Meet You At....
People in Lincoln Park and Lakeview are always complaining that you can't meet anyone. Can't meet anyone?! Are you kidding me? Yesterday I got a blowjob for my parking spot!
Okay, not really, but that always made a good opening for my standup shows in Lincoln Park or Lakeview. Why? Because people there do complain a lot that they can't meet anyone to date. Even so, in those neighborhoods it's still a lot harder to find a parking spot than it is to meet someone. So the bit worked. And the message is true. Can't meet anyone? Quit whining and get in the game. I've lived in Lakeview for six years now. Here are the places where I've had a lot of repeated success meeting people (in my case, women), to help you get started.
My Place My apartment is truly the best place to meet people. Women are always dropping in unannounced, which in turn draws guys, which I don't mind, because I can't possibly entertain all the women that visit. I'm not sure why my place is such a hotspot. It's probably because it's a large, spacious, studio with a full-bath. It's fully furnished with a futon and-well, I don't want to get into too much detail. Just check out next month's issue of Better Homes & Garden; my place is featured on the front. If you're a woman, just email me and I'll shoot you my address so you can visit. If you're a guy, send me two six-packs and your Bears playoff tickets to be entered into the drawing to come over. Five winners will be selected.
All right, now that I've firmly established my attendance at the Bears' postseason, here are some other places where I've had success:
Panera Bread and Chipotle Weekend afternoons and evenings are the best times, as the lines tend to be nice and long, giving you enough time to work the magic before parting to head home or to a table. (Lines are great places to meet people in general, because lines create proximity. Plus, victims-uh, I mean people-can't get away unless they want to lose their spot in line.) Panera tends to be a little better because you can stand apart from the line, pretending to scan the menu while waiting for a desirable prospect to get in line. Then you can casually get in line next. Also, you buy more time at Panera because, after you order your food, you have to wait in another line for your food to be prepared. You can use this extra time to work up the nerve to ask for a phone number or invite your quarry to dine with you.
Sports Leagues There are tons of adult sports leagues in Chicago. The most famous organizers are Sports Monster, Players, and Chicago Sport and Social Club. It is best not to try and date anyone on your own team or a sub (to avoid complications), but rather meet cute players on other teams. The advantage here is that you know you share a common interest with the person. Try to play on a team that hits the bar after matches, so that you may invite your target's team to join you. By the way, it seems most effective to hurt your target. I've known a catcher who dated a guy after he bought her a beer as an apology for hitting her with a bat, a guy who dated someone he pegged in the head in dodgeball, and a girl who dated a guy who knocked out three of her teeth in floor hockey. No pain, no gain.
North Avenue Beach In the summertime, this is by far the most crowded beach in the city. It's pretty easy to start a conversation with someone who's reading a book. Or ask how the water is. If you are really bold, you can flirt by asking, "Excuse me. Would you mind burying me in the sand?" If the answer is "no" you can follow-up with, "Okay. Do you mind if I bury you in the sand?" This is always good for a laugh and starts a conversation. The bonus on the beach is you can see exactly how someone fills out a swimsuit. If it's filled out well, you may prefer not to bury him or her in the sand after all.
Bar1Events These guys own some of the busiest bars in Chicago. They are always having all kinds of events, like pajama parties and pub crawls. Some of their bars are team bars. For example, Durkin's is a Pittsburgh Steelers bar. Throw on a Steelers jersey and head there for the games. Be smart. Don't arrive too early, a mistake many people make when trying to meet someone. Wait until nearly kickoff time before heading over. This way you can strategically stand or sit by the people you want to meet. Better yet, if they have spare space on their table, ask them if you can rest your drink there, helping to start a conversation. If they are intense fans, limit your comments to the game or wait for commercials and halftime to talk it up. Otherwise, your game plan may get sacked.
Merkles, The Other Side, and The Schoolyard These three laid back bars offer high rates of success. Schoolyard offer a good layout that is conducive to easily meeting people. Even if you don't meet anyone there, you won't mind. The bar has one of the hottest staffs in the biz. In fact, I saw in the men's room that one of the bartenders won Playboy's hottest bartender contest. (Before you get too excited guys, it's a male bartender. I'm not sure why the management hung the announcement in the men's room: the bar is about six blocks too far west for male patrons to care about a male bartender.) The Other Side offers a good layout as well, plus there's the bonus of being able to eat Pasta Bowl food there . . . yum!
Guthrie's. This is the easiest place to meet people. Guthrie's is a laid back bar stocked with board games-Clue, Sorry, Boggle, Battleship-you name it, Guthrie's has it. Grab a game that requires teams and ask that table of cute guys or girls to join you and your friends. They almost always will. Hey, like it or not, we all know that dating is a game, so you might as well see if you have a chance of winning by starting things off at Guthrie's.