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Archive for the ‘Northern Liberties’ Category

One of my favorite cheap dates this time of year is to take a blanket and some treats to one of the many outdoor movie screenings that take place all over Philly all through the summer months.  I said it once, and I’ll say it again: There is something undeniably romantic about cuddling up after the sun goes down, sharing some candy and maybe a clandestine bottle of wine or beer, and taking in an outdoor movie on a hot summer night.
And from the looks of this handy-dandy list I’ve prepared − complete with titles and times! – this is a date you can enjoy almost any given night of the summer! Choose from Blockbusters at Penn’s Landing, classic favorites at Schuylkill Banks and Liberty Lands Park, Indie hits at the Piazza, films with local ties at Headhouse Square and more!  There is literally something happening almost every single night, and they are all FREE to attend.
Just BYO blankets and bottles and enjoy the show − and your date!
And if that’s not enough celluloid for you, Bistro La Minette, a quaint french bistro in Queen Village, screens French films every Monday, Thursday, and Friday in its back patio for its “Dinner and a Movie Al Fresco” series.  The shows start at 8:30pm (Fridays at 9:30pm) and reservations are recommended, but you can keep it a cheap date by sharing a pichet of wine or having desert and coffee instead of a full dinner.  There’s a different movie each week. Click here for the roster.

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On the first Friday of every month, Philadelphia’s art galleries stay open late and welcome everyone — from casual passerby to serious collectors — to come in and peruse their current curations.  The aptly dubbed “First Friday” has been happening, rain or shine, since 1991, and has become one of the city’s most visible and popular events.  Although historically focused on the 40+ galleries between Front and Vine and Market and 3rd streets in Old City, First Friday open houses are now hosted by galleries all over the city, from Space 1026 in Chinatown to the Projects Gallery in Northern Liberties to Highwire in Fishtown.  The best thing about this expansion is that, even though every First Friday shares the same core elements, depending on who’s showing what where, you can have a radically different experience every single time.

How cheap we talkin’: FREE!

Why this will impress your date: Because you can show you are as comfortable around refined oil portraits as you are around avante-garde video art.  This is a good thing, I promise.

The Inside Game: If you want to know who’s showing where, need to plan a route, or find galleries in a particular neighborhood, there are a lot of great resources for planning ahead, like this linked list of Philly art galleries.  Another great resource is Phrequency’s “DIY First Friday” list, conveniently organized by neighborhood. The Philadelphia Weekly also shares its pick of noteworthy exhibitions each month in its Arts and Culture section.

Score Extra Points: By doing a little homework before hand (see above) and then leading the way. Strolling from gallery to gallery is perfect for hand-holding.

Next date: Friday April 1, 2011! And then the first Friday of every month, all year round (approximately 5-9pm).

Keep reading for highlights from First Fridays past, and where to find the galleries that still have free booze!

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On Saturdays, the Yards Brewing Company offers free tours of their facilities. I went there with a date last weekend, and we enjoyed their tour as well as their tasting room. Read the full date review here!

Cheap Date writes amonthly column for Drink Philly featuring cheap dates for drink lovers. Or for those of you (er, me) that need to drink  on your dates so as not to throw up from nerves…

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First Oriental is a full-service grocery store at 6th and Washington streets, but in addition to its wide selection of ordinary foodstuffs, it also stocks tons of fascinating products that you can’t find in the average supermarket: lychee, jackfruit and other exotic produce, every kind of rice and noodle imaginable, an entire aisle of imported candies and cookies, quail eggs by the dozen, vats of seaweed crusted with salt, tripe, pig’s feet, frogs, eels, frozen fish (whole), and dozens of varieties of dumplings, fish balls, gyoza, and shumai.  In other words, it makes shopping for a dinner date into an adventure of its own.

How cheap we talkin’: $10-$15 per person.   Our total came to roughly $20, which included frozen dumplings, ingredients for noodle soup, and dessert.

Why this will impress your date: Did I mention the live frogs?

The Inside Game: Buy at least one thing you’ve never seen/eaten/cooked with before. Part of the fun is buying whatever looks intriguing, and making a meal out of it.

Score Extra Points: By carrying the groceries.

Next date: Anytime.

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Every Tuesday evening throughout the summer (or as long as the season lasts) the folks down at the Piazza in Northern Liberties throw the big game up on the big screen.  Whether you are a huge Phillies fan (because you live in Philadelphia and therefore pretty much have to be), or are feigning interest (because you didn’t always live in Philadelphia but it’s too early in the relationship to quibble about sports), this weekly event – when coupled with some take-out slices from nearby Pizza Rustica – is a downright pleasant way to spend a summer evening.

How cheap we talkin’: $5-10 pp (depending on how hungry/thirsty you are).  Figure $3 or less per slice for pizza, and $2, give or take, for beverages.  Optional post-pizza treat, about $2.

Why this will impress your date: Because baseball is America’s pastime, dammit.

The Inside Game: Avoid your dinner getting cold by getting drinks first and asking for your pizza extra hot.

Score Extra Points: By treating your date to a frozen dessert.  The Pink Dolphin market in the Piazza (1001 N. 2nd) has Klondike bars for $1.75, or split a pint of Ben & Jerry’s for $5

Next date: Every Tuesday night, for the win!

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