The Frugal Lover
Things haven’t always worked out the way you might have wanted. Your moderate trust fund evaporated in the savings and loan scandal. That optioned screenplay has yellowed with neglect, and your sugar daddy investment banker has moved back to Zurich. But for all you students, 20-something office assistants and budding Larry McMurtrys, love is the stray that has found a way to your door. And it needs to be fed.
Gifts for Him
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (DVD rental, $3.25). Rewatching this oddest ode to Cupid’s mysterious ways (with a significant other), all of its bittersweet fatalism and note-perfect angst hold right up.
Photoplay. 933 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn
A poem if you can write. A picture if you can draw. And if you aren’t the slightest bit artistically inclined, pick a flower, put it in a box and call it love.
The Belly and Below
Love has many palates. And what’s indigestible to some (the previous sentence?) makes other hearts sing. Desserts are a bit like love. The selection of sweets at this Chinatown bakery is a delight for the eye, belly and pocketbook too.
Kong Wah Cake, 242 Canal St.
Gifts for Her
The dollar bins at the Strand are like shooting craps in a library. I once found a book there called The Psychological Profile of Richard Nixon. Romantic? No. But grab a few volumes at random and create a found poem collage she’ll never forget. Or possibly forgive.
A beautiful girl we once knew said she couldn’t stand Belle and Sebastian. Whatever romantic scenarios we entertained — however implausible — evaporated quickly. Because a girl who can’t appreciate the briny sweetness of those charming Scots, ain’t worth it. This EP collection spans much of their career. Belle and Sebastian, Push Barman To Open Old Wounds, $13.99
Sound Fix, 110 Bedford Ave.
The Belly and Below
Instead of buying the cheap chocolates, get her something unexpected. Once again it’s Chinatown to the rescue. Candied rose petals are as pretty and unique as she is. Sigh.
Aji Ichiban, 23 E. Broadway
The Big Night
Getting in the Mood
A six-pack of Miller and Lite FM? Perhaps… but better would be an evening boat trip. You know the Staten Island Ferry serves beer. Beer on the street is tacky. But on a vessel moving across the water it’s a recipe for romance. Plus, it’s free.
Whitehall Terminal, at South Street
Food of Love
Again, you don’t want it to feel like you’re scrimping, so we suggest getting out of Manhattan and hitting the boroughs — specifically Queens, for its amazing array of international eats. Through the mask of another culture, cheap translates as romantic. And really is anything sweeter than sharing a plate of baba ghanouj?
Kabab Café, 25-12 Steinway St, at 25th Ave, 718-728-9858
On the Town
Rare is the woman who doesn’t like to dance. Rarer still is the man who can’t see it in his heart on Valentine’s Day to suffer through a dance lesson with his beloved no matter how absurd he feels.
Free salsa dancing lessons at Copacabana,
560 W 34th St, at Eleventh Ave, 212-239-COPA
Tuesdays 6-8 pm
(BTW Valentine’s Day is a Tuesday)
The Yupster Lover
You may have heard the phrase already: The Yupster, that missing link between hipster and yuppie. Sleeping on sheetless mattresses and eating ketchup eventually loses its edgy appeal, so the scruffy twentysomething awakes one morning into a reasonably paying job and realizes it’s ok to go shopping for a new tea kettle. It’s ok! Being comfortable is ok!