It’s February and love is in the air! It’s also in store inventories and restaurant windows and radio stations. Are you feeling overwhelmed by the options?
Well, good news. We’ve scoured Park Slope retail for the best in Valentine’s fare at all price points and relationship levels. And don’t forget about the 5th Spending Spree— be sure to pick up a raffle ticket at participating Fifth Avenue locations and enter to win a $200 shopping spree.
1. Sale Valentine’s Cards at Scaredy Kat, $2.99
First things first, you need to get a card. Want to pick up something small-press and artsy without shelling out upwards of $6 per card? Scaredy Kat’s got you covered. They’ve also got you covered when it comes to your classic Valentine’s candies: red-dyed heart-shaped Junior Mints, Sweethearts, and general chocolates are all available and cheap.
Scaredy Kat is located at 232 Fifth Avenue between Carroll & President Streets, (718) 623-1839
2. Flip Book from Cog & Pearl, $6
An old-fashioned and delightfully twee gesture of affection. Check it out in action.
Cog & Pearl is located at 195 Fifth Avenue at Berkeley Place, (718) 623-8200
3. XOXO & Heart Sparklers from Lion in the Sun, $7
Lion in the Sun has a nice Valentine’s-themed endcap, but the most charming of all are these hugs and kisses sparklers. Turn the metaphors literal by creating your own fireworks, and sweep your significant other off his or her feet in the process.
If hearts are more your style, pick some up at the register, where there are also packs of multiple mini-sparklers.
Lion in the Sun is located at 232 7th Avenue, at the corner of 4th St, (718) 369-4006
4. LOVE Collection at Hiho Batik, $7-50
Hiho Batik is selling its heart-themed LOVE collection at 15% off now through the 14th, and they’ve got a wide range of apparel and accessories for kids and adults. From their felt-wrapped hearts-on-a-stick ($7) to pillows, bags, and shirts ($25-50), they’ve got plenty to choose from. And, if you’d like to personalize the gift, you can even create your own design in their batik workroom.
Hiho Batik is located at 184 Fifth Avenue between Berkeley and Lincoln Places, (718) 622-4446
5. Plush Animals in Purses from Little Things, $11.99
Maybe you’ve got a little one in your life (or a partner who’s young at heart) but these purses, which read “Forever Yours,” and their enclosed stuffed bears are pretty darling. They’ve got a few options, too, if you aren’t sold on that pairing, including the same stuffed bear in a purple “Love” bag or what I believe is a pink…reindeer (?) in a shiny purse with bow.
Little Things is located at 145 7th Avenue, between Carroll Street & Garfield Place, (718) 783-4733
6. Monogram rings at Eponymy, $15
At $15, these gold rings are not the real thing, but they are sweet, personal, and adjustable. Unfortunately the only letters that were in at my shopping visit were S, E, and T, so stock up for the Emilys and Sarahs in your life.
Eponymy is located at 466 Bergen Street between 5th & Flatbush Avenues, (718) 789-0301
7. Slow Dancing Through the Years Cassette Pack from Record & Tape, $20
A little ironic, a lot romantic, this three-cassette set is filled with hours and hours of classics and sometimes unexpected gems. The journey “through the years” refers pretty strictly to 1950-1980, but what else would you expect from a cassette pack? The gift does rely on either you or your Valentine having a tape deck, but if it works then it is well worth it. That couple on the cover could be you, minus the waterside balcony.
Also noteworthy: the Record and Tape male R&B section ($8-30) offers a mix of slow jams guaranteed to create perfect date night ambiance. Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls, Marvin Gaye, Percy Sledge, Luther Vandross? Look at you, you smooth operator.
Fifth Avenue Record & Tape is located at 439 Fifth Avenue between 8th & 9th Streets, (718) 499-8483
8. The Chocolate Box at DavidsTea, $29.50
A unique take on the box of chocolates, this set comes with samplers of six chocolate teas: Chocolate Orange (42g), Chocolate Rocket (42g), rose-petal-infused Love Tea #7 (36g), Mint Chocolate Rooibos (37g), Read My Lips (42g), and, current tea of the month, Red Velvet Cake (49g).
Read My Lips even comes with little red candy lips! Adorable. If you’re on the fence, or would like to curate your own tea box, the shop is great with giving out samples.
DavidsTea is located at 234 Seventh Avenue at 4th Street, (718) 788-2495
9. Charm Necklaces from The Clay Pot, $50-62
Dogeared jewelry certainly loves its puns. Perhaps your certain someone does as well? These dainty charms, either gold-dipped ($62) or sterling silver ($50), are a playful way to get your message across. Plus, who doesn’t want a bee necklace?
The Clay Pot is located at 162 7th Avenue, between Garfield Place & 1st Street, (718) 788-6564
10. Dog Treats and Toys from Unleashed, $4.99-7.99
Show your most loyal companion how much you care with some natural rawhide treats, which he or she will promptly and gleefully tear to pieces. Or, pick up a plush toy which, despite being designated for “cuddling,” will most likely also be torn to pieces. But at least your heart is safe and sound because a pet will never leave you!
Unleashed is located at 81 Seventh Avenue at Berkeley Place, (718) 230-5059
Photo of candy hearts by Brent Nashville