I am a hopeless romantic but have never been a huge advocate of Valentine’s Day. Well, that is not entirely true. When I was in third grade we hung envelopes on the side of the desks and then the class went around putting their Valentines in. Afterwards we counted our love notes and I faired all right. It was tradition in those early days. Choosing a box from the Valentine’s aisle in the local pharmacy. Spending an evening addressing them to classmates and then the love fest came and went.
The origin of Valentine’s Day was initially to honor Saint Valentine of Rome and Saint Valentine of Temi. No romantic ties whatsoever. It was not until the 14th century that it became a love fetish tradition within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer:
Under a tree, beside a welle, I say
Cupyde our lord his arwes forge ad fyle;
And at his fete his bowe al redy lay
Um… huh? Basically something about Cupid with some arrows and stuff ready at his feet. So from there Valentine’s Day evolved into the holiday of lovers. Thus ends our brief history lesson…
Present day – inundated with heart shaped boxes full of mediocre chocolates and a greeting card Lollapalooza. But all cynicism aside, maybe at the end of the day it’s about making Valentine’s Day your own and ignoring the entire consumer riddled nonsense. After all, there is nothing wrong with showing a little love and what better way than the Brooklyn way.
Make it a date night – how bout’ the classic dinner and a movie with the right amount of hipster? Syndicated in Bushwick hits three birds with one stone – movie theater, bar, and restaurant. I have it on good authority that it will be showing Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet and Steven Shainberg’s Secretary. Di Caprio, Danes, Spader, Gyllenhaal – the definitive dark romance odyssey. Start with a cocktail. I recommend Kiss of Death, followed by a Hanger steak, or the Bitter Greens Apple salad if you go green, and end with some canoodling in low light, sipping another cocktail, how bout’ Cinema Paradiso to set the mood and you have yourself the most efficient Valentine’s Day night out!
If that is too much multi-tasking for one night, keep it sincere with aphrodisiacs and snogging. A little on the pricey side but well worth it, Maison Premiere in Williamsburg is for the romantic at heart. With oysters and drink mixology at it’s finest – you can’t go wrong. If it is not too chill of an evening, the waterfront is a short jaunt away. Taking in the city skyline will put anyone in the mood.
Or maybe a just deserts kind of V-Day. Mediocre chocolates will not do. Not the usual ambiance with a fusion of European and Japanese inspiration, Patisserie Tomoko is cozy and orchestrates a saccharine pairing of wine and desserts.
Whatever your mood on Valentine’s Day, make it your own. If that fails, love the Brooklyn way; there is always something right around the corner.