12 Brooklyn hot spots to smooch your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day
Happy Valentine’s Day. Where are you and your sweetheart planning to smooch?
We have some suggestions, if you haven’t yet made plans for this all-important day. Brooklyn’s got hot spots that are sure to spark romance.
By the way, if you’re looking to impress your loved one with your erudition on this day of hearts and flowers, you can mention there’s a Saint Valentine — and he’s the patron saint of lovers, epileptics and beekeepers.
You might want to skip the part about Saint Valentine, who was a Roman priest and Christian martyr, being beheaded on Feb. 14 around the year 270 AD. What a mood dampener.
P.S. Saint Valentine’s origin story is complicated. There’s another man named Valentine who was also martyred in Christianity’s early years. Don’t expend too much brain power on this. You need to be thinking about which of these fine places you will choose for your Valentine’s Day date.
Birds of a feather
Stand on the shoreline by Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay for your smooch. Neighborhood residents come out here just about every day to toss bread into the water to feed the neighborhood swans.
We all know that swans mate for life. How inspirational!
And this waterfront is super-scenic. There’s a bait shop further down Emmons Avenue that looks like something out of an old movie.
Love, love me do
How can you go wrong on a street called Love Lane?
The sweet street is just one block long, between Henry and Hicks streets in Brooklyn Heights. Legend has it that Dutch maidens strolled with their swains here back in Colonial times.
In the 21st Century, Love Lane isn’t hugely scenic. The building at the entrance to it is a CVS drugstore.
So if you want to time your kiss just right, stroll halfway down the lane, turn right and don’t go in for the liplock until you’re on College Place, which is Brooklyn’s prettiest dead-end. It’s lined with brick carriage houses painted in lovely hues.
The other great Brooklyn Heights place for a Valentine’s Day smooch is the Promenade.
The famous walkway, with its epic views of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the bright lights of Manhattan, has been a romantic spot for a stroll since it was built in the 1950s.
The Department of Transportation wanted to tear down the Promenade and replace it temporarily with a highway during upcoming BQE repairs. But to Brooklyn Heights residents’ relief, it looks like the city’s going to leave the Promenade intact while it undertakes the fix-up.
Go Goth for Valentine’s Day
What could be more romantic than a kiss in a graveyard? You can go Goth for Valentine’s Day.
We recommend Green-Wood Cemetery, where star-crossed 19th-century lovers Charlotte Canda and her fiance Charles Albert Jarrett de la Marie are buried.
She died in a carriage accident on her 17th birthday. Because her grief-stricken fiance committed suicide, he can’t be buried on consecrated ground with her.
So he doesn’t lie next to her, beneath the beautiful monument her family built for her. His tombstone is off in the grass, some distance away.
While you’re in the famous graveyard, you should stop by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s grave. Why not bring a rose to leave by his grave marker, or a bottle of Colt 45, as his fans sometimes do?
A word of caution: The cemetery closes its gates at 5 p.m. You do not want to get locked in overnight. There is nothing romantic about hypothermia.
Love that dirty water
Nothing says romance like a wooden bridge with cobblestones — and a toxic waterway to keep things edgy.
The beloved and dangerously dirty Gowanus Canal has a landmarked span called the Carroll Street Bridge, which was built in the 1880s. It’s the perfect spot for a scenic smooch. You can find it on Carroll Street (Duh!) near the intersection of Bond Street.
It’s a safer choice than the Union Street Bridge a few blocks away. Gowanus activists are warning that young kids might fall through the gaps there.
Thomas Wolfe lived here
The sweetest spot in landmarked Cobble Hill is a single-block street with carriage houses and former stables built in the 1840s and 1850s. They’re painted blissful hues of pink, white and pale green or are untouched brick in soft reddish tones.
This street is called Verandah Place. It runs along the edge of Cobble Hill Park, a tiny but lovely recreation area.
Book lovers should take note: Novelist Thomas Wolfe lived on Verandah Place in the early 1930s.
Brooklyn’s most scenic parking lot
We wouldn’t normally throw business’s names into a Valentine’s Day story. We don’t want to play favorites. Just about every restaurant and bar in Brooklyn is looking for your patronage on Valentine’s Day. We hope you’ll choose one to go to after your special smooch.
But we have to, have to, have to mention Nick’s Lobster House, which is waaaay down Flatbush Avenue, past Kings Plaza Mall. The parking lot at Nick’s has one of the best views in waterfront Brooklyn.
You can see the shoreline of Mill Basin, a neighborhood where many houses have boat docks as well as backyards. (Nick’s has windowside tables with a similar view, in case you were wondering.)
Rocky but wonderful
If you want a sure-fire winner for a sunset-smooch spot, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pebble Beach is where you should go.
Depending on which direction you face, you can see the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, cool stuff in the park like Jane’s Carousel and the Manhattan skyline — or the more modern Manhattan Bridge.
The pebbles are a bit awkward to stand on for a liplock, but there are stone slabs set up like an amphitheater. Stand on one of these slabs and you won’t lose your footing.
On a clear day, you can see forever
There’s a second smooching spot in Brooklyn Bridge Park that deserves a mention of its own.
Empire Stores has a rooftop with vast views. These are the same things you see down on Pebble Beach, plus you can gaze way into Manhattan and up to Williamsburg.
Empire Stores is a landmarked coffee warehouse that has been turned into shops, restaurants and offices. Its roof is a public recreation area.
The other bridge
Everybody else is going to tell you to stand on the Brooklyn Bridge for your big kiss. Nobody loves the Brooklyn Bridge more than the Brooklyn Eagle. We recommended the bridge as a place to greet the dawn on New Year’s Day.
But we want you to think out of the box a little bit for Valentine’s Day. Try the Manhattan Bridge instead. This dandy steel span, which opened in 1909, has a pedestrian pathway.
March out to the middle of it. You’ll get a view of Brooklyn Bridge Park that you’ve never seen before. The park’s shoreline is down there. Jane’s Carousel is down there. You can see the Brooklyn Bridge.
You can also get a good look at DUMBO’s old-fashioned architecture, too.
We love you, Red Hook
Valentine’s Day on Valentino Pier. Doesn’t that sound perfect?
The pier can be found in a wonderful Red Hook park named for heroic firefighter Louis Valentino Jr. When you gaze out onto the water, you can see the Statue of Liberty.
When you turn inland, you see the historic Lidgerwood Building. Package delivery giant UPS was going to demolish this gorgeous painted-brick factory building. But after an outcry from Red Hook activists and residents, UPS has promised to preserve the Lidgerwood Building facade that faces the park.
God bless the Irish
Vinegar Hill, which is the neighborhood next to DUMBO, has cobblestones and houses built in 1817.
Go stand on the corner of Hudson Avenue and Water Street. There’s a Con Ed substation with a big smokestack in the backdrop, which adds a modern, urban touch to the scenery.
The neighborhood is called Vinegar Hill because an Irish immigrant, John Jackson, did the early development here at the beginning of the 19th century and he got to decide. He was thinking of the Battle of Vinegar Hill, which took place during the Irish Rebellion of 1798.
If you loved this story, check out our list of fab things to do this weekend.
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