Great Cheap Dates in Philadelphia

The Chocolate Cafe in Shane Confectionery. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

The Chocolate Cafe in Shane Confectionery. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

1. The Franklin Special

How apt that this Founding Father-themed date would go easy on the budget. (A penny saved … ) Stroll across the Ben Franklin Bridge’s southside walkway, enjoy the (toll-free) view of the city, and then warm up with hot chocolate at the Franklin Fountain spin-off Shane Confectionery. Shane Confectionery, Old City, 215-922-1048.

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Great Dates for Grown-Ups in Philadelphia

Bryn Mawr Film Institute. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Bryn Mawr Film Institute. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Let the tweens get giddy on 64-ounce sodas over at the dirty multiplex; take your main squeeze for Toblerone and a foreign flick at the artsy Bryn Mawr Film Institute (Bryn Mawr, 610-527-9898). If you’re hoping for a little more, um, action, catch a Big 5 basketball game at Philly’s classiest sporting venue, the Palestra (University City, 215-898-4747), and debate which ’Nova/St. Joe’s Holy War game was the best. After, stroll over to the Shake Shack (University City, 267-338-3464) for a black-and-white milkshake … one straw.

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Great Dates for Rekindling Romance in Philadelphia

Savona. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Wine tasting at Savona. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

So you’ve been together for … how long is it again? To spice things up, mix a little sweet romance (think Ryan Gosling in The Notebook) with some pure titillation (think Ryan Gosling in, well, life). And please — get out of your comfort zone.

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6 Classy Break-Up Spots in Philadelphia

Choosing the right backdrop for your breakup depends on what sort of breakup you have in mind. Bidding a wistful, sweet goodbye-forever? The semi-secret John F. Collins pocket park at 17th and Chestnut is the perfect spot, very The Way We Were. You’re close enough to Rittenhouse to grab a decent coffee, but far enough that people you know aren’t likely to witness the tears and tissues. (If you think there’s a chance the whole ordeal might really go south, Fitler Square meets the same standards but also provides endless directions in which to flee.)

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Great Hot Dates in Philadelphia

The Library at the Rittenhouse Hotel. Photograph by Jauien Sasnou

The Library at the Rittenhouse Hotel. Photograph by Jauien Sasnou

1. The Rittenhouse

If you can’t get lucky following an afternoon in the hotel’s spa, a romantic dinner at Lacroix (indulge in the well-worth-it $125 chef’s tasting menu) and nightcaps at the Library Bar — easily the sexiest little lounge in town — then we don’t know what to tell you. Rittenhouse, 215-546-9000.

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Wing Bowl: Is It Time to End It?

Scenes from recent Wing Bowls. Photos, clockwise from top left: Sportsradio 94WIP; Alejandro A. Alvarez/Daily News; Associated Press

Scenes from recent Wing Bowls. Photos (clockwise from top left): Sportsradio 94WIP; Alejandro A. Alvarez/Daily News; Associated Press

Early one Friday morning last January, I was surrounded by roughly 20,000 screaming fans, an army of half-naked women, and an effigy of Ruben Amaro. High above on the scoreboard video screen, a clip played on repeat. The image: a guy projectile vomiting. On the same floor where Allen Iverson once thrilled, where the Flyers nearly won their third Stanley Cup just five years ago, a bunch of dudes (and one very intimidating woman) were shoving chicken wings down their pie-holes as fast as they could. The crowd cheered, mostly in hopeful anticipation of someone puking.

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Moonstone Preschool: The Bella Vista Toddlertopia Your Kid Can’t Get Into

Photography by Trevor Dixon

Photography by Trevor Dixon

Danielle Baker stared at the sheet of paper in her hand.

There were more than 150 parents squeezed together in a too-small room for the school’s annual October open house — Danielle had heard that if you didn’t go to the open house, you had zero chance of getting in. Apparently, the other parents had heard that as well. Shit, Danielle thought. The parents had their heads down, and were desperately reading the paper the teachers had just handed out. In all, the school would receive 158 applications for the following fall. There were 38 spots available.

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John and Bonnie Raines: The Whistleblowers Whose 1971 FBI Raid Anticipated Edward Snowden

John and Bonnie Raines, photographed by Wesley Mann

John and Bonnie Raines, photographed by Wesley Mann

John Raines sat in the family station wagon, parked in a dark lot on the Swarthmore campus, waiting to see if his wife would return to him, or if police lights would appear, flashing doom. In years past, he and Bonnie had sat together on this same front seat, three kids lining the back bench, and driven to his parents’ vacation house near Lake Michigan. Even now, back in Germantown, those three children slept soundly. Would they wake to find empty spaces where their parents used to be? Raines passed a couple of hours like this, his mind a crazy haze of worry, till finally a car drew near and he realized that it was Bonnie.

The night of March 8, 1971, had passed so slowly. Now he needed to speed up. Raines flung open his door, popped the trunk, and helped transfer four heavy suitcases from this arriving car to his own — all part of their meticulous getaway plan. Once Bonnie was beside him in the passenger seat, he drove, glancing anxiously in the rearview mirror.

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What’s Your Problem With Michael Nutter, Philadelphia?

Photograph by Neal Santos

Photograph by Neal Santos

Michael Nutter has recently finished his second glass of sangria at a soul-food joint on South Street when he starts talking about Donovan McNabb. The precise reason for the name-drop isn’t particularly relevant. What follows, more so. “I think he, as some other athletes, has a complicated relationship with Philadelphia,” Nutter begins, shaking his head.

He goes on: “This is a tough town.” He repeats himself: “This is a tough town.” Then he repeats himself again: “Tough town, tough town.”

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The Philadelphia Mayor’s Race 2015: Assessing the Candidates

From left: Terry Gillen, Darrell Clarke, Lynne Abraham, Ken Trujillo, and Anthony Williams.

From left: Terry Gillen, Darrell Clarke, Lynne Abraham, Ken Trujillo, and Anthony Williams.

There is, already, a bored, obligatory quality to Philadelphia’s 2015 mayoral election. The candidates underwhelm. Public interest is running low. For all its outsize influence in the past, City Hall today feels a little less domineering.

I had lunch with a smart, engaged guy the other day, a young(ish) Turk in Philly’s huge nonprofit sector, who told me he was past tired of talking and thinking about which Big Papa we should pick to rescue the city this time. “This is our problem,” he told me, “this daddy complex.”

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