Not Afraid to Ask: How Did You Meet Your Sweetie?

By NHG Staff

Melissa & Patrick Barber.

Melissa & Patrick Barber

As told by Melissa

When I first moved to San Francisco after college, my roommate and I lived in a little flat in Cow Hollow in the early ’90s. We were looking through the Nob Hill Gazette and saw photos of the Bachelors of San Francisco’s board of directors. My roommate asked: “Which one would you date?” I said: “I don’t know … maybe this one,” and I pointed to Patrick (he used to wear these cute little round glasses and wore a vest with his tuxedo). Fast forward, I started traveling with my job and I met him probably two to three years after that and did not realize whatsoever it was the same person. We started dating, and at one point my roommate says, “That’s the guy whose picture you pointed at!” And we ended up getting married. The relationship was all due to the Gazette!

David Landis & Sean Dowdall.

David Landis & Sean Dowdall

As told by David

It was 31 years ago, in August of 1989, that wandering into the Sunday tea dance at the Mission’s famed Latinx club, El Rio, would change my life. Every Sunday in the afternoon, El Rio would host a tea dance on their outdoor backyard courtyard, complete with live salsa bands and Guatemalan women fixing caipirinhas … I saw a cute younger boy (my now-husband, Sean Dowdall) with his friend. He asked me to dance because (he said later) I filled out my white jeans nicely. We danced and he asked me ,“What do you do for a living?” I told him that (at that time) I was PR director for KPIX-TV. He had a rule back then: To qualify for a date, the person had to have a full-time job and some interest in the arts. So, after we danced, he immediately asked me, “When do you want to have dinner?” (I about fell on the floor since he’s seven years younger than me and adorable.) Our first date was at the now-defunct South Park Cafe. We’ve been together ever since.

Sallie & Leon Huntting. (Drew Altizer)

Sallie & Leon Huntting

As told by Sallie

We were at Santa Cruz on a Los Gato High School beach day. Leon tried to meet me and I ignored him. Two years later we met in drama class, and he went behind my back and got the teacher to assign me to do a love scene with him. The rest is history!

Gregg Lynn & Glenn Risso.

Gregg Lynn & Glenn Risso

As told by Gregg

Nearly 17 years ago on April 1, I met my sweetheart Glenn Risso at a spectacular cocktail party at the Nob Hill home of — none other than — Joel Goodrich! Glenn and I talked for hours and the following night went on our first date to Zuni Cafe. We’ve been together every day since. Thirteen years later, on April 1, before family and friends, we exchanged vows at the Santa Barbara Biltmore. Each year on April 1, we celebrate our anniversary by ordering the chicken at Zuni Cafe!

Sharon and David Seto.

Sharon & David Seto

As told by Sharon

Love is a crazy thing! When I was 14, I won a gin rummy game among friends. Loser treats winner to the Smokey Robinson concert at Circle Star Theater. Turns out I just unknowingly met my girlfriend’s secret crush, David, at my locker moments before we played cards. He lost and I won the game! During the concert, David surprisingly leaned over to put his arms around me, and my long hair got caught in his thick glass frames. Oh boy! I froze, letting myself get stuck with him during the entire concert. We’ve been “stuck“ together ever since, going on 46 years.

Jessica Silverman & Sarah Thornton. (Ulysses Ortega)

Jessica Silverman & Sarah Thornton

As told by Jessica

My sweetheart, Sarah Thornton, and I met at the London Frieze Art Fair 10 years ago. At that time, Sarah was the chief writer about contemporary art for The Economist and I was participating in the fair for the first time. Traveling from San Francisco, I knew very few collectors, writers or curators. Sarah introduced me to everyone I needed to know in the London art world, and to thank her, we went out for drinks. The rest is history, as they say. A few years later Sarah moved to San Francisco.

Athena and John Konstin.

John & Athena Konstin

As told by John

Athena and I met while I was vacationing in Greece. The site was a cozy, rustic beautiful church in a Greek town called Matsouki, where my father was baptizing a little girl and Athena was an invited guest. I looked up to the balcony and saw her with her long dark hair, caramel skin color and glistening almond-shaped eyes— and that was it. The mutual eye contact resulted in an immediate date that same evening — and here we are, married 35 years.

Lyn and Spencer Christian.

Spencer & Lyn Christian

As told by Spencer

Lyn and I first met at ABC7 in the summer of 1999, just a few months after I had moved here from Good Morning America in New York. She was accompanying her son, Jared, to the station, as he applied for a college student internship in the weather department. It had been widely publicized that I was going through a painful divorce, and Lyn — who had been divorced for several years — offered me kind words of encouragement and reassurance that time would heal my wounds. Apparently, she was right. Jared got the job; and, within a year from our first meeting, Lyn and I had moved from friendship to romance. Hollywood could not have written a finer script.

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