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The cheap weekday date

You've been together forever. Tuesday-night dates are the way to break up the monotony of monogamy.


Hate to break it to you, but Mad About You went off the air ten years ago. And maybe it’s been that long (or felt that long) since you first looked into your lover’s eyes and felt the pangs of a crush. Those butterflies in your gut are now moths. So get off the couch. Hell, there’s nothing good on TV on a Tuesday night anymore. Fortunately, Humpday Eve is chockablock with cheapie and freebie reasons to hop an El train to downtown. Better yet, pull a Ferris Bueller, play hooky and make a day of it.

Base your operations around the magnificent Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E Chicago Ave, 312-397-4010), which charges no admission on Tuesdays. Its current exhibition of paintings from the MCA collection, “Constellations” (running through Oct 18), offers the chance to gaze at work by Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol and Chuck Close up close. And nothing can make you feel young again like Alexander Calder’s whimsical mobiles. This week, the summer concert series Tuesdays on the Terrace wraps up with some Polish jazz, but Tuesday Evenings in the Cafe picks right up with after-parties, lectures, gigs from singer-songwriters (fourth Tuesday of every month) and the undeniable scribble party of Doodleganza: The Drawing Extravaganza (first Tuesday of every month). Remind each other how funny and creative you can be. Draw lewd pictures.

Afterward, head to Citizen Bar (364 W Erie St, 312-640-1156) for Poker 101 from 7–9pm. Hone a skill you can take back with you to your couch life. Jimmy D—owner of the joint and pro poker player—joins other pros weekly in sharing tips and strategies. Food and drink specials are on the table, salads are six bucks, and bottles of wine are half price. If you’d prefer more exotic fare, hit up Nacional 27 (325 W Huron St, 312-664-2727) on the first and third Tuesday of each month, from 6–8pm. Nosh on the chef’s “spontaneous” tapas sampler for $9.95.

Photo: Martha Williams

If you’re hungering for more than Latin American nibbles, there’s no better day of the week to eat out. Tuesday is prix fixe–apalooza. Opera (1301 S Wabash Ave, 312-461-0161) serves up three courses—any appetizer, entrée and dessert—of upscale Chinese for about $30. Ham fans, suck down lemongrass pork lollipops and scallops with pork belly for less than the price of the Peking duck. Bustling French bistro Le Sardine (111 N Carpenter St, 312-421-2800) offers a similar three-course deal for $25—perhaps the thriftiest way to enjoy veal sweetbreads and souffle in the West Loop.

Close the evening atop the swank Affinia Hotel (166 E Superior St, 312-787-6000) in C-View, one of the poshest rooftop lounges in town. Tuesdays from 4–11pm, the Patron Social Club takes over the 29th-floor space. It’s free to get in, but the margaritas can set you back. Hey, don’t complain, free booze is illegal. Illuminated with glowing boxes, the wood-paneled patio offers white futons for crashing and cuddling. It’ll be just like home, but with a DJ spinning downtempo grooves. Lube up on tequila, stare out at the twinkling city and dream about how awesome it would be if science could come up with sofa-to-sofa teleportation.

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