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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Valentine’s Day 2013: A last-minute guide

It’s a corny, commercial Hallmark holiday, but you'll still look like a jerk if you don't plan anything. Celebrate Valentine's Day without cringing at these noncheesy events.

By Marley Lynch

We know planning for the high holy holiday of love may be stressful, but not preparing at all and finding yourself in an eleventh-hour lurch? That’s even worse. Fret not! We’ve rounded up five last-minute Valentine’s Day 2013 events for couples, singles and the steadfastly antiromantic.

RECOMMENDED: Find more Valentine's Day ideas in NYC

For the karaoke junkie: Love Bites—The Power-Ballads Sing-Along

Things to do

Belt the heartbreak out of your system at Union Hall’s third annual V-Day shindig. To help the crowd croon along, the riffed-out rock anthems—by the likes of Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper and Journey—are accompanied by subtitled versions of ’80s-tastic music videos. Loosen your larynx with themed libations such as the Eternal Flame ($6), a pomegranate Whiskey Sour. Good news for those flying solo: Founder and host Michael Austin notes that parties have occasionally led single patrons to dates. Now once more, with feeling.…

For the hard-hearted cinéaste: Valentine’s Day Massacre

Things to do

If smitten couples and elaborate bouquets make you want to hurl, we suggest hightailing it to experimental movie house Anthology Film Archives for a double feature of emphatically antilove fare. First up is 1972 flick We Won’t Grow Old Together (6:45pm; $10), a caustic examination of a couple who can neither stay together nor call it quits (spoiler alert: as the movie’s title suggests, the toxic relationship ultimately dissolves). After enduring their countless breakup attempts, dive into the scathingly hilarious 1981 film Modern Romance (9:15pm; $10), where the main character manages to dump his girlfriend—but then regrets it for the rest of the movie.


For the jilted joker: The Rejection Show: Valentine's Day Heartbreak Haven

Things to do Literary events

Getting rebuffed sucks—but luckily, the affable Jon Friedman is here to help. He’ll host local comics, including Elna Baker and Eliot Glazer, during a special edition of this comedy and storytelling show, which focuses on failed personal or professional projects. Tonight’s gathering will be extra juicy, as the brush-offs will include breakup letters and other amorous disses. Special “Stupid Cupid” beer-and-whiskey combos ($7) should improve your ability to see the bright side of your own sorrows.

For the brainiac beau: It's Like My Heart Has Sciatica: Smith Mag's Annual Love & Heartbreak Story Show

Things to do Literary events

Brevity is key at Smith magazine (, which has published more than 400,000 six-word memoirs. At the literary zine’s listen-and-share function, scribes and funny folk (including Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR’s Ask Me Another) will each chronicle an affair of the heart in the allotted word count, and then recount the tale’s backstory in six minutes. Stick around to spill your guts about relationship milestones or failed hookups; the evening closes with a “six-word slam” for audience members.


For the free spirit: Gemini & Scorpio’s Steamy Valentine’s Night at the Russian Baths

Things to do

At this less-than-traditional bathhouse blowout, scantily clad revelers can hop between a poolside dance floor, steam rooms, hot and cold pools, a hookah lounge and rooftop deck until 2am—all to the sounds of Brooklyn’s Hungry March Band and DJ Joro-Boro. Choose from three ticket tiers (50 spots will be available at the door) that can include a multicourse Russian dinner and/or an open vodka bar from 9 to 10pm. The latter will facilitate the shedding of inhibitions along with outerwear. Go to for more information.


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