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Smart Dates on a shoestring: The Bookstore Date

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AFTER…The requisite first date ‘Coffee Shop Hustle’ where you dance
around, check one another out and flirt up a storm – you decide if there will be a Date #2 

If you agree to see one another again and are on a budget, checkout Johnny FunCheap, the Sunday Chronicle Pink Section or Marin’s online paper, the Pacific Sun, for great ideas about special events, street fairs, flea markets, parties,tours, and various hikes.

Another idea, which falls neatly into the Romance on a Shoestring Category:

The Bookstore Author Event

 “Rodney Right” and I attended the most hysterical stand up routine ever.

Phenomenally funny, David Sedaris, author of “Me Talk Pretty One Day” davand “Naked” as well as numerous New Yorker pieces was at Book Passages in Corte Madera. He regaled the standing room only, sardine-like, wall-to-wall, audience with an hour of a sardonic, riotous, hilarious stories. Sedaris read from his book, “Engulf Me in Flames”. Hot tip: This is the ideal location for Date Number Two (in addition to being a great bookstore, there is free parking and a small café).

Book Passages has a beautiful San Francisco store at the Ferry Building and the flagship store is located 20 minutes from the City in Corte Madera. Certainly they are two of the Bay Area’s most stellar independent bookstores. Book Passages brings the most talented writers of the day to their stores Once saw the famed Larry Dossey M.D , who spoke about his book on premonition. You should have been there.

Sedaris arrived early, as did the crowds, for his book signing. Sedaris mentioned he enjoyed asking each book buyer a funny question as he signs a book. One oblique query to an unsuspecting soul was “When is the last time you touched a monkey? ” Turns out – it had only been a matter of hours.

The irreverent and riotous Sedaris also writes for the New Yorker and is the only person I’ve heard admit that he enjoys going on book tours. He has a number of great “Big Box”  shopping at Costco stories.

His first reading of the night was about an email that was so funny people in the audience were weeping with laughter. The hilarious story was constructed with keen layers of irony and was like unwrapping one of those Russian stacking dolls, each new development more preposterous and cause for a great roars of laughter.

The audience was kept abreast of Sedaris’ lactose intolerant point of view. You had to be there.

Perfect place for a second, third…date. Women love bookstores. See my recent “Top Ten Places to Meet Women in San Francisco”.

Price: Free. Experience: Priceless.

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Full Moon madness? Saturday Night Dec 10th

Top Ten Ways to Have More Fun This Weekend with a full moon


Saturday Night, December 10 –

A Full Moon makes some people Change:  get wild,  get uninhibited, and Embrace Change

  1. Change your Attitude: buck up, Binkie, See the Full Moon? Decline the recliner: It’s time to go out and play.
  2. Change your altitude:Go bungee jumping with Icarus  try indoor skydiving, take a helicopter ride; Fly high in a blimp.
  3. Change your Dating site if you feel like you’re bombing out at Eharmony or Match.com try something new: Perfect Match. Try the seven-day free trial before signing up. Free? Cruise Craigslist; some dating clubs (i.e Let’s have Dinner for Six) may cost you $2500 to join – Plenty of Fish and OkCupid are still free, take a peek.
  4. Change your Hair Color- Do blondes have more fun? Ask Liz at Jackson Place Salon she is a colorist and stylist extraordinaire. Need a new hairdo and a new look? Liz is your go-to-girl.
  5. Change your Mind: time to get out of the rut into the groove: go scuba diving or snorkeling, swim with sharks or the famed San Francisco Dolphin’s Feel bullish? Ride a mechanical bull. Try fire-walking, quickly; go white water rafting. Segue into a Segway.
  6. Change your Oil: Do yourself a favor: get thee to Sunset 76 at Noriega /24th Avenue It’s the go-to-place for honest, professional, and efficient service: Smog and oil changes? Hey, it’s got to be done, why not make it easy?
  7. Change your Sandwich: Giordano Brothers –  a bustling North Beach sports bar serves towering Philly style sandwiches stuffed with French fries-  it’s lively, friendly, and fun.
  8. Change your Bridge– Skip the 150,000 people at Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival and go to the Berkeley Trifecta: 900 Grayson  for brunch, Berkeley Bowl for splendid shopping and Uncommon Grounds for great coffee – oh- IKEA is so close.
  9. Change your Happy Hour – It’s all done with smoke and mirror at Smoking Martini Madness South Harbor Waterfront Restaurant and bar in South San Francisco. The very blissful happy hour means  appetizers at 50% off
  10. Change your mood: See the phenomenally entertaining Oakland Intefaith Gospel Choir

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.      Bruce Barton

Sweet San Francisco treats- first date ideas

First date? Avoid the mundane

and the predictable: kick it up a notch.


Meeting at Starbucks for a coffee-date lacks imagination. If you’re meeting someone for a business deal, Starbucks is fine: predictable, consistent and dull. If you’re meeting somebody for the proverbial coffee- date, pull out the stops- get creative.

San Francisco has a kaleidoscope of choices for fun and unique coffee shops:

Check out Bob’s Donuts on Polk Street or the famed North Beach institution, Cafe Trieste, or you might want to get a cup of exceptional Blue Bottle coffee with six stores around the City. However, for a real kick, head over to Dynamo Donuts.


A Sweet Deal

Sure, Bob’s Donut’s has been a sweet hangout for people wanting top-of-the-line donuts for decades. The newest jewel in the carb crown is Dynamo Donuts and Coffee. Tongues are wagging and people are salivating over the much talked about $3.00 donuts at Dynamo in the Mission District.


The Maple Glazed Apple Bacon donut (yes, bacon) is a sell out- as is the unique Lemon Pistachio donut. Seriously, the Chocolate Rosemary Almond donut is ever so yummy. If you are going to eat donuts- the go-to sweet shop in the City is Dynamo Donut – a very happening place. Your date will be impressed.

One Lump or Two?

Forget funky. The old Formica tabletops and hand made signs on the wall coffee shop is, okay, -eclectic – and not a great first impression. Rather: check out the elegant Sugar Lump. Called the “best looking java shop.” Sugar Lump Coffee Lounge is famous for exceptional organic coffee – and an impressive menu including delicious empanadas (mushroom, spinach, California veggie, smoked tofu chorizo & potato) Tres elegant.

I Scream – You scream

Since you are in the neighborhood – just down the block from Dynamo is another marvelous Mecca for sweets- the ice cream store extraordinaire: Humphrey Slocombe.  Want the best coffee ice cream date ever? Try the delicious Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee ice cream. Each day the  dozen gourmet and unusual (Foie gras, really?)  ice cream flavors change.

Still not impressed? Spoon into  a very special “Hot Mess” – a melange of Vanilla ice cream, butterscotch, bananas, topped with a cloud of Marshmallow fluff. 

More? Want more? Try a “Gabba Gabba Hey”  consisting of a dreamy Balsamic caramel ice cream, and ayummy brownie, served with Amarena cherries, topped with real whipped cream. What’s not to like?

Remember you can only make one first impression, make your ‘coffee-date’ a memory maker.


“Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed.  Chocolate makes it worthwhile.”

San Francisco Dating@50 Examiner, Page Larkin, welcomes your feedback, questions and queries at page.larkin@gmail.com

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