Our City + State

Field Notes: On Valentine's Day

2/1/2017 | Jewel Maxfield

Field Notes: No Need for Pity, Fall in Love with Your City

Valentines Day is nearing, pals, and the atmosphere is abuzz with equal parts love and bitterness. While many of us look forward to the Hallmark-ridden sentiment and office-wide flower delivery dog-n-pony show, there are just as many who aren’t in the damn mood right now. We can’t blame either side, really…we’ve been aboard the love boat and the sinking ship. Ultimately, though, we’re COLLECTIVELY all about holidays (you know we love celebrating). So, with V-Day just 4 away, we’re curating our list of love songs and ever-so-carefully readying the mixtape with a pencil, finger poised over the pause button so that the transition from “Lady in Red” to “All My Life” is as smooth as the vocals on both. Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romance, but about all the shit we love. Yourself…your homies…those beers in the ‘fridge that you snuck in from Idaho. You can celebrate however in the hell you like in this fantastic city of ours. Take a hike or take a nap. Make a bowl of cereal or some reservations at your favorite local restaurant.

You can’t screw it up if you treat yourself (or others) to something a little special. 

Anything goes, man. But if you’re low on ideas, allow us to hold our boom box high and share a quick playlist of V-Day options:

1. Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Our respects to tradition and all, but a dozen long stems is kinda played out. Flowers and plants in general, however, are not. We've got some good spots in this city for grabbing a bunch of unconventional pretties. Orchid Dynasty, por ejemplo, is filthy with thriving succulents, cacti, and (obviously) orchids; and Blooms & Co. owner, Brynn, can help you avoid the tele-floral nonsense and set you up with a lovely bunch. Other options: Cactus & Tropicals, Paradise Palm, Petal Coop.

2. Love Bites. Food and love go hand in hand, sure. But so do food and indifference, food and friendship, food and loneliness, etc. The most romantic of nights can be had at home, someone diligently chopping and sautéing and balsamic reduction-ing in the name of love--and for such a night, we suggest you grab a few specialty ingredients and cheeses form Liberty Heights Fresh. But if it's out you need, we've got restaurants: Pago, Niche, Finca, Aves Bistro, Pallet, Eva, Takashi, Current, or any of the Coppers will do you and yours damn fine. (Make your rezzies now, though.) Other options: Market Street, Avenues Proper, Naked Fish (Or for Park City, we loooove Handle.)

3. What a Fool Believes. Valentine's can be as much about learning as any other day of the week. Get cultured this year and take your lovers-day act to an institution of study and interest. The Natural History Museum is essentially a modern blend of romance and mind-expansion. Mark Seely's work at Concept Gallery will put an anatomic spin on your night (as if you needed it). You can see sensuality vs. struggle made clear on canvas via Andrew Moncrief's A Strange Feeling at UMOCA. Or head to the Mummies Exhibit at the Leonardo and imagine yourself wrapped ever-so-tenderly next to the one you love (for-everrr). Other options: UMFA, or countless local galleries.

4. Too Hot. On the one evening a year when restaurants are all at capacity, and diners are gazing at one another intimately over a shared slab of meat, it can be nice to go someplace a bit less…syrupy. A cup of coffee and a good read in a well-designed space will do it. Obviously, there are myriad spots in SLC to get a good cuppa: La Barba serves an amazing pour-over in a damn fine atmosphere. Same with 3 Cups in Holladay (we recommend the Cortado and cinnamon toast), as well as Publik. And, think ahead: prior to landing where you'll sip, make a stop at King's English to find a good read and support a local book shop. Other options: Sam Weller's, Coffee Garden.

5. All Night Long (all niiight). Wanna just drink and hang out? Cool. SLC has tons of rad places to do both, whether it's just you, you plus one, or your entire gang of hooligans. For late night bites with a side of delicious cocktail/beer/cider, we suggest the likes of Rye (dumplings, mac and cheese) or East Liberty Tap House (mmmburger, elk chili). If you've no interest in food a-tall, then you ought to head to Bar X and start your evening of whiskey and regrets. Not a hard liquor lover? Wander through the curtain to Beer Bar. Not feeling either one? Go to Whiskey Street. Feeling fancy? Hit the Lobby or Gibson Lounges at Grand America. In Park City? Why, OP Rockwell! Other options: Junior's Tavern, Twilite Lounge, Bourbon House.

The point is, you're all set up, no matter what you want your day of amour to look like. Get out. Stay in. Make it yours. Happy Valentine's Day.

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