Major holidays summon a kaleidoscope of emotions for many people, but few bring out the complicated mixture of pressure and pleasure of Valentine's Day.
The February holiday should only possess all of these qualities: special romantic loving extravagant personal quirky memorable outrageous swanky. Right? That's per the many messages we get, which means that staging a last-minute lovefest comes with oodles of expectations.
Forget all that noise. Here are five interesting things to do around Southern California, expectations not required:
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FREE GRAND PARK PARTY: Downtown's big swath o' green is the setting for a Funky Sole: Lovers Edition bash on Friday, Feb. 14, and the "funky soul party" in the great outdoors promises to be relaxed in the way the holiday is often not. Meaning? Dancing, dancing, dancing, the Grilled Cheese Truck, good soul tunes, DJs, more dancing, and freeness. We mentioned the no-admission part, right? Let's say it again: no admission.
METRO SPEED DATE: Ever made eyes at someone on a train? Did they notice you? Did you stare wistfully at their back as they disembarked at their stop? Time to rewrite that story. Love is often found on Metro, say the Metro people, and with that in mind, and heart, they're hosting a Valentine's lunchtime speed-o-match-a-thon on the Red Line. Lots of details, but here's the big one: It could happen for you.
A NIGHT IN BUENOS AIRES: Ohhh, we want to wing down south for the holiday, but Luxe Hotel brings the spirit of the tango to Sunset Boulevard. LA Wine Tasting is behind the stylish shindig, a bash which will feature, you guessed it, plenty of dancing and vino. Tango champions shall sashay, so prepared to be wowed by Valentine's-y spectacle.
CEMETERY SCREENING: We have a pretty-easy-to-prove theory that "Harold and Maude," cinema's ultimate tribute to quirky romance, plays somewhere around Southern California on Valentine's. Why? Because it usually does. The 1971 treat is landing at the Sunnyside Cemetery in Long Beach on Valentine's night, for a screening. Long Beach Cinematheque and Lola's Mexican Cuisine are co-hosts.
THE LOVE CONNECTION COMBO: Picture a giant footlong hot dog built for two. A frankfurter fantasy? A dream? A meaty flight of fancy? Nope, it exists in this plane of reality, at the Dog Haus. The Pasadena-based hot dog favorite is offering the whimsical weiner all Valentine's weekend, for twenty bucks. A side of loaded fries or tots, drinks, and a cookie are on board.