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
Whether you’re loved up or flying solo, Valentine’s Day brings a bevy of creative events and exhibitions to New York, with a soiree for every taste. Architecture buffs can spend an exclusive evening at One Barclay with the Art Deco Society; art lovers can go back in time with jazz master Michael Arenella at the art-filled Norwood Club; and urban explorers can tour the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant’s digester eggs.
Details on these events and more this way
Roses and chocolate are nice, but why go the traditional route when the city has so much more to offer for Valentine’s Day. Show your significant other, spouse, or best friend how much they mean to you with one of these ten alternative events that 6sqft rounded up throughout the city. From a wastewater treatment plant tour, to after-hours museum visits, to a romantic evening at the planetarium, these are the perfect ideas for urbanists, historians, and art lovers.
All the events this way
Our ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, this week 6sqft asked 10 couples for tips on how to cohabit peacefully together.
Living with anyone takes a lot of work—days are more often than not highlighted with squabbles over the toilet seat being left up than googly eyes over too many flowers and chocolates. Now throw in the fact that you’re probably squeezing into a tiny studio or a one-bedroom (if you’re lucky!), and one would think what you’ve really got is a one-way ticket to singledom. But creating a peaceful and stress-free home is possible by just implementing a few changes and making a few compromises.
While love may be anything but one-size-fits-all, these 10 New York City couples are sharing their tips on how they created a balanced home full of joy.
All the best tips and 10 of NYC’s cutest couples this way
On Valentine’s Day, couples often express their love for each other with chocolate. And here in New York, acclaimed chocolatier Jacques Torres is naturally part of the conversation. Since 2000, Jacques has been sharing his chocolate creations through his company Jacques Torres Chocolate, which over the years has grown to nine shops around the city.
But it all began back in his native France, where in 1986 he was the youngest pastry chef to be awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman of France) medal in pastry. Soon after, he moved to the United States, and a few years later began working as a pastry chef at famed restaurant Le Cirque. After making his mark in the restaurant industry, he devoted himself to chocolate full time, a decision that has certainly benefited those of us with a sweet tooth.
With Valentine’s Day this Sunday, 6sqft spoke with Jacques to learn more about his world of chocolate, how real estate has been an important part of it, and just how busy he gets around the holiday.
Read the interview this way
Single building lovers, have no fear. Hudson Yards is happy to be your Valentine. As a marketing tactic, the entire project, along with all five of its towers, got profiles on the fake dating site Building Mingle.
15 Hudson Yards, the residential tower designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, has a celeb crush on the Guggenheim and its great curves and describes his type as “Anyone who works with concrete and steel. I’m looking for stability.”; 10 Hudson Yards enjoys “When Harry Met Sally” (It’s a classic romantic comedy!); and 30 Hudson Yards is a little shallow and is looking for someone tall and slender who isn’t afraid of heights.
See all the profiles here
Expect conditions to be a little more, um, icy. Photo courtesy of Green-Wood Cemetery
What could be more romantic than a cozy mid-winter afternoon trolley ride through one of NYC’s most interesting national historic landmarks, Green-Wood Cemetery? Celebrate this most romantic of holidays with a bit of a gothic twist: Expert guide Ruth Edebohls will lead a tour highlighting historic power couples, romantic monuments and tales of love everlasting, both triumphant and grim.
You can also view Civil War love letters from the Brooklyn Historical Society’s historic archives on display in the Historic Chapel and have some coffee, tea or hot chocolate before the trolley tour begins. The event is on February 14, 1-3 PM; $20 for Green-Wood and BHS members/$25 for nonmembers.
Find out more and buy tickets here: Love Set in Stone: A Valentine’s Trolley Tour.