Valentine’s Day at Café Du Nord (And Other Cheap Dates)
I’ve never been scolded for shameless self-promotion on this site so I’m assuming it’s kosher. Thus, I am now going to encourage you to attend my album release show at Café Du Nord on Valentine’s Day (that’s February 14th, for those of you who pretend not to know the date). But I’d be telling you to go even if it weren’t my show because the lineup is great (check it out of FBook for more info) and there are a bunch of cheesy (but awesome) V-Day activities planned. Because when Du Nord said “February 14th is available but you probably don’t want Valentine’s Day,” I said, “How wrong you are. I’m gonna Valentine’s the shit out of that show.”
A local Marin Headlands-dwelling favorite, Magic Leaves, will open the night, and though this Chasing the Moon episode shows a heavier, rockier side of the band, V-Day’s set will be mellower. We’re setting the mood, people.
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Headlining is Honeycomb, one of my all-time favorite local bands. Their live show will blow your mind. I promise. Another promise I’ve made is to do some cheesy love song covers. Maybe even some Boyz II Men. And aother promise I’ve made is that if you don’t arrive with a date, I’ll make sure you leave with one. I’m not sure yet just how I’m going to accomplish this. But I do know that there will be a kissing booth at the merch table. As far as who is staffing it, I thought about hiring hookers but then I remember that they don’t kiss on the lips. Clearly I’ve learned everything I know about the underbelly of society from an obscure little indie flick called Pretty Woman.
And just so that I’m not a total jerk for posting my show alone, here are some suggestions for cheap Valentine’s Day dates that I wrote about last year for the Bay Guardian:
BIG KID ACTIVITIES
When you were six, falling down in public was routine and relatively painless (given you didn’t have very far to fall). It’s a little different now that you’re an adult, especially if your clumsy face-plant happens in front of someone you’re trying to get into bed. But, really, what better way to get to know someone than through total humiliation? For many cold-weather novices (and too-cool-for-Brian-Boitano snobs), ice-skating offers the perfect opportunity for mutual embarrassment and, thus, subsequent bonding. On Valentine’s Day, the Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center is open to the public from 12-5 p.m. and 7:30-9 p.m. Admission for adults is $8 (or $11 with skate rental), a pretty low price to pay for feeling like a kid again. If you find yourself on the other side of the Bay Bridge and still fancy a skate, head over to Oakland Ice Center.
THE GROPE-A-DOPE DETOUR
If you skip the Valentine’s Day movie but still hope to get some R-rated action from an old-fashioned guy or gal, take advantage of San Francisco’s topography and drive up to Twin Peaks (501 Twin Peaks Road, SF.). It’s timeless, it’s free, and it’s quintessentially San Franciscan. Plus, who doesn’t love the classic make-out session at a lookout point? If you’re lucky, sneaking some of this old-fashioned romance into your night will get you one step closer to the set of twin peaks you’ve been trying gain access to since your first date. Or, if you’d like to catch a view of the Bay from Berkeley, drive up to Indian Rock (950 Indian Rock Ave.) or the Lawrence Hall of Science.
(*Note: The Guardian doesn’t like to print gender-specific things, so even though I was talking about lady lumps, they changed it from “gal” to “guy or gal,” only they forgot the “or” so the print version just said “guy gal,” which is ironic because there was a transvestite on the cover. Shot themselves in the foot there, now, didn’t they?)
THE SIP AND SOAK SERIES
If you’re in the East Bay and you’d like to get your date a little drunk in the middle of the afternoon (and why wouldn’t you?), take them to the Takara Tasting Room. The popular local sake company offers five different courses of sake tasting for a mere $5. And since sake has an average alcohol content of 15 percent (that’s 3 times more than most beers), you can get a pretty nice buzz going. If you want to continue on a more pampering route, then head over to Piedmont Springs for a little soak in a rustic redwood tub. Sure, you could do the whole candle-lit bath thing at home, but who wants to spend the next day cleaning up puddles, soap rings, and melted wax when you could, well, not? Piedmont Springs offers private outdoor tubs ($15), saunas ($13), and their popular combination room ($20). And if you’d like to plan a little sip-and-soak series in SF, check out the Valentine’s Day lineup at the San Francisco Brewer’s Guild’s Beer Week. Then once you’re nice and drunk, head to one of SF’s more affordable spas: Kabuki Springs & Spa or Imperial Day Spa. Side note: please remember that hot-tubbing while inebriated is not the safest thing to do, so be smart about it. Drowning does not a romantic Valentine’s Day make.
FREE FLASHMOB FLIRTING
(*Note: this doesn’t seem to be happening this year, at least I can’t find any info on it. And that’s a tragedy, so maybe one of you fine folks can take it upon yourself to make it happen?)
If it’s nearing the evening and you’re still seeking a last-minute hookup, the best (and strangest) place to look would be the Great San Francisco Pillow Fight, held annually in Justin Herman Plaza. When the Ferry Building clock strikes 6 p.m., grab a pillow you’re willing to destroy and start some feathery flashmob chaos. If you’re not familiar with the term “flashmob,” Wikipedia (that ever-reliable source of real information) defines it as “a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action for a brief time, then quickly disperse.” If all goes well, you’ll go home afterwards, sweaty and covered in feathers, and perform more unusual acts with your newfound Valentine.