If you’re like us, the standard Valentine’s Day dinner and flowers doesn’t really cut it, and most years you probably want to just bypass the holiday all together. But this is New York City after all, and what other city might have such a range of alternative Valentine’s Day activities that hit the heart of the urban explorer? Here are 10 worth checking out:

1. Digester Egg Tours at Newtown Creek


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We all know what day tomorrow is. (It’s House of Cards Season 2 premiere day.)

Some might feel that the gross piles of dirty, garbage-strewn, yellowy-grey snow do not provide a fitting atmosphere to a celebration of love, affection, and variety-packs of candy hearts. And to that I say, turn your mind away from the modern trappings of romance and sentimentalism! Think about Romanticism instead.  (more…)

Valentine’s Day weekend is the perfect time to visit some of NYC’s vintage restaurants or hidden bars  with friends or a loved one. With Presidents’ Day falling on Monday, the long-weekend is also a great opportunity to try something new or unusual. It’s not hard to create a more offbeat or even eccentric holidays here in New York City; if the classic dinner-and-a-movie combo doesn’t sound appealing this year, then check out one of these quirky Valentine’s events!

1. The Rejection Show


Image via The Rejection Show


Tracey Emin's piece, "I Promise to Love You," lights up the billboards of Times Square. Photo by Ka-Man Tse.

Tracey Emin’s piece, “I Promise to Love You,” lights up the billboards of Times Square. Photo by Ka-Man Tse.

Every night this February, three minutes before the clock strikes midnight, 15 billboards in Times Square will light up with animated messages of love. These glowing Valentines, scrawled in neon colors over a black surface, are the work of British artist Tracey Emin. “I promise to love you,” writes her invisible hand. And then, “I listen to the ocean and all I hear is you.” (more…)

With a tsunami of advertising since right after Christmas, we are right down to it – the week of Valentine’s Day. So in thinking of the people who occupy our hearts, I give you… flower shops.  The watercolor images of the flower shops all around me.  The ones I frequent with great pleasure all throughout the year.

And who do we bestow our heartfelt gifts upon?  It’s time to start giving that some thought lest you be left behind in the dust – literally.  For those of you who have too many to fit your budget, you’re guaranteed to have something for all your Valentines with a stroll down west 28th Street’s flower district.  You can say Happy Valentine’s Day in so many ways.  Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers but also for lovers of life, and a day to let the people who make your day know it.

While the one I love will probably be at one of the above, I’ll be at the Barney’s Warehouse Sale which, as luck would have it, starts on Valentine’s Day, and then on to the Racked recommended eight in Harlem!  So from 110th Street to 125th Street in watercolor, Happy Valentine’s Day.

You can follow AFineLyne on Twitter or on Facebook at Harlem Sketches or Greenwich Villages Sketches. Stop by the Untapped Shop for a special Valentine’s gift.

Dear New York City,

Will you be my valentine… again?

Our love has been short but fierce. Even though I didn’t believe in it,   it was undeniably love at first sight.Your aren’t just the greatest city in the world. You are an organism in yourself. Living. Breathing. Existing.

I came to New York in 2003 in search of something. I didn’t know what it was then and I still don’t. Since then you have molded me into who I am today. You are the reason why I am who I am and why I act like I do. I think fast, walk fast and talk fast. I dream big and I believe anything is possible. You fill me with hope, inspire me, and spark my curiosity. You make me feel so small, so insignificant but at the same time like I am on top of the world. You have forever changed me and for that, I’m forever grateful.

I know I’m not the first one to fall in love with your diverse, loud and quirky people, your passionate fans and rattling subways. And I won’t be the last to love your grand museums full of treasures, tiny bodegas filled knick-knacks as well as your green parks smack dab in the middle of the bustling city.

Each part of the day casts new shadows and sheds light on what was once dark. I love the color of your fading daylight. There is constantly something new to discover in your wonderful city. It’s not just the light that brings changes. When it snows, it’s magical. Mother Nature dusts your every surface, nothing is safe. A white blanket covers all that is familiar, transforming it into something different and new to discover all over again.

I’m not going to lie. I’ve thought about breaking up with you. California keeps calling my name and taunting me with warm winters and a laid back attitude. But once I see the lights of Times Square and the towering skyscrapers I know there isn’t a place in the world quite like you. I could never leave.

So today, I ask you to be my Valentine. To inspire me for another year. To teach me new things. To forever give me a million reasons to keep coming back.

Love always and forever,

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