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By Ray Bendici
Two minds can be a terrible thing to waste on a typical date. Here are some alternatives.
It’s All in the Chemistry
When you get right down to it, love is just a bunch of biological events, from chemical reactions in your brain to electrical impulses dancing along your synapses, so what better place to celebrate that than the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford? Sure, you might think this is a place for kids, but there’s more than enough for a pair of fun-loving adults to explore (especially those who are young at heart)—build your own robots and pit them against each other, create your own music (a love ballad, perhaps?), challenge each other’s scientific knowledge or climb into a stylish simulator for two and gaze at the stars during a hypnotic tour of the universe. The sixth floor offers captivating views of the Connecticut River and surrounding areas, or there’s the 3-D theater, featuring a 30-by-40-foot screen and 18,000-watt Dolby sound system, perfect for a megadose of scientific entertainment as well as a little hand-holding time in the dark. 860/SCIENCE; ctsciencecenter.org.
Good conversation can be quite stimulating, and there may be no better public discourse found than at The Connecticut Forum. Politics, education, religion, economics—the subjects debated are as varied as the panelists invited: Former guests range from Christopher Buckley to Bucky Dent, Al Franken to Newt Gingrich, and Benazir Bhutto to Gloria Steinem. A discussion of the brain by brainy people is sure to be rife with intellectual thrusts and verbal parries, and once that gray matter is invigorated, who knows what can happen next? 860/509-0909; ctforum.org.
Hitting the Books
Many a couple have fallen in love over a good book, so an afternoon or evening spent together browsing the shelves of a local bookstore can be an ideal date. At R.J. Julia there are plenty of shelves and books to peruse together—no doubt there should be a romantic story or two among the staff recommendations this month. A date can also be coordinated around any of the numerous book signings, celebrity visits and special events; check the website for the full schedule. Be sure to “book” some time for a stop at the RJ Cafe—nothing says sweet romance better than canoodling over coffee while sharing an award-winning cupcake (or two) from La Rosticceria. If you want to take it further, you can also head across the street to the Madison Art Cinemas, where you might even find a cinematic adaptation of one of the books found on the shelves of R.J. Julia. 203/245-3959; rjjulia.com.