Fall into wistful daydreams of chance encounters with your star-crossed lover in these Houston locals.
Valentine’s Day can be a doozie for all the lonely hearts out there. For many, love seems to be frustratingly elusive. All the movies, Lifetime specials, and rom-coms we watched as kids told us that chance encounters with future soul mates were always just waiting around the corner – potential “meet-cutes”, if you will. On a park bench, an airplane, or at the bar of a Honky Tonk, were prime locals where people were always one dreamy glance away from propelling one another head over heels into a happy-ever-after relationship. In Houston, there are plenty of like idealized places, where, if life were a movie, one would meet the partner of their dreams. As our lives aren’t actually romantic comedies, you probably won’t meet too many lovers in these places. But, who knows, you can always dream. [Featured image: @mfahouston]
1. Café Poêtes
If there is any one type of movie that lied to us about normal real-life relationships, it’s the Disney fairytale genre. Granted, it’s a hard truth to admit. At Cafe Poetes, however, you can let it go. Inspired by L’Orangerie hotel in Paris, this cafe in Montrose is a Disney dream come true. Await your Prince Charming over a cup of tea and fresh-baked croissant.
2. Buffalo Bayou Park
Maybe it’s a New York thing, but by the way it’s portrayed in films, you would think everyone and their uncle spent half of their time on park benches having their lunch, watching birds, or reading newspapers. That said, sitting on a bench by oneself, perhaps overlooking the distant Houston skyline does paint a pretty picture of a distant retelling of “how I met your mother.”
3. Museum of Fine Arts
What better way to be whisked into a world of fantasy then to lose oneself in the imaginations of some of the greatest artists and visionaries the world has ever seen? MFA Houston is filled with countless pieces of art that inspire one to reflect on beauty, sensuality, elegance, and love – basically daydream fuel.
4. Texas Department of Transportation (Washington Ave.)
Here me out. Widely known as the most abhorred place in all mankind, the DMV is for-good-reason despised by most if all who are forced to go. The painstaking bureaucracy, abysmal atmosphere, the ungodly wait – all ample reason to avoid it at all costs. All these factors, however, give those inside a common enemy and the shared dread promotes an easy topical conversation. The palpable lifelessness and unspeakable boredom is rife for an unexpected spark of life for those who look for it.
5. Levy Park Dog Park
“Must love dogs” is an unsurprising mantra shared by 99 percent of dog owners. If a “meet-cute” is in the cards for you, you’ll know you’ll have the added bonus of another canine companion – a win all around. If you get tuckered out at Levy Park you can walk over to the adjacent Love Shack for an added dose of irony.
6. Half-Price Books (Westheimer)
Browse the stacks of the most hopeless of hopeless romantics who ever lived as you live both vicariously through their books and in-person as, well, yourself. Recommended reads include: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Fool’s Progress by Edward Abbey, and that one play by Shakespeare – you know the one.
7. Houston Downtown Police Department
Laugh all you want, but yours truly knows someone personally (who knows someone personally) who met their future husband inside a police department. Plus, haven’t you seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – the scene where Jennifer Grey’s uptight character meets the bad boy Charlie Sheen and sparks fly? –simply iconic! If you find yourself in a Houston Police Department, circumstances probably aren’t great, which makes for a choice opportunity of the type of “everything happens for a reason” moment and/or underdog story. Positive thinking goes a long way in these types of situations. That said, don’t put all your eggs in that basket.
8. Central Market
Plan to spend Valentine’s alone, drinking wine, eating chocolate, popcorn, and or cheese while watching romance dramas from your bed? Just know that you’ll have to purchase the supplies before you do so, giving your inner hopeless romantic one more glimmer of hope for a last-minute-change of plans upon bumping into a dreamy someone with the same plan in the cheese aisle.
9. Grand Prize
Before the Tinders, Bumbles, and Grinders of the world, there were bars. And thankfully, there are still bars. How many movies have you seen where the two characters wander into the bar by themselves, only to walk out arm in arm?
Grand Prize in Houston has all the elements to set the scene of a potential first encounter. A long bar with plenty of individual stools and –conversely – cozy booths, constellations of twinkling lights, a dance floor (for non pandemic dancing), pool table, and a jukebox for you and your non-existent partner to play the song that will define your relationship forever long.
See what the universe has in its cards for you at the Twilight Epiphany Skyscape. Here, you can watch the rise and setting of the sun through a harmonization of light, time, and movement in an ethereal display of pure beauty. Presently, the Skyscape is closed until February 15, 2021, so you might have to wait until after Valentine’s Day is over.