It is Saturday night, and just like the week before you’re sitting in a bar, hoping to meet someone new or at least have a decent conversation. But all you see are the same faces and hear the same conversations. And as the night comes to an end you’re closer to your cocktail than any person and if you do happen to meet someone you’ll be so clouded by alcohol you may even forget you met them. My friend complains that being a full time student who works, she’s limited to a certain dating pool. And she is sick of meeting people in bars because it never goes anywhere, she believes the situation is helpless. But she’s wrong.
The dating scene in San Francisco doesn’t have to be desperate, unless you make it that way. There are plenty of places to meet people in San Francisco that won’t involve sitting in a bar. Even if you don’t leave with a number (or a person) at least you’ll still have a good time.
Academy of Sciences- Every Thursday the Academy of Sciences hosts an event called ‘NightLife’ for those 21 and over. The entire museum is open, they serve drinks and food to enjoy with live music. The event goes from 6 to 10 p.m. entry cost is $12 and drinks run from $5 to $8. The downstairs aquarium is a hot spot for meeting people. Unlike a bar, the music down there is usually ambient and the blue lighting from the aquarium is relaxing, taking the edge off, of meeting new people. Be amazed by the amount of people “on the prowl”. At some point sit down in the aquarium and watch as people strike out or get numbers. “This is definitely a great place to meet people,” SF State student Jon Orellana says.
Mission Cliffs- This is a climbing gym in the Mission that offers introductory climbing classes at a reasonable price of $28 for mornings and afternoons. The gym and the people are mostly unpretentious and interesting. And unlike a bar, people are out in the daylight and conversation is not a requirement since everyone is there to get some sort of work out done. It is best to go on a Saturday afternoon. Go with a friend or go solo and climb with another single person. After the one hour delay and climbing lesson the whole gym is open, so keep climbing with a partner or hang out in the bouldering room, where you can climb smaller bolder shaped wall sans rope.
Ferry Building Farmer’s Market- Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. the Ferry Building holds an impressive farmers market which brings in all types of people. Walk around under the sun while sampling all the vendors has to offer and end up with a full stomach without paying a dime. The food options are diverse and there are endless things to look at and try. Besides, unlike a neighborhood farmer’s market, you are bound to meet someone new as people come from all over the city to the Ferry Building, so there is a wide variety of people to meet.
DNA Lounge- Is one bar worth mentioning and their events are worth checking out. Every second, third and fourth Saturdays of the month DNA Lounge hosts an event called Bootie. Entry costs $6 before 10 p.m. and $12 after. Want a good drink while getting the most bang for your buck? For $5 DNA lounge well serve you a strong alcoholic beverage, be sure to have a designated driver! Aside from their good drinks, this is a good place to go to dance and unwind. They have a band that performs live mash-ups of older and newer hits. It is a lot of fun. There are hardly ever people sitting on the side wall at Bootie, unless they are taking a rest break from all the drinks and dancing. According to the event organizer and singer, Adrian Roberts, Bootie will host an event in honor of the Coachella Music Festival held in Palm Springs every April. Bootie DJs will be spinning tracks from bands in the Coachella lineup.
Meetup.com- An amazing website for people to meet, offering something different from any other “dating site.” Create a profile based on interests and the site makes suggestions of groups in or around your area that are meeting up. There are no personal questions and they do not even require photo uploads, so there is no pressure. They have a group for almost everything, so there are endless meeting options. They offer everything, from support groups, hiking, cooking, dancing and even book clubs. San Francisco resident, Cory Logan, used meetup.com to join a rock climbing group. “The thing that I most enjoyed about the whole experience was how it was like watching a movie. Watching a bunch of people interact that I don’t know. Their characters slowly unfolding, and in such an interesting place,” Lohgan says. “Some of the people you meet, you might not like all that much, but it’s just for a limited meet up. I’d say that most people are pretty cool. And if they’re not, they at least make for an interesting story later.”
Whole Foods- On afternoons and weekends the deli area of this grocery store turns into a great pick up spot where you can potentially meet someone worth your time. While waiting for a sandwich, take look around at all the people buying lunch, chances are, just like you, they’re alone. Eat on location and start a conversation with a stranger about how fresh and tasty your lunch is.
Dolores Park Movie Night- Beginning April, Dolores Park will be having free movie nights during the second Thursdays of the month. Dress warm, bring a blanket and buy some popcorn. They usually show cult classics so the mood is light and with everyone on blankets in close proximity it is perfect for starting conversations with locals and meeting new people.
College Events- Sick of the same crowd at SF State? Going to events at other colleges is a great way to meet new people while learning something new. The Academy of Art University hosts galleries, fashions shows and social events every semester, all over the city. UC Berkeley and Stanford University have many fun things to offer like lectures, art shows, movies and sport events.
Friday night at the yoga studio, my friend and I are assessing the situation, and by that, I mean scoping the scene for cute guys. We are surrounded, but decide to keep to ourselves. Suddenly, we both realized how amazing we feel from the great yoga session so we leave satisfied, despite the fact we did not meet anyone special. In San Francisco, there is always a new place to go and new people to meet.