Let’s face it; the standard Valentine’s Day is getting tired. Making goo-goo eyes over a candle-lit dinner next to 15 other couples playing footsie under the table has simply lost its appeal (not to mention the big problem: who’s got the cash?).
So this year, impress your lover (or yourself) by turning that Valentine’s Day frown around with an unconventional approach to the “holiday.” Yes, The Brooklyn Paper has done it again — scouring the wood-burning fireplace of our souls for the last dying embers of warm, but not treacly, Valentine’s Days of years past. We’ve got it all here: events for singles or couples who are fed up with everyone’s Hallmark approach.
Cupids, draw back your bows!
Everyone wants to turn up the heat on Valentine’s Day. Yoga-loving couples take that literally.
Bikram yoga is not known as “hot yoga” because it invariably leads to the bedroom, but because classes in this ancient art are conducted in rooms heated to 110 degrees. The stuffiness, adherents say, makes it easier to cleanse and gain flexibility in key Valentine’s Day-related limbs.
“It’s a great shared experience to go through together and it can be sexy, too, everyone is shirtless and sweaty,” said J.C. Vasquez of Bikram Yoga Williamsburg.
A few classes at a bikram center will teach you everything you need to turn up the heat at home.
There are regular bikram yoga classes at Bikram Yoga Brooklyn Heights [106 Montague St. between Hicks and Henry streets, (718) 797-2100]; Bikram Yoga South Slope [555 Fifth Ave. between 14th and 15th streets, (718) 788-3688]; Bikram Yoga Williamsburg [108 N. Seventh St. between Wythe Ave and Berry Street, (718) 218-9556]; or Bikram Yoga Bay Ridge [8302 Fifth Ave at 83rd Street, (718) 833-9200].
Bingo hates V-day
Don’t believe in love? Neither do comedian Bobby Tisdale or the folks at the Black Rabbit bar in Greenpoint — they’ll be hosting an anti-Valentine’s Day Bingo night for people who just aren’t feeling the love.
Tisdale’s cuddle-slamming rhetoric paired with a few beers and what owners call “appropriately stupid and unromantic prizes” are sure to keep any jaded single devotee, you know, single.
Get your shouting lungs ready and celebrate your independence this year — for free.
Black Rabbit [91 Greenpoint Ave. between Manhattan Avenue and Franklin Street in Greenpoint, (718) 349-1595]. Free event. For info, visit www.blackrabbitbar.com.
Video dating service
Is that a roll of quarters in your pocket or are you just happy to see us?
Hopefully, it’s quarters — because you’ll need them when you spend the unconventional holiday with your lover at Barcade in Williamsburg, which features more than a dozen old-school arcade games at your disposal.
Really, nothing’s sexier than watching your guy or girl blast away at space invaders or save the princess from Donkey Kong in record time. Take advantage of more than 20 beers on tap (and save if you go before 8 pm), and you might just get that “free play” at home, too.
Barcade [388 Union Ave. between Ainslie and Powers streets, (718) 302-6464]. For info, visit www.barcadebrooklyn.com.
There’s a lot of great art at the Brooklyn Museum, and for our money, nothing is more romantic than holding hands in front of Gilbert Stuart’s full-length portrait of George Washington (that man was presidential).
But we realize that we’re not experts, so we called our friends at the museum, who laughed at us and recommended something a bit more lively: Thomas Cole’s “The Pic-Nic.”
At first blush, this 1846 canvas doesn’t look like much more than a bunch of dandies having a picnic (and then spelling it wrong). But look deeper and the true romance of the image comes through; it’s about the coexistence of man and nature — and what’s more romantic than coexistence?
Brooklyn Museum [200 Eastern Pkwy. at Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, (718) 638-5000]. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Looking for a little romantic love that takes you back to your evolutionary roots? Stop by the Prospect Park Zoo, where nothing gets some people in the mood like the sight of a powerful male baboon enjoying the company of his two subservient females (relax — it’s the animal kingdom).
Aside from the saucy simian harem, lovers can also take in more egalitarian romance: A pair of adorable red pandas spend the vast majority of their time snuggling. Those pandas set a great example for anyone who’s been considering eating somebody else’s bamboo.
Prospect Park Zoo [450 Flatbush Ave. between Empire Boulevard and Eastern Parkway, (718) 399-7339]. Tickets $7. Open every day.
Oysters and chocolate
Sure, there are plenty of restaurants offering dishes on Valentine’s that are heavy on the aphrodisiacs — but there’s only one sex shop doing it.
Shag, the blazing hot new love shack in Williamsburg, will host chef Alex Garcia from Barrio in Park Slope, serving up a meal comprised entirely of titillating cuisine.
Expect plenty of exotic combos of asparagus, oysters, avocado, chocolate and blindfolds. But what wine goes with edible underwear? (Rosé, of course!)
Shag [108 Roebling St. between N. Fifth and N. Sixth streets in Williamsburg, (347) 721-3302]. Dinner is $65 per couple.
Big laughs & heartbreak
If you have to drown your tears in beers, why not do it with some professional help? That’s why the Bell House in Gowanus is offering a comedy night called, “The Rejection Show” — a Valentine’s Day special for all the single player-haters. An assortment of stand-up comics will lighten the mood by cracking jokes about being lonely and unloved (that’s pretty much every night for a stand-up comedian).
Afterwards, the Defibulators will crank out love jams from the 1980s.
“The Rejection Show” at the Bell House [149 Seventh St. between Second and Third avenues in the Gowanus, (718) 643-6510]. Show starts at 8 pm. Tickets are $10.
Nothing gets the romance rolling like some good old-fashioned physical activity — under the moonlight. The night before Valentine’s, get the party started early by hopping on a tandem bicycle and enjoying Prospect Park when most of the dog walkers and bird watchers are long gone.
The tour, organized by the bike advocacy group “Time’s Up,” cruises by various sites within the park at a leisurely pace. Bundle up, get on that bike and the heat is sure to come.
The Moonlight Ride meets in Grand Army Plaza [Union Street between Flatbush Avenue and Prospect Park West in Park Slope, (212) 802-8222]. Feb. 13 at 9 pm.
Have a ball — a skeeball
Sure, you just forced your girlfriend to watch the Super Bowl, but why not keep the sports drama coming? Look no further than Full Circle Bar, where the finest skeeball tossers in the nation will compete for the title of most deadly skeeball player in Brooklyn.
Called “Brewskee Ball,” the tournament will be concluding its third and final day of competition on Valentine’s Day, so don’t expect any love as the giants of miniature bowling face off.
Full Circle Bar [318 Grand St. between Havemeyer Street and Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg. (347) 725-4588].