Bright Lights, Friday Nights

Nick Sampogna

If you claim that there is nothing exciting to do around Villanova, or even in Philadelphia, I suggest you keep reading. For all of you skeptics, here are some suggestions on where you can spend your next free night, rather than sit in your dorm room watching television:

The Point, 880 West Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr (610)-527-0988

Just a short ride on the R5 located on the Main Line is The Point. More than a coffee shop, but less than a concert venue, The Point specializes in live entertainment, not to mention a plain old cup of Joe. It’s been voted the best place for live entertainment by numerous organizations and publications, and fulfills its ideal of “present[ing] the best local, regional and national touring entertainment in a spacious and comfortable, living room type atmosphere.” People of all ages are welcome in this intimate coffee house setting which is open seven days a week.

The Philly Diner, 3925 Walnut Street, Philadelphia (215)-381-3400

Located in the heart of University City, the Philly Diner features an extensive menu of sandwiches, wraps, breakfast, dinner and numerous specials offered daily. Boasting optimal service (and a pretty decent batch of fries) the diner also has the perfect location: nearby shopping and, of course, Drexel and UPenn give this diner the perfect clientele, college students. If it is diner food you are after, then this is probably one of the best places to find it. The Philly Diner is open 24 hours and it is perfect for a late night craving if you’re in the area.

Shampoo, 417 North 8th Street, Philadelphia (215)-922-7500

Shampoo Night club opened in 1997, and since then has become one of the highlights of the Philadelphia club scene. Shampoo features numerous dance rooms, all of which offer the newest and trendiest mixes of hip hop, house, alternative, dance and industrial music. The club also offers different events, such as over-17 nights, a plus for those who wouldn’t be able to go otherwise. With a fashionable dress code and a no-sneaker policy, the night club is usually frequented by an undergraduate/graduate, teenage, suburban crowd of a trendy nature.

The Bean Café, 615 South Street, Philadelphia (215)-629-2250

If you are ever on South Street and looking for a cup of coffee, or maybe a latte, check out The Bean Café. It’s a trendy café, with a diverse crowd that comes from all over. The Bean Café offers a reasonable atmosphere, prices and location. The shopping and varied entertainment of the area makes it a place not to be passed. The café, much like South Street, is hip and cultural, and merely a bus ride on route 40 from 30th Street Station to 5th or 6th Street. The Bean Café also features outdoor seating for those nicer spring days.

Bertucci’s, 761-763 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr (610)-519-1940

Bertucci’s is advertised as a brick oven pizzeria, but offers much more than that. It features a great menu of pizza, pasta and other special Italian-style dishes. Located down the Main Line in Bryn Mawr, their menu also features lunch specials which make the experience more fulfilling. Bertucci’s accepts the Wildcard, and for the quality of the service, food and atmosphere, the cost of a meal is more than reasonable. Villanova students, if you haven’t gone to Bertucci’s yet, get a reservation now. It will give more variety than the dining halls.

Love Park, Philadelphia

Love Park is located across the street from City Hall at the base of the Ben Franklin Parkway. The Love Park Statue is as widely known and respected as Pat’s or the famous ‘Rocky’ steps. It can be found in the center of the park, and is probably one of the most picturesque aspects of the city. In a fast-paced, high energy city, this serene park has become one of the most frequented skating spots for skateboarders and skaters alike. So, if you haven’t visited this haven in the city, I’d suggest waiting for some better weather and making a trip to City Hall.

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 26th Street, Philadelphia (215)-763-8100

In case the parents ever come to visit and you need to do some more traditional sightseeing, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has been known to house some very interesting exhibits. The Museum of Art is one of the largest and most prestigious museums in America. Visitors can come and find paintings and artifacts from numerous countries and continents, not to mention priceless masterpieces that will shock and amaze any observer. The Philadelphia Museum of Art should definitely be put on your “to do” list for your next free day.