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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide
Personal perspectives on the ideal Valentine’s Day gift

For some, chocolates; for others (and more so than usual this year), world peace. The range of human desire is limitless—and so, therefore, is the range of possible Valentine’s Day gifts. Now if all your sweetie really wants is for the warplanes to remain in their hangars, you might run into some difficulty orchestrating that unless you have Colin Powell’s direct phone number. In reality, your significant other probably is hard to please (and c’mon, who isn’t?), and yet there probably is a perfect gift out there somewhere, if only you were clever and/or creative enough to figure out what it is.

We here at Metroland are fresh out of ideas this year (or is it that we’re just fresh?), but we did have enough phone numbers lying around to call up a couple dozen local movers and shakers to ask the age-old question, “What do you want for Valentine’s Day?” Hopefully, their answers will spark your own imagination—and save your main squeeze from yet another pair of edible undies.

Erin Duggan
Reporter, Times Union

What I want for Valentine’s Day is: a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue, the cute guy I like and a make-out mix featuring Ben Harper, Jeff Buckley, old Black Crowes and Bruce Springsteen. What I don’t want is: anything living, anything married, anything heart-shaped (unless it’s a jacuzzi, they’re kitschy-cool), or anything on sale at Kay Jewelers.

Christian Schwartz
Manager, Stephanie’s on the Park Restaurant

Let’s see. . . . For the reality V-Day gift, (as I am working yet another V-Day), I would want a dining room full of 50-percent tippers. For the dream V-Day gift: An all-expenses-paid trip to Amsterdam.

Donald Faulkner
Director of the New York State Writer’s Institute and professor of English at UAlbany

World peace. Sixth sense. Second sight. First dibs.

Matt Baumgartner
Publisher, The City Voice, and owner, Bombers Burrito Bar

For Valentine’s Day I would like a vodka tonic, a spaghetti dinner, a chocolate-covered strawberry, and some time alone with my honey.

Kathy Jarvis
Director of marketing and public relations, Proctor’s Theatre

A new feather boa!!!

Tess Collins
Bartender, Lark Tavern, and former Justin’s manager

I’d like a nice, hot, together, well-adjusted boyfriend.

Ed Gorch
Frontman, knotworking

What I really want (need) is an unlimited expense account at the “Pit” on Washington Avenue for Carl Smith and myself. It’s our quiet place.

Mike Trash
Frontman, the Erotics

I have no idea what I want. I’m way more into giving than receiving, but that’s a surprise that I don’t want to spoil. But I guess I have to say roses. I’ve never received flowers before—most guys don’t. That would be what I want.

Bryan Thomas
Singer-songwriter

I’d like a Heart for Valentine’s Day— specifically, Kamikaze Heart Matt Loiacono’s new solo CD A Book About the Rest.

Joseph Sullivan
Chairman, Albany City Republican Committee

A return to k-8 neighborhood schools in the city of Albany.

Matto
Singer-guitarist of Kitty Little

I want more free time to spend with my wonderful girlfriend Mel, a space for Miss Mary’s, everyone to come to the Kitty Little show at Valentine’s on Valentine’s Day, and a big chocolate cock.

Bob Carlton
Frontman, Sixfifteens

I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of the holiday. It’s kind of a made-up holiday to line the pockets of Hallmark until the next big holiday. But, I guess if it was from a loved one, cash. Cash to line my pockets. Or if it was from the staff of Metroland, I’d take musical equipment—I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Jim Kunstler
Author, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition

I would like the World Trade Center reconstruction project reassigned to the Congress for the New Urbanism instead of the anti-urban obscurantists who have made the finals.

Debbie Klauber
Owner, Debbie’s Kitchen

St. Claire from St. Kitts who lives in St. Martin, who should be my saint for a week. Steel blue eyes and a sunny disposition—that’s St. Claire.

Ami Lahoff
Artist and bartender, Justin’s

I’d like it if someone made me something really cool, something they put a lot of effort into, so that it was very singular and unique and precious, and showed that they really knew what I liked. The other thing is to go out with my friends—my friends who are single—and have a really good time, without the cynicism.

Lisa Graham
Aka Miss Troy, marketing consultant, downtown and neighborhood volunteer

For Valentine’s Day this year, I would like to receive: World peace, the continued friendship of my wonderful neighbors and community, extra kisses from my husband Adrian, and a bouquet from Fleur de Lis on Second Street in historic downtown Troy.

Maude Baum
Artistic director, eba Inc.

Funny you should ask! I was born in February. Even before I officially entered “the world” I was carving my niche. My mother was sure I would be born on her birthday, Feb. 10. Then, my pop was sure I would be a Lincoln Kid. Then, ahhhh—a Valentine’s Day gift! Oh no . . . Feb. 13 would be my day. As for a gift for the day after my birthday? I always wish for the same gift—one more year of creating and dancing! My honey (he has been my love for over three decades) always surprises me and that’s the way I like it!

Katherine Myers
Director of marketing and public relations, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art

Happily for me, I can base my wish for Valentine’s Day on what I know I’ll be getting. For the last decade or so—even before we were married—my husband has delivered a heart-shaped pizza to my office for lunch on Feb. 14. I don’t know how he came up with the idea, but I continue to think it’s brilliant. It costs so much less than jewelry, is much more satisfying than flowers, and makes everyone in my office happy whether they’ve got their own valentine or not. He didn’t have much trouble finding a willing pizza baker; Hot Tomatoes in Williamstown has been game for years.

Ruth Pelham
Singer-songwriter, educator and director of the Music Mobile

The Valentine’s Day gift that I want is peace on Earth. Valentine’s Day is about love, and peace is about living love.

Adrian Cohen
Jazz musician and man about town

The banning of production and sale of all Valentine’s Day products. (If they’re going to take away our constitutional rights, it should be for the right reasons.) And free beer for all abstaining from the holiday.

Paul O’Donnell
Chief executive stockboy, Celtic Treasures

Since I am married to a mogul-mashing ski demon, my wish of being in the lush tropics with her, and the Polynesian twin sisters fanning me with palm fronds and feeding me slices of pomegranates, isn’t to be. I’m stuck among the icebergs in the frozen north.

Bryan Yusko
Bartender, Larkin Restaurant & Lounge

Since I’m working on Valentine’s Day. . . . I want my dream girl to walk into the restaurant, rescue me and take me away—I just want a girl who wants to take care of me.

Art Fredette
Lawn Sausage member and owner of Artie’s Lansingburgh Station

$1 million in unmarked bills with non-sequential serial numbers.

Dawn Oesch
Owner, the Candy Gram of Saratoga

George Clooney with a BIG red bow—and nothing else.

Annette Nanes
Co-owner, Spectrum 7 Theatres

I would like a single red rose, to be taken out to dinner for a sensuous meal, and then dancing, and then . . .

Donald Metzner
President, Armory Automotive/Armory Center

A nice card would make me very happy.

Don Dworkin
Local musician and promoter

A little more love from George Bush, and a little less lust—especially in world affairs.

Judy Staber
Executive director, Spencertown Academy

Peace, no war. Aside from that, eventually, I’d like to find a literary agent—or a publisher.

“Buffalo” Bernard Continelli
Circulation, The Business Review

A 1.75 liter of Jim Beam Black and a god-awful, ugly transvestite, the kind with a gravely voice, hopping out of a cake.

Robert W. Morgan
Lifelong Albany resident, educator and historian emeritus

For Valentine’s Day I would like a sugar-free cherry pie with sugar-free meringue, ‘dusted’ with sugar-free red sprinkles, a certain tête-à-tête, and peace on Earth.

Jacques Burgering
Artistic director, National Museum of Dance & Hall of Fame

For me personally, I would like a watch as a Valentine’s gift. For my staff and volunteers a big bunch of flowers; for the museum a digital video camera and for the world, a day of peace.

Linda Mussman
President, Time & Space Limited

Not to be trite, but I really don’t want this war.


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