Photo: Jonathan Blanc/NYPL
Forget the roses and chocolate, spend this Valentine’s Day enjoying a new book. As part of its 125th-anniversary celebration, the New York Public Library on Friday released an expertly-curated list of 125 books that inspire a love of reading. A team of librarians spent a year debating and choosing its 125 Books We Love list, which includes fiction and non-fiction titles published after May 23, 1895, the year the library was incorporated.
The full list, here
Photo courtesy of Grand Central Terminal
One of the most unique Valentine’s Day events in New York City is happening at one of the city’s busiest transit hubs. Grand Central Terminal announced it will provide one couple a romantic, private evening under the stars of its iconic main hall as part of a new contest announced Monday. The winning couple, who will get the space to themselves on February 14 between 2:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., will enjoy a three-course dinner provided by Michelin-starred restaurant Agern and a live piano performance from a Steinway Artist, all under the terminal’s constellation ceiling.
How to enter
Photos by Ian Douglas
Times Square Arts debuted the 2020 Times Square Valentine Heart yesterday, a tradition that started in 2009. This year’s installation, Heart Squared, was selected by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and designed by MODU and Eric Forman Studio. The sculpture is composed of a 10-foot-tall cubic steel lattice structure that approximates the form of an anatomical heart and 125 mirrors that are suspended within and tilted at various angles to create a kaleidoscopic collage of the urban environment. The arrangement of the mirrors might seem random at first but they’re precisely calibrated to form an anamorphic projection—meaning that the mirror array creates a surprise image when viewed from a specific vantage point, which is marked on the ground with white paint.
Image courtesy of The Sill.
Long after the day of chocolate boxes and candy hearts is over, these gifts will still be as cool as the person who gave them. Because if you’re going to wear your heart on your sleeve, it had better look good! Ahead, we’ve rounded up 15 great gift ideas, from chic pottery and lamps to heart-shaped succulents to a hot sauce kit to spice things up.
Great Valentine gift ideas, this way
Image via Pixabay.
There are more ways to say “Be my Valentine” than we can count, and purveyors of all things romantic will be out in full force trying to win hearts this February 14. If February’s second week has you scrambling for a worthy celebration, it might be the perfect time to try something a little bit different. Below, we’ve rounded up 14 unexpected Valentine-inspired events–from whiskey and chocolate to bugs and sewage.
Details, this way
New York City is the endlessly romantic backdrop for more literary love stories than we could possibly count. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the NYPL asked their book experts for their favorite tales of love and the city; then they put them on a map for our exploration–and reading–pleasure.
Amore, this way
It’s sometimes hard to see New York’s romantic potential, considering the city’s sheer quantity of subway rats and mysterious street sludge. But despite some of New York’s less love-inspiring qualities, there are a lot of beautiful, heart-stopping spots that set the right tone for romance, even if you have to contend with yellow snow on your way home. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up our 10 favorites, from a medieval monastery to a cozy restaurant haunted by Aaron Burr to tried-and-true favorites like the top of the Empire State Building.
Love is in the air
Image courtesy of Dumbo.is
Like Mother’s Day, there’s something to be said for the idea that every day ought to be Valentine’s Day, candy and flowers included. But if February’s second week has you scrambling for a worthy celebration, it might be the perfect time to try something a little bit different. Take a look below for some Valentine-focused events–from skating and shopping to science and sewage–and lots of other ways to get heart-shaped this V-Day.
Details, this way
Fold-open Valentine card, German (1900); courtesy of The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
While a simple and perhaps less swanky gesture than diamonds and roses, a Valentine’s Day card remains one of the most popular ways to say “I love you” every February 14. This year Americans will exchange about 190 million greeting cards during the holiday, spending nearly $1 billion on them. A collection of antique paper Valentines from The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens proves this is not a 21st-century phenomenon. The museum, located in San Marino, CA, acquired a collection of about 12,300 romantic greeting cards, sentimental notes and drawings made in Europe and North America from 1684 to 1970 (h/t NY Times). A historian from New Jersey, Nancy Rosin, put together the impressive collection of cards over four decades and her family recently donated them to the museum.
More this way
Subway Kiss #1 by Matt Weber
6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Matt Weber shares his “Urban Romance” series. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
A born-and-bred Upper West Sider, photographer Matt Weber has been watching New York all his life, taking pictures of everything he can. Over the years, he accumulated many photos of love, or at least, public displays of affection. Though people are constantly kissing all over the world, there’s something especially gutsy, memorable, and nonchalantly confident in a subway kiss. For many, a quick peck or a full-on makeout session is among the least desirable things when you’re being crushed like a sardine, underground, in a moving metal tube. Yet, New Yorkers do it constantly – a documented fact.
Just in time for the most romantic day of the year, we had a chance to talk with Matt Weber about his photography, his “Urban Romance” series, and how New York has changed since he started capturing it.
See all the photos