This first date was a disaster — a natural disaster.
When Cassidy Dangler was getting all dolled up for a night out with a 29-year-old tech whiz she’d met on Hinge last Wednesday, the New York City fitness instructor wasn’t aware that Hurricane Ida would rain on her parade.
“I had no idea that there was going to be a hurricane,” Dangler, 25, told The Post, admitting she typically doesn’t follow weather updates on the news.
But turning a cold shoulder to the forecast on Sept. 1 placed the unsuspecting Harlem resident knee-deep in flood waters that had accumulated from the category 4 tropical depression. The storm caused an estimated $50 million in damage to the city as well as claiming more than 52 lives throughout the northeast.
“Even though dating in New York is rough, if I would have known I’d be risking my life, I would have never left my couch,” insisted Dangler, a native of central Maine who’s lived in the city since January. “No man is worth that. Especially not the guy I met up with.”
She took to TikTok to chronicle the hazardous hike from her uptown apartment to Midtown’s Central Rock Gym, where her potential paramour — whom she declined to name — had set up a rock climbing session for them.
“I figured I’d fight through the rain to meet him, and even if we didn’t hit it off, I’d at least have a good time rock climbing since it’s something I love to do,” she said.
But her sojourn of some 80 blocks soon turned soggy, and a series of TikToks documenting her trek through the tempestuous weather have garnered some 6.2 million views since last week.
“I was able to take the subway from Harlem to Columbus Circle,” said Dangler, who is a trainer at Crunch Fitness. “But once I got out of the train station, the rain was pouring down and I had to slog another 10 blocks to the location.”
In the clip, Dangler says she considered canceling the date upon leaving her digs during the early stages of the downpour, around 6:00 p.m. But he didn’t want to reschedule.
So, despite the deluge, she decided to go through with their plans because she “felt bad” about calling things off right before the time at which they had agreed to meet.
Once she arrived at the climbing facility, the romance hit the rocks right away.
“It was awkward at first,” Dangler said. “He wasn’t talkative at all.”
Then, even though he had asked her out, Dangler’s admirer didn’t pay for her portion of their excursion.
“The guy at the counter asked him if we were paying together and he let out a long, ‘Umm,’” she recalled.
“I was pretending not to overhear them, but in my head I was like ‘Are you kidding me?’” she said. “‘You asked me out on a date. You suggested rock climbing. I just risked my life to get here. And you’re not treating?’”
After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, Dangler paid her own $40 cover fee.
“I was a little annoyed, but not about having to pay for myself,” she said. “I just think it’s polite for the person who initiated the date to pay for the date.”
After their hour-long exploit, punctuated with empty chitchat about rocks, Dangler was left to plod back home amid the city’s first-ever flash-flood emergency.
“By the time we left the rock climbing gym, the rain was coming down in sheets, sideways,” said Dangler. She says her date, who lived ten blocks away from the venue, didn’t walk her to the train or offer to shelter her at his place while the storm continued to rage.
Instead, he said, “‘You were right, we should have rescheduled,’” before making the quick trip back to his apartment, she recalled.
“He didn’t even text me to make sure I’d gotten home safely,” Dangler said. “I could have died.”
Thankfully, after 45 minutes of traipsing through the torrent — which included accidentally missing her stop on the C train, and having to walk 12 extra blocks — Dangler made it home.
Even though she was soaking wet, she emerged from the incident unscathed.
“I’m totally done with hurricane dates,” she said, laughing. “But this one experience won’t discourage me. There’s more fish in the sea.”