Outside the Oreo

Lauren Piro

This column is meant to keep you in the know. Where can you go? What can you do? What should you see before your four years here are over – or what will make you want to stay even after you’ve taken your last final?

This, however, assumes that I am always in the know and quite frankly, I’m far from a socialite or omnipotent. But what I do try to be – for your benefit and mine – is linked-in, and this week I’m offering you some of my favorite sources for finding things to do in Philly and its Main Line. Besides, you didn’t want to read about spring break in sunny New Jersey, anyway.


While slogging in your UGG boots (soon to be flip flops!) from the Main Lot or South Campus, you likely find any obstacle in your way annoying rather than useful. But those rusting metal boxes on the corners of Ithan and Lancaster aren’t odd abstract art to navigate around – they hold some of the city’s neatest cultural news sources that too many Villanovans just aren’t utilizing.

These free weekly papers – like Philadelphia Weekly and the City Paper – are your source for newly discovered insider tips, and picks for the best events and activities. Both offer a bounty of finds and calendar items online as well – be sure to check out PW’s “Recommends” and the City Paper’s Agenda blogs.

If the Inquirer is your info-packed professor in your 8:30 a.m. class, these alt-weeklies are the edgy roommate who takes you out on all those college Fridays you’ll never forget. A must-add to your weekly reading.

Philly Blogs:

It’s a digital world, and if you haven’t dipped a toe into the swirling pool that is the blogosphere, you should. The hyper-localized and passion-packed Philly-centric blogs are like one big family, telling all that’s worth knowing to everyone who will listen without balking at the use of strong opinions. This is good for you, as they won’t be afraid to tell you what’s hot and what’s not.

My most recent favorite is uwishunu.com, a hugely comprehensive log of what is hopping, hidden, and happening in your Philly neighborhood that is updated frequently and links to an extensive amount of other local blogs.

Yes, it’s run by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Cooperation, but their tips and reviews are fit for making socks-with-sandals tourists feel like Philly folk, not the other way around. For instance, while you were baking in Cancun last week, you missed Uwishunu’s coverage of Philly Beer Week, new live music showcases, and photos from the Museum of Art’s Cézanne and Beyond exhibit. Your brain cells and your sunburned epidermis might have thanked you to stick around.

E-mail Newsletters:

If you’re too lazy to click around idly on a Web site, you probably won’t be sauntering over to pick up a couple event-riddled newspapers, either. But we’re all slaves to our e-mail right? For a nice break in all the messages ‘Nova sends us (really, who’s monitoring that?), sign up for a daily newsletter for your local scoop. DailyCandy.com’s newsletter offers the latest in Philly fashion, dining, and lifestyle, with a new tidbit for you each day.

Pay close attention to each Thursday’s “Weekend Guide” for 2-day only deals at your favorite restaurant or the details on your most-coveted designer’s sample sale. That being said, Daily Candy is often centered on shopping (read: girly) news. What’s there for the boys? Go to Thrillist.com for a more meat-eating, mud-wrestling, manly newsletter. They’ve just launched their Philly version, so expect great finds as they work hard to please eager and interested locals.


Don’t shy away from the in-depth features these local print media offer Philly readers – within their carefully crafted prose you may just find your next favorite local cause or organization to which you’d love to devote your free time. Philadelphia magazine, Main Line Today, and Main Line magazine are perfect for these kinds of finds, and each of their Web sites includes a calendar of local events to supplement their stories.

Two.one.five magazine has great reviews, and a party photo blog called Shooting Fish that is more college than Governor’s Ball. Don’t forget about online magazines as well – Aroundphilly.com and AroundMainLine.com appear to be created for the sole purpose of making sure their readers are always entertained and never a lonely couch potato on a Friday night.