Editor’s Note | February 2019

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Illustration by Martha Napier

As we put together this month’s package on Great Dates, the staff here shared anecdotes about some of our best and worst outings. My colleagues seemed mystified when I proclaimed that I loved first dates.

I always found them thrilling: the challenge in figuring out exactly what to wear, the anticipation of learning more about someone new, the tingle of someone you like getting close enough to touch. Of course, there are dates that go off the rails—and readers shared some doozies with us on Instagram. But even those are worthwhile for the story value if nothing else. A friend’s advice on what to watch out for still echoes in my head: “Don’t make a second date with anyone who shows up with both arms swinging.” (Meaning, empty handed. This led our office to a discussion about what’s appropriate and what isn’t. So we checked with experts and got comments from readers. You can find that story at orangecoast.com/datingetiquette.)

I’ve been fortunate to have more good dates than bad, and most have taken place in Orange County. While a romantic, leisurely dinner out is hard to beat, we can all use inspiration to try something outside the norm—from ax throwing and archery to cocktail classes and evenings spent painting, there are plenty of ideas for your next experience. We asked locals on the front lines of dating escapades to share their most memorable stories. Plus, we went searching for top-of-the-line, sure-to-impress, money-is-no-object adventures. So for your first date or your 500th, we hope you’ll find something that floats your boat—kayak and gondola rides anyone?—in this month for romance. Cheers!

—Alan Gibbons, Editor-in-Chief

MY FAVORITE THINGS IN THIS ISSUE

➜ This inside look at San Francisco neighborhoods offers a fresh perspective for a weekend favorite.

➜ I’m so looking forward to the stage version of the Mo Willems book “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed” at South Coast Rep this month.

➜ Who knew a teenage crush on Donny Osmond could lead a writer to major life decisions?

➜ Paul Williams has to be one of the most grounded celebrities ever. Does living in Orange County contribute to that?

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