Things and Flings for Valentine’s Day

By Lulu Orozco

The Guardsman

In matters of love is it always necessary to wine and dine a la mode? This year’s Valentine’s Day should be a much-needed escape from the classic heart-shaped box of chocolates. Turn it into a fun and effortless be-my-valentine without clearing out your bank account.

According to the National Retail Federation report, last year’s Valentine’s Day craze reached $15.7 billion with the average person spending roughly $116.21 on Valentine’s Day merchandise.

The survey also reported that the average man expects to spend $158.71, almost double the $75.79 the average woman is expected to spend.

The average person falls into one of two categories.  One type usually waits to make last minute dinner reservations or ends up scavenging the drug store for that sadly over-sized Valentine’s Day card and a six-piece chocolate box.

While the more romantic of the bunch orders the perfect make out movie from Netflix and take-out Chinese. Their plans for dessert include a microwave, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Valentine’s Day really shouldn’t be measured by that fancy box of chocolates for your boyfriend, expensive roses for your girlfriend, and heart-shaped doggy treats for your best friend’s dog.

This Valentine’s Day ditch the fancy DIY 3-course meal and find some perfect things and flings for a not-so-predictable Valentine’s Day that will reassure you that even if money can’t buy love, a 15th floor rooftop garden might.

Boy and Girl about town

The city is full of hidden gems and locals-only spots. For those of us who like to feel like we have a members-only exclusive access pass, Macondray Lane in Russian Hill is just that. Plus there’s the hike.

Located between Green and Union streets, with a length of only two block stretching from Leavenworth to Taylor, Macondry Lane is a hidden scenery of charming cottages and beautifully arranged gardens.

And if that doesn’t do it, the view of Alcatraz Island will. Its a small walk, but well worth the find—the perfect place to share a few cupcakes with your friends, confess a feeling or simply enjoy the city you live in.

However, if you’re not feeling “up” for the challenge, you may want to consider the 15th floor rooftop deck located at 343 Sansome Street.

This rooftop deck/garden lives in the Financial District, giving a great city view of the Transamerica Pyramid and its surrounding skyline neighborhood. The ample seating and wide open space makes this place your ideal penthouse brunch for two.

Things and Flings

Unfortunately expectation is higher on Valentine’s Day, but don’t fret the big stuff. Instead try for something thoughtful and well-planned.

Try a Valentine’s Day basket, or a do-it-yourself message in a bottle. Personalize your surprise gifts with pictures of places you’ve been to together (or plan to go to), old movie tickets and, of course, pictures of the two of you together.

Remember to pack your own lunch in a brown paper bag wherever you decide to go, but make sure to add a goody bag filled with your valentine’s favorite candy, Truth or Dare cards, a sketch pad and some pencils. Enjoy the scenery while you sketch each other, and blush to your valentine’s Truth or Dare questions.

You can even write a short non-fiction 100-word story about the day you both met, starting with the line, “It was a brisk and rainy day.” After all, the meaning of Valentine’s Day should be about enjoying the person you’re with, not for what they’ve bought for you, but for how they choose to express their love and gratitude.


Romantic spots:

-Macondray Lane (Russian Hill)

-15th floor rooftop deck (343 Sansome)

Sweet gift tips:

-Try something thoughtful instead of expensive

-Make it personal. It’s sweeter when it’s something only you could have made