Looking for love -- or just a night out -- among the jet set?
If you want to mingle with the rich and single you have to know where they are -- and when they're there. As the seasons change, so do their hangouts -- and, like the economy, this party is global.
Bars and restaurants are the stage but not necessarily the draw. Many of the hottest destinations have earned their place on the circuit because of a local cultural event -- say, a charity fund-raiser, fashion show, sporting contest or art festival. Others just have a certain je ne sais quoi.
Manhattan is always a good bet for scaring up the well-heeled and unattached. Better yet, says David Patrick Columbia, editor of New York Social Diary, an online publication chronicling New York society, the upper crust is easier to crack there than in many other cities.
"I think the reason young people come to New York is because it's the city of opportunity and the city of opportunity socially," he says. "Most of the people who are on the tippy-top [of the social ladder] weren't always there. You can make anything of your life [in Manhattan]."
New York's charity circuit, spanning several months from February through the summer, is a siren song for the elite. The best bet for singles is the Young Fellows of The Frick Collection Ball, just held last week on March 13 in Manhattan's tony Upper East Side.
"The Frick is probably the most sterling meeting place for singles that you can possibly go to," says Columbia. "[It attracts] a wide variety of people, and it's an attractive bunch."
Better yet, the ball is more affordable, relatively speaking: Tickets go for just $250 per person -- less than the cost of a bottle of vodka at many high-end clubs.
Two and a half hours east of Manhattan, the polo grounds at Bridgehampton are another proving ground for moneyed, mingling singles. And the VIP tents provide ample eye candy. Just one problem: cracking the guest lists.
"I can't tell you what people do to get on the list," says Noah Tepperberg, owner of New York-based Strategic Group, an events and marketing company that organizes the Bridgehampton matches, held on Saturdays throughout August. "Polo matches are hands down the biggest pick-up scene for wealthy people."
Hit Milan, Italy, during Fashion Week in mid-February -- specifically the Just Cavalli Café, owned by clothing designer Roberto Cavalli.
Encased in glass and located smack in the middle of verdant Sempione Park, the café attracts models, fashion designers and celebrities, including Sharon Stone and Steven Tyler (both currently single). After dark, it transforms into a disco club. Cavalli and his wife, Eva, redecorate the interior every season, typically in different animal themes.
What better way to troll for high cheekbones and deep wallets--all while getting a healthy dose of culture -- than at an international film festival?
While at the Cannes Film Festival (in Cannes, France) in mid-May, head to Le Baoli. Looking like a scene from the movie Arabian Nights, this restaurant and club hosts several festival parties. Guests dine on Asian cuisine in a garden of palm trees and under billowing canopies. The disco revs up after midnight, and the likes of Elton John, Brad Pitt, Jay-Z and Kylie Minogue have all turned up.