a little east or get a car to this newish off-the-radar neighborhood gem, which in addition to excellent cocktails has a seasonal produce-forward menu, balanced by the best burger in the ‘hood (no joke, there's some kind of salty onion jam that is frankly a delight of life). Plus the music's good and there's a friendly team behind the pine.

And for some additional next-level Octobering ...

Secret Away: The Frigate Noble Flask
We are not advocating any illegal behavior … like producing a weathered flask from your waistcoat mid-20-minute-walk between the restaurant and the venue. We are definitely not advocating that. We just like this beautiful, weathered flask.

Listen: Sincerely, Future Pollution by Timber Timbre
Spooky atmospheric music is more than a passing interest for yours truly, but to show restraint I’ll just share this 2017 album, which is a full-package foray into the genre: dark, bewitching, relaxing, unnerving … seasonally appropriate. Reach out direct if you want my other album picks for the month.

Read: Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group by Ian F. Svenonius
If you are game for wildly original and hilarious adventures in music-minded prose, there may be no better offering than this pocket-friendly book of trivia and mystery. The author, himself a name in the independent music scene for decades, documents a series of conversations with musicians from the great beyond.

Main image: Jolene Lupo

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