February 12, 2013

Love the way you buy: A street-smart guide to Hyde Park's V-Day specials

57th Street Books Valentine-themed window display, all dessed up and no place to go.

Courtesy of Jamie Manley

 North of 53rd Street:

Encore, the resale clothing store, will sell all pink and red items 50 percent off on Thursday. Pam Holmes, an employee at Drawers Intimate Toys, said, “We have special red outfits in. We consider these sets to be conservative—they’re for everybody. It’s something cute to put on for that day, to have fun. It’s not the high-end stuff. We also have adult novelties, like board games.” Prices rarely top $60 at Drawers, which has been in Hyde Park for almost 25 years.

53rd Street:

The new Harper Theater and the adjacent candy store Kilwins are almost aggressively using Valentine’s Day as a way of continuing to establish their presence in Hyde Park. At Harper Theater, you can buy candy, two medium drinks, a large popcorn, two movie tickets to any movie, and one rose(!) for $40. Next door, Jackie Jackson, an owner of Kilwins and an Oprah ambassador (if you meet her, ask to look at her iPhone pictures), says Kilwins will have chocolate-covered strawberries and gift baskets. For these and other goodies, Kilwins offers several coupons, including five dollars off anything over $30, and 10 percent off all goods until June 1 (these are available at Harper Theater or in-store). Kilwins will host “what you would call a viewing party” of Oprah’s Next Chapter on Saturday at 8 p.m.; the episode will feature Beyoncé’s first interview since her Super Bowl performance. Complimentary samples of hot chocolate and fudge will be available. Freehling Pot and Pan Co. has a window display with “a lot of red,” according to one employee, who also said the store will not offer discounts. At The Sit Down Café & Sushi Bar, specials will include “The Sweetheart” martini, a concoction of rum, lime juice, mango juice, pineapple juice, and a splash of grenadine. There will also be a chocolate cupcake with pink icing and a chocolate heart on top that a waitress there calls “really cute.” Moving west to the 53rd Street plaza, Hyde Park Produce’s Web site blares, “Happy Valentine’s Day!! We Have the Perfect Gift for Your Valentine...A Hyde Park Produce Gift Card!!” Consider too that Kimbark Beverage Shoppe’s customary weekly sale begins on Wednesday; certain red and white wines will be sold at a discount.

55th Street:

At Treasure Island, orchids and roses will be on sale. The Snail, The Fair Trader, and Cornell Florist are collaborating on a 55th Street Lovebirds Special: Bring a receipt from any of these three businesses to another on Valentine’s Day, and you’ll get 10 percent off your purchase. At Cornell Florist, prices will rise, since distributors know this is “a big flower week.” Parker’s, a natural dog and cat market, is celebrating non-human romance by holding a dog treat tasting from 4–7 p.m. on Thursday. A representative from The Honest Kitchen, a natural pet foods company, will be giving out heart-shaped chicken liver and peanut butter–flavored treats. All week, Parker’s will be giving out “locally-made doggie bakery treats that are Valentine’s Day themed.” Owners welcome.

57th Street:

For window shoppers, 57th Street Books has a comprehensive display featuring cut-out paper hearts, plus everything from sophisticated novels about love to a kosher sex book. Though one employee was inspired to curate this mini love library, the bookstore will not actually have discounts this Thursday. The good old Medici Bakery will have heart-shaped custard-and-fruit tarts with hazelnut crust, cheesecake, and potentially other special baked goods, depending on what head baker Gracie Gamero has planned.