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Best Bets: Valentine’s Edition, Week of February 9, 2015

Map by Jason Lee  

Crown Heights’ first bakery-slash-bar, Butter and Scotch is the latest addition to Franklin Avenue’s romance district.

1. Berg’n: Pinball machines, Naked Flock cider (899 Bergen St.).
2. Hullabaloo Books: Romance novels, lots of Jane Austen (711A Franklin Ave.).
3. Wedge: Bonne Bouche, Vermont Creamery Bijou (728 Franklin Ave.).
4. Mountain: Virility-boosting chaga lattes (903 Franklin Ave.).
5. Butter and Scotch: Bourbon-ginger-pecan pie, Rock & Rye shakes (818 Franklin Ave.).
6. Wino(t): Verity reds, Winebow whites (796 Franklin Ave.).
7. Mayfield: Daily $1-oyster happy hour (688 Franklin Ave.).

2x2: Heart-Free Valentines
Customizable, less predictable.

Under $100:
Edible: Alana Jones-Mann cupcakes, $60 per dozen with custom gemstones at
Inedible: Maria Candanoza kissing-girls candles, $65 for custom color at

Over $100:
Edible: Tisha Cherry chocolate bling ring, from $100 for custom candy collection at
Inedible: Balloon Louis Vuitton bag, $400 per hour of custom balloon-making at

How to Give an At-Home Massage
Three tips from Brandon Bartling, manager of New York’s Pleasure Chest boutiques (150 Second Ave.; 156 Seventh Ave.).

A massage at Pleasure Chest.  

1. Wax on. “JimmyJane’s Afterglow candle is soy-based, so it doesn’t burn as hot as a traditional candle. The wax melts into a warm massage oil that you can rub anywhere.”
2. Go hands-free. “If you only use your hands, you’ll wear yourself out quickly. Apply your forearm to their calves, or your kneecap to their outer thighs; using your legs to work their legs can feel especially intimate.”
3. Turbocharge it. “We love this tiny vibrator called the Hello Touch X. It attaches to your wrist. People tend to assume that vibration is only for the genitals, but it also feels great on the neck and thighs.”

Daisy Chain
Local lingerie-shop clerks pick the ideal Valentine’s getup from a fellow store.

1. Brooklyn Fox: L’Agent Vanesa set ($138 at 132 N. 5th St., Williamsburg).
2. Sugar Cookies: Playful Promises Mia kimono-print set ($137 at 203 W. 19th St.).
3. Valentine NYC: Shangri-La bra and Josie thong ($86 at
4. Journelle: Dita von Teese Star Lift Balconette bra and G-string ($88 at 125 Mercer St.).
5. La Perla: Lace bra and panty ($202 at 434 W. Broadway).

Ask a Shop Clerk
Florist Lisa George recently moved her late husband’s eponymous shop, Michael George, from midtown to 197 Avenue B.

What’s your alternative to the red rose? Red roses get so expensive this time of year, so I prefer multicolor roses in beautiful shades of pastel. I like to mix them with fragrant hyacinths and sweet peas to get a great mix of sexy and romantic scents.

How have you maintained your husband’s aesthetic? We worked together for over 20 years, and since the ’90s, the shop has been known for his mono-floral, sculptural look. He used a lot of clear vases because to him, the stems were as important as the flower heads. He was inspired by the curved lines in Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s architecture. We still build bouquets by leaning stems across each other in a perfect spiral. It’s kind of like playing pick-up sticks.

Illustration by Murphy Lippincott  

She Says/He Says
Husband-wife stylists Tommy and Elisabeth Lovell, who met working at Woodley & Bunny, just opened their own Williamsburg salon, Whiteroom (113 S. 6th St.).

Elisabeth: My first impression was that he was straight, and cocky, and I wanted nothing to do with him. But then one day I offered to be Tommy’s model for a ponytail workshop: He gave a great ponytail.

Tommy: We have a good balance going. Elisabeth colors; I cut. But when one of us is wrong about something, it’s hard to admit it. Like, I built mirrors for the salon, and it turns out they’re pretty warped. I was being stubborn about it, but eventually Elisabeth made me realize, Okay. Time for new mirrors.