NYC SELF-LOVE DATES

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Ahhh, Valentine’s Day. Another holiday lost in translation.

What it should be saying? Today is a day to celebrate love amongst everyone in every way possible!

What it really says? Today is a day to buy ridiculously priced gifts, desserts and/or flowers for the person you consider (or eventually want to consider) your sweetheart. It is also known as Make-reservations-for-a-subpar-restaurant-with-an-overpriced-pre-fixe-menu Day.

If you’re single, it declares it as a day for back pats and hugs. The warm gestures aren’t appreciative ones, but pity pats because you’re the only one in the office that didn’t receive a 1-800-Flowers box of half-wilted roses.

* e y e r o l l *

We don’t get down like that over here. We’re about love all the time, but on Valentine’s Day, we’re ALL about that good ol’ self-love.

I’ve compiled a list of super cool self-dates suited for every type of person for use on Valentine’s Day, or any other day for that matter. 

Because who’s gon’ love you better than yourself, baby?

The Social Foodie

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There are foodies, those who Instagram photos of their culinary experiences, and then there are social foodies; those who are too busy actually experiencing to post anything anyway. If you’re more of the latter and look forward to meeting people during your solo treks, kick it up a notch from eating at the bar.

EatWith is best described as the Airbnb of dinner parties. It allows guests to choose a location, a chef, and indulge in culinary perfection at the chosen chef’s crib with a bunch of other strangers. Did I mention it’s available all over the world? 

If you’re not ready to sit at anyone’s private table, try a cooking party! Cooking parties are a little bit pricey at first glance, but think about it. You’re paying to get a lesson, the meal (which in this case is three courses including unlimited vino), and you get to make some new friends.

The Culture Vulture

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If you enjoy Tchaikovsky just as much as Talib Kweli, interpretive dance makes you hot, and gallery hopping is not just a weekend thing, but a lifestyle, you my friend are a vulture for culture. These self-love date options are perfect for keeping in tune with your favorite activities without ripping through your pockets.

Submerge yourself in the performing arts in your own backyard. Did you know that Lincoln Center offers free performances every single week? Their David Rubenstein Atrium showcases national, international and local artists for music and dance performances. All you have to do is be early as they run on a first come, first serve basis. 

As for gallery hopping, I recommend one of my favorite all in one museums, The Rubin. Along with breathtaking exhibits, it houses Cafe Serai where you can get a taste of The Himalayas without ever leaving the city. And on Friday nights, Serai converts itself into the sultry K2 Lounge where the museum features a different funky DJ every week.

The Gamer

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If you dream in up + A + down + B, but want to step away from the Xbox and see the world in more than just pixels, these options allow for getting some fresh air, grub, beer and throwing down on all types of games.

If you wanted to decorate an afternoon with board game, some coffee and a bite, then The Uncommons has dropped down from small business heaven just for you. Don’t have anyone to play with? No worries. This place holds the largest library of board games on the entire East Coast; I’m sure you’ll find someone to play with upon arrival. 

If you’re looking for some evening fun, it’s always play time at AceBar. The pool tables, skeeball, pinball machines and board games lend itself to the East Village bar’s quirky character. With over 23 beers to choose from, it’s an adult gamer’s perfect hideaway.

The Writer

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Writers have the tendency to fully immerse themselves in a notebook or laptop and get lost for weeks at a time. I’d know because I battle this type of Emily Dickinson reclusion every single day. After days of repeating the same eat, write, shower and change pajamas pattern, I force myself into some jeans and head for the real world. Stay in your element and boost your inspo with these fresh ideas.

Whether you’re a poet or not, listening to someone else spit some prose could lather up your imagination. Luckily for you, New York City is literally crawling with opportunities to watch live poets get down. Bowery Poetry encourages the advancement of the arts by creating a space for poets to do just that. They offer frequent shows at super cheap ticket prices. 

If you would rather grease up your gears than play with your imagination, taking a fun writing course is a great idea. I remember my college creative writing course being my most favorite class ever because it shot me to new literary heights. Gotham Writers offers an array of (sometimes free) class options for those who want to get higher. 

The Spiritual Savant

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I don’t have to say much to you because self-love is your thang. You know how important it is to spend time nourishing your mind, body and spirit in order to reveal your best self. I may just be another spiritual scholar finding her way, but I have some suggestions that may aid you on your journey, city slicker.

I have the pleasure of being in touch with a bunch of dope people who are into spiritualism and healing. As I was scrolling my Twitter timeline a while ago, I fell upon a photo of an aura reading. Completely intrigued, I finally found the time to go to check it out for myself and WOW has it made a difference in my overall self-presence. If you’re curious, hit up Magic Jewelry - besides having all the answers, they have a wonderful staff willing to help in any way. They also have a huge selection of healing crystals and beads to support you after your reading. 

In case you’re looking for some all-over stimulation-relaxation, how about some Deep House Yoga? The affordable bump and bend classes makes you stretch and shake your asana to the sounds of deep, beautiful house music. 

The Workaholic

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You scarf down your meals, are barely home and work fifty hour weeks to make enough money to…not enjoy yourself? You need a break, and by break I mean a day off. If you can afford to take a personal day, TAKE ONE. I call them despojo days, one of my blogger friends calls them mental health days off, you can call them whatever you want, but TAKE ONE…and maybe try one of these relaxing activities.

Nap time! No, I’m not kidding, and no you’re not cuddling up in your bed. I’m suggesting you lay your wound up body in one of Yelo Spa’s zero gravity, cashmere plush Yelo Chair’s for a 25 to 40 minute rejuvenation nap. With customizable aromatherapy and sound settings, you’ll walk out feeling sparkly. 

If you’re not really into new age relaxation and want something a little more old fashioned NYC, pull up a chair at Arturo’s for some coal oven pizza, wine and live jazz. You won’t regret it.

The Cynic

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Last but not least. You don’t really care to do too much to “love yourself” because you already do, right? You’re good with a book, your couch and some wine. Well how about you get out of the house with that book and get some wine on tap. No, just like my nap suggestion in the above paragraph, I’m not kidding about this either. Lois Bar offers it’s customers delicious seasonal small plates as well as sixteen types of freshly kegged wine. Those are sixteen ways to love yourself if you ask me.