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First Thursdays

The annoyingly well-heeled rub shoulders with incorrigible cheapskates (oh yeah, and maybe an artist or two) on the first Thursday of every month, in pursuit of new art, free snacklets, and wine by the plastic cupful. While shameless boozing without the requisite round of art appreciation will make you no friends, it's hard to make enemies at what is essentially a roving two-hour-plus party that circles Union Square. (Meanwhile, SOMA galleries are well on their way to establishing their own Empire of the First Thursday -- or Thirst Fursday as it's sometimes called after the fifth glass in an hour.) While some art spaces are known for their stinginess with the vino -- but who's complaining? After all, they're buying -- it's a rare night of gallery crashing that doesn't result in at least a half bellyful of wine and a layer of crackers and breadstuffs to soak it up. The fortuitous byproduct of your cheap night out is usually that you see some art you like, and you frequently get the opportunity to talk to the artists about it. If you can tear your eyes away from the walls, you'll also notice that it's not just art your fellow gallerygoers are appreciating; they might be checking you out too.


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