Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark Holiday” met with chagrin from mopey singles, and frantic annoyance from boyfriends waiting in the checkout line with their chocolates and roses and other last-minute purchases. Valentine’s Day causes displaced anxiety for new couples, and inspires splashes of pink and red cutout hearts to devour entire storefronts and window displays. It’s cliché to celebrate it, and it’s cliché to boycott it. Basically, it’s the least-favorite holiday of many people, some who even dread its annual arrival.
This year, instead of shelling out for a fancy dinner reservation or long-stemmed red roses, why don’t you bring a date (or a friend, or just yourself) to an awesome Valentine’s Day-inspired art show or performance? Here are some of the many offbeat, somewhat anti-Valentine’s Day happenings taking place in February:
Bandshell Presents: Teengirl Fantasy at Le Poisson Rouge. “Just as the album is one of the most beautiful and unusual things you’re likely to hear, so their shows are also truly unmissable events, and rare opportunities to see the pair play their music where it truly belongs – in a live setting, on a dance floor,” gushes NYC-ARTS. Head over to Le Poisson Rouge on Valentine’s Day for a fantastic live show. ($12)
Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque at the Highline Ballroom. For a fun and creative date on Valentine’s Day, take your sweetie to this amazing event. Featuring live music and bawdy burlesque from some of NYC’s best performers, Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque is not to be missed. ($25)
It’s Like My Heart Has Sciatica: SMITH Mag’s Annual Love & Heartbreak Story Show at 92Y Tribeca. This annual event is perfect for someone who vehemently identifies as anti-Valentine’s Day, but still wants to enjoy the arts and feels obligated to take their partner out. The Love & Heartbreak Story Show will feature readings, slam poetry, “six word memoirs,” audience participation, and lots of love and heartbreak. ($10)
Other ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day include: checking out the “Heartwalk” at Duffy Square, visiting the Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History, catching a screening of “The Lovers” at MoMA, or watching rom-coms in bed with a huge bowl of ice cream in your lap.