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Where the Boys (and Girls) Are

Thanks to everyone who posted comments and sent e-mails regarding Monday’s blog. Your feedback helps fuel future blog topics, so keep it coming.

To respond to one poster’s query, “Where’s the best place to meet guys?": I’m of the school of thought that the women follow the men, so where there are men, there are hordes and hordes of women. After all, finding places where the guys outnumber the gals is tough in this city. Club owners, however, bank on the men following the women: They let in at least four girls to every guy and turn away large groups of men, especially if those men show up sans ladies. “If you have the girls, the guys will follow,” one nightlife executive tells me. “The owners and promoters want to have a great-looking crowd of women, so if you get a bar or club that is notorious for having a majority of women, you will find that it will be very busy with a nice mix of women and men.”

As for me, I tend to stick to a policy of not dating bar owners or club scenesters-which rules out half the people I see on a regular basis. There is something to be said, though, for meeting at a low-key neighborhood bar. It worked for my friend Molly, 31, who met Mike, 29, her now-live-in boyfriend, last year at Lotties Pub; she quite literally bumped into him on her way out the door. “I bartended for a couple of years and never thought it was possible to meet someone at a bar,” Mike says. “My best advice is not to be in the mindset of finding love at a bar, or wherever you go, because you’re going to be disappointed. Be patient and have fun, because when you least expect it, you might hit the girl of your dreams with a door, like I did.”

As for others’ top spots, one respondent to Monday’s blog, Angie, 27, says The Wrightwood Tap is a total meet market. “I don’t get it, because I never go there to look for guys, but I always end up talking to a ton of really interesting people,” she says.

Todd, 31, doesn’t have trouble meeting girls at clubs like The Underground, but he admits that the scenario can pose problems. “I can, and do, meet girls once in a while in a bar or club setting that I would like to date, but then I often get confused in the wee hours and treat them as a potential hookup and ruin any potential for either dating or hooking up,” he says. “The biggest issue is, you never know if it’s them or the booze that makes them interested in you, and the same goes for me. Was I drunk, or was she really cool?”

OK, so most people (including my parents) would agree that a bar isn’t the ideal place to find long-term romance. But charity events and street festivals can be, which means this could be your lucky weekend (see below). Art museums aren’t bad, either: “I went to the Art Institute to see the Vollard exhibit and ended up meeting a girl,” Brent, 31, says. “I approached her and asked what she thought of the exhibit. Turns out the Art Institute is a good place to meet women-at least the kind that I’m interested in.”

Looking for places to meet someone this weekend? Here are a couple of options:

• Thursday, June 7th: A Garden of Hope, supporting breast cancer research, treatment and education, runs from 6 to 10 p.m. at A New Leaf, 1818 N. Wells St. Admission is $60 in advance, $65 at the door.

• Saturday and Sunday, June 9th and 10th: The 33rd annual Wells Street Art Festival and 58th annual Old Town Art Fair, which take place kitty-corner from one another, bring out the biggest (warning: and drunkest) crowds.

If you have tips on where to meet dates, or want to share your own successful stories, post them in the comments section below or e-mail me at nightspotting@hotmail.com.

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