Come on sugar, leave your heart in San Francisco.
Walk down the Golden Gate Bridge, hand in hand to the beat of the sun or the kiss of the fog. Let your hand trail along the rusted metal, or drift into a lover's palm. And, at the end of the bridge, just where its body meets Marin, lockets carved with I love you's and forever's coat the gate. A new tradition has been birthed in SF, and it's demanding that the Bay Area make more of an effort to live up to the so-called City of Love.
In a city where people feel they must meet through "friend" websites; where a date is meeting up after work at a bar on Market, both unable to completely strip off the "white-collar suite" mentality because work is a weight yet to be lifted; in a city where dates come in the form of movies or awkwardly forced dinners, and you hope that you won't see him again, or that she might not be your neighbor; in a city that is only 7 x 7 miles, people seem to be hundreds of miles away. Rather than spending 50 dollars on a movie and a dinner only to find no texts back, let's get creative and save money. At the very least you'll have enjoyed yourself!
Well, I'm calling you all back to the time when SF was known as the City of Love. I'm calling on you to use your imagination. And, in the mean time? Use mine.
Here are perfect dates to not only get out of your comfort zone, but to take advantage of the beauty of the Bay Area, and not to feel constricted by it as though it's an anti-social maze.
1. Lock Your Heart on the Golden Gate Bridge
Sure, it's a classic. But, wait. Drive to Crissy Field and find parking. Walk towards the Warming Hut, and if you continue towards the piers and where the buildings tapper off, you will see a path leading up the hill, seemingly towards the bridge. Up you go! Together and in love! And, if you're not in love-- you will be soon. If not with your date, with SF! Using the signs and common sense, move towards the bridge and walk across it. Admire the heart lockets at the end, and if you're close enough, lock your own in place. Now comes the less traditional route! Keep moving and take the bike path route to Sausalito. Go get a burger at the "Burgers" restaurant in town and bring it as a picnic to the Ferry Landing. Then, take the Ferry back to SF. Then you can finally go to the bars. But, enjoy the outside, your conversation, each other, before you plunge into the depths of... well, let's be blatant, sex.
2. Bike Me to the Marina Baby
Dates are too lazy now-a-days. There's no room to get goofy or pump up the adrenaline. Yes, having dinner together is fun, building up the sexual tension and making witty banter... but, wouldn't it be more fun to go on a ... bike ride? Try this. Come to the East Bay for a detour of sorts. You could even bike from SF if you're both ambitious enough. If not, drive. Park at the top of Dwight Avenue, and bike to the Berkeley Marina. Bring a picnic with you--honestly, it could be Chipotle, it doesn't matter because the scenery and exercise will leave little room to think about food, maybe more about kissing and love and 'love making' (said with Russian accent). Then, leave yourself enough time to bike back up Dwight and catch the sunset (sure, walk your bike if you need to, who cares-- it'll be a funny bonding moment when you both simultaneously need to sit down). If you go to the track right at the top of Dwight, or even hike up the fire trails, it will leave you feeling breathless and in a state of "the world is sublime from up here."
3. Memorabilia & Some Romance
Here's the thing. We all know that, in the end, a good picture can make a bad day seem like it was the time of your life. Let's use some good sense here: picture date! Of course, everyone's immediate reaction will be: ew... no. Why? "I'll look gross," "I hate pictures," "that's awkward." Ok. First, everyone loves pictures, and everyone knows it. Even the annoying photo blasting of a mother pays off in the end with one good, "I just graduated and look great" picture. Our generation is too filled with Facebook, Instagram and other media encouraging sites to pretend like you're above a nice picture. Looking gross? It's funnier that way because you can bond over it. Honestly, I (and a lot of other people) would rather go on a date with someone who is ok with looking stupid than someone who is constantly smoothing back stray hairs. Awkward? If you can't take a picture with someone, then you shouldn't be going on a date-- don't be silly. SO! Take a camera, or your phone! And go around the city-- pretend like your tourists! Take silly pictures, "your a lion! Your a dragon! Your a sexy model! Your falling from a plane! Lookout-- you're about to be attacked by—." Yes, go crazy with it! This will build up your energy levels and reveal both senses of humor as well as mutual interests. Go to one of your apartments afterward and cook dinner together-- I would go for risotto (deceivingly easy to make, impressive, and you use wine in most recipes, which automatically gives you an excuse to incorporate liquid courage). At the end of your date, or maybe even the next day, you'll both have these moment-evoking pictures that smack a smile smoothly on your face.
4. If Your Apartment Has a Roof, Fall into Love
Don't be afraid to ask the person over for a date. Just, especially if you're a guy (double standard, I know, but I'm just helping you from coming off as just wanting sex), say something like, "All I want to do is make dinner with you, and get to know you." Maybe even, "This is not a ploy to get you in my bed." Yeah, why not. Make a meal before he/she comes (include aphrodisiacs like strawberries dipped in chocolate, etc). Make a pillow-padded fort covered in a blanket and uncork some wine (two buck chuck anyone? Not half bad when you don't know what you're drinking. Just make sure you're date's not from Napa). And, entertain your date on the roof with the view of SF! And, to make sure your date knows it wasn't just for sex (unless it was... then hopefully you're on the same page there, or else shame on you!) you can walk him/her home, or make it obvious that you want to go to sleep, offer them a place on your couch or bed, but don't be pushy... you know the drill.
5. Fancy Free
Dancing in Jack London square every Friday! Catch this before winter nips it in the bud. Find free, or cheap, dance lessons in the city. Washington Park, in Little Italy, holds outdoor movie screenings of Italian (Independent) films, like The Bicycle Thief. And, don't forget the Valentine's Day pillow fight come February. And, check out this website for fun events held in the Bay Area to entice people just like you to get out and about: here. Use SF! Because SF is dying for some loving, some affection, for its old title: The City of LOVE!
6. My Favorite
Create a scavenger hunt for your date. The best part? If you want it to be serious? You can lead your date all the way to a white-clothe dinner or even Tiffany's. If it's playful? You can lead them to fun places, even clubs to go dancing. You could even give a little kid a piece of candy or five bucks in exchange for, "The Man who thinks you're beautiful wants you to meet _____," or "The Woman who thinks you're incredibly handsome? She's _______." If you want a more sexual approach, but still humorous, you can require the buying of a banana and condoms. Wouldn't really go this route on a first date, but if you're both on the same page, it could be really funny (sticking a condom on random door knobs, on a sink spout, etc). Any approach is achievable, not only expressing how you feel about the person, but showing time and thought put into a fun time for that person (and for you!).
It's time to get creative again. Use those "little grey cells" of yours!
BRING BACK THE CITY OF LOVE!
Send in your date ideas to Unleashed!!