1. Let’s start the day with a bit of fascinating trivia. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, the average person in America will spend $116.21 on Valentine’s Day merchandize this year, which, in one clear sign of an improving economy, would be $13.21 more than last year’s average spending of $103. (Total Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $15.7 billion, that is, $1.6 billion more than in 2010.) Men, as usual, are likely to spend more than twice as much as women today, shelling out as much as $158.71, compared to a $75.79 average for women. (It’s definitely not the thought that counts.) Although discount stores will account for 36.6 percent of V. Day traffic, department stores (30.5 percent), specialty stores (19.4 percent) and online (18.1 percent) will also be popular shopping destinations. And no less than 16.8 percent of all Valentine’s Day shopping will be done at local florists—today’s the biggest day of the year for them—and 9.5 percent at jewelry stores, which have been hit hard by the recent economic downturn.
2. For an exquisite bouquet of flowers right here in Eagle Rock, look no further than , which offers a customized Valentine's Day selection, or , which, as our Eat/Drink/See columnist Kim Axelrod Ohanneson tells us, has a “beautiful but limited” supply of top-quality roses at $4 a stem for non-red or $6-$12 for the finest quality reds. At Eufloria, arrangements include "Always on My Mind," a striking bouquet of a dozen red roses, and "Hershey's Hugs," a combination of roses and kisses. Visit the Eufloria site here. 1576 Colorado Blvd., 800-248-1084. The Pollen Botanical Design site can be viewed here. 2040 W. Colorado Blvd., 323-550-1588.
3. Because today’s a big day for florists and jewelers, it’s no surprise that at least one jewelry store in the San Gabriel Valley is offering free roses. From 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. today, the in La Cañada will be handing out these most majestic of flowers that, if you’re a true connoisseur, probably won’t smell just as sweet by any other name. 837 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada, 91011, 818-952-2332.
4. Love may be a universal emotion but it’s expressed differently in different cultures. Just compare the average Hollywood film, with its graphic “love” scenes, to the average Asian film, with its emphasis on subtle gestures, moods and music, and you will see the relative truth in that statement. In fact, one of the ways love is expressed in Asia is through massage, which, if the Eagle Rock Thai Spa is to be believed, was developed by the personal physician to the Buddha some 2,500 years ago in India. So why not experience the restorative powers of Thai massage today at this reputable parlor, where a massage of your muscles, joints and tendons is all but guaranteed to put you In The Mood For Love, to quote the title of the highly artistic 2000 Chinese-language film by Wong Kar Wai, which celebrates the virtues of—what do you know!—unrequited love. 2501 Colorado Blvd., Suite A-1, 323-982-1320.
5. No occasion devoted to love can be complete without acknowledging the role in our lives of man’s proverbial best friend. And what better day than this Annual Day of Love to remind ourselves that there are right now about 240 kennels at the Los Angeles Animal Services filled with lovable dogs in need of a home. If dogs aren’t your thing—or you’re allergic to dander—you might consider adopting bunnies, cats and who know what other species of pets at this animal shelter that services Eagle Rock as well as other neighboring communities. Visit the Los Angeles Animal Services site here for more information and to look at pictures of pets waiting—nay, longing—to be adopted. 3201 Lacy St., 90031, 888-452-7381.