Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ask Cheap Thrills Rob

If anyone happens across my little ol' blog -- or someone in town – has a question about Boston, feel free to ask me. If you don't find what you're looking for, I might know some other cheap fun in Boston or other free things to do.

Your query could be about saving a buck or whatever. I'll try to give some kind of answer within 24 hours or less. I might even admit I don't know the answer (or make up a funny answer)...

You can leave a comment or send me a email at:
cheapthrillsboston ]at[ gmail ]dot[ com


QUESTION: Event Listing?

How do I encourage you to post an event I have coming up?


Easy. Just ask nicely. If it's interesting and costs $10 (or less) to get in, there's a very good chance that I'll try to tell people about it.

Leave a comment or send me a email at: cheapthrillsboston ]at[ verizon ]dot[ net


QUESTION: Hanging out together?

I'm interested in going to an event. Would you like to attend one with me?


Hmm... I try to go to at least one cheap event every week. My girlfriend and/or some friends will normally go along with me. Sometimes I ride solo.

It never hurts to ask if I'm going to something. I am a beatnik-style free spirit, so I don't mind meeting anyone. In the case you are a crazy person, I would like to check you out before giving you a chance to chainsaw my loved ones in tiny pieces -- or whatever.

So the bottom line is: Maybe.


QUESTION: Second Date?

Hey Rob,

I am trying to choose a place for a second date. Last week we went to dinner which was amazing but I am looking for something different. We are both in our twenties. Doesnt have to be partcularly cheap... anywhere in cambridge/boston

Any thoughts?

Thank you!!

(submitted: 2/17/09)


I started thinking about it, and I went a bit overboard. I hope there's something below that appeals to you.

Have a good time. Enjoy yourself! :-)

[Note: I'm not a "dating expert", but I generally like to plan an "activity" or "destination" then keep the rest of the plan fairly flexible. Oh, and just be yourself...]

Bowling or pool is a casual date activity where you can talk to each other AND have considerable opportunity to check out their butt. There's Jillians, but it feels too much like an obvious choice. I'd even prefer Kings. It's not as isolated, and Bukowski Tavern is next door for good grub and better beer.

I love the dark, kitschy ambience at the Milky Way. It's one of my favorite places, and they're moving in March to another location in JP (minus candlepin bowling). During February, bowling is free from 6pm to 9pm on Sundays thru Wednesdays. Sacco's Bowl Haven hasn't redecorated in decades, but that's part of the fun. No alcohol is served, so I'd suggest stopping at any of the bars/restaurants in Davis Sq. (Downstairs at Redbones wouldn't be a bad date dinner spot, imho.)

It's winter time, so ice skating is an outdoor option. I'm a lousy skater, so it's not my first choice. On the other hand, some awkward skating could make for some laughs... Break the ice, but not by falling own your ass too hard. Frog Pond, Kendall Sq Community Skating, and The Charles Hotel come to mind, but here's a list of public rinks around the area.

I like a trip to an art museum or gallery, because there's something else to occupy the time between normal 'getting-to-know-you' conversation. The Phoenix has a list of almost every gallery and museum.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is packed with so much amazing stuff, and the Italian palazzo interior is romantic without being blatantly so. I'm a dork, but I love the glass flowers and weird animal fossils at The Harvard Museum of Natural History.

I went to the Shephard Fairey at ICA last weekend and that's accessible for someone who isn't the "museum-going type". ("OBEY!") The ticket line was long, but it moved fast. Be sure to linger in the long window corridor overlooking the harbor. Sit down and enjoy the view; it might be the best sight in the museum (to date). (And Thursday nights are free.)

If you haven't gone on the Sam Adams brewery tour, that's about an hour of interest for the beer lover, which ends with a fairly generous tasting. Perhaps a good beginning to an afternoon/early evening date. (My party went to Doyle's Cafe afterwards...)

As for specific potential dates happening this weekend, here are a couple ideas:

On Friday 2/20, the good times are rolling early at Johnny D's. Mickey Bliss's annual "Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball and Zulu Parade of the Golden Blade" ($10) has several NOLA-style bands, dancing, and party favors. There are four good bands at Lizard Lounge, and you can talk to each other as much (or little) as you like if you grab a spot at one of the tables in the back.

On Saturday (2/21) afternoon, you can "get physical" at a free capoeira open house in Chinatown that's includes demonstration and participation. Or you can participate in Allston-style spectacle at the Rock City Prom & Masquerade Ball ($15 advance/$20 door) at The Draft (more info on Yelp).


QUESTION: Place to Dance?

I'm fairly new to the boston going out scene & am planning a bday gathering for my honey. My dilemma...i dunno a fun, chill, non-pretentious bar in the city or cambridge/somerville to invade. Ideally, i would love a spot that has a dj or some music...chill vibe. We frequent an.tua.nua which is great for food and their special drinks but its hella expensive and no dancing - boo!

would you have any recs?

lost in the city


Ooooh... Dance places are my weakness, but I do have a couple thoughts. I'm going to think about this a little more, but a couple spots came to mind.

In Central Sq, there's a couple ideas depending on the size of the group. On most nights, there's a DJ at ZuZu that's pretty chill. It's a bit on the small side, drinks are reasonable, but meals are a bit on the high side. (Maybe hang at nearby spot? One of other Middle East clubs, etc.) Phoenix Landing has okay food with good proces, and dance nights at least on the weekends. Middlesex Lounge is a good dance club that's a little outside of Central Sq; Miracle of Science is owned by the same people, and I love their burgers -- and their good beer selection.

The Burren in Davis Sq has decent food & prices (as I recall from last time I ate there), and pretty close to 'real Irish pub' feel. They often have a cover band in the back room on weekends. I've even seen people dancing...


QUESTION: Twitter?

I come here once or twice a week. Why on earth don't you have a twitter?


I did set up a Twitter account, and - as of now - I will update it when posts are up. Maybe I'll add other little tidbits too.

When I'm confidently ahead in Cheap Thrills information, I might even set up a Facebook page...


I don't feel like taking down my placemarker GIF. (Who doesn't love "The Big Lebowski"...) You know I'll never throw a stapler at you! (Does this work?)

The Big Lebowski


skemper said...

did you see this?


rob v said...

I'm starting to think the LOLcats will be the next dominant species on this planet.

In about 20 minutes...


Dena Lewittes said...

hey rob. how do i encourage you to post an event, The Chinatown Throwdown Music Tour, I have coming up? Its only 10 bucks if you order tickets online so it fits in!
Start Time:
Tuesday, April 7, 2009 8:00pm-12am
Location: Harpers Ferry
Street: 158 Brighton Avenue
City/Town: Allston, MA

Boston Show at Harpers Ferry
Sex!, one of Boston's most acclaimed indie-blues bands out of Berklee is headlining the Chinatown Throwdown Music Tour, coming to the Greater Boston area Tuesday, April 7th at Harpers Ferry in Allston, MA. After the tour's kickoff show in Philly at Silk City the hot New York talent, Ill Spokinn, from Spokinn Movement, makes his way back to
his beloved Beantown. Accompanied by Vamoose, these MC's band are armed with perfect melodies and thoughtful lyrics, these two groups put on a great party. The Vader Boys, a new act from Everett, MA featuring two young MC's with a hipster-hop vibe, will be keeping the night going in between the sets with their fresh lyrics, cazy antics, and homegrown beats. No matter what your preference, this show is sure to give you a great start to your week.

Proposed Lineup:
915pm: SEX! - Check out
9:55pm: The Vader Boys - Check out
10:05pm: Vamoose - Check out
10:45pm: The Vader Boys - Check out
11:00pm: Spokkinmovement - Check out

A FREE Swag Bag will be given to the first 100 people at the show with gifts compliments of:
Proper Realty Group, Garment Valet, Myers and Chang, Chinatown Boutiques, and many more.

Doors open at 8pm.
Tickets are 10$ Presale/15$ at the door
Buy Tickets Online at Bring your ID with your printout to the show to confirm payment

After Party TBA
Guest DJs will be announced as well!
*Attendees will get a reduced price on the after party as well.

rob v said...

Looks like an interesting show, Dena. Thanks for the heads up!

deftlyd said...

I tried sending to the Verizon e-mail and it bounced so I'll leave the comment instead.

I was told that I should forward this event your way to spread the word. I appreciate any help you might give getting the word out.

Deftly / David

flyer -

Event: The Voidstar Productions 2009 Multimedia Circus
Date: Friday May 8th, 2008
Venue: The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143
ALL AGES $10 7-10:30PM early show

Aerial Acrobatics, Turntablism, Circuit Bending, Experimental Music, 3D Video, Performance Art, and more

The Boston Typewriter Orchestra
Bill T Miller's Orgy Of Noise
DJ Darryl Hell
Mike D. and the 3:2 Percussion Ensemble
The Vomit Arsonist
a/v artist November 14
The Empire S.N.A.F.U. Restoration Project

Aerial performances by Eliza Blaze and David Pendu

Capoeira Luanda & Capoeira Gerais performance by
Contra Mestre Marquinhos Coreba, Instructor Morcego, Coelho & Fantama

Deftly / David

"JanisJoplin/Donnelly" said...

Thank you so much for a blurb about my "JANIS JOPLIN: TALKIN 'BOUT THE 60'S" extract cameo tribute performance at the 2009 Cambridge River festival. It was great fun (1:00 show was a bit "thin" regarding audience but the 3:00 was jammin' and groovin". Electricity was not run to the site so I could not use amplification but nevertheless was able to Full-Tilt-Janisize my voice to keep it goin' above the African Drumming Corps (many drums at once) across the street. This gave me a new level of confidence about my singing-breathing, although next time I do a festival outdoors I want amplification, theirs or mine...did anyone catch this act? Call me directly 617 983-1183 I hate email, but you can email me through my web site contact page at I wish you the best with this nice page that I found by googling for after fest comments...perhaps come see me in Claremont NH as "Louisa May Alcott" June 23,2009, 7 pm Fiske Public Library. Free. Firey, History, Fun. Marianne Donnelly, historical-character-actress.

Bearcat Vintage said...

Hey Rob,
I too tried e-mailing you, but it bounced back. I wanted to let you know about a free monthly event that I host at the Model Cafe in Allston: Rock N Roll Bingo. 11PM the first Wednesday of every month. Free Bingo with booze prizes, delicious treats and dancing all night long. Following bingo we spin punk, soul, garage and rock n roll. Here are a few links to this month's event:


Unknown said...

Hey Rob,

Just wanted to let you know that every Tuesday this month Big Shug from the Gangstarr Foundation will be performing with a live band at the Wonder Bar in Allston. The show is free and really awesome. Starts at 9 and goes until 1am.



Athena said...

Hey Rob! Just thought I'd let you know, Opera Boston Underground is doing a rendition of Trouble in Tahiti at the Red Room @ Cafe 939 for just $10. IT's April 6th @ 7:30 pm.


mims said...

is there anything going on April 1...thanks

mims said...

Thanks for the events bro...I a college student in the Boston area and I love your posts they always give me something to do since im on a tight budget being a college student and all lol.

Joseph McEvoy said...

I come here once or twice a week. Why on earth don't you have a twitter?

mims said...

Hey Rob,

Do you know have anything good for Saturday night? My gf is coming to visit and I want to find something good but a reasonable price. I am a recent graduate so money is tight and could really use your help. Thanks

P.s. I love your cite

rob v said...

Hey Mims,

Thanks for reading!

Am going to post my thoughts today, but Saturday's cheap fun is already on the Google calendar.