Tag: valentine’s day

What Does Valentine’s Day Mean to You?

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loveless couplesTomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a holiday that has very different implications depending on where you fall on the “significant other” spectrum.

Two of my female friends in their forties presently are not part of a pair. Both of these women regularly profess to wanting to find a love interest, badly. They share with me their sordid stories of blind dates, struggles with online dating services, utter frustration over the perceived lack of a strong pool of potential single male mates in this town.

Valentine’s Day on a Baltimore College Student’s Budget

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surprise

So Valentine’s Day is coming up (in 48 hours) and you have a special someone you want to do something for but not much money? Well, that’s almost all of us. Since I’m a college student, I can recommend a few ways to celebrate on a student’s budget:

Shop in the Name of Love at Ruxton Station this Wednesday

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Shop_for_Love_Emailer

catch of the day fish (2)Despite what the headline might have you believe, this isn’t just another hot tip about where to buy the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. “Shop in the Name of Love” is actually an event being held this Wednesday (the 13th) to help raise money for the One Love Foundation—the local foundation dedicated to the memory of Yeardley Love and to ending relationship violence. This Wednesday, the shops at Ruxton Station will be donating a portion of all purchases to One Love, helping advance that mission—and maybe even supplying you with some Valentine’s Day must-haves along the way.

Baltimore’s Most Romantic Restaurants (Not)

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Now that's what I call romantic food.
Now that’s what I call romantic food.

Awwwww:  restaurant reservation site Open Table has named Baltimore the 17th most-romantic city in America. That means we’re more romantic than Las Vegas (not difficult) and less romantic than Columbus, Ohio (hmmmm….).

Sex at the Zoo (yes, really) for Valentine’s Day

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Sex at the Zoo

catch of the day fish (2)We’re filing this one under “only in Baltimore…” But also, we want in. Tired of the same old flowers, chocolates, dinner-and-maybe-a-show-or-a-movie thing for Valentine’s Day? Does the human race’s record on stable, committed relationships depress you? Looking to bring back some of the animal passion that you’re sure your relationship had at some point? Or do you just want confirmation that bodies and biology are gross and we’re all just pre-programmed skin-covered bags of hormones? Well, the Maryland Zoo has just the thing for you and that special someone with whom you share these idiosyncrasies. Cancel the flower delivery and make reservations now for “Sex at the Zoo: A Special Adults Only Event.”

Special February Package from Christopher Schafer Clothiers

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Christopher Schafer

catch of the day fish (2)Well, back to non-football-crazed reality. Not that we’re complaining. Frankly, the amount of sales, specials, shows, and other social/cultural offerings that we missed these past weeks—due to our Ravens-colored myopia—was becoming unsustainable. At the end of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy swears she’ll never again stray any farther than her own backyard. Similarly, we swear we’ll never again let the anticipation of one silly game blind us for so long to everything else going on. Or at least we’ll try. In any event, one fantastic offer we haven’t missed (thank goodness) is the special February deal from Christopher Schafer Clothiers—essentially a whole package of fine custom menswear for one inclusive price.

Hotel Week Born in Baltimore

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valentineIt’s that time of year again; time to make up for your relationship mishaps by giving chocolates and other tokens of affection. Why not do something different this year? How about stay in a hotel and pretend to be strangers in your own town? Well, right now is the best time because Baltimore is gearing up for its first annual Hotel Week. Sponsored by Visit Baltimore, the event rides on the successful steam of Restaurant Weeks past. Many hotels around the city are discounting their rates during the week of February 8-18, including Hotel Monaco, Admiral Fell Inn, Hyatt Regency and the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel. More scoop after the jump.

Boudoir Photo Sessions Get a "Mad Men" Makeover

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Ever thought about having some professional — and personal — photos taken of yourself to share with the one you love?

Mary Gardella, a Savage-based photographer for Love Life Images, is shooting 40-minute special boudoir sessions inspired by a “Mad Men” theme. Former photojournalist Gardella has partnered with Amie Decker Beauty for the pre-portrait makeup and hairstyling.

Being sensitive to how revealed her clients might feel, Gardella creates a relaxing environment complete with “little sets, a bit of Hollywood lighting, mood music and champagne.” Gardella says, “Like actors, once you’re in your ‘costumes’ you start to take on this personality.”

The “Mad Men” theme is another way to get women thinking outside of the box about ways they can feel more glamorous. Gardella says, “Add vintage to the mix and you get to explore another time and place.” Gardella, who’s a Film Noir fan, “loves the drama that lighting can add to a scene.”

After the shoot, the women will receive a lookbook of their best photos that they can share with their special someone. The photo sessions take place March 2-3, but I’m sure an I-owe-you Valentine’s Day card mentioning a sexy album would make any man happy. A select amount of the $450 sessions are still available.

Wondering what you’d wear for this occasion? Gardella recommends some Maryland shops, including The Bottom Drawer and A’ La Mode. Want some vintage looks without looking in public? Gardella suggests internet shopping at Dollhouse Bettie or Lucy B.

From my experience — okay, experiences — with boudoir photos, the fun is in the playful accessories. I’d browse some thrift stores beforehand for pin-up style tchotchkes like life rings from ships or pastel-colored rotary dial phones.

Organ Plush Toys for Valentine’s? Ten Percent of Sales Benefit Hopkins

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If you want to say I love you in a new and different way, say “I Heart Your Guts” with a stuffed intestine from I Heart Guts.  The unusual plush toys will be on sale at Trohv on The Avenue in Hampden and 10 percent of the sales of the toys will go to the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute.

Give the “When Urine Love” kidney shirt, or proffer an “I Lung You” lapel pin to your beloved. Instead of roses and chocolate, how about a stuffed testicle (“Having a Ball”) or ovary (“Ova Achiever”) to let your honey know you’re in the mood for love?

I Heart Guts founder Wendy Bryan is the anatomically-obsessed illustrator who makes plush internal organs. Black Book magazine said of the guts, “These furry toys can transplant love back into any tired relationship, while Time Out New York says, “The deliriously happy bunch is sure to put any get-well card to shame.”

 

 

This Week in Research: Valentine’s Day Dread; Googling the Flu

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In the old days — like, say, last year — hospitals looked to the government to tell them when an influenza outbreak was immanent. The CDC case reports are useful in that they help hospitals prepare for an upswing in sick, contagious patients… but they can be woefully outdated by the time they actually get to the hospitals. A better way to gauge whether an influenza surge is happening around town, according to a recent Johns Hopkins study?  Just Google it.  Well, GoogleFlu it.  The internet search behemoth has started tracking trends in flu searches, meaning that when a person Googles symptoms or obsessively checks WebMD, the site pays attention. And those internet search trends turn out to have a strong correlation with a subsequent rise in hospital admissions of people complaining of flu-like symptoms. Using this model, hospitals can know that an outbreak is coming as it starts to happen — rather than weeks after the fact, as with the CDC reports.

And you thought the holiday season was over! If you’ve been in a drug store recently, you may have noticed that they’re already festooned with Valentine’s Day items, more than a month before that holiday begins. That’s no accident — February 14 is the second-biggest holiday for greeting card retailers, according to the University of Maryland’s Janet Wagner. A full 80 percent of Americans report sending a card to a partner. But it’s not all love and roses out there — UM education professor Ken Rubin estimates that a quarter of kids in a typical classroom are singled out for open rejection by other students; for them, the holiday is just another chance to be publicly rejected. And, as we all know, the holiday can get spendy, especially for men; they spend three to four times as much as women on Valentine’s gifts, says Wagner.

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