By Jillian Festa
Valentine’s Day is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. Heart-shaped items tend to surface the minute Christmas is over, if not before. Romance-themed recipes, videos and articles bombard social media for weeks leading up to the big holiday.
Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, students of the College will have extra time to celebrate the holiday with friends and loved ones. The College’s close proximity to Princeton, Philadelphia and New York makes it easy for students to take a day trip and explore the lively attractions and venues in the city. There are also a number of local restaurants and on-campus events for those not looking to travel far this weekend. Whether or not you have a significant other this Valentine’s Day, make sure to carve out some time for yourself this weekend away from the books and studying.
It seems several students are already planning to spend the day in New York City. Junior Amanda Gagliano and senior Nick Bobryk, both interactive multimedia majors, will be sampling the highly coveted and elaborately decorated milkshakes served at Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer in SoHo. The pair then plans to explore Bobryk’s internship office and surrounding sites in the city.
Senior interactive multimedia major Emma Dwight will also be in the city next weekend — she and her boyfriend plan to grab dinner and see “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” or a Broadway show.
If you are unable to make it to the city on V-Day, there are a number of equally-lively options closer to campus. Dwight, who met her boyfriend while working as a park ranger, shared some of her favorite local happy-hour venues for students of legal drinking age. Her top recommendation is Bahama Breeze at the MarketFair Mall in Princeton, N.J.
“They have a late-night happy hour on Sundays,” Dwight said. “(And) appetizers are half-off after 9 p.m.”
Anyone looking to celebrate earlier in the day can head over to one of the cafes or diners in the local area. Café 72 in Ewing, N.J., is a fan-favorite that serves breakfast and lunch until 2:30 p.m. Whether you are with friends, a significant other or by yourself, nothing says love quite like cannoli stuffed french toast with Nutella drizzle.
Other local highlights include the Mizuki Asian Bistro, which offers a range of Japanese and Chinese dishes. Mikonos Restaurant, which serves traditional Greek cuisine, and Marsilios Kitchen, which features a sophisticated Italian menu, are two other great dining options for Valentine’s Day.
Senior special education and iSTEM double major Emily Whipple will be partaking in a day-long celebration with her girlfriend.
“We’ll be having brunch, getting a couples massage, then going to dinner with my girlfriend’s aunt,” Whipple said.
Whipple is also vice president of the College’s Harry Potter club, which will be hosting a Valentine’s Day-themed dance on Tuesday, Feb. 16, in room 109 of the Education Building at 8:30 p.m.
Another on-campus opportunity that students can take advantage of is the Humanitarian Engineering’s annual flower sale. Roses can be purchased in the entryway of Eickhoff Hall from Friday, Feb. 12, through Sunday, Feb. 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.
If you’re looking to give that special someone something sweeter, the College’s chapter of She’s the First will be selling and hand-delivering cupcake grams for just one dollar. The cupcakes can be purchased in the Brower Student Center during meal equivalency hours from Tuesday, Feb. 9, through Friday, Feb. 12. All of the money raised during this time will be used to sponsor girls’ education in low-income countries, so don’t be afraid to treat yourself or a loved one to a guilt-free cupcake this Valentine’s Day!
It’s clear that not all Valentine’s Day plans include an upscale city trip or sit-down meal. Senior interactive multimedia major Glenn Nuñez said that he will be stocking up on red velvet cookies from ShopRite this year and plans to spend the day relaxing inside.
Freshman computer science and interactive multimedia double major Tori Swartz also has alternative plans for the holiday.
“My boyfriend’s in the Army and won’t be around on Valentine’s Day,” Swartz said. “Instead, I’ll be going to a concert with my roommate — we’ll be each other’s dates for the day!”
There are plenty of other low-cost, low-hassle ways to celebrate the holiday. You could buy some LED candles, put on a record or Spotify playlist and cook dinner with a friend or significant other. Ordering take-out food and streaming a favorite Netflix TV show or film is another surefire way to spend the holiday.
No matter what you decide to do this Valentine’s Day, be sure to make the most of the weekend doing what you enjoy most, surrounded by friends and loved ones. Happy Valentine’s Day to all in the College community!