By David Perloff / Photos by Brevin Blach
It's March 14, aka 3.14 - Einstein's birthday and Pi Day. To celebrate, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is throwing a special event called Pizza, Pinot and ?, where guests are invited to play with the museum's interactive exhibits while enjoying wine tastings and food samples from several popular San Diego restaurants.
Tonight's blind daters, Alyssa and Jamie, are about to meet for the first time near the entrance to the museum. Before they arrive, let's review the pre-date interviews.
PacificSD: Why are you going on a blind date in Pacific Magazine?
ALYSSA: To meet the love of my life, obviously, and have a cute story to tell our grandchildren.
JAMIE: I'm new to the area and thought it would be a fun way to meet someone.
What do you do for a living?
ALYSSA: I work in advertising for Cox Media, selling TV commercial airtime and digital ad space.
JAMIE: I am president of the San Diego lifestyle apparel and accessory company Team Phun.
What do you do for fun?
ALYSSA: I grew up training to be a classical ballet dancer and used to do it on a professional level, but now it's my hobby. I also play co-ed flag football on the weekends. I most enjoy being outdoors or out having good food and drinks with friends. If I can swing a trip out of town somewhere, that's always at the top of my list.
JAMIE: Besides work, which I love, I play music often. I am the drummer for the local band called Harriet and the Tubmans. I also run often, play football and hang with my dog, Hawk.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?
ALYSSA: A man! My ideal date is a "guy's guy," someone who likes sports and knows how to fix things, but who also has a heart of gold, would open doors for me and write me love notes. Intelligence, drive and charisma are huge turn-ons, and he has to be fun. Well-traveled or a penchant for travelling is a bonus. I'm generally attracted to tall, clean-cut, athletic, all-American looking guys, but I try to keep an open mind.
JAMIE: Someone easy to talk to, but I'm also a sucker for pretty eyes.
Describe your sex appeal in five words or less.
ALYSSA: Charming, vivacious, long-legged ballerina.
JAMIE: Sex appeal? I've been told I have long eyelashes, I guess. Is that sexy?
Rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 for looks.
ALYSSA: Ten. Duh.
JAMIE: Blue Steel face or not Blue Steel face?
How about for personality?
ALYSSA: Have to go 10 again. Apparently I have a high opinion of myself.
JAMIE: I'll leave that up to her.
Fill in the blanks: I want my blind "blank" and "blank."
ALYSSA: I want my blind date to be romantic and sweet, and by "romantic" and "sweet" I mean he buys my breakfast burrito and Slurpee from 7-11 at the end of the night, assuming things go well.
JAMIE: Phun and phunky. [He makes a point to spell it that way.]
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?
ALYSSA: Never more than a kiss on the first date. I'm a lady... on my better days.
JAMIE: Couldn't say now. We'll see what happens.
A scientific approach to breaking the ice
Inside the Reuben H. Fleet, Alyssa and Jamie order drinks at the bar (she orders a Jack Daniels and Coke, then he orders the same) before browsing the exhibits. They play with gravity, electricity, even a little friction before sampling wines and then sitting in front of a special-effect mirror that blends their faces to show what their children might look like.
After about an hour, they depart Balboa Park in an Epic Limo that takes them to dinner at Davanti Enoteca, the Little Italy restaurant named among Bon Appétit's 50 Best New Restaurants in 2012.
At dinner, the chef gives the daters the royal treatment, delivering what must be the entire menu to their table. They seem to be enjoying their meal more than each other's company when they're split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How's it going so far?
ALYSSA: It's going good. We're having a good time. I wasn't expecting to go to the Science Center; that was an interesting surprise.
JAMIE: It's good. It's a whole new experience. She seems really nice, and we're having a good time. I didn't really expect the Science Museum, but it turned out really cool.
What were your first impressions?
ALYSSA: Well, he was wearing a t-shirt, so that was... you gotta dress to impress. You're on a date; you gotta pull out all the stops. So that was strike one.
JAMIE: She was tall. I was shorter than her, but she was also in heels. But she was very pretty and very nice, very sincere and everything.
Is this the type of person you'd normally date?
ALYSSA: No, he's too young for me. I typically date older guys. He's four years younger, and I typically date four years, or more, older.
JAMIE: I don't really have a type, but she seemed very nice and wasn't on her phone the whole time like a lot of girls are, so that was cool.
How was the Reuben H. Fleet?
ALYSSA: It was cool. They had wine tasting and I thought that was great. I like trying new wines and learning about new wine. Science is cool. [A guide] showed us some fun exhibits to try out. It was something I wouldn't normally do.
JAMIE: We saw what it would look like if the two of us made a child. I think it was a little too early for that. We had great tour guides and drank some good wine and got some good food.
What would your kid look like?
JAMIE: Me, with a mullet, apparently.
What's the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
ALYSSA: He's been very well mannered the whole time and seems like a nice guy, a gentleman.
JAMIE: She has a really nice laugh.
What's the least attractive thing?
ALYSSA: I have a strong personality, a big personality, and he's maybe a little too quiet. He's not assertive enough.
JAMIE: That's a horrible question to ask. I feel intimidated because she's taller than me with the heels.
Rate your date on a scale of one to 10 for looks.
JAMIE: Nine or 10.
And for personality?
JAMIE: Nine 9 or 10.
Do you want to kiss your date now?
JAMIE: Not yet.
Does your date want to kiss you right now?
ALYSSA: I think so.
JAMIE: I don't think so.
858.270.LIMO (5466), epiclimo.com
Rounding Out the Evening
A slice of pi and a whole lot more
As plate after plate of award-winning Italian cuisine arrives from the kitchen, the magazine crew finally leaves the daters alone to enjoy the rest of their evening. We call the next morning to see what we missed.
Describe the experience and vibe at Davanti Enoteca.
ALYSSA: The vibe was very loungey and cool, not your typical Italian restaurant. Very unique.
JAMIE: Awesome. Food, service and drinks were great.
What did you eat?
ALYSSA: I think we tasted everything on the menu, from three-cheese flatbread, truffle pasta, octopus and a phenomenal burger to lemon tiramisu.
JAMIE: It was more what didn't we eat. They graciously brought out everything on their menu, and it was all good.
What happened after the magazine crew left you alone? What did you do with the limo?
ALYSSA: We just chatted [on the way home] and tried to get to know each other. Didn't get to spend much time in the limo all night. When we did, there was tequila.
JAMIE: We just hopped in the limo and brought her home. Lame.
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
ALYSSA: I think I had more chemistry with the science exhibits.
What was the best part of the date?
ALYSSA: The food. I'm an Italian girl - put a bowl of pasta in front of me, and I'm happy.
JAMIE: I really enjoyed the restaurant. It was cool to sit down somewhere quiet and talk... and eat.
What was the worst part?
ALYSSA: When I arrived, and he was in a t-shirt. It was pretty much over before it began.
JAMIE: Alyssa was super cool, but there wasn't a huge connection.
Will there be a second date?
ALYSSA: Um, no. I typically date men who are taller and weigh more than me and who are, how do I put this nicely? More assertive.
JAMIE: Probably not. I certainly enjoyed meeting her but again there wasn't a huge connection.
What could have made this date better?
ALYSSA: More tequila.
JAMIE: We pretty much got whatever we wanted: drinks, food, limo. I guess I couldn't say.
What's one thing your date really should know before his/her next date?
ALYSSA: Never show up to a date without putting any effort into what you're wearing or your appearance, regardless where you're going.
JAMIE: Hmm... where to start? Kidding, of course. Alyssa was great, super friendly and lots of phun.
Despite the daters spending Einstein's birthday at a science museum, a love connection was not formed last night. According to the laws of relativity, these two had relatively nothing in common - you don't have to be a genius to see that.
During the mid-date break, Jamie said, "I feel intimidated because she's taller than me." His intimidation came full-circle thanks to Alyssa, who said, "I have a strong personality, a big personality," rewarding Jamie's trepidation with a score of "six" for personality.
At least that's better than 3.14.
1655 India St., Little Italy
Alyssa has agreed to give love a second chance. If you're man enough to jump into a blind date with a "big personality" ballerina, e-mail a couple photos and info about yourself and what you're looking for in a date to firstname.lastname@example.org.