Offbeat New York

Hearts, Flowers, Romance: New York City for Valentine's Day - 2013

Take in the View

Since the opening of Rockefeller Center Observation Deck seekers of romance can face a dilemma. The traditional top of the Empire State Building located at 350 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street (212-736-3100) is perhaps New York’s City’s most famous romantic spot. With its stunning views and storied history, it’s easy to see why the legendary skyscraper has been a favorite.

Just north of the Empire State Building the Top of the Rock located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (212-698-2000) has pleasures as well. This observation deck atop the 70-story Rockefeller Center building offers breathtaking 360-degree views, including a stunning view of the Empire State Building.

Top of the Rock® Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center will host live music throughout the month of February as part of the 2012 Winter Starlight Music Series. The Music Series will take place on Wednesday evenings, February 1st – February 15th, from 6:00PM – 8:00PM at Top of the Rock, 30 Rockefeller Plaza between 5th and 6th Avenues on the 67th floor observation deck. Visitors can enjoy live music while taking in the breathtaking, 360-degree panorama of New York City. Wine, champagne and other refreshments will be available for purchase from AJ Maxwell’s Steakhouse during all performances.

The Winter Music Series will also include a performance on Valentine’s Day Tuesday, February 14th from 6:00PM - 8:00PM. Top of the Rock invites you and your loved one to spend the evening overlooking New York’s most romantic views while listening to the smooth sounds of the Hans Holzen Trio.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

If grass and trees is more your idea of appropriate Valentine's Day locale, New York City offers a handsome cab ride through Central Park. Who could resist snuggling up in the back of a plush horse-drawn carriage while you enjoy the magic of Central Park? Handsome cabs can be picked up along Central Park South near 59th Street year round.

And Now For Something Completely Different? ...

Explore aphrodisiacs from over 3,000 years of human history at the cafe of the Museum of Sex. The enhancement of sexual vitality with food is a human tradition that spans cultures worldwide. Aphrodisiacs from oysters to ashwagandha have been used to affect sexual libido, fertility, potency, and attraction for centuries. OralFix at the Museum of Sex shares these traditions with artisanal elixirs and foods specially prepared for your experimentation and pleasure. Of course, while you're there, explore the Museum of Sex - The Mission of the Museum of Sex is to preserve and present the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality. In its exhibitions, programs and publications, the Museum of Sex is committed to opening discourse and exchange and to bringing to the public the best in current scholarship.

Take in an Exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design - MAD

If you can't get to Hawaii, enjoy Doris Duke's Shangri La Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art. Or perhaps instead of expensive perfume explore The Art of Scent 1889 - 2012 The exhibition focuses on twelve works made between 1889 and 2012, and will include Jicky, created by Aimé Guerlain in 1889; Ernest Beaux’s Chanel N° 5 from 1921; Jean-Claude Ellena’s Osmanthe Yunnan from 2006; and Daniela Andrier’s Untitled, created in 2010. at MAD.

Renew Your Vows in Times Square

It's not just for New Year's Eve. On Thursday, February 14, 2013 Renew your vows on the red glass steps, snap a picture with your loved one in front of the heart sculpture "Heartwalk" and take advantage of Free Love deals and discounts from Times Square shows, restaurants, hotels and attractions. More information at TimesSquareNYC.org

Ride the Carousel

Jane's Carousel is a completely restored historic Carousel made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC #61) in 1922. It is a classic 3-row machine with 48 exquisitely carved horses, and 2 superb chariots. The wood carvings, often attributed to John Zalar and Frank Carretta, are among the finest of their kind. In addition, the scenery panels, rounding boards, crests, center pole and platform are all original to the Carousel. Jane's Carousel was the first Carousel to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Jane's Carousel is now open in Brooklyn Bridge Park, in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn And, in honor of Valentine's Day, of St. Valentine’s Day and the restoration of the Sandy damaged heating system, Jane’s Carousel will be offering “2-for-1” rides throughout the month of February

Get Married (almost) on the Spot

The City's Marriage Bureau, located at 141 Worth Street in Lower Manhattan, is a perfect backdrop for a Valentine’s Day wedding. The new 24,000- square-foot facility offers a stylish new design and enhanced customer service. A new line-management system tells customers their wait time; they can process their applications online at 14 computer kiosks; and with one-stop service windows and credit card processing, customers no longer have to visit multiple windows or bring a money order with them. Other improvements include large restrooms with vanities and full-length mirrors, refinished and decorated chapel space, an area to take photos in front of a backdrop of City Hall and a branch of the City Store, where fresh flowers can be purchased, as well as other sundries, such as disposable cameras, film, costume rings and NYC merchandise. The wedding chapels feature artwork on loan from the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the City Hall backdrop was supplied by Duggal Visual Solutions. Literature in the new Marriage Bureau is available in English and Spanish. Customers can also speak to clerks in their preferred language using a telephone interpretation system available in 170 languages. The design and construction of the project cost $12.3 million. By New York State law, after obtaining their marriage license, brides and grooms are required to wait 24 hours before the ceremony can be performed. Also note the hourse: Hours: 8:30 am to 3:45 pm, Monday through Friday.

Valentine's Celebration With an Edge

How about a Steamy Valentine's Night at the Russian Baths? Break out your bikini or swim trunks, and join our hand-picked crowd of artsy, funky (and nearly naked) New Yorkers for the glorious return of Gemini & Scorpio's legendary Russian Baths party. Have the newly remodeled & sparkling clean baths to yourselves, with a few hand-picked professionals on hand for the optional platzas and massages. Enjoy: Russian, Turkish and Swedish steam rooms, jacuzzi and cold plunge pool; poolside dance floor; rooftop smoking deck; hookah lounge and chillout rooms; authentic and delicious Russian food in a private restaurant room with a view of the dance floor.

Cook Up Something Special

Perhaps instead of going out, you'd like to have a romantic dinner in? Perhaps a special dessert that you could make? If so, here's
Morton¹s Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake (Serves 6)
1 1/2 cups Unsalted Butter, at room temperature, plus more for the soufflé cups
Granulated Sugar for sprinkling
12oz. Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 Large Egg Yolks, plus 7 Large Eggs
1 1/2 cups Confectioners Sugar
3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
18 Fresh Raspberries
6 scoops Vanilla Ice Cream

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously butter six 6-ounce soufflé cups and sprinkle each with granulated sugar. Tap out the excess sugar.

In the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate together. Remove the top of the double boiler pan from the heat.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and set on low speed, beat the egg yolks and eggs for about 2 minutes, or until light and smooth. With the mixer running, pour the melted chocolate into the bowl and mix for about 2 minutes longer.

Put the confectioners¹ sugar and flour in a fine-mesh sieve and sprinkle into the chocolate mixture. With the mixer on medium speed, beat for 30 seconds, or until well mixed.

Pour the batter into the prepared soufflé cups, leaving about 1Ž4 inch of space below the rim. Set the soufflé cups on a baking sheet and bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until puffed and about 1 inch higher than the rim. The center will be soft but not sticky.

Remove the cakes from the oven and immediately invert each onto a serving plate. Remove the cup and garnish each plate with three raspberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

For Romance Valentine's Day and Everyday

Read more about 12-month a year romance at New York City Romantic Spots and read our New York City restaurant reviews for many other great places to dine.




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