Travel

The incurable new Bay Area bachelor

I wanted to post this story that was written many years ago on Linx Dating because it’s such a fascinating journey into human psychology and the extents that we go at Linx for our clients. The reporter traveled with the Linx team to New York to document what you will read below and spent many weeks studying us and understanding the art that is Linx matchmaking….enjoy!

By Natasha Sarkisian | July 21, 2009 | San Francisco Magazine

THIS IS THE STORY OF PETER KUPERMAN, a handsome, slightly crazy, oddly endearing 37-year-old who wants nothing more than to marry a girl who went to Penn. The romantic obsession of his life began in a crowded Chinese restaurant when he was visiting the University of Pennsylvania campus during his senior year of high school. The line of hungry students was long, so Kuperman asked the hostess if he could claim the one empty spot in an eight-person booth filled with seven cute girls. They were members of an all-female a cappella group called the Quaker Notes, and for the next half hour, they bubbled with excitement for music, for their school, even for him. For dessert, they serenaded him with four-part-harmony versions of “A Hazy Shade of Winter” and Cheap Trick’s “The Flame.” 

Nearly 20 years later, Kuperman still hears their siren song. After a show that night featuring Penn’s famous all-male drag revue, Mask and Wig, young Peter made two vows. He would catch the troupe’s spring extravaganza every year, no matter what. And one day, he would fall in love with a Penn girl, and she would watch those Mask and Wig shows with him. 

As it turned out, Kuperman’s infatuation with Penn was not immediately reciprocated, but he refused to consider another college, and after two rejections, he got in. He majored in computer science and economics, graduating in 1996 and becoming one of those earnest alumni who get all worked up about eccentric causes, like fixing high-rise elevators in the undergrad dorms. After Penn, instead of heading back to his native Toronto, he spent six years in the Bay Area training as a long-distance runner with other Olympic hopefuls on the Nike Farm Team. When that didn’t pan out, he moved to New York, returning to San Francisco in 2006 as the sole manager of his own hedge fund, QED Benchmark. It was such a money machine, Kuperman bragged, “I could travel three weeks a month…and still maintain my income level” ($1 million–plus a year, he said). For fun, he hosted cooking party–salons at his SoMa loft, where local luminaries chopped herbs and talked green technology or stem-cell research. But he was still searching for his Penn girl—and something much more. His perfect partner, he once emailed me, would embody “this whimsical vision of ‘movie love’ where I get so entranced, I would go around the world just to be with her.”

The first time I meet Kuperman, he has just made the 30-minute drive to Palo Alto to consult with his professional matchmaker, Amy Andersen. He is trim, with brown hair flecked with gray, and he has the hypersuccessful Bay Area bachelor look just right: lavender button-down shirt; distressed Diesel jeans; shiny black loafers; intense, unwavering gaze. He seems like the picture of confidence. As he tells me his story, though, his voice quavers and his blue eyes well up with tears. Unsure whether I’m more touched by him or embarrassed for him, I feel my eyes misting over, too. It’s rare that anyone around here ever admits to having a dream, for fear it might not come true; rarer still for a man to pour his heart out about something so goofy and private to a complete stranger—a reporter, no less. It’s clear that, as much as he cherishes his Penn fantasy, it isn’t what he really wants; disappointment seems inevitable, and I’m torn between wanting to hug him and wanting to shake him.

Across the room, Andersen taps away on her laptop, unfazed. She’s worked with hundreds of Bay Area bachelors, each in his way as quirky and mixed-up as Kuperman is, trying to help transform them from dorks or jerks into somebody’s soulmate. It’s a process that gives her unusual insight into the counterproductive longings of the single, spoiled Bay Area male who has become too picky for his own good, yet demonstrates time and time again that he is powerless to change, mostly because he doesn’t think he needs to. Andersen’s job is to help these Lost Boys—Peter Pans, if not Peter Penns—do something they may never have had to do until now, which is open themselves up to compromise, and then to love. The process is painful, sometimes excruciating. No matter how wealthy or self-assured or self-deluded they are, at some point, Andersen says, “most of the guys who come in here cry.”

Blond and svelte in little silk numbers
 and Gucci boots, Andersen looks like one of the Real Housewives of Orange County and thinks like a Silicon Valley CEO. She’s never without her BlackBerry and her Louis Vuitton scheduling tome, every page filled from 9 a.m. to midnight with meetings with clients—650 over the past five years. The founder of Linx Dating—as her website describes it, “an exclusive, by-invite-only Bay Area–based dating service created for the ‘marriage-minded’”—is 32, sweet, shrewd, and relentless in her pursuit of her clients’ happiness. Combining the ana­lytics of eHarmony, the social networking of Facebook, and the strange, self-absorbed glamour of The Bachelor, her concept is so tailor-made for the Bay Area and the times that in certain Marina and Peninsula circles, she’s practically a household name.

Andersen’s fee starts at $6,000 for eight carefully matched dates with other great-looking, high-earning Linx members; for $30,000, you get 15 introductions, a nationwide out-of-network search, and a cocktail party straight out of The Millionaire Matchmaker, where a dozen fawning “eligibles” show up to be checked out and vice versa. For those who need it, there’s also date coaching, mock dating, a dermatologist referral, and a fashion and home-decor makeover (in the case of her male clients, Andersen has been known to personally throw out grungy toothbrushes and moldy bath mats). Though she is the matchmaker to the Web 2.0 gene­ration, she advocates a retro version of romance, in which men open doors and women do not talk about their careers.

The familiar stereotype about the Bay Area dating scene is that it’s the women who are dying to get mar­ried. A former member of their ranks, Andersen admires single women here for their intellect and independence but believes they often sabotage their chances by approach­ing a prospective romantic partner the way they would a business partner—reciting their résumés instead of being flirty, asserting their ballbuster side instead of their vulnerability. Andersen counsels her female clients—they make up half her roster, and unlike most matchmakers, she charges them the same as men—to wear pastels rather than black, play down their accomplishments on the first few dates, and admit that horror movies scare them. “It’s kind of pathetic, but it’s true,” says Mary Ann Mullen, Andersen’s sidekick, a sensible, motherly type who’s been married for 18 years and speaks frankly about how men respond to powerful women. “Their pee-pee feels castrated”—here, she lets her pinky droop—“and we want it to feel happy.” 

Yet as I hang out in Linx’s knickknack-filled offices—conveniently located between those requisites of modern-day marriage, engagement-ring central (Diamonds of Palo Alto) and a couples therapist—I’m surprised to discover how many Bay Area men are desperate, too. Mar­ina guys in Tom Ford sunglasses who’ve spent a decade or more jumping from windsurfing to heli-skiing to kiteboarding, and to younger and younger girls, suddenly start feeling creepy and pathetic. The wealthy tech­nology wizards look up from their turretlike workstations and realize that their world is devoid of, and even unwelcoming toward, women and that their social and emotional development ended with their first programming job. Online dating doesn’t work for this high–net worth crowd. “To avoid gold diggers, people downplay themselves in their profiles,” Andersen says. “The end result, when you’re finally face-to-face with someone you met online, is that you’re a liar.” Meanwhile, the social media they rely on to stay connected—texting, instant messaging, tweeting—reduces actual human contact and further stunts their ability to interact with the opposite sex. That’s where Linx comes in. “It’s what we say over and over—dating is a skill,” Andersen tells me. “We’re like grad school for finding your future husband or wife.”

Andersen dreamed up Linx at the height of the Internet boom, after many a night spent downing beers at Nola, in Palo Alto, with her then boyfriend and his single pals as they bemoaned the dearth of available women in Silicon Valley. She knew where the girls were: “They were all up in San Francisco in the Junior League, desiring the same thing I wanted: marriage!” When she and that boyfriend (aka that “noncommittal, cheating boy trapped in a 35-year-old’s body”) broke up, she fled back to the city. One failed long-term relationship later, Andersen was in no hurry to couple up again. “At one point, I had, like, five amazing guys courting me with massive bouquets, gifts, and trips, walking across fire for me, and I thought, ‘This is pretty cool.’” 

It was also great research. A born entrepreneur—as a kid in Mill Valley, Andersen cut flowers from neighbors’ yards, wrapped them in tissue and ribbon, then resold them to the people she had stolen them from—she fleshed out her dating concept while working in private client services at Merrill Lynch. (Even for someone with so much natural chutzpah, cold-calling rich people—up to 225 a day—provided “an incredible skill set,” she says.) Andersen quit that job to launch Linx in 2003, operating out of a Starbucks on Russian Hill and meeting with as many as seven “high-caliber” clients—attorneys, doctors, venture capitalists—a day for free. She earned her first paying client, a VP of marketing for a web company, in February 2004: eight setups for $1,200. “When people stopped blinking at $2,600, I went to $3,000, $3,200. Then I realized this demographic was not concerned about price at all.” Indeed, matchmaking turns out to be recession-proof. Last fall, even as the economy was crashing, one of Andersen’s clients upped his “marriage bonus”—many of her contracts include a fee for matches that make it to the altar—from $25,000 to $100,000 because he couldn’t face the thought of turning 40 alone.

Before a friend referred him to Andersen a year ago, Kuperman had already sought professional help in finding his Penn mate. He’d had plenty of girlfriends, but his enthusiasm (or theirs) usually waned after a few weeks. Online dating was no help: “It’s like walking through an airport or a mall and talking to strangers,” he says. So, in 2004, he consulted semifamous New York matchmaker Samantha Daniels (the 2003–2004 NBC series Miss Match, starring Alicia Silverstone, was inspired by her career), a gorgeous Penn grad with a great network of alums to draw from. 

In his Linx application, Kuperman admits to having blown the first match Daniels arranged, with a Penn grad who was getting her MBA from Columbia. The second introduction, to S., went much better, but within six months, they were kaput, too. One of his biggest gripes: S. was not sufficiently enthusiastic about his favorite movie, Love Actually. (“She said at the end, ‘Cute movie,’ implying, ‘That’s now over; let’s move on,’ and not, ‘Wasn’t that story about the 10-year-old kid so unbelievably romantic?’”) 

Much of what I know about Kuperman comes from his 14-page application, which he shares freely with me a few days after we meet. I have to admire his guts for letting me see it; god forbid anyone should ever see my wish list for a husband. One section asks clients to check as many adjectives as apply to them from a list of 78 possibilities, including “Darwinian,” “loquacious,” “narcissistic,” “life-of-the-party,” “autophobic,” and “wise.” Andersen wants to know: What is the worst decision you’ve made at your current job? How is your relationship with your family? Do you hold any patents? Besides helping her understand her clients, the answers weed out the losers, like the 42-year-old Google exec who’s still living with his mother. She’s equally on guard against commitment-phobes—guys who pull the breakup card just when you’re starting to look at rings—and people who are just looking to hook up. Half of her applicants don’t make the cut.

For his part, Kuperman shares the average guy’s interest in sexy underwear and Rachel McAdams, though not in Jennifer Garner or Scarlett Johansson. He answers yes to children, no to a nanny, picks private over public schools, and reports an IQ of 162. His favorite food is “freshly picked sweet corn on the cob bought at a roadside stall…on the way to cottage country,” and his favorite pastime is swing dancing: “I can see us dancing every day for the next 100 years.”

The most surprising question for me is “Describe your ideal wedding.” I’d assumed this is something only women fantasize about, but Andersen insists, “Men usually have it completely mapped out.” Kuperman proves her point: “Formal black-tie ceremony, nonreligious setting (e.g., estate, vineyard, etc.), bach­elor/ette party, but not too wild (i.e., no overt sexual contact with me or her, but strippers are okay), we share the responsibility of planning, I pick the band.” The first dance will be “a showpiece of excellent dancing ability…the language of the conversation that happens when two great dancers get together and let their bodies speak to the musicality of the song.” As the music fades, the crowd will leap to a standing ovation. “That’s really important, too. :-)”

Reading the application makes me squirm, as if I were sneaking a look at someone’s diary or eavesdropping on a session with his shrink. I always suspected Bay Area single guys were impossible to please; now I have proof. Kuperman’s fantasies, like those of so many men I’ve met here, are right out of a silly romantic comedy. He comes across as lovable in some ways, immature and irritating in others. I can feel his genuine longing for a deep connection, but I also see the internal hurdles he erects—so many that I wonder whether he really does want to fall in love and settle down. 

The best evidence of his ambivalence is a remarkable document he appends to the standard Lynx application: eight single-spaced pages of “musts, shoulds and what do I have to be,” along with a two-page discussion of his two most significant recent relationships. The musts include “all-natural body parts,” “love celebrating New Year’s Eve,” and “be okay with a shower with two heads on opposite walls.” On a sweeter note, he expects his dream girl to be “really close with at least one family member” (his own relationship with his two sisters is “one of my biggest areas of happiness,” he writes) and “be someone who constantly says ‘I believe in you’ to their children.” But she also has to “allow me to indulge in a luxury sports car and be willing to fill the car with premium gasoline to extend the life of the car and increase resale value.” Maybe he’s joking, but I don’t think so. 

Kuperman’s words make me wonder
 about Andersen’s pro­cess. Is it really prudent to encourage people—especially Bay Area singles who are used to having their own way in almost every aspect of their oh-so-perfect lives—to spend so much time and energy focusing on what they want in a mate, as if they were configuring a new computer or ordering coffee at Peet’s? Doesn’t this just close off their options and fuel their self-defeating fantasy that a relationship is all about them

But after reading hundreds of these applications—brain dumps, really—Andersen has learned what to take seriously and what to ignore. She sees Kuperman’s blatherings as therapeutic, rather than alarming; the whole point is for him to get stuff off his chest so that she can help him examine every tiny piece of his fantasy, recognize what he really wants, and come to terms with how to achieve it. Andersen spends her days listening to male and female clients check off their lists of “musts” and “shoulds”: no shorter than 6 feet, no smaller than a C cup, no professors or accountants, no kids, no salary under $500K a year. By comparison, Kuperman’s Penn dream strikes her as substantive, even old-fashioned. People used to grow up in small villages and marry their neighbors; the truth is, you might have more luck finding your soulmate in a pond of 50 than in an ocean of a million web profiles. The Penn requirement, Andersen optimistically concludes, “will be a fantastic catalyst and accelerator for a happy relationship.” 

Andersen has facilitated dozens of such relationships over the years, including four marriages and at least 30 long-term couples. She suspects her success rate is actually higher: Once they’ve met someone they really like, “clients often go radio silent,” she says. (She found out about one recent engagement by stalking the lovebirds on Facebook.) But helping clients find lasting love often means Andersen must be brutally pragmatic—and force them out of their comfort zone. “So many frustrated people say they want to meet ‘the one,’ but they don’t change their patterns,” she says. “They stay in the Marina. They keep trying the same places—Encore, Symphonix, the Matrix—where, no surprise, they run into the same people. You have to do something drastic.”

Andersen speaks from personal experience. Not long after she started Linx, she found herself in her own rut, dating up a storm (including at least one prospective client), but no closer to marriage and kids. On an impulse, she decided to move back to “target-rich” Palo Alto and take a six-week dating hiatus. She got a nutritionist and a stylist, did an ashram diet and cleanse, “and then I was in the right place.” In the end, she needed her own match­maker, a friend who introduced her to Alex Gould, a Stanford economist and media consultant. Ten months later, he stunned her by proposing in front of 125 of her clients at a Link & Drink networking party at the Four Seasons Palo Alto. “I woke up at 5 the next morning and looked at the ring and thought, ‘Ohmigod, I’m engaged!’” (The enormous sapphire gets so many yearning looks from clients that Andersen and Gould, who sometimes helps with the business, ought to consider writing it off.)

Still, after months of watching Andersen in action, it’s hard for me not to conclude that her female clients are expected to make the most drastic changes. (Is there anything more depressing than telling an attractive, accomplished woman to pretend to be less than she is so men won’t feel threatened?) For her male clients, Andersen advises basic good manners: Pay for dinner, never text or email to arrange logistics, spend time listening to your date instead of just talking about yourself, give every setup at least a second chance. Anxious or nerdy types can have a dating coach attend events with them incognito and give them real-time feedback and support. Ander­sen also works on the Too Much, Too Soon syndrome—“prob­ably the most common thing we see,” Mullen says—and the closely related male tendency to go on and on and on about themselves, their jobs, their hobbies, their exes. The solution is a strategy known as KISS: Keep It Simple and Succinct. Andersen coaches her clients to think of first-date conversation as a tennis ball they want to keep lobbing back and forth. “We help them narrow it down to 15 sound bites. Then we have them visualize a tape recorder: Press play. And now press stop.” They also work on what Andersen calls “strategic positioning”: “I hate my job and am on the verge of chucking it—along with my six-figure income” becomes “I enjoy tech but have thought of trying something new.” 

Andersen decides that Too Much, Too Soon is also Kuperman’s biggest problem; he’s “the kind of guy who writes a girl a 14-page letter after one date,” she tells me. For his part, Kuperman seems to trust her judgment completely: “When I met Amy, I had an extremely strong guy reaction that said ‘WOW! I just met an incredibly important person in my life,’” he recently wrote. Over the weeks, they work mainly on taking things slower—“not jumping in because he feels a lust or attraction,” Andersen says. He appreciates all the rules she sets. By “laying down the protocols,” he says, Andersen eliminates much of the second-guessing that can make going on a date—especially with a stranger—so nerve-wracking. When both parties feel comfortable, it’s much easier to connect.

But when I meet Kuperman, two months into his Linx experience, he still hasn’t connected with anyone. Andersen has scoured Northern California for Penn grads and sent him on several dates, but no one has set him on fire. After every fix-up, he sits down with Andersen and Mullen to rehash the encounter and plot their next steps. They’ve just about exhausted the eligible pool of Penn women in the Bay Area, and Kuperman knows it. “It’s like a Venn diagram,” he finally tells them. “There are smart girls and hot girls, but not a lot of intersection.” 

In the past year or so, Andersen and Mullen have added another tool to their arsenal: the VIP mixer, where one or two clients (usually male) are surrounded by a dozen or more “eligibles” recruited from Facebook and other sources. The idea strikes me as both demeaning and a significant departure from the original Linx concept of carefully matching couples and striving to make their interactions as stress-free as possible. But many of their clients love feeling like the stars of their own reality show—plus, even if no individual candidate bowls them over, the whole experience does. Kuperman, who’s considering moving back to New York—with the exception of Philly, the Penn grad capital of the world—likes the idea of holding his party there. So does Andersen, who’s dying to introduce Linx to the East Coast. Even if Kuper­man doesn’t meet “the one,” she figures the event might help him overcome his Too Much, Too Soon issue; with so many candidates to choose from, it should be impossible for him to get overly attached to any of them. 

The next few weeks are a blur as the two Linx women make the arrangements, aided by Gould (Penn class of ’93). They set the date (mid- to late October), book the celebrity-magnet Carlyle hotel, and cold-email more than 350 New York–based Penn graduates, 200 of whom reply. Phone interviews narrow down the final list to 19 sensational candidates, including an advertising executive and a pediatrician. For the first two days, Kuperman will have a series of one-on-one meetings with 12 women, followed by dinner dates with each day’s “winner.” Day three will consist of the final one-on-ones, then a cocktail party with a new bevy of candidates. By my conservative estimate, Kuperman’s tab for the whole trip will approach $40,000.

Arrangements are in the final stages when the global economy implodes. Then Kuperman, who went to Can­ada to visit one of his sisters over Labor Day, has a problem with his work visa that delays his reentry to the U.S. by several weeks. The day before the Linx entourage is supposed to check in to the Carlyle, he finally talks the U.S. State Department into giving him a seven-day tourist visa. 

When Andersen arrives in New York, Kuperman has another surprise: His mother is in town, visiting his other sister in Brooklyn, and the two women want to meet his matchmaker. Over breakfast the next morning, Mrs. Kuperman pooh-poohs her son’s outfit, which Andersen picked: Nordstrom shirt, blazer, and pastel pocket-square combo. He changes as soon as he returns to the hotel. Otherwise, his mood is upbeat—almost strangely so. This is the week of October 20, and the stock market is having a psychotic breakdown, swinging up and down by hundreds of points every day. But Kuperman the hedge-fund manager seems largely oblivious. 

Meanwhile, Andersen and Mullen set up a makeshift office at a table in the hotel’s gallery tearoom. A butler stops by regularly to replenish the tiered silver trays with little sandwiches, tartlets, and scones with clotted cream and jam. The first day’s prospects chat with Andersen and Mullen for 45 minutes or so before being ushered around the corner for a coffee, lunch, or afternoon champagne date with Kuperman. “Peter is more Gap than Ralph Lauren, more hybrid car than Ferrari, more Nestlé cocoa than Scharffen Berger,” Andersen explains, nailing her client’s brand. She tells candidates about her own romantic success, how she met Gould, and how her father proposed to her mother seven days after they met. 

A sophisticated 26-year-old brunette named E. emerges as Kuperman’s favorite of the day. Her parents met at Penn, and her family includes 33 alums. Andersen arranges a candlelit dinner for the couple, complete with calligraphy place cards, Veuve Cliquot, lobster bisque, rack of lamb, and chocolate soufflé (ordering dessert is another of her first-date rules), and when she and Mullen return three hours later to spy on them, they’re still at the table, flirting. “I had chills riding the elevator back up!” says Mullen. “I was like, ‘Babies are being made right now!’” (For the record, she uses the phrase “I have chills” at least three times a day.)

Day two’s winner is M., a high-ranking ad exec in an elegant shift dress and three strands of giant pearls. Andersen has a waiter interrupt M.’s one-on-one with Kuperman because his next date has been waiting for half an hour. As Kuperman walks up the steps, he turns around and tells the duo, “She gets my pretty-underwear thing! She wears pretty underwear!” Andersen, half exasperated, half excited, gasps, “Peter!” as he runs off with his next date. 

By day three, Kuperman is worn out, and his seams are starting to show. He snaps at Andersen and seems overwhelmed by the number of, as he calls them, “connections” he’s making. (So much for hoping the weekend blowout will cure him of his tendency to plunge into things too quickly—it seems to be having the opposite effect.) The second of his back-to-back meetings in the afternoon goes so well—or he’s feeling so rebellious—that he and his date sneak out of the hotel. Andersen receives a text from the woman saying Kuperman will be back 15 minutes before the bachelorette event, but as the guests arrive, he’s a no-show. The next day, we find out what happened: He and his date walked through Central Park to Balducci’s to buy vodka, chocolate, and popcorn, then headed back to her apartment on the Upper West Side.

Though clearly irked by Kuperman’s rudeness, Andersen is composed, smiling and making sure the champagne glasses stay full. Once again, I’m blown away by the quality of the women she’s managed to assemble, though one overeager candidate has donned a Penn skirt with icons of the Liberty Bell and the Philadelphia Inquirer. The chef has prepared some of Kuperman’s recipes, including chocolate-vanilla pots de crème served in espresso cups. Peach roses and hydrangeas overflow from vases. Several of the women remark offhandedly, “This is so much like the TV show.” When Kuperman saunters in, 45 minutes late, he acts as if he’s right on time. He regales his guests with a story of bringing a girl back to his Penn dorm room, innocently changing into corduroy PJs, and telling her he was going to bed without her. 

M.—the only one of the previous day’s dates to be invited—marvels, “This is every man’s dream!” She makes a clear attempt to distinguish herself from the other women by standing apart and talking with the pianist or Gould. It takes a while before Kuperman finally greets her, but less than five minutes later, they retreat to his bedroom, posing seductively for a magazine photographer, his hands all over her legs. After the impromptu photo session wraps, Kuperman, Andersen, Mullen, and Gould break into golly-gee renditions of “New York, New York” and “Night and Day.” Eventually, Gould forces everyone out, leaving Kuperman and M. alone in the suite.

Kuperman, Andersen, and Mullen meet over coffee and crois­sants the next morning to decide what to do with their girl glut. Every candidate but one has already emailed or texted to say she hopes Kuperman will be interested in seeing her again. I’m shocked; assuming they aren’t all gold diggers, maybe the idea of vying for one man has brought out their competitive streaks. In the suite, dozens of votives from the night before flicker eerily. Mullen is in her sweats, sans makeup, but Andersen’s hair is still in the French twist she wore to the party.

Andersen pushes Kuperman to share his thoughts. “Could you close your eyes and see your wedding with one of them?” she asks. “I don’t close my eyes and see weddings after one or two days,” Kuperman replies. “That’s your job. My job is courting someone and just having fun. But if I ask M. on this trip to London, and we end up going to New York together, and we end up doing a couple other trips, then it’s a different story.” 

“Oh!” Andersen exclaims. “So you’re talking about a London trip with her? That’s great! You drop these things like hydrogen bombs.” 

Kuperman decides to put all the women other than M. “aside,” but he tells Andersen and Mullen to messenger each one a single flower unique to her personality. “This isn’t just some random coffee at Starbucks with some random person from Match.com,” he says. “We’re going to take care of them.” With that proclamation, he dashes out the door to catch a train to his beloved Philly, to meet yet another Linx setup, a med student who wasn’t able to attend the New York soirée—leaving what must have been a $20,000 hotel bill behind him. And after 100 hours of not setting foot outside the confines of the Carlyle, Andersen packs her bags. 

A week later, in Andersen’s office, Mullen prods Kuperman to explain why he’s picked M. “She’s hot, and she has nice energy,” he responds. Mullen then asks Kuperman what M. likes about him. “I have a great sense of style and fashion,” he replies. It’s unclear whether he’s serious. “Thanks to us,” Andersen interjects, and everyone laughs. He meekly concurs: “I’d be showing up in flip-flops at the Carlyle without you.” 

Kuperman then voices concern about having to do all the work in the relationship—the flying back and forth to New York, the dinner buying, and so on. He feels like M. isn’t putting in enough effort. “We all know how valuable you are,” Andersen retorts. “But we also know that she represents the gold standard. Sometimes you have to put yourself out there, even if you get shot down.” Gould encourages him to “embrace the uncertainty,” and Mullen suggests he write in a journal whenever he feels hesitant about taking the next step. 

Gould adds that Kuperman needs to get to know M., which has been the problem all along—he leaps in and out of relationships, never hanging around long enough to become truly intimate with a woman. When I hear Gould’s words, I’m tempted to shout, “Thank you!” Finally, someone is standing up for the women—and it’s not Kuperman’s female matchmakers, it’s a guy who isn’t getting paid to hold Kuperman’s hand and indulge his unattainable quest for female perfection. Like so many Bay Area single men, Kuperman has always fantasized about a relationship on his terms. But M. is “a woman who can pretty much do and have most things,” Gould points out. “I would argue that the reason she doesn’t have a huge ring on her finger is that she hasn’t found a guy who can unlock her. If you can intuit her, that will send you miles.” 

It’s great advice, but Kuperman doesn’t seem to hear it, and Mullen is beyond frustrated. “Um, is there some com­moditization of the girls going on?” she finally asks. “No,” Kuperman insists. “Good, good,” Mullen jabs back. “Love to be wrong.” 

But as we get up to leave, Kuperman says, “We can do this again in Chicago in February, right?” 

It’s nine months later, and Andersen’s business is booming. Economic instability has made the Bay Area’s lovelorn more eager than ever to find solace in a committed relationship; singles in Seattle and Los Angeles have also been seeking her out. I wonder how many of them are truly willing to do what it takes to meet their match, and how many will continue to insist on having it all—even if it means ending up with no one.

Meanwhile—surprise, surprise—Kuperman has yet to find his perfect Penn girl. After a few rendezvous in New York, including one spontaneous “booked on Friday, see you on Saturday” trip, Kuperman and M. decided there was no spark. But the quick demise of that relationship is the least of his problems. This past March, the U.S. immigration authorities concluded that Kuperman had overstayed his tourist visa by more than three months, and banned him from the country. Andersen has continued to set him up with Penn grads, including an “amazing” woman who met him for a fling in Venice, but this can’t go on forever. 

In June, I email to find out how he’s doing. His response is rambling and reflective, even sad. Thinking back to New York, he says, “The real story is that I was completely discombobulated…. I had immigration stress, not-being-at-home stress, and a situation where I was not at all centered and balanced…. I just wanted to get home to San Francisco.” The trip was “fantastic and so much fun,” but, because of his state of mind, ultimately fruitless: “No girls really stood a chance…. And that is a major shame, because I met some incredibly high-quality, amazing, sexy, intelligent, and grounded women.” 

What has he learned from working with Andersen? His answer is unexpected. “It seems that I am a very confused, dysfunctional, and indecisive man. I want this WOW! exper­ience…. I am not going to go forward with a long-term committed relationship until I find myself madly in love.” He con­­fesses, “I’ve presented myself to Amy as this person who is totally ready to get married, and intellectually, that is true; but practically, that switch is definitely not turned on.”

He mentions a woman he’d been seeing for a few weeks right before he sought out Linx. She wasn’t a WOW! either, but her kindness to him during his Canadian exile has made him think. “What if I should just grow up, pick someone, and doggedly and determinedly stick with that choice because she is good for me?” On the other hand, he adds, “What if I spend my entire life constantly doubting and tweaking and tinkering and thinking and am never able to just go for it and take a leap of faith?
“Biggie enough answer for you? :-)”

LA Story

Blog written by: Linx staff member, Michael Normanimg_palmTree_540x360

Lately, more and more of our clients seem to be based in L.A.; Amy and I have been there twice in just the past month to work with two different male VIPs, and we expect to go again in the next few weeks to meet yet another man in the Southland. We also expect to be recruiting in L.A. later this summer on behalf of some of our bachelors, so be sure to let your SoCal friends know that even if they can’t easily come to Linx, Linx might be coming to them.

Amy and I are really fond of all of our bachelors, and the gentleman we met this week was no exception. Amy has taken great care to build a database and membership that is full of “good guys” and this tall, athletic, 49-year-old father of three certainly fits the bill. His easy-going charm and mellow manner change entirely when he excitedly talks about his kids, and his laid back attitude is even more of a surprise when people find out how successful he is.

We would love to find a wonderful woman for our great guy, and are currently looking for Caucasian/European/Mixed women 35-48 (he is 49, Caucasian, lean, 6’4” and has a weakness for women with sexy curves and long hair) who are playful, athletic, mature, and seeking a real romantic connection with someone stable, supportive, and spiritual. Our bachelor is currently splitting time between L.A. and Sun Valley, but he is definitely open to a Bay Area match who would like to add some fun and romance to her routine.

This guy is anything but superficial, but we know he deserves a feminine woman who takes great care of herself, and understands that a real and lasting relationship only happens when two people are willing to take care of each other as well. If you want to connect with this man, it helps to have a love for the outdoors (a fellow skier would be a great bonus- he’s been skiing his whole life), an open heart and warm spirit, and a zest for living. Please contact Amy amy@linxdating.com if you think you fit the bill. This blue-eyed bachelor has put a lot of work into crafting the story of his life, but the happy ending that he deserves is still waiting to be written!

Linx Visits Sweden!

Stockholm is a magical and stunningly beautiful city surrounded by water. The central parts of the city consist of fourteen islands that are continuous with the Stockholm archipelago. The geographical city centre is situated on the water, in Riddarfjärden bay. Over 30% of the city area is made up of waterways and another 30% is made up of parks and green spaces. i-4QGRM3r-X2i-5CsXwhk-X2
You can see the storm clouds rolling in. i-JvxJSV6-L
The very first day we arrived there was a marathon throughout the city. Such fun to be a spectator.i-WgxQkVq-L Daddy and daughter at the marathon. i-q5t2NxM-X2

We spent three days there and found it to be an interesting constrast from Copenhagen. Three days was sufficient in Stockholm and gave us ample time to explore the city by foot and ferry. The last day was the very first experience of any bad weather while on our entire journey in Denmark and Sweden. We were so fortunate to have the best weather for the entire vacation! Ferry ride with the family….

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The most delicious dinner ever…lots of gravlax. i-cLzZfvm-X2
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Love this purple door and purple flowersi-dnHrVkH-X2i-tfnfpMk-X2i-TLjGpRb-X2
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How could I not snap a pic of a heart on some fence. Shabby chic in Stockholm

There were a few things that stood out in comparing Copenhagen to Stockholm. First, I felt if I had a choice, Copenhagen is a much easier city to live in. There is a lot more to do in Copenhagen, the people are generally “warmer”, and it is a lot easier to get around. Stockholm by contrast is a little more difficult to navigate as a tourist and there is a real formality there. The people are a little more serious, conservative, and unemotional (and they even dress much more formally compared to Copenhagen) and it is just a “colder” city that way. That’s definitely not to say the people are not friendly. Everyone we met was lovely and very nice but just a bit more buttoned up and reserved. i-kTxj9fK-X2

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The photos of the town square above is Gamla Stan the “old town” in Stockholm which is incredibly charming. The town dates back to the 13th century, and consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. North German architecture has had a strong influence in the Old Town’s construction. A stone heart in a very old building in Gamla Stan!i-CdzjfXJ-X2 Dogs of Gamla Stani-LH2wC6P-X2i-TV9H5GQ-X2

Stockholm was also extremely expensive. The cab fares were out of this world. Around $100 to get across town, ok maybe a little less but really spendy…giving us a good reason to walk and get even more exercise.

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he people in Stockholm (especially in the nightclubs that my sister and I checked out) are extremely good looking. The men and women are very tall (average appeared to be 6’1″ plus for both sexes) and very attractive. More blonds compared to Copenhagen which by way of contrast is generally more diverse (still largely Nordic). One nightclub we went to called Cafe Opera had the best DJs ever and a crowd of hands down THE MOST gorgeous people I have ever seen. Some guys we literally bumped into were easily over 6’6″ and all models. It was a really fun night and the best eye candy ever. 😉
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i-hfvrj7b-X3 i-JqdNhNv-X2 Random I know. This girl had a backless top that looked super sexy on her. Yes I was the freaky American stalker tourist in the chic club snapping pics of her, the Abercrombie male model above, and the scene. Everyone at Cafe Opera was super young…think 20, maybe 22.i-dgcTcwL-X2
We HAD to visit the offices of Fredrik Eklund from Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York. If you watch it, you will appreciate our “high kicks” in Stockholm. Fredrik even retweeted my Twitter post about high kicking through Stockholm! i-JKqGR4Z-X2i-8x8bmqB-X3
This is the famous Vasa ship (most frequented museum in Scandinavia). Vasa is a Swedish warship built 1626-1628. The ship sank after sailing into her maiden voyage on August 10th 1628. i-CP24Crk-X2i-KJjbkvr-X2i-hMqmWvV-X2 Random details in Stockholm. Love the wine barrel with candles. i-PgzncZm-X2 I think a lot of guys would agree!i-QW569VS-X2i-XLnSR2q-X2

After enjoying this stunning city, we headed back to Denmark for one more night and then flew back to the USA. Both countries inspired us and were so gracious. I very much look forward to visiting Scandinavia again in the near future- perhaps for my cousin Mie’s wedding?!

Linx travels to Denmark

I just got back from a glorious trip with my family and husband to Denmark. The trip was about coming together as a family and celebrating my Dad’s 70th birthday (which is technically in October.) My Dad is 100% Danish and so off we went (zillions of suitcases later) to see lots of relatives and embrace the Danish culture for ten days. As a family we collectively took over 1700 photos and as much as I would love to post all, I have selected some favorites to enjoy. I learned so much about the culture and will share little snippits of information along this entry…as we step back in time a bit.
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We landed and were surprised at the Copenhagen airport by my cousin Mie (doctor, mother of two, and all around amazing young woman!) and her two precious children, Maise and Storm. Little Storm was so excited to see our family and waived the Danish flag proudly. It was an emotional moment for all.i-tCHD9jN-XL
We stayed in the heart of Copenhagen at a wonderful hotel right on the harbor. The breakfasts were incredibly indulgent (countless fruits, excellent fresh breads, yogurts, dried fruits, wienerbrød , eggs of all sorts, cold and hot meats, fiske (fish), creamy cheeses of all varieties, salads, and pipping hot coffee in nice thermoses at each table in the restaurant). I am a herring (marinated fiske) addict so I actually enjoyed this at breakfast (amongst everything else of course). i-VvLFqhM-XL
Part of the breakfast selection each morning…
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Walking around town with cousin Mie, Storm, and my little sister Ashleyi-9xKWL9S-XL
Biking is a huge part of Copenhagen life. Hundreds of commuters line the streets in Copenhagen each day cycling through town to get to their respective destinations. The streets are marked very well and cyclists have designated lanes that are very clear and make biking seamless, easy, and a functional part of life. Notice the gorgeous church behind us (right near the royal families home.)i-KfDM5nP-XLi-QVjvQRM-X2 i-Cd2Rk2z-XL
My Dad channeling his days having worked at a famous Danish beer factory “Tuborg” when he was very young (legal drinking age in DK is 18!)
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This is what happens when you drink too much Tuborg…I snapped this pic of these Danish guys near our hotel…sun was out…nice way to ease the pain I suppose.i-4H5bnnJ-XLi-wC9MDdq-XLi-5Rz6kMp-X2i-xTF7xw9-X2
Or I suppose this is what happens…hazing witnessed from my sister who snapped these pics of “Vikings” in the center part of the city. Not to worry, it was red paint on his face. i-BBBXNV7-XL
Gorgeous boats everywhere along the harbor in Copenhagen
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Selling fresh fruits along the infamous Nyhavn (a 17th century waterfront and canal district in Copenhagen)

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Furry new friends along the streets of Copenhagen. I was amazed at how incredibly accommodating all the Danes were allowing me to not only take pics of their precious pooches but more so wait till I captured the perfect photo. The Danes are notoriously kind, gentle, and even-keeled people..friendly and very happy people. i-C7p2Lmz-X2
One furry older pooch carrying its owners tissues down the street. I couldn’t resist…
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I love this photo of a stately older man and his dog in a basket. In fact many Danes push their large and small dogs around in baby prams.
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Lunch always consisted of traditional smørrebrød (utterly perfect open face sandwiches on rye breads) i-7ngcs4m-XLi-PLWtntZ-XL
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Garden lunch at my Dad’s cousin Henrik’s home
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Lunch was served on slate plates. Very chic and minimalist

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Henrik serving lunch al frescoi-XdXbtcW-XL
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We spent an afternoon and evening at Tivoli Gardens (the park opened on August 15, 1843 and is the second oldest amusement park in the world)i-2CLRcMH-XL
My Mom and I on a ride having too much fun!
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Ashley and Storm on a children’s ridei-3WTnZs7-XLi-rTf7b7k-XL
Baby Maise and her papa Rune at Tivolii-PmSDW66-XL
Baby Maise and I at Tivoli….she is the best little girl ever. So happy and with the appetite of a lion!i-8dnP56m-X2
Many go to Tivoli at night as the lights are so spectacular. i-mCbhqqg-XLi-7nKHj2j-XLThis is a hotel at Tivoli…will run you 1K a night. Sleep tight!
i-v6LzgwS-XLOn Rutschebanen, or as some people call it, Bjergbanen (the Mountain Coaster), built in 1914. It is one of world’s oldest wooden roller coasters that is still operating today. An operator controls the ride by braking down the hills so it won’t gain too much speed.
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This ride lasted 2 minutes and 12 seconds flipping around. I absolutely hated it and called it the “ride from hell”. My eyes were closed the entire time as I screamed non-stop. And us upside down. Yuck. Never again! Can you spot the cousins in a row together with “thumbs up?” i-f4dKzjq-XLi-z56qCkH-X2
Happy Birthday Dad (Dad is “Far” in Danish)i-wXGdZRw-X2 Lights at Tivoli…so pretty! i-5tWg2w8-X2 The towns outside of Copenhagen are so very charming. Buildings date back to the 1600s in many cases and streets are all lined with cobblestones. This is the town my Dad grew up in called Helsingør. It was so special taking my husband to see this little town where I have many fond memories as a child visiting my Farmor (English for Father’s Mother…grandma as we would call it). i-B7BpWwD-X2i-ksp9mBN-XLi-vrvxJ2w-XL Look at how crooked this building is. It is hundreds of years old…my Dad’s tutor lived here I believe.i-7sd9tFR-X2
Many of the homes in Denmark are simply spectacular! This one was along the sea. If you can afford a home along the sea you are “penalized” with an extra tax which is essentially a water tax for the wealthy. i-GrMQbch-XL
Some grand building in Copenhagen that was next to our hotel. i-KFzGmT2-XL
Windmills on a coast drive
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Changing of the guards at the main Royal Palace in Copenhagen (Amalienborg). i-M9tczDr-XL
Kronborg castle in the town of Helsingør. Immortalized as Elsinore in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Kronborg is one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe. The castle’s story dates back to a stronghold, Krogen, built by King Eric VII in the 1420s. Walking through it is a must-see experience. You can only begin to imagine how freezing it was for the prisoners (yes it was used as a prison from 1739 to the 1900s, soliders, and the royals. No boat could pass the strait near the castle without paying massive fees (the captain of every ship sailing through had to state the value of ship’s cargo.) Money that had to be paid to the King of Denmark was then calculated depending on the value of the cargo. Denmark became very wealthy as a result!i-Bc4Smh2-X2i-W5dLtQ2-X2
My grandma’s old apartment looked straight out to Kronborg…pretty amazing view! i-2nbFm7h-X2
Couldn’t resist this shot of a woman taking a brief moment of pause from her job at a restaurant. Red on red.i-Cktqwv9-XL
Have you ever seen a smaller car? I believe these were very popular some time ago in Europei-n2nR4Fr-XL
Antiques market in Copenhagen….we bought a few small items from him…i-nXj9v32-X2
I am a Viking!
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Early one morning we biked throughout Copenhagen and witnessed this little girl in her PJs getting wienerbrød (pastries) with her friend. The bakeries smell so divine- even from down the street!i-dkpfdhR-X2
Frederiksborg Palace or Frederiksborg Castle is a palace in Hillerød. It was built as a royal residence for King Christian IV and is now a museum of national history.i-467pgd2-X2
The most impressive champagne “boat” on display in the palace made of solid gold and large enough to hold 10 plus bottles. i-GMhBZf5-XL
A bed in display in the palace. A heart shield in front of the bed (beds were much smaller and shorter back then)i-HPDKxwj-XL
500 years of Danish history, illustrated by portraits, history paintings, furniture and decorative art are in the palace. Here you encounter people and events that have shaped Danish history from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.i-j8k3JzS-XL
Christian V was the first king to be anointed, and he established the Chapel of the Orders, where shields depicting the coats-of-arms of knights were hung. I cannot even express how many hundreds of gorgeous shields were everywhere in the Chapel of the Orders and the spiral stairwell going up to the chapel. i-nk8hVdV-XL
Hot or Not? Ladies…comes on…he is tall and manly…no? I don’t want to hear you complain about height again if I match you to him!i-PGB4F2t-XL
Amazing gold ballroom. Imagine the grand parties that were once thrown here at the palace. Now visitors can walk through and enjoy the incredible art on display.
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Exquisite piano with the finest painted scenes i-QQ4MWrr-X2
There was something about this portrait. If I lived back then, I would have wanted him as my match. i-MrXbCwL-X2
My match in front of the palace!i-vtrcc2v-XL
Plaster-like casts of animals of all kinds adorn the walls in one room at the palace. Real animal horns add a three-dimensional element.
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We visited my Dad’s cousin one evening for a lovely meal. She made the most perfect hazelnut meringue with fresh whipped cream and perfectly ripe berries on top. i-H8wDgfq-XL
Per, Kirsten, and Dadi-MWTB4tB-XL
This is a photo taken outside of a very popular new chocolate shop that is sprouting up all over Copenhagen called Summerbird. They feature
miniflødeboller and flødebollen (these are chocolate dome-like creations filled with passion fruit, whipped cream, marshmallow, marzipan, etc). Divine!
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It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention the kartoffel- Danish for potato. Looks like a chocolate potato but filled with fresh whipped cream and covered in thin marzipan and chocolate dust. It ended up being my husbands favorite dessert in Denmark. All bakeries carry these naughty desserts.i-q27Cw9q-XL
We had a wonderful evening at cousin Mie’s home for dinner. Spiderman made a guest appearance!i-NLL4WkF-XLi-qB2pdWx-X2
Mie and rune brought in sushi for our dinner. Sushi has become very popular in Denmark.
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We enjoyed a lovely home cooked meal and visit at our relatives home. Christian and his wife Trine were the most gracious hosts ever. i-3CzJjxL-X2
If you like shrimp, you would have been very happy at this dinner at Christian and Trine’s home. These fresh shrimp are only available in Denmark. Christian shows us how to remove the head of the shrimp. Christian prepared potatoes in their bed…an ancient method of cooking. They were delicious! Kids do not attempt this at home without supervision.i-WG52Jmx-X2
Generations of cousins….Christoffer and Sebastian- both incredible soccer players! i-r7sSWCw-X2
Mie was so sweet to take us to a very hip and low key bar one night completely off the beaten path. Interestingly, the locals knew my sister, husband, and myself were Americans. I asked the bartender and a few locals why? They said were were “extra happy” and “had an aura” about us. I thought with the blond hair we would have fit in…guess not. 😉 We met some locals from a startup that is like the Yelp of Scandinavia. We had lots of laughs and a great evening!i-v7VQczp-XL The guy on the right of my sister commutes daily from Sweden to Denmark for work. He is the “big boss” of the company who was taking out his colleagues for a fun night of dinner and drinks.i-Jk3VRDP-XL
A tree with private messages of all kinds at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Louisiana art museum is located directly on the shore of the Øresund Sound in Humlebæk and is the most visited art museum in Denmark with an extensive permanent collection of modern and contemporary art.i-Dzdq7cP-XLi-RPBWzFW-XL
More to come….Linx visits Sweden!

Cabo vacation | Family in Paradise

I just returned from a glorious week in Cabo, Mexico with my family. We stayed at a private residence in a spectacular enclave called Pamilla.  It was a time to catch up with family, play tons of board games, rest, soak in the sun, and explore the locale. My husband’s and my bags didn’t make it from SFO to Mexico for the first 24 hours of being in Cabo. SFO’s baggage tracking system that generates labels and tracks all baggage digitally was broken when we checked in. We had hoped there would be a miracle but sadly there wasn’t. i-4KCJQLB-X2In-home chef prepared guacamole and ceviche upon arrival on night one….lost bags….who cares! i-XFNCwHN-XLGrand driveway to the home….

Entrance to the home we stayed in Cabo….i-rSk6h8F-X2Beautiful stone and iron grace the entrance….i-zS9jf5z-X2Courtyard in the hacienda style home….bedrooms surrounding the fountain…

On the holiday, my mom came up with the idea for each family member to teach everyone something new.  My mom did a watercolor painting instruction where we all painted the same fruit basket “still life.”  She had packed watercolors, her good brushes, and set the stage for a fun morning activity in the dining room. My mom is an incredible artist on all levels. The creativity that stems from her is beyond words.  i-ch4hknJ-XLStill life fruit for our day of watercolors…..

My dad taught us some Danish phrases, and my husband shared with us some Economics 101 basics. That is why vacations are so great is that you have all of this time to do completely random things that you normally would never think to do as you navigate your hectic daily life. i-PRJshrg-X2Stunning view from the backyard….past the sailboat is the One & Only….i-frnLVKn-X2Perfect blue skies, bright pink bougainvillea by the pool, palm trees…..

Hightlights for me were my daily beach runs from the home throughout Pamilla, up the steep hills, and down the beach heading back home. The runs were so peaceful and the beach along the Sea of Cortez is really different from our Pacific ocean beaches. Rocky shores, sandy beaches, and an incredibly rich ecosystem of sea life living in small estuaries along the way. Along the way, I would stop and do planks in the sand, tricep dips, and pushups. I also managed to sneak through a double-gated community to admire Michael Dell’s incredible mansion at the very top of a massive hill.  One perk of having founded Dell, Inc.!!!i-B7GJwRf-XLFantastic dilapidated walls and wood door in a town nearby…..love the colors and old world charm…

Running on the sand is such a great way to build important supporting muscles and to work big muscles in new ways, increasing your coordination, and forcing your body to work differently as compared to running on a hard surface.  For ladies, of course, another benefit are the hunks ala Matthew McConaughey running towards you. It is always advised to keep to the wet, firmly-packed flatter sand near the water versus the slopes where a lot of injuries can take place on the dryer and looser sand. i-qb3WBx3-X2Make suns out of limes to make your margarita pretty and festive…..

With all of the running during the day, a girl needs to have some real fun too, right? Enter Amy’s Cabo margarita. We consumed our fair share of incredible fresh fruit margaritas blended in the convenience of our kitchen and had fun mixing and matching a wide range of varieties.i-Vbnh2DS-XLEmails in paradise are easy…..rumor is Kate Spade was staying next door to us

My top choice recommendation for a twist on the typical margarita would be my Cabo invention. It is a very potent concoction not made for the faint of heart. Amy’s margaritas are meant to be consumed with conviction, thirst, and a dash of mischief thrown in. Throw a few of these down the hatch and your clothes will be flying off you (hopefully not in public)…. and yes a good recipe for romance!i-STJxh5C-X2Inside One & Only Agua Mexiterranean restaurant and bar….

Place Don Julio brand tequila, Cointreau orange triple sec, and tons of fresh limes squeezed into a blender. I never use recipes for things and instead invent as I go. I go with what tastes the best. In this case, I poured a ton of top shelf tequila into the blender, followed by a smaller pour of the cointreau, and tons of fresh limes squeezed into the blender. I added some fresh pineapple, ice, frozen blackberries, and frozen strawberries at the suggestion of my husband. The outcome was a gorgeous, perfectly blended, smooth margarita that even non-drinker types would love.

Other highlights included spending some time at the One & Only Pamilla Los Cabos resort down the street from our home which was perfectly decorated for the holidays. The One & Only is one of the most romantic spots I have ever seen…. a place where you make love for hours, where babies are created….you catch my drift! i-7hhmzLZ-X2Holiday decorations appoint a table at guest reception at One & Only Pamilla

Picture queen size floating beach beds suspended above the sand created for two lazy lovers who want to blissfully swing back and forth while dozing off to the crashing sound of waves nearby, cement crescent shape lovers tables for two overlooking the ocean lit with magical candles, private rock caves to hide in and kiss, a spa that is beyond words, and an environment that feels that you are literally the only one there.i-sZk7xM7-XLA lovers table…..candles….cushy pillows…..views of the ocean….set for two

Although we were told the resort was at full capacity, it really felt like each time we strolled through whether for a drink or light bite, we were the only ones there. That is what makes for a spectacular resort experience. I know of a few Linx couples who have stayed at The One & Only Pamilla. i-84DJLXw-XLHubbie and I in front of a tree decorated with miniature pinatas…..

One night, my hubbie, sister, and I went there for a drink and dessert. I told both of them that THIS is the place for a Linx proposal and/or wedding to take place. In fact, the resort has the most charming chapel on the premise. My sister subsequently told me a friend of hers just got married there.i-S8jrSv8-XLFirepits at one of the restaurants….see the lovers table in the back? i-QMgXN2W-XLSanta Cabo style…..i-X4hh6pJ-X2

Ceiling in Cabo…..

The only downside to spending Christmas away from home was being away from our puppy. Luckily he is back from doggie camp and enjoy his own Christmas prior to our departure. photoMarshall enjoying one of his many toys Santa brought him….

Now I am back and catching up on hundreds of emails from many prospects wanting to join Linx for matchmaking. 2012 has been an incredible year. Stay tuned for an entry with a year in perspective.

Enjoy the legendary Gypsy Kings live song of Un Amor….

Linx visits Hong Kong

I just flew back home from Hong Kong. I was there for a week and this time was my third visit to this spectacular city. Hong Kong is a place like no other that I have seen. It is a place of many contrasts old world (where buildings crumble and ancient dialect is only spoken) juxtaposed with modernity (sleek, incredibly high-end, sophisticated, and an international set speaking English).

Our music selection to enjoy while reading this entry. No Promises by Hott 22 featuring Bonnie Bailey, Thomas Gold remix. A modern club music with a retro disco feel. 

always feels extremely safe in HK- more so compared to when I walk around San Francisco. The public transportation systems are meticulously clean (no one drinks or eats on trains…it is very frowned upon), the streets are generally clean, and there are no homeless wandering around.

The views of the skyline atop Victoria Peak are some of the most awe-inspiring, the food and choice of dining experiences (from total hole-in-the wall to 5 star) is simply mouth-watering, the people friendly (granted a certain distance that I attribute to their culture), and variety to do while staying keeps one very busy (if you want).

It’s hard to distill down to a simple blog entry about HK as you really need to go there to best understand the complexities of such a grand metropolis. Perhaps it is easiest to share through select photos and captions here…. One thing that I always am struck by is how the city continues to do its thing while major construction occurs in the middle of it all. Cranes, cement trucks, bulldozers, you name it….are all motoring through getting the job done. There is always a sign “greatly apologizing for any inconvenience” that the construction site might have caused. Always proper, so HK. 

There is always a photo shoot going on. At any time of day, on any random street, you will often see a young woman in bridal wear modeling Asia’s latest fashions.
Cafe Grey is one of the most beautifully appointed restaurants in HK with the finest service HK offers; impeccable 5 star food, gorgeous views, and every little detail (even down to perfectly press linen napkins). We had breakfast there every morning. I’m not used to regular breakfasts like pancakes, eggs, and pastries. When on vacation, I do splurge and splurge I did! On our last day, we ate their famous Dutch pancake (photo above). Quite honestly, I didn’t know what to do other than finish the first massive one (see how fluffy and huge it is? Primary ingredient corn with a hint of sour cream) and order one more. Let’s just say my trainer is very happy I have hired her for extra hours post vacay. 😉  

Views from the UpperHouse, our home away from home in HK. The rooms are modeled after apartments- so they are very large, spacious, and makes guests feel like they are living in a home versus a tiny hotel room.  Bathroom at Cafe Grey at Upper House. HK is the most vertical city I have ever seen. A million uber tall and skinny buildings.
Look at the simplicity of this gorgeous arrangement at the hotel. A sleek container potted with a plant and flower can make a room. Two great examples at our hotel where simple and modern can make a bold, high impact statement. HK definitely offers its fair share of oddities and curiosities. Not for the faint of heart. I stumbled upon this medicinal shop when I did a solo walk for 5 hours around the city one day when my husband was in meetings. I couldn’t believe how weird this was but at that same time didn’t want to judge. They seem to use all aspects of animals for various illnesses. There are medicinal herbal shops everywhere with roots of all kinds- mostly ginseng varieties. A tourist can walk in and ‘oh and awe’ at how serious they are about their herbs but generally you can’t buy any without a doctors written prescription.  The photo at the bottom are little deer fetuses. Eeek. Which way to go?  

Hong Kongers love their department store windows. These are some of the most ornate I have ever seen. Shopping in HK trumps pretty much any city. Gucci, LV, Prada, Valentino multiply after one another on the streets. Imagine how diverse seeing modern and expensive like Louis Vuitton juxtaposed next to a local merchant like the photo above of a very cluttered “Mr Fix It” sort of shop. 1-800 You Got Junk would be in heaven! Hong Kongers also adore their holidays. Any holiday! I had no idea how HUGE Halloween was in HK. Here are two photos of vending machines to purchase Halloween items in an express thoroughfare from one mall to another mall. HK is also a city of countless malls. Mall after upscale (and I mean really, really upscale) mall connected together by countless protected walkways. Professionals commute home often by walking these intricate indoor thoroughfares and stopping along the way to eat with friends and shop. They are filled with take-away restaurants, sit down restaurants, shops, and newspaper stands. A must have while visiting is Peking Duck. Here we are one duck later at Peking Garden. With some delicate negotiation and a little James Bond-esque Andersen techniques, I somehow managed to get us into a private club called “China Club” which is a very chi-chi bar and restaurant in the old Bank of China Building in Central, HK. The decor is in the style of the traditional Chinese teahouse and the floors, lighting and fans are reminiscent of 1930’s Shanghai. They are known for their incredible Chinese modern art collection. Giant shoes to fill! Spiral staircase at China Club filled with a grand modern art collection. More art work at China ClubOde to David Hockney?  Mark Stock perhaps? 

Street art work I discovered while wandering around Sheung Wan.
Seriously good chicken soup on a work day while cooped up in the hotel room. Zero salt. All fresh ingredients (the dark things are mushrooms). On a hike one day around the city, I couldn’t help but notice how intelligent this system is for moms on the go with tyke. It is the recommended safe route a mother should take the little one on. A mother’s choice. I also found this on a hike one day. So random….two precious little buddhas with burning incense. A trip to HK isn’t complete without a visit to Sevva. Sevva is an incredibly sophisticated bar and restaurant in Prince’s building in Central where glamour intersects with world-class views and famous cakes- all of which are housed in a jewel-box like setting. Think ambient lighting, warm colors, flickering candles, and Venini chandeliers. Owner, designer, and founder Bonnie Gokson is famous for her very pricey and delicious Marie Antoinette cake topped with cotton candy (perfect for a birthday princess, tete-a-tete with old friend, or romantic date night). We enjoyed a fantastic lemon crunch meringue cake and wine to pair on that perfect balmy evening. 
At Sevva…I always pack lots of dressy clothing for HK. Flats for day without question and heels for evening with lots of sparkles as well. I even bought the Sevva CD…all romantic songs.

Lady Gaga makes a statement every time! This cake is no exception. 

Bonnie’s Million Dollar Truffle Cake. Perfect for a Silicon Valley IPO soiree. 😉
On a glorious run one day (I tried to work out each day given the amount of meals out) to the Peak, I saw this building under some sort of construction and couldn’t help but immediately think it resembled Christo. http://rogallery.com/Christo/Christo-biography.htm

Your glutes will love you for this…..typical HK stairs

Busy HK street in the afternoon

The kitty sleeps while his owner mixes unusual herbal concoctions and remedies.   Afternoon street games played by local merchants. A great way to pass time and get a little workout too.   Cheap and easy street food in Tsuen Wan, HK. My hubbie had a few bites, I passed on the glorious opportunity that day. We traveled from HK island to Tsuen Wan to visit a semiconductor factory to understand international logistics and chip testing behind the scenes. Our friend, Chris, toured us, showing us how detailed their business is. No cameras allowed inside. This particular company occupies multiple floors in a large industrial building. 12 hour shifts for the factory workers, 6 days a week. No one passes time on FB or runs out for Blue Bottle lattes here. You work, keep working, and then work some more. You are efficient and perfect is expected each time. Weddings are a big business in HK. There are gorgeous spots for photographs. One in particular I found was the Hong Kong Park. Here is a sign for the actual place to register with your loved one. Wan Chai streets filled with trolleys and folks wandering all around, at any given time of the day or night. We enjoyed a Cantonese meal in Wan Chai at a private kitchen of sorts. Nondescript building, no English name, not one tourist, and very authentic food. Most unique and delicious was the chicken and fish stew. After a fabulous trip, we returned home to receive this email from our hotel. They are so attention to detail focused and so proper. What American hotel would ever alert you that you left carrots in the room?! 

Dear Mr. & Mrs.,

Thank you for staying with us at The Upper House, we hope you enjoyed your visit!
Upon your departure, we found a box of dragon beard candies, an apple and a small bag of baby carrots in your room. The lost and found reference number is 07888.
I am afraid the apple and carrots cannot keep long, but could you let us know if you would like us to keep the box of candies for your next visit?
If we may be of further assistance in this or any other matter, please contact us at your convenience.
In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming you back at The Upper House!

Best regards,

Guinnie
Housekeeping Secretary

 

Girls Pack Your Bags for Sun Valley!

This past weekend my husband and I headed to Central Idaho for a nice long weekend of horseback riding, sunbathing and …..

After a few days of r&r in the incredibly scenic and magnificent weather of Sun Valley, my natural matchmaking instincts surfaced and I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of really good looking older men. (Think Ralph Lauren look alikes- tan skin, active, healthy, avid skiers, and silver hair). If I were a single woman in my 30, 40, or 50’s…I would buy a one way ticket to Sun Valley, Idaho! It is loaded with affluent, good looking, sporty men who are ALL SINGLE and searching. Real cowboys! Men on horses! Men wearing wranglers!

Curious about the local dating scene, I began chatting it up with a few locals at the Pioneer saloon and one eligible gentleman shared that women “should not commit to any man till they are last least 39 1/2 years because men are by nature  still trying to find themselves. Men don’t know their shit till after 40. Men in their 30s are trying to find themselves professionally. Ladies are different.”

A lot of the men I encountered have been married 1-3 times before and choose Sun Valley to be one with nature, enjoy a very down to earth group of locals, and the active lifestyle.

If you visit during the Allen & Co week, you will rub elbows with a lot of movers and shakers if you are lucky enough. A lot of the locals head out for that week to get outta dodge away from the hustle and bustle.

Our featured song for this entry is Tim McGraw and Faith Hill It’s Your Love 

So, grab your best girlfriend and head to Sun Valley for a long weekend. I’d play it real low key as these guys are no dummies. They can spot a woman who is after them for the wrong reasons or simply someone who is too eager. I chatted with my new Sun Valley buddies about this! Stay in town, go horseback riding, eat at the Pioneer, listen to live music, admire the thriving art scene, check out the Ketchum Grill, grab coffee at Java for low-key or Tully’s for more of a scene…..mingle and meet some really great locals who like you are searching for that perfect match.

Sun Valley, Idaho – The best baked potatoes money can buy! Good shopping! Limitless outdoor activities! (skiing, horseback riding, cycling, golfing)  Gorgeous mountains! The downside is a long drive from Boise airport to Sun Valley. The upside is countless new connections to really down-to-earth, good people…and possibly finding love!