Philly Love Story: Steve Duross and James Langel

PM: How did you two get together?
James: It was January 2003, walking dogs early, early in the morning, 6:30. Unbrushed hair, unbrushed teeth. We didn’t get together officially for another year. It was Christmas of 2003 that we were together. We got married in September of 2005.

PM: You formed your business after you were together but before you were married. Was that a huge step?
James: I don’t think we really looked at it that way. I was going back for my MBA, and I wasn’t happy with my job at the time, and Steve was like, “Hey, this is something I really want to do. I would love to do it with you.” I said, “Okay, it sounds like a good idea.”

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75 Perfect Philly Dates

Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

It may be a many-splendored thing. It may be all we need. It may be patient and kind, and any number of beautiful things lovers and poets have observed over the years. But also? Love in all its forms — whether we’re talking about finding it, keeping it or getting over it — seems different now, in the Age of Tinder and Free Porn.

And yet some things never change: We still want to connect, we still want to be swept off our feet, we still want the butterflies. Despite our wildly busy, often unromantic daily lives, finding love — and keeping the flame alive — is still a worth-it endeavor.

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Great First Dates in Philadelphia

Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

If You Want to Say: “I’m Sporty”

Make a Date For: Biking the Schuylkill River Trail. Set a slow pace so you can talk. (No need to prove you’re a Weekend Warrior just yet.)

If It’s Going Well: Pedal to the Conshohocken Brewing Co. (it’s past Manayunk if you’re coming from the city) and have suds and snacks—the bar is located along the banks and has plenty of bike parking. Conshohocken, 610-897-8962.

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Great Group Dates in Philadelphia

Keystone Mini-Golf and Arcade. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Keystone Mini-Golf and Arcade. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Jump

Sign your crew up for a block of time at Sky Zone trampoline park — jump times start every hour — grab your free Sky Socks, and feel like kids together for a while. Pre-gaming not recommended. Multiple locations.

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Great Offline Dates for Online Daters in Philadelphia

Menagerie Coffee. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Menagerie Coffee. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

What: One of the “it” cafes
Why: A minimal time commitment in case the Web-to-life sparks aren’t flying.
A Few to Try: Menagerie Coffee (Old City, no phone), for the rustic-meets-urban decor and unpretentious vibe; Shot Tower (Queen Village, 267-886-8049), a mecca for the coffee-obsessed where you can perch on a stool at the window bar for some well-lit (read: #nofilter) getting-to-know-you time; Grindcore House (Pennsport, 215-839-3333), a vegan, punk, edgy spot that is itself a conversation starter.

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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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