Where, oh where?: Good places around town to hook up

COVER- Where, oh where?: Good places around town to hook up



Published August 21, 2003, in issue #0233 of the Hook

If you're single and ask for advice about likely places to meet a partner, chances are you'll be told to join a church group.

Yeah, well.

Heathens may, as an alternative, want to try a few of these:


Lowe's – Ladies, if a pickup-truck-drivin', downspout totin' cognoscente of footer depths is your idea of a good time, head for the endless aisles of this home improvement megastore. When you spy the handyman of your dreams in the paint thinner department, score a sure hit by telling him you're looking for a stud finder.


First Friday ­ Arty types congregate at the hippest happenings in the area on the first Friday of every month– art gallery openings downtown and on Main Street. Many a romance has begun with synchronous shrugs and knowing giggles in a gallery full of giant tree stumps or walls festooned with gem-studded fishnets. Best of all, the wine and crudities are free.


Swing Swap ­ Currently the female-to-male ratio at most of these gigs favors the guys, so would-be Big Bad Voodoo Daddys should step-step-rockstep their way to some of the many free dance events around town each week– from the Albemarle County Office Building to Fry's Spring Beach Club. Don't let two left feet stop you. Not knowing how is the best way to get a woman in your arms for a private lesson.


The Produce Section ­ One glance at The Hook's "Glances" section confirms that there's more than just squeezing the oranges going on in the produce section of local supermarkets. Along with zucchini and eggplant for the ratatouille, singles seem to be shopping for all the ingredients for making whoopee.


Barnes & Noble ­ Whether you bump heads reaching for Wired in the magazine section, or find you both hated Hillary Clinton's bio as you peruse the best sellers, matchmaking seems to be part of the business of this Barracks Road hot spot. Apparently it's the rendezvous venue for couples meeting through the personals. If an attractive person approaches and says, "Are you Trevor?" by all means say yes, even if you're really Erwin. You can explain it all later, over stuffed grape leaves at Hotcakes.


Coffee shops – Mudhouse, Greenberry's, Starbucks– even the new Java Java and The Grounds– with their comfy sofas and liberal lolling policies offer plenty of opportunities to discover common passions or pet peeves. Go when they're crowded so you'll have to share a table; then when the attractive stranger sits down, sigh plaintively over your chai skinny latte and Tao Te Ching and complain that there are just no enlightened people in Charlottesville. If you suddenly find yourself sitting alone, trade Lao Tsu for Warren Buffett, and try again.


Church – Okay, let's pretend it's not an old wives' tale. People we trust swear that that person holding the other half of your hymnal or matching your vivid stories about the power of prayer has a good chance of being a heaven-sent Beatrice or Galahad, the embodiment of perfection, the be-all-end-all, the crème de la crème– and your meeting a consummation devoutly to be wished. What the hell. It's worth a try.