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15 Dates Under $60

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 Nightlife & Singles

Cheap Dates: 15 Under $60

 
Queens for a Day
Flushing
Just a Mo Vaughn home run away from Shea, Flushing has a Chinatown perfect for Saturday-afternoon strolling, with vendors selling miniature Buddhas and almond cookies instead of hot dogs. But save your appetite for the Jade Palace — the 300-seat seafood emporium that specializes in Australian lobsters and pan-fried flounder plucked straight from the tanks. (136-14 38th Avenue; 718-353-3366; entrées start at $8.95.) Next stop on your No. 7-train voyage: the Queens Museum of Art, where — thanks to the world's largest scale model — you can take a whirlwind tour of all five boroughs in just one hour. (Flushing Meadows Corona Park; 718-592-9700; $5.)


Harlem Nights
Harlem
It's show time — at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Thanks to chief curator Thelma Golden and museum director Lowery Stokes Sims, the once-sleepy art center has become an uptown destination. Go on a Friday — it's open until 8 — to see exhibits like "Africaine," a spotlight on four African artists living and working in America. (144 West 125th Street; 212-864-4500; $5.) Then try an older Harlem institution, the M&G Diner, where a waitress named Betty says she's seen six couples who later got engaged fall in love over fried chicken and short ribs. "This is Harlem," she explains. "You can't get any more comfortable." (383 West 125th Street; 212-864-7326; $4.50-$12.)


Full-Court Press
Basketball at MSG
Any longtime local basketball fan will tell you that one of the most thrilling games ever played at Madison Square Garden was the 1960 face-off between Boys High, with star player Connie Hawkins, and Wingate High, with Roger Brown. Both went pro. On March 16, you can catch future stars (along with top NBA recruiters) at the Public Schools Athletic League Championships at Madison Square Garden for a mere $10 (212-465-6741 or www.ticketmaster.com). Then head uptown to beloved dive Jimmy's Corner, where owner and boxing trainer Jimmy Glenn has been pouring cheap drinks ($3.50 for a gin-and-tonic) for more than 30 years and the jukebox has everything from Coleman Hawkins to Sinatra. (140 West 44th Street; 212-221-9510.)


News You Want to Use
Television Taping
Skip the tourists holding SPRINGFIELD, MO, ROCKS! signs outside the Today show. The one taping natives get excited about is The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. (513 West 54th Street; call 212-586-2477 several weeks in advance for free tickets.) Doors open at 5:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Before the show, Stewart warms up by cracking jokes and taking questions from the audience. Afterward, try Azuri Cafe, which boasts some of the best falafel ($7.25) outside of Israel. Remember to bring gum for your good-night kiss. (465 West 51st Street; 212-262-2920.)


Horsing Around
Horseback Riding
Is riding a horse along the beach your romantic fantasy? If so, there's no need to leave the city (or dial up Fabio). The Jamaica Bay Riding Academy in Gateway National Recreation Area offers year-round guided rides along the shore and through lovely wooded trails (718-531-8949 for directions; $23 per person). From there, it's a quick drive to the wildlife refuge on Broad Channel Island, where more than 325 different species of birds stop along their migration. In winter, you'll see snow geese, baffle-head ducks, and snowy owls; in spring, hundreds of songbirds returning north (718-318-4340).

More Cheap Dates: Wash away your Saturday-night sins....