In searching for love, I'd recommend the Genius Bar over any cocktail bar.
The people working there, or behind any counters—pharmacists, bank tellers, farmers' market vendors—are ripe for conversation. After all, their job requires it.
So skip the local dive and book Apple store appointments for all your devices. It's like speed dating, only you'll leave with a fully optimized iPad. Below are eight other places that most people overlook when attempting to find a mate.
1. Attend recreational spectator sports.
I'm not referring to watching pro sports. Nor playing kickball or bowling. I mean watching rec. sports. That's right: Go to your friend's street hockey game. You don't even have to watch. Just flirt with equally disengaged spectators on your team and the opposing one. Was that the final whistle? Time to hit the bar.
2. Stand in lines.
You know how strangers who survive shared trauma often fall in love? A line (or "queue" if you're English or fancy) is the less unfortunate variation. Turn commiseration into flirtation. I mean, you're both standing there anyway. It's a hard place to fail if you just smile and say something nice. As no one says, a line is a terrible thing to waste.
3. Strut your stuff in dance classes.
It's the rare dance class in which men are the majority, so bask in the center of attention whenever you can. Just give an honest effort and you'll be rewarded because you're (a) untalented but earnest and therefore courageous and vulnerable and adorable, or (b) actually good.
4. Support bad theater.
What your friend's level-one improv graduation show lacks in artistic merit it balances with social opportunities. Don't check your phone during intermission; chat with the spectacled drama nerd next to you. Many theaters have adjoining bars, or at least a go-to one nearby. And all theaters have people seeking attention. If you're invited to a cast party, just treat it like the emerging orgy it wants to be.
5. Host your own party.
Want to be the coolest person at a party? By hosting one, you're already in the top five. It is, after all, in some way a celebration of you, your life, and your ability to send a Facebook invite and dispose of half-full drinks (note the optimism). The house always wins, especially if it rigs the deck: Ask your friends to bring their attractive single friends. Hell, make it the price of admission.
"When you meet someone who shares that deep sense of significance in serving others," a less self-centered friend told me, "it's like, wow, we already have such a core, crucial, significant, powerful thing in common." 'Nuff said.
7. Time your late-night drunk gorging for later in the evening.
Patrons at diners are devoid of inhibitions at 3:00 AM. It's like a bar, only quiet enough to actually talk, bright enough to actually see, and instead of nursing a $14 cocktail, you're Hoover-ing a $4 Western BBQ and Bacon Steakburger. "We met on Halloween in a bagel store," a friend recalled of an ex. "The conversation began with a discussion of what kugel is and ended with an exchange of phone numbers." Yiddish noodle dishes: the ultimate aphrodisiac.
8. Visit gallery openings.
The three most important things at gallery openings are, in this order: free wine, lively schmoozing, and art. Openings are simply great places to meet other people who may or may not know anything about art. And artsy types will chat their faces off about art given the chance. And if cupid pierces no hearts, there's always more free wine.
Ben Kassoy has met future dates at a cupcake store, artists collective, and something called an "eye-gazing party." He tweets @bkassoy.
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