By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Forgive my gushing, but Unlikely Suitor flew in for Valentine's Day and we are SIL (Still in Love)! I'm aware that several of you refer to him as the "Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse" behind my back, but at least my friends from the Junior League approve. They think him "bourgeois." I'm certain that translates into something fawning in French. Unlikely adores my new haircut. He says I look like a young Ralph Macchio. What a big silly! I can scarcely wait until he asks me to be his you-know-what . . . Do you think taffeta would be slimming for a summer wedding?
I can tell Unlikely is just gaga for me, too. Darlings, he said last night that we could have pillow talk. But only if it was at the divinely cozy M&R BAR-DINING ROOM (264 Elizabeth Street, 226-0559), where the sought- after and kitten-heeled throw darts and mingle with populists. Soft-focus lighting and 32 racks of liquor heightened my usual dewy flush. The back room's cherry walls and Rubenesque nude portrait gallery unfurled Unlikely's libido. My Dewar's scotch and soda ($6) was three-quarters whisky and robust, but Unlikely's Tom Collins ($6) tasted more sugary than tart. Later, I donned a bridal veil, but Unlikely was too busy counting his Camel Cash to notice. Lucky thing I play coy.
Anyhoo, it being Valentine's Day, my sly cherub insisted on more love potions at ONE AND ONE (76 East 1st Street, 260-9950), a posh Irish bar with ceiling fans and gilded mirrors. Unlikely and I slid onto aluminum bar stools and chose glasses of merlot ($6). He is a sporting man (my Junior League friends call him a "meathead," no doubt because he's so strapping). We watched the Virginia-Maryland game on an overhead TV and Unlikely hushed me even though I knew Paul Tagliabue is the most underrated player in the NCAA. I suspect he was fretting that I'm more cerebral on such grave matters of recreation. What a worrywart!
By night's end, I was pickled to the gills. Still, I managed to lure Unlikely across the Brooklyn Bridge so we could neck in a dark corner of Boerum Hill's ROXY BAR (144 Smith Street, Brooklyn, no phone number), a borderline dive with a flawless jukebox. "Wheel in the Sky," Unlikely's favorite Journey song, rolled to a crescendo as we ordered a Bombay Sapphire Tonic ($6) for him and Brooklyn Lager ($4) for me. As the spirit of Steve Perry exalted our amour, I gazed into Unlikely's limpid orbs. He stared at the speckled linoleum floors and blank walls and sipped his gin, which had a boozy limeade tang. Then a stranger whisked out a disposable camera and snapped us. Was he auditioning to be our wedding photographer? More later. Toodles.