January 31, 2009
I love to laugh-and giggle, and snort…there’s nothing better than the wonderful stress relief that can be had by laughing so hard you almost cry (unless you are like me and cursed with breaking into fits of giggles at the most inappropriate and inopportune times, like at church, funerals, business meetings, or intimate moments–Um, yeah, honey…I’m really sorry about that…I swear I wasn’t laughing at you!) Laughter truly is a wonderful thing, and there are some great ways to get your giggle on below!
No, really, I’m laughing WITH you…
Ever want to give stand up comedy a try? You can at venues all over Long Island! FINS Pub in Oakdale hosts a comedian open mic on Mondays, McGuire’s has a booked open mic on Thursdays, Cinco de Mayo hosts an open mic on Tuesdays (and I heard the food is good, too!), and Katie’s in Smithtown has one on Saturday nights!
Spooky and special
It’s here, it’s here…I’ve been waiting for so long…Coraline, the movie based on the children’s book by Neil Gaiman (another one of my next husbands…yes, I know he’s married. That’s a mere technicality.) will be released on February 6. If the trailer I linked up to above is ANY indication on how cool this is going to be, I CAN’T WAIT!
Rock my world
There’s some great music coming our way this week…make sure you don’t miss out!
My dear friend Christopher is a music enthusiast and seeks out the best in local independent singers and songwriters. Two of his pet projects will be running this week–The Bellport Songwriter Series with Rorie Kelley and John Flor, as well as the Patchogue Theatre’s Live in the Lobby Series with The Forensics.
Stuart Markus performs his own “The Ballad of Malverne Mel” during Nassau County’s Groundhog Day celebration at the Reese Park Gazebo (near the train station) on Church Street in Malverne, at 7 a.m. this coming Monday (Groundhog Day).
Strings n’ Things Open Mic Night this Thursday at the Mills Pond House 631-862-6575. Sign-up begins at 7:15PM. FREE!
This Friday, there’s lots going on! Island Songwriters Showcase Open Mic at Border’s Café, Jericho Turnpike (Route 25), Syosset. Performers must sign-up with Vinny Crici at 7:30PM. Also, Lucky 13 at The Garden Stage, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Central Nassau, $15 in advance. Open Mic Night at the Custer Institute, hosted by singer-songwriter Liza Coppola, 1115 Main Bayview Road, Southold 7PM. There’s also PeaceSmiths Topical, A-Typical, Folk Music, Poetry and Whatever Coffeehouse, First United Methodist Churchof Amityville. 8PM. $7 suggested donation.
Gotta run! I’ll be back Monday night posting more great gigs and cheap deals, so check back soon! Got a gig, idea, or comment? Email me at email@example.com and look for my Pick of the Day on Twitter under cheapdateli!
Football is a mistake. It combines the two worst elements of American life. Violence and committee meetings.-Will
January 30, 2009
It’s Super Bowl weekend, and most of us will be heading on out to parties and bars, but there will still be a whole weekend before that Sunday night event, so let me just load you up with some cool things to check out, either alone or with someone else!
Let me just get some Super Bowl picks out of the way, first off. If you don’t have a party to go to, fear not! There are places to go from one end of this Isle of Long to the other! Mulcahey’s will be a bit over budget at $20 per person, but that includes an open bar and complimentary buffet! Napper Tandy’s will be running specials throughout the event, and Rookies Sports Club will be, too! The Harbor Crab is running the deal of the day with FREE shots with every touchdown, a FREE half-time buffet, and $3 Amstels! Call ahead for reservations for any of these events!
For you non-sports fans, the Pomodorino restaurants will be offering a special dinner for the ladies between 6-10PM–get 50% off your entree!
Wine me, dine me…
I wish I didn’t have to be at the library for this one! Corey Creek Vineyards hosts a wine and cheese pairing on Saturday, January 31st and they will be pairing their award winning wines with an assortment of artisanal cheeses. $15 per person. Reservations are required; RSVP by Friday, January 30th.
Mora’s is having a FREE wine tasting and nosh this Saturday from 3-6PM.
Snooth is an online wine store that I use to find some of the really special wines I read about, but can’t find locally. Some of the happy surprises I have come across recently include Jekel Vineyards Chardonnay, with the taste of tropical fruit and a steal at under $10, 2007 Bogle Vineyards Chardonnay–which tastes like a much more expensive wine, and the 2005 Wrongo Dongo Monastrell–which has become a staple in my wine cabinet, and is also available locally at many retailers.
I’ve got an art on for you!
The Nassau County Museum of Art has a new exhibit, Long Island Collects–featuring the works of Picasso, Chagall, Cezanne, Degas, Matisse, Renoir and Pollock–all from local collections. This is the time to go, my friends…before the weather gets nice and the crowds come!
This is cool and funky…take the trip into Brooklyn (it’s still a part of LI!) and check out this LiveDraw at Glasslands! Boho artsy at its best!
January 29, 2009
I start this post with a quote by Updike to pay tribute to a man who could turn a phrase and just sum up an idea so quickly and succinctly. And just so appropriate to this post…more Valentine’s Day ideas!
I was thinking that there are many people who are alone on V-Day, and you know what? That’s okay! Think about it…there are many reasons NOT to like the most Hallmarked of holidays:
1. Shaving. If you’re planning on getting some quality snuggle time in, you’re going to have to do some landscaping. Gents, before you say anything, remember–we chickies have a whole lot more real estate to cover than you do!
2. Cards. It’s really hard to find a card for a FWB or someone that you have just started seeing that relays the message, “I like you, but I don’t know where this is going yet.”
3. Sexy lingerie. Face it, ladies. It’s just not that comfortable. Add thigh highs into the equation and you have itchy synthetic torture devices cinching you in + panties that ride up into places they were never meant to go + potential upper leg cellulite muffin top = can’t wait to get the darn things off (oh, wait, that’s the idea!).
4. Restaurants. Face it, fellas. The place she would want to go would NOT have beer, steak, or burgers on the menu, there would be no wide screen tv, and you would have to wear a collared shirt and socks that match.
5. Gifts. Somehow, they’re always wrong…chocolate when she’s on a diet, clothes that don’t fit (“Are you trying to tell me I need to LOSE WEIGHT?!”), and jewelry that costs enough to rival the GDP of a small third world country.
Fear not! There are many love haters and people who will be alone for various reasons for the rapidly approaching sentimental Saturday. Have a laugh looking at these Valentine’s cards gone wrong, a “Love Sucks” rant page (not for those who offend easily), and a site that features some of the funniest Anti-Valentine’s gifts you could imagine!
There are things to do if you are alone…how about a Valentine’s Day Singles Walk in the Massapequa Reserve, or a couple of things that are a bit over budget but sound like fun, like a Valentine’s Wine/Beer Tasting Single Mingle Party or Twin Forks Singles hosting a Valentine’s Day Party at Palmer Vineyards, or this FREE pre-Valentine’s Day Wine Tasting at Jazz n’ Grapes!
Maybe you have that someone special in your life, but you are on a budget…you can still rock their world for very little coin! Restaurant.com has AMAZING deals on gift certificates you can buy online, print, and redeem that day (hence, it’s also a great LAST MINUTE GIFT!). Some restrictions apply, so please read carefully. What’s really great about this site is that if you sign up for their free membership, they send you a savings code you type in at the end for even more savings! For example, you decide to purchase a gift certificate to Bliss, paying $10 for a $25 value…add in the secret savings code at the end, and that $10 is now $3! That’s right…you can get a $25 gift certificate for $3! How’s that for a Cheap Date?
I can make this even sweeter! Since V-Day falls on a Saturday, you may have the opportunity to get out a bit earlier in the day…avoid the crowds by hitting your destination of choice for lunch! Chances are that there is a menu just for mid-day with lower prices.
Can’t afford a gift, but want to find something special? Try Freecycle…a site of online groups all about keeping previously loved items out of the landfills and hopefully into a new home. (If you are with someone who likes everything new…try to sell them on the fact they are being “green” and should embrace “vintage” items…it’s all about how you sell it, baby!) And instead of flowers, how about a potted plant…how it can grow along with your love, and so on…I can guarantee it will cost a lot less than roses, and last a whole lot longer, too!
So much to post, so little time! I’ll be filling in at the library again tomorrow, so check back for my wine picks, MORE restaurant deals, gallery shows, and plenty of other goodies to get your Cheap Date on! Got something that should be here? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org! You can now get my Picks of the Day on Twitter…look for cheapdateli! Chat soon!
How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?-Allen
January 27, 2009
Another night at the library…so quiet, so cold in here. I wish I was at home with the furbabies, getting the cat shiatsu while buried under piles of polarfleece blankets and sipping on some cocoa, but alas…I am here, typing away, hoping the next three hours will fly by. Let me get to work on updating you with the latest, greatest, and oh-so-cheap dates around.
Yup. There it is…the world’s shortest poem. And no, I did not write it. However, I have poetry on the brain. The Patchogue Arts Festival was this weekend, and I got out of work in time to see some really outstanding poets. Some of you may feel that poetry is dead, or lame, or just limping along. You’d be surprised to hear that we had a pretty full house, and that some of the poetry was really quite amusing, powerful, and sometimes sad. I’ve mentioned poetry on this blog before, and I know the movement has been picking up steam in the (for lack of a better term) underground arts scene here on the Island. Grab your beret and head on over to catch some of these great gigs:
Brentwood has the Solar Cafe…one solar powered, hopping joint dishing out the Latin food at prices that can’t be beat, and open mics on Tuesday nights for poetry and music in both English and Spanish. Check out Jay Jii if you are there and check out the website for a $15 off coupon!
Wednesday nights are hopping all over…I’ll just list a few here: East End Poetry Workshop at Rogers Memorial Library (Southampton Library) 631-283-0774… Open Mic, hosted by Eric Friedman at The Curry House (Velvet Lounge). Thursdays are right behind with Donald Everett Axinn reading at Book Revue, and an LIPC Peer Workshop facilitated by Richard Bronson. Wanna get your inner poet on? Bring copies of a poem in need of peer review and critique. Open to poets at all levels at the Huntington Library. This Sunday is a special poetry event at the Walt Whitman birthplace with poetry, refreshments,a raffle and more! (This one is $7 to get in.)
Art farts, this one’s for you!
There are some great gallery shows going on right now that you should NOT miss out on! Gallery North is featuring the works of Mel Pekarsky…At the Art-trium is White Light…the Mills Pond House has its Annual Winners Exhibition…the Art League of Long Island is hosting its Members Show…
And here’s one that would make for a GREAT day out! (Hey, Sand, we missed it last time…let’s go!) Gallery 4222 has its Collaboration exhibit again…pay $5 and they supply the brushes, canvas, and paint. This would also make for a great date, fellas! Pony up the ten spot and do something a little crazy and a LOT of fun! Your favorite gal will remember this for a long time! When you’re done working up an appetite…head on over to Pasta Pasta for some good eats! If a burger is more your speed, check out Gourmet Burger Bistro right around the corner!
Blow that resolution already?
Most of us vowed to lose weight in 2009. How many of us actually stuck to it…are still working out and watching what we eat (and here I am talking about pasta and burgers)? One of the reasons people stop working out so quickly is because they get bored. Get outside and see what Mother Nature has to offer! The Long Island Greenbelt Association and CRESLI have some great hikes you don’t want to miss!
All for now…I’ll be back in a few days with more. Oh, and by the way…I just set myself up on Twitter! Look for me at cheapdateli for my pick of the day and quick and dirty updates!
January 24, 2009
Another day at the library, and it’s absolutely FREEZING in here! Good thing I have lots of typing to do for all the blogs I work on (yes, I ghost-write quite a few…), as I need something to take my mind off the fact that my fingernails are turning BLUE!
Gee, coffee would be nice, warm me up a little, but the cafe’s not open…guess I’ll have to wait to get my decaf non-fat “why bother” coffee…
I promised I would get to add some music picks for the week…so here goes.
“WoodSongs at the Movies” features a 45-minute live performance by David Bailey this Wednesday…get two for one tickets with your Optimum Rewards card.
James O’Malley, singer-songwriter and guitarist performs songs from his new album in a Finch Mountain House Concert this Friday in Babylon. 631-661-1278. 8 PM concert, preceded by 7 PM pot-luck supper. $15 suggested donation plus a dish to share. Reservations required.
Next Sunday, John Flor and Rorie Kelly, singer-songwriters, perform as part of the Bellport Songwriter Series at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bellport, 51 Browns Lane, Bellport. 7:30 PM. $5 suggested donation.
I stopped in at the Brick House last Sunday night to catch up with some friends from work, and caught the Josey Wales open mic…there were some very talented musicians up there…including J.D. Leonard and John Judd. Definitely worth a stop in.
Enough for now…gotta get in gear and get down the Patchogue Arts Festival…maybe I’ll see you there!
Speed dating update…
I have an email address for the gal who is trying to get the local speed dating thing going for around Valentine’s day…contact her for more info at email@example.com.
Got an upcoming gig or event? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Chat soon!
Ah, to be poor…it inspires creativity and imagination. Rich people can pay people to think for them. But those of us that have to find ways to do things, experience things…we are more original, more willing to take chances–and more appreciative of the end result.
With that said, I just realized that Valentine’s Day is around the corner (well, three weeks…but it tends to sneak up on the best and most prepared of us!) In a bad economy, it may be a bit challenging to come up with something special on a budget to rock her socks off (and let’s face it…Valentine’s Day is a chick holiday!), but if she’s game…it can be a day to remember!
The drink…Prosecco. A light bubbly white I happen to like better than champagne. A good bottle can be found for under $10.
The food…get your butt to Stop and Shop and pick up some cheese and chocolate. And I don’t mean Hershey’s and Kraft Singles–get some Ghiradelli squares and some Fontina or Gouda. Add some berries and some sliced apples.
The activity…you can get creative with this! One I heard about recently was about a guy who surprised his girl with a large blank canvas, a couple of paintbrushes, and a few cans of latex paint (already open). If you have ever had a “painting party” with your friends, you know that it can be good, messy fun. With a significant other, well, who knows?
A particular popular gentleman’s magazine had a very interesting article in it this month about things around the house that can be used for “play”. Everything from shoelaces to clothespins was included on this list. My favorite was the oh-so-innocent chin up bar, as it’s something most people have and most won’t question. If I have to explain these things to you, well, I shouldn’t have to…and get digging through that kitchen junk drawer!
Don’t forget the flowers! It’s too cold to pick some from outside, but you don’t have to spend a fortune. Go ahead and buy that supermarket bouquet…but kill the plastic and the rubber band, and wrap them in brown craft paper with a red satin ribbon. She’ll never know they were bargain basement, and you can use the ribbon later…
Don’t forget a card! Get one that is completely inappropriate for the day, make cross outs and corrections, and add some “inside” jokes…we chicks like nothing better than a man who makes us laugh!
Gotta go, still didn’t get to the music for the coming week…but there’s always Saturday…chat then!
January 22, 2009
Ah…wine, women, and song…or for others, beer, men, and a movie…whatever your thrill, I’m sure I can find something for you to do this week! And I have something coming I’ve heard about that is in the works that might help you meet meet someone special to do these things with!
The concert that was to be held at the Patchogue Theatre has been cancelled for Saturday night. However, the Winter Arts Festival goes on…with the poetry jam that was to be on the big stage being held earlier in the day in the Theatre lobby. Gentlemen, if you’d like a potential lady love to think that you are refined and cultured, this event is FREE, and chicks usually dig this kind of thing! (And don’t forget to say hi to me, as I’ll probably be working one of the tables! Just look for the cute strawberry blonde!)
There will be a speed dating event coming up very soon in Patchogue! The details are being worked out, but will be on a Saturday in February, seating will be limited to 50-100 people, and will include food. Interested? Click here for more info!
It’s an Hoptical Illusion!
Nope, that’s not a misspelling…it’s a reminder that this weekend is the Cask Ale Festival at Blue Point Brewery. Over my price guidelines, but well worth attending!
Now, I know I talk about wine and beer a lot here, but now it’s time for something completely different…single malt scotch. Mora’s in East Setauket will be having a tasting event featuring Laphroaig and Ardmore. Did I mention it’s free?
And, now…back to my wine! Jazz n Grapes will be hosting the Danny Wolf Trio from 6-9PM while running a wine tasting event. FREE.
The Cinema Arts Center has some great things coming up this week (and I was remiss in not noting that tonite was one of the “Anything but Silent” gigs…sorry, Ben! But for all of you who have never done something like this, it’s really cool! In fact, cool enough that there are tons of websites about it! Click here to learn more! ) and one is Slumdog Millionaire…this award winning movie was written by the same person who wrote Run, Lola, Run…I need not say more! And for you folks who like to walk the edge like me, the Theatre of the Wild brings back Jackie Boy in Easy Rider!
The other night I finally broke down and put on a couple of the horror flicks my brother left at my house…and if you are a fan of high camp B-movies(think George Romero), Slither is a must see! This gorefest pays homage to the best of the worst 80’s horror movies with lots of references (if you watch the extras, you’ll be wondering how you missed them), naughty humor (don’t watch this with your kids), and a killer squid (I kid you not). I didn’t know whether to crack up or be ill. THIS IS A GREAT DATE MOVIE!
I’ll be back at the library tomorrow, so you know I’ll have more things to post (notice I didn’t even get to music gigs yet?). Check back, check often, email me with info at email@example.com. By the way…you can now also follow me on Twitter! Microposts are added daily, so check in for the news you might miss otherwise! (and a Facebook page is under construction, as I’m tired of getting grief…you know who you are!).
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.-Tolkein
January 13, 2009
Ah…food, merriment, and song! Not much makes me happier (except for a snowy morning that I can sleep in, the furbabies are gently waking me up with a cat shiatsu, and the coffee is brewing…) and there’s LOTS of it I’ll be posting here for you!
DO NOT MISS THIS!!!!
The Patchogue Winter Arts Festival is coming up next weekend! This is a can’t miss event, starting with an artist’s reception, a walking tour of art displays in the storefronts provided by the Patchogue Arts Council, a poetry reading, and a concert on the Theatre stage by some of the best local musicians around! Tickets start at $10 per person. Why not get your Cheap Date on and support the local arts at the same time?
While enjoying the Festival, don’t forget to check out some of the local cheap (but good) eats available to you right on Main Street (or right off it as well)? One of my new faves is MuChaChos Grill…I had the quesadilla from there the other night-lots of cheese, tender chicken, and killer fresh salsa with red onions (did I mention it was HUGE?) for $7.99 make this a winner! However, the burrito battle is on in a big way with Pura Vida right down the block…these young fellas are doing it right with fresh ingredients, huge servings, and original art on the walls. Let’s keep these upstarts in business and pack the place in on the 24th!
The DelFiore Pizza Co. is a pizza lover’s dream! Being a pizza snob myself, I have to say this is some good pie!
Now, I’m not a big fan of chain restaurants, but this is a small LI based chain, so they made the cut…JR Steakhouse has a darn good steak for the money. Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the site for the “free food” coupons!
Just down the road apiece in Blue Point is Cavanuagh’s. Typical pub, but the food is really good, not expensive, and they run some great specials!
Now this exceeds guidelines, but if you’re going to make a day of it…
The Blue Point Brewery Cask Ale Festival will also be going on that day! I know, I know, the tickets are $35 each, but well worth it!
Movin’ on up…and out…
To a bit more north, the Brookhaven Arts and Humanities Council has some great events coming up as well! At Gallery I, the Annual Membership Show will be running starting January 15 (dropoff is January 12). All media is invited.
The Phoenix Gallery will be presenting Wild Kingdom starting January 14, with an artists’ reception on January 18. Come celebrate the untamed power of nature with this show!
While my guitar gently weeps…
Jazz in the Living Room is back! $5 to play, FREE to listen. My friend Doug popped down one night…no slouch of a guitar player be he, but he was astounded by the talent at this venue!
Open mics abound! Strings and Things is a happenin’ this week, Monday nights Once and for All presents one hosted by Miles to Dayton’s Dave March, and the Nutty Irishman has one as well…as well as the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall with their Original Voices at the Vail series.
Dinner and a movie
For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know I like the Cinema Arts Center in Huntington…especially the Theatre in the Wild, Anything but Silent, and Summer Camp Series. This week’s Theatre of the Wild features Ashes of Time Redux…redone with a lush soundtrack by Yo Yo Ma and others, this Asian action flick is not to be missed!
All for now, you kooky cats! I’m back with a vengeance…check back in a few days for lots more Cheap Date ideas! Got a gig or an event? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
So much to do and so little time! I’ve got more great events just piling up in my mailbox that I need to get out to you all, so let me just jump right in!
I’ve got your Bach…
I’d be remiss in not bringing these gigs up for the classical music fans, so here goes…my friend Jim is a wonderful violinist. Not only is he a teacher, but builds instruments as well. I’ve heard him play…and you can too! January 11 at the Connetquot Public Library, the Hidden City String Quartet will be playing. This gig is FREE so don’t miss it! Call 567-5079 for info.
Do you sing or know someone who does? The Brookhaven Arts Council is looking for you! The 15th Annual Choral Festival is coming up and will feature a Youth Chorus as well as a Choral Masters Concert. Call 451-9070 for info!
Uh, oh…gotta run! I need more time for this thing! Coming next:
The puppetmaster cometh!
Winter Arts Festival…
Dining Deals while at the Festival
Dinner and a movie!
Galleries and cultural events…
All in this weekend’s post as I will be nursing a hot cocoa and watching the snow…check back in a few days for one jam packed, really long post with info to keep you busy on a budget for the next few weeks!
Got a gig you’d like to see on here, or know of a great deal? Email me at email@example.com!
January 7, 2009
Well, 2008 is over and we are already a few days into 2009…a year that holds promise for a brighter future and new opportunities. Resolutions have been made (and broken) and I’m looking forward to a year of saving money, fixing up the house, cooking more, and loving life. All on my meager budget! Cheap dates–here I come!
There are a lot of great things going on, and I certainly don’t want any of you to miss out! I’ll post some of them coming up post haste, but next week, I’ll be back big time…rested, recovered from my latest cold, and ready to load you all up with great local events to do with a friend or sweetie for $30 and under! Read on, as the ones I am posting now are coming up THIS WEEK and you don’t want to miss out!
A little song and dance…
Acoustic Long Island kicks off the new year with one of my faves, Return to the Dream, featuring Tom Griffith and Martha Trachtenberg. These two are so talented and well known on the folk/acoustic circuit. Don’t miss the chance to see them for one of their rare FREE shows Wednesday night!
Live in the Lobby also has a great show coming up on Thursday with the Johnny Lee Jordan Band. If you like Tom Waites, you’ll love this! Say hi to me as you come on in…I’ll be the gal taking your money! Good beer, great music, it doesn’t get much better than this!
All for now as my kitten is trashing my house! I will be back next week with gallery shows, puppet workshops, hikes, and more! Have an event? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org! By the way, when I finally get my MySpace page back up for all the writing gigs I do, I expect to see some of you listing me as a friend! Chat soon!