You’re out on your morning jog on Melrose and you reach for your phone to switch on Cardi B’s new song, Money, the tune that gets your running juices flowing, when you check your phone and notice it’s somehow already February! You’re mere days away from the most treasured holiday of the year—St. Valentine’s Day.
Some may call V-Day trite, saying it’s a corporate-made holiday fueled by greeting card and chocolate companies, but most of us hold it dear to our hearts. If you’re a hopeless (yet hopeful!) romantic like me, you’ve always used this holiday as an excuse to slap together mushy scrap books and scour shops for the perfect gifts perfectly tailored to your sweetheart’s interests.
Shopping for my S.O. is doubly challenging. Number one, he gets me the most amazingly perfect gifts. New pink iPhone?! Personalized skateboard!? Vintage record player?! Secondly, he claims to have “everything he needs,” as he pulls me in for a hug. Swoon! But also — yikes! How do you shop for a guy like that?
Thankfully all the answers are right in front of you – so slow down to a walk, and let’s shop!
1. The Ultimate ‘I love you’ Mixtape
Records. Vinyl. LPs. The Grandfather of CDs. Analog fans can rejoice because records are back baby! And in a big way. If your sweetheart is a music lover, stop by this (not so) little shop on Melrose and pick up a rare copy of his favorite album!
The Record Collector has been around on Melrose since 1974 and is a record collector’s dream! It’s no joke, they have over half a million records in here. The walls are lined from floor to ceiling with every vintage record imaginable (word is they specialize in jazz) from Owner Sandy’s personal collection. Just go in, ask for what you want and if they have it, his assistant will pull it out for you in, (wait for it) record time! They even are known to have rare original pressings, which is the equivalent of a first edition of a classic book!
The digital music scene is bigger than ever, with companies like Spotify, iTunes, Google Play and Tidal streaming music. It seems a day doesn’t go by without there being a new digital distribution company. That being said, analog is fighting back. Vinyl sales went up 12% from 2017 to 2018. Trendy stores like Urban Outfitters are now selling record players and everyone from teens to Boomers can’t get enough of this vintage pastime.
A vintage record is the perfect present for your sweetheart who “thinks” he doesn’t need anything. And trust me, once you get him that original pressing of Cal Tjader’s Greatest Hits he’ll be thanking you for not taking him at his word.
The Record Collector
7809 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046
2. The Gift of Laughter
Do you like to laugh? Would it bring you joy to see the love of your life laugh until Jameson and Coke comes out of his nose? Then surprise him with a comedy show at the Groundlings Theatre. This L.A. institution is famous for being where SNL performers first climbed the comedy ranks. It has launched literally hundreds of TV and movie careers of stars you know and love, such as Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig. So, go check out some of the rising talent so you can say you knew them way back when!
Guys love experiences! Nine times out of 10 I think they would choose an awesome show, concert or trip with amazing you rather than some material object they’ll play with for a day and then forget about. So why not present them with the gift of laughter! Laughter releases endorphins. Endorphins induce feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Now who wouldn’t like some Euphoria for V-day?!
Shows typically run a couple hours and I promise the next morning your face will hurt from laughing so much! Think SNL-style skits, fantastic improv and zany costumes. They have shows almost every day of the week, each one–hilarious, including the Main Company Shows on Friday and Saturday and the famous Sunday Company. So nab some tickets, grab your honey and do some vocal exercises to get your outside voice primed for some good ole’ audience participation! 🙂
7307 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046
3. The Gift of Good Vibes
Walking down Melrose you can’t help but notice the alluring sign reading: “YOUR INTUITION LED YOU HERE.” Being a firm believer in destiny and a lover of all things crystals, candles and incense this store was made for people like you and me and your beau. My research has shown (and by research I mean asking my dad, BF, and brother) guys LOVE candles! Candles can add a little spark to a dreary rainy evening, set the mood for a homemade candle-lit dinner, and add some warmth to a romantic evening at home.
House of Intuition boasts candles, essential oils and crystals and for every occasion. Buy your boo a Magic Money Candle, programmed with intentions to attract money, luck and abundance.(I had a girlfriend who burned this candle and literally booked a commercial the same day!) Pick out a Lapis Lazuli Power Mini Bracelet.This stone is known to strengthen the mind and body, helping increase self-confidence and the creative spirit. Perfect to ease your aspiring screenwriter beau’s writer’s block.
If your honey is more into the spiritual side of life, HoI also offers a variety of classes. Surprise him with an intimate night time Crystal Sonic Meditation at the Melrose location for a super blissed out evening together. House of Intuition is “your source for spiritual gifts and goods to live a more magical life.” Now who doesn’t want a little more magic in their life?
House of Intuition
7449 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90026
4. The Gift of Nom Nom Nom
Maybe you’ve been together for a few years. You’ve exchanged all the gifts, gotten each other everything under the sun…what’s left, other than treating your Prince Charming to a life-changing yet surprisingly relaxed meal at one of L.A.’s finest Italian restaurants.
If bae is a fan of homemade pasta and cheese (can you say mozzarella bar?!) and let’s be honest he better be, (you deserve to be with someone who enjoys the finer things in life like BURRATA) then he will absolutely adore Nancy Silverton’s signature spot. Osteria Mozza was also recently featured on Chef’s Table, highlighting chef and owner, Silverton’s career.
The atmosphere is sultry, the Tagliatelle with Oxtail Ragu is divine and the Ricotta and Egg Raviolo is rumored to bring the house down with its incredible flavor. For dessert? Enjoy their Bombolini. Mini warm donuts filled with huckleberry jam and lemon mascarpone. Your lover will be in Foodie-Heaven and will bow to you for taking him to this incredible meal, just as soon as he can stand from eating all that pasta. Salut!
6602 Melrose Ave Los Angeles, CA 90038