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MARK JACKSON, 33 *
Theoretical physicist // Lives in Amsterdam
Just two months after our July 2008 issue hit stands, Jackson uprooted to Amsterdam to further his research in superstring cosmology (the physics of how the universe began, what it’s made of, and where it’s going). In October, he’ll be making yet another move for research, this time to Paris.
You’re studying light that’s 13.3 billion years old? “It’s all around us. Only in the past few years have we been able to build satellites to sensitively monitor it.”
Since you moved to Amsterdam, did the singles feature arrive too late to boost your dating life? “No, actually, I had a few dates comment on it. Usually on the second date they’d ask, ‘Were you really one of Chicago’s most eligible bachelors?’ It still happens today.”
Any hopes for a relationship in the City of Light? “I hope so. I’ve been trying to e-mail Carla Bruni-Sarkozy but without much luck.” —M.E.
SAYA HILLMAN, 32
Owner of Mac ’n Cheese Productions // Lives in Roscoe Village
Since 2008, Hillman has transformed herself into a networking mogul, hosting more dinner party “minglers” and now promoting coffee meet-ups through her digital media and events company, Mac ’n Cheese Productions. Her most recent project is the Fear Experiment, which brings together unacquainted dance and improv novices to perform in front of 700 people at the Park West Theater.
Why do you want to scare people? “Fear is such a sure-fire way to bond people together, especially when you can’t grab on to someone else for support. All the barriers are broken.”
Is that how you met your boyfriend (pictured)? “He came to one of my minglers, yes. We talked about barbecue. I love barbecue, and he told me he had a list of all the best barbecue places in Chicago. I also love lists, so things just went from there.”
What’s next on your To Do list? “I’m trying to take my programs to other cities and to increase their size locally. The people have spoken, and they want more fear.” —M.E.
RELATED STORY: Chicago’s most eligible singles of 2011 »
* interested in women * interested in men
Photograph: (magazine spread) Megan Lovejoy