Their perfect Valentine's Days
On the eve of the most romantic day of the year, three New Yorkers share their plans.
Tue Feb 7 2012
RECOMMENDED: Valentine's Day ideas for New Yorkers
"I really believe that couples who play together stay together, so my husband [Paul Arrouet] and I are taking a spinning class at Flywheel Sports (201 E 67th St at Third Ave, third floor; 212-327-1217, flywheelsports.com; $30 per session). For us, it's a fun bonding experience, because we're in it together, and sweating and pushing each other—it gives you a high. It's more fun than having a serious dinner at some overpriced restaurant.
"We prepared for our wedding last June by taking dance lessons at New York Wedding Dance (1261 Broadway between 31st and 32nd Sts, suite 510; 646-742-1520, nyweddingdance.com; packages start at $528 for six lessons). If you have a song that you want to dance to, you can bring it; if not, they can just teach you moves for any type of music. It was fun being in class together, and now, if we go dancing at a party, we've got the moves.
"I think it's nice to have a home-cooked, romantic meal, where each person is in charge of their own recipe. Paul knows how to make food better than I do, so I'll make the dessert and he'll make grilled vegetables and meat. But part of the fun is going to Whole Foods (locations vary, visit wholefoodsmarket.com for details). I buy marshmallows and six different kinds of cereal to make Rice Krispie treats."
a.k.a. Nina Payne; founder, Domi Dollz (domidollz.com)
Status: In a relationship
"First, to get our blood pumping, my boyfriend and I will stop at the Museum of Sex (233 Fifth Ave at 27th St; 212-689-6337, museumofsex.com). "Action: Sex and the Moving Image" is a great exhibit—it's like watching porn together, but in public. But the best part is the store, where we can pick up a couple of sex toys to use later in the night. One item I have my eye on is the ridged cock-ring sleeve ($8.50).
"Predictability is the death of any relationship. So after shopping, we're going to have dinner at Shag, a sex shop and event space in Williamsburg that hosts an annual Valentine's Day event called Aphrodisiacs & Amour...Blindfolded Tasting Extravaganza (108 Roebling St at North 6th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 347-721-3302, weloveshag.com; Tue 14 7--9:30pm; $150 per couple). During each of the eight courses, you and your partner take turns blindfolding and feeding each other delicious aphrodisiacs. Food is a very sensual form of foreplay, and the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
"After dinner, my boyfriend and I will go our separate ways to begin our favorite role-playing game. We both head to Mister H at the Mondrian Soho (9 Crosby St between Grand and Howard Sts; 212-389-1000, mondriansoho.com; rooms from $329), where we already have a room booked. We pretend not to know each other while sipping cocktails and watching girls on the stripper pole. After flirting like it's our first time meeting, we eventually head up to our room for some X-rated fun. I could go on, but a mistress can't give away all her secrets!"
"Just before sunset, I'll go up to the bar at the top of the Standard Hotel (848 Washington St at 13th St; 212-645-4646, standardhotels.com) in the Meatpacking District. I will admire the view and pretend like I'm going to buy a drink, but I won't. They're expensive. The real attraction up here: the bathrooms. Each toilet faces a full-length glass window overlooking all of Manhattan.
"I'll meet up with my friend Bernard, who is a single, unemployed alcoholic and always up for a drink. He will be at Blue & Gold Tavern (79 E 7th St between First and Second Aves, 212-777-1006) from 5pm till closing, wearing a dirty pink sweater and carrying a copy of the Financial Times under his arm, a Laphroaig in one hand and an IPA in the other, like a filthy cupid with a quiver full of booze arrows.
"When Blue & Gold closes, we'll head around the corner to South Brooklyn Pizza (122 First Ave at 7th St, 212-533-2879), where we'll put a ton of roasted garlic on each slice we buy, ensuring we end the night alone. Then we'll head next door to International Bar (120 First Ave at 7th St; 212-777-1643, internationalbarnyc.com), which stays open till 5am. When that place closes we'll head back on the train to Brooklyn. Bernard will try to convince me to come back to his house, I'll remind him for the millionth time that I'm not gay, and I'll go back to my apartment by myself, as usual."