SHS is like a Sexual Health Mecca. They have everything from STD testing to birth control to Plan B. Yeah, you could go to CVS and steal some condoms and a pregnancy test like some kind of Midwestern teenager, but this is Penn—just make your mom pay for your pregnancy scare (you’re less likely to get arrested, too). The most amazing thing about all this is that it won't say "chlamydia testing" on your bill, it will just say "SHS fee." You can tell your parents you had a sinus infection and needed to get some Mucinex. Getting tested/checking on your sexual health is super important (read a pamphlet some time) but getting it anonymously without leaving campus? That's priceless.
Address: 3535 Market St. We recommend: Using protection
The best thing about Bob & Barbara’s is that it’s not a gay bar. But for one glorious night a week—smokey eyes, cherry lips, stilettos on—lights up on a half dozen of the most glamorous drag queens you’ve ever seen. Instead of the typical “remix–of–pop–diva–hits–and–guys– in–mesh–tanks” scene you find at other gay bars, Bob & Barbara’s will thrill, chill and fulfill you with unique artistry and costumes, vibrant lip syncs and six–foot–tall people in wigs yelling at you to give them money. Hosted by Miss Lisa Lisa, the girl so nice they named her twice, the Thursday night drag show offers a more laid back alternative to your typical gay bar, but with just as much glitter.
But it’s not just the drag queens that make Bob & Barbara’s the best gay bar, it’s the history surrounding it. Open since 1969, fewer bars in Philly are as well–known or as versatile (pun in- tended) as B&B. Home of the Citywide Special (a can of PBR and a shot of Jim Beam for $3), which you can now get in almost any bar in Philadelphia, Bob & Barbara’s has surely left its mark as the best in Philly. Let the music play on.
Address: 1509 South St. We recommend: Doing three Citywides before midnight
We at Street firmly believe that the antidote to finals stress is some good, old–fashioned fisting. Fear not, young Quakers and Quakettes. You, too, can squeeze in some QT during your twenty minute break before recitation at the Kelly Family Gate outside of the Charles Addams Fine Arts Hall. Completely made up of metal hands, the gate is there to please and serve. When you need a helping hand—or just a finger—these detached limbs are happy to acquiesce to your every request. Forego the jungle juice and “flirting” and forget your safe word. We prefer getting fucked to the sound of cold, stony silence. If you’re nervous or not so good at climbing, give Street a call. We love nothing more than a bit of community service. Or you can meet us in one of the Huntsman bathrooms. We’ll be on the other side of that hole in the wall. ;)
Address: 200 S. 36th St. We recommend: Fisting yourself
You’ve heard (and probably bragged about) the Penn/Hogwarts comparisons. You’ve undoubtedly Instagrammed College Hall, Fisher Fine Arts or the Quad at least once. ARCH 208 brings the wonders of architectural detail and dark wood paneling to the classroom. Finally a room that avoids the claustrophobic “classrooms” found everywhere from Goddard Labs to DRL. With mega–high ceilings and elaborate windows, the multi–purpose auditorium is a bright and exciting space to zone out on your laptop. The two raised platforms (stages?) and giant flat–screens serve somewhat questionable purposes, but still create opportunity for some pretty creative and interactive class presentations.
Address: 3601 Locust Walk We recommend: Arriving to class on time
Banana chocolate chip, peanut butter, chocolate–coconut. Are your taste buds watering yet? No, these aren’t just your run of the mill Insomnia cookies; they’re little, round bites of heaven from everyone’s favorite vegetarian food truck. They might not leave behind those ubiquitous circular grease marks like their Insomnia brethren, but they’re just as scrumptious and probably much less likely to clog your arteries. Magic Carpet has the best cookies ($1 each) to offer for anyone craving a little something something with their lunch. The flavors change daily, with a seemingly endless array of combinations. Made with oats and exotic “healthy” ingredients, you can even pretend that the cookie is good for you and grab a second. So next time you’re in line for some vegetarian chili or falafel, make sure to add a cookie to that purchase.
Addresses: Food trucks on 36th and Spruce and 34th and Walnut We recommend: Treating yo' self
Why would you ever waste money at a thrift shop when you could just take advantage of your very own Locust Walk–in closet? Fling has most likely flung your entire Nasty Gal purchase that you overnighted last Tuesday all over Philadelphia. You’d be lucky to have only twenty dollars in your pocket. Hell, you’d be lucky to still have the tank on your back. Literally hit up any lost and found within a five–mile radius and you’re bound to replace any misplaced/stolen/burned items. Lose your sunglasses at Castle’s darty? Saunter over to the mini Sunglass Hut behind the Rosengarten information desk (they even have non–prescription for all of you “hipsters”). Speaking of prescription, there’s also a container of Adderall for anyone named Josh. Need a new leather jacket? Call Rumor and inquire about the one you may or may not have actually lost. Color? Something as generic as the statement of mind in which you lost it.
No cab fare, no mothballs, no sweat. Just a guilty conscious for those with a moral compass. Cheers to kleptomania.Address: Everywhere We recommend: Checking the security cameras
Who doesn’t sigh “ugh” when they see another invite to a downtown at Rumor or Recess? We all want a place to get down and dirty that isn’t the usual downtown venues or Smokey Joe’s. Lock the doors, lower the blinds, fire up the smoke machine and put on your heels, because we are about to get rowdy at Club Pulse. Self–advertised as “Philadelphia’s premier hot spot,” Pulse Night Club promises to always be a good time, complete with floor–to–ceiling mirrors, a chaotically cosy dance floor and super cheap drinks. This Center City gem offers a variety of retro DJ mixes and even art laser effects. You are allowed to smoke inside, and the bar is scattered with ashtrays. The small venue allows you to truly express yourself with a quick pop, lock and drop it with a gaggle of friends, until it closes at 3:30 a.m. This oasis is the perfect place for nights we won’t remember, but will never forget. Just ask the THEOS bros who had a formal there.
Address: 1526 Sansom St. We recommend: BYO glow sticks
Located at 34th and Race St. inside of the ever–bustling Northside Dining Terrace, Drexel's Chick–fil–A is a hub for fried–food lovers and homophobes alike. If you are heterosexual and have no regard for your health, this is the place for you. This 2.5–Yelp–star establishment is dishing up classics like the "Chicken Sandwich" ($3.25), "Chick–n–Strips" ($3.65 for three), "Chick–fil–A Nuggets" ($3.25 for eight), "Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich" ($4.75) and "Waffle Fries" ($1.45). An express location, Drexel's Chick– fil–A offers long wait times, limited selection and the creme–de–la–creme of Dragons tryna use up those remaining D–Dollars. During lunchtime the space is cramped and the food runs out quickly, meaning you will have plenty of time to pursue that MRS degree with other patrons confused about why they had to transition the fryer oil at one p.m. According to one 2012 Yelp–reviewer, "no one here seems to openly hate the gay population like the higher ups of this company. But who knows!" Who. Knows.
The best news? Chick–fil–A now participates in Penn's On–Campus Recruiting. Get those resumes ready, lovebirds. Nothing says sexy like the power that comes from a red polo behind the counter.
Address: 3351 Race St. We recommend: Chik’n
Finally, a daily deal to reward our unhealthy habits and excessive rates of consumption. With an interior that resembles the bastard child of the Magic School Bus and an Amtrak Cafe Car, Mark’s Cafe is like a buzzing fluorescent carrel light in the Van Pelt darkness. The coffee, sushi and sandwiches will fuel you like an infomercial diet. However, to compete with the neighboring cafes like Taco Bell and CVS, Mark’s Cafe offers coffee punch cards—buy eight hot medium coffees and get one small coffee free. The benefits of using your Mark’s Cafe punch card include: bond- ing with the cafe employees, caffeination, peering out the largish Mark’s Cafe windows. This daily deal also offers a reward for using dining dollars/ bursar, incentivizing mediocrity and Bon Appetit. With competitive hours, 8:30 a.m.—2 a.m. on weekdays, your free 2 a.m. coffee will definitely be worth it. Wake up tomorrow and do it again.
Address: 3420 Walnut St., basement of Van Pelt We recommend: Sushi with your coffee
Bootleg poetry is better than bootleg liquor. And since we're no longer living under Prohibition (hard to believe considering our recent insurgence of undercover cops), modern day Gatsbys are more likely to be found nursing their heartache in a certain Kelly Writers House, home of angsty singer–songwriters and wannabe beatniks since 1997. While traditional speakeasies of the Franklin Mortgage variety often involve expensive–ass drinks made with unpronounceable ingredients, Speakeasy at the Kelly Writers House is free. Plus, this open mic night contains a bevy of fun raffle prizes, banjo–strumming cuties and enough creative energy to boot you out of that pre–professional lull (beating ceaselessly against the current of your soul, or whatever).
Address: 3805 Locust Walk We recommend: Leaving your judgment at the door
The best place to go this Saturday isn’t the Bio pond or your big big’s friend’s aunt’s dog’s backyard, or even that funky food court next to CVS—it’s the cemetery. For some reason this serene grassy expanse is pretty low on Penn’s radar—possibly because under that cushy turf lie a bunch of decaying corpses—but when you’re floating on fragrant fumes and contemplating the transience of life, there’s no better place to zone out than leaning against a mossy headstone, six feet above someone who’s already been through it all. Maybe you’ll be stricken with a philosophical epiphany about the eternal cycle between earthly and spiritual existence, or maybe you’ll just get really paranoid and wonder how soon you’ll be joining your new inanimate buddies. Either way, the Woodlands Cemetery is worth a visit the next time you’re in the mood for an herbal hit.
Address: 4000 Woodland Ave. We recommend: Purple haze, not dying
Considering the number of Jews who go to Penn, it’s honestly an outrage that there isn’t a single decent bagel place near campus. That’s why we suggest you haul ass to the city (the real city) if you’re craving a good old fashioned bread donut. New York bagels are boiled before being baked, while imposter products take the easier and cheaper way out by steaming the dough. (What, you think we couldn’t tell?) The ticket to get to NYC might be a little pricy, but your stomach will thank you. Get it toasted, loaded up with fish and dairy products, flat, scooped out, rainbow or salted. You can have whatever you like. If you can't find it at Tal, H&H or Ess–a–bagel, you certainly won't be able to find it in the back of a truck or next to Houston Market. You would think that in a city that shares its name with the leading cream cheese brand, a good bagel wouldn’t be so goddamn hard to find. But it’s time to face the facts: no bagel sold in Philly is worth any of your precious time, money or daily caloric allowance.
Addresses: 2446 Broadway, New York (Tal), 1551 2nd Ave, New York (H&H), 831 3rd Ave, New York (Ess–a–Bagel) We recommend: Bagels, all of them
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