Art gallery openings are great places to meet people. Dress: casual. Admission: free. Many offer free refreshments as well. You don't have to be an art expert to attend, but it's a good idea to rehearse looking "sensitive" and saying such things as "I find it very derivative" or "I find it totally refreshing," just in case someone asks what you think. You can find openings listed in The Times Calendar Weekend each Thursday. Receptions scheduled this weekend include: 8-10 tonight at Orlando Gallery, 14553 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 789-6012; 2-5 p.m. Saturday at Viva Gallery, 8516 Reseda Blvd., Northridge, (818) 576-0775; 5-7 p.m. Saturday at Brand Library Gallery, 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale, (818) 548-2051; and 2-5 p.m. Sunday at Village Square Art Gallery, 2418 Honolulu Ave., Suite C, Montrose, (818) 541-9952.
* Coffeehouses are good for first dates--good for conversation, and the most expensive item on the menu is probably a fancy blended frozen mocha for $4. You don't have to be an expert on the virtues of Sumatra versus Viennese roast, but it's a good idea to know how to pronounce Sumatra. Starbucks is all over the place. Some prominent independents are Coffee Junction, 19221 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, (818) 342-3405, and Common Grounds, 9250 Reseda Blvd., Northridge, (818) 882-3666.