The Observer's Nicole Brydson recently attempted a social experiment. She went to a bar. On a Saturday night. Alone! To see if she could strike up a friendship or maybe even a fling. She even wore a frilly dress! "While advising me about my love life, my mother always likes to tell stories about her youthful evenings spent at her local singles bar," Nicole writes. And it's true โ€” recently I've been reading Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City series, and the swinging late 70s San Francisco singles he writes about met everywhere! Not just at bars, mind you; there was even an unofficial singles night at the local Safeway where you could scope out cuties while suggestively squeezing cucumbers. But these days, it seems that stranger courtship is much more likely to take place across a DSL connection than on a couple of bar stools. Though maybe I'm just too timid to talk to strangers.

A quick survey of the other Jezebels shows that half of us have indeed met dudes at bars โ€” and not just for sex! Tracie made two good friends when she lived in London at the local pub. Is it regional? Personal taste? Maybe it's just Brooklyn, as, at the end of Nicole's night, she found herself "text-messaging friends for real, live human engagement...finished a second beer and headed to a house party nearby. Surrounded by friends, finally, I was poured a shot of sake by the host and introductions to new guys were suddenly fluid and simple. And then I realized they were all gay." Sigh.

Brooklyn, The Borough: Bowling Alone in Williamsburg [Observer]