(415) 282-2323, www.beadissimo.com
If off-the-shelf art supplies simply won’t cut it for your creative-type cuddle partner, try shopping at Flax. The place is so comprehensive, assistants are only familiar with the supplies in their specific section. But this 69-year-old establishment is a serious art store, so if all you need is some construction paper and doilies, don’t bother. If you want artsy options and creative ideas about how to use them, though, check out the store and then visit their detailed Website.
1699 Market St, SF. (800) 343-3529, www.flaxart.com
For Valentines who like it when you to turn up the heat, panties screen-printed with “Property of (your name here)” and embossed with a ghost flame logo may be the perfect gift – and this shop, co-founded by a motorcycle-messenger-turned-artist, is the perfect place to get them. Feel free to be as raunchy, risqué, or ridiculous as you want – there’s nothing the Lo-Fi staff won’t write on a T-shirt. Too busy getting last-minute dinner reservations to stop by the store? You can place an order by phone or online, too.
69A Duboce Ave, SF. (415) 861-0500, www.loficustoms.com
This isn’t the retail version of the innocent Beach Boys’ classic. Think of it more as the adult version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, where pleasure comes not from candy but, well, from coming. This is a world of pure, uncensored imagination, where there’s a fix for every adult Candyman’s fetish. (The edible cherry pasties chocolate body pens and peppermint nipples are scrumdiddlyumptious.) A gift from here may well be your golden ticket.
603 Valencia St, SF. (415) 522-5460; 1620 Polk Street, SF. (415) 345-0400, www.goodvibes.com
If you think dining out on Valentine’s Day is just such a cliché, or you simply forgot to make reservations, consider the delights of a gourmet, home-cooked dinner. Even if you’re no Wolfgang Puck, Ferry Plaza and the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Markets will provide the ingredients and the inspiration for a still-better-than-Shake-n-Bake meal. And if the specialty groceries here can’t make a chef out of you, fall back on the staples -- great seafood, cheese, breads, wine, berries, and chocolate -- where all you need to do is provide serving plates. (The Fish Company’s prawns are right from the boat and the farm fresh produce is trucked in daily. Yum!)
One Ferry Building at Embarcadero at Market, SF. (415) 693-0996, www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com
About Face and Body Day Spa
With the drudgery of tax season just around the corner, you can kill two birds with one stone (express V-Day love and prevent T-Day meltdowns) by pampering your lover with a gift certificate from the East Bay’s favorite day spa. With customizable massages and aromatherapy add-ons, this gift guarantees a major return on your investment. (Special service packages and discounts on walk-in waxing also are available.)
3190 College Ave, Berk. (510) 428-2600
American Conservatory Theater
Keep the drama on stage this Valentine’s with tickets to opening night of A.C.T.’s newest show, Hedda Gabler, directed by Richard E.T. White. Called the “female Hamlet,” Hedda Gabler is a woman whose married life (unlike yours, of course) is rife with controversy. She is either a murderous infidel or idealistic heroine, and the implications of her actions have struck a chord with audiences for over a century. Get tickets online, by phone, or at the box office, and remind your sweetie how good you two really do have it.
405 Geary St, SF. (415) 749-2228, www.act-sfbay.org