Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

No escaping love in the Big Apple:

No excuses for missing Valentine's Day in New York.
By Anita Bulan
Date: February 14 2013
Editor Rating:

In my neighbourhood, the same house down the street that goes wild at Christmas with elaborate decorations also covers their stoop and front windows with Valentine’s decorations. Don’t ask me where they find them - or where they store them for the rest of the year - but that giant cupid is a show-stopper.

Also in my part of Brooklyn, men who might incite nervousness in you if you met them in a dark alley, all pull up their usually low-hung pants, wear their smartest shirts and buy jumbo-size teddy bears, helium balloons professing undying love and long-stemmed red roses for wives and girlfriends. They have no excuse not to; these are sold on every street corner on Valentine’s Day afternoon.

According to Hallmark, the greeting-card giant, Valentine’s Day is the second-largest card-sending holiday in the United States, topped only by Christmas with Mother‘s Day coming a close third. That should be no surprise.

Valentine’s Day is also probably the day red glitter hearts and pink construction paper are sold by the truckload. Americans love a “holiday” and even school children spend time learning about the day of love. Mostly, they hear about how important it is to tell your friends how much you like them, but parents also receive deep and meaningful (or rather, teacher-dictated) messages of love from their kids. Fridges inevitably become covered in pink and red hearts.

For adults, restaurants offer all manner of special prix fixe dinners but in true sceptical New Yorker style, locals knows that if you really want to get romantic, the day before or after Valentine’s is a much smarter date night. After all, who wants to be squashed knee-to-knee in a restaurant when there are less expensive and more comfortable options on February 13 or 15?

My husband and I (both non-believers) have spent a number of Valentine’s Day evenings with a close friend of ours, who has dubbed the holiday “Singles Awareness Day.” And yes, she’s single. At least in New York, it doesn’t matter if you are. You’ll still be wished ‘happy Valentine’s Day’ enthusiastically by everyone from the guy scanning your milk and bread at the grocery store, to the postman, to your boss. And you’ll probably also be given drink discounts, without the looks of pity, at your local bar. It’s all part of the holiday fun.

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