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BEST PICKUP JOINT Minneapolis 1999 -

Readers' Choice: Tropix Beach Club

For the discerning pickup artist, good music, decent drinks, and conversation are more than just a distraction from the business at hand. While the Walker Art Center may not be a "joint" in the classical sense--the $14 door charge ($7 for members) stands in evidence--the After Hours party on the second Friday of each month offers welcome respite from the dispiriting bar scene, and an ideal venue at which to exhibit your savoir-faire. Take a tour of new gallery installations, display your staggering intellect with urbane comments about art history, and cruise the stylish crowd. Once you've gorged yourself on free hors d'oeuvres and curbed your inhibitions with the martini of the month, check out a live performance from iconoclastic groups such as Skewed Visions and Forced Entertainment, take in a film screening of British advertisements or the 3-D cult classic It Came from Outer Space, or flaunt your creative genius by participating in interactive art projects. If all efforts fail and you find yourself alone, anesthetize yourself with another martini, relax, and enjoy the music--After Hours regularly attracts an eclectic mix of great bands ranging from the Jayhawks to Happy Apple. If you find yourself lucky in love, remember that you're mere yards from that most legendary--and no doubt, most uncomfortable--of local coupling sites: Claes Oldenburg's Spoonbridge and Cherry.

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