Whether it’s flowers, chocolate, a special night out, or a diamond ring, every kind of Valentine’s Day gift can be found in Kingston. Uptown boosts two fine jewelry stores, Whitworth Jewelers, at 36 John St., and Schneiders Jewelers, at 290 Wall St. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Whitworth is offering a 30 percent discount off a particular designer’s line, which includes colored stones or diamonds set in 14 or 18 carat gold pendants and rings, Wednesday through Saturday. Whitworth also carries high-end designs by Simon G and more affordable silver and 14-carat gold pieces by Tom Kruskak. A jeweler on the premises does ring sizing while you wait. Around the corner, at 290 Wall Street, Schneiders sells a variety of well-known brands at different price points, from the high-end Hearts on Fire diamonds to Pandora bracelets and links; an on-site jeweler does personalized engravings.
Across the street and down the block, Eddie Nekos makes cream-filled and chocolate candy in a shop next to his luncheonette, continuing a tradition started in 1896 (and also the subject of a story in The New Yorker in the 1980s). His chocolate-covered strawberries, raspberries and other fruits are in demand over the holiday; they cost $14 a dozen and should be reserved at least a day in advance. Nekos, who has been making candy since he was 12 years old, uses century-old molds to craft his chocolate hearts and rabbits, although he has expanded the repertoire to include dinosaurs, guitars, Sesame Street characters, kewpie dolls, and even a computer and cell phone. Other popular gifts for that special someone are his chocolate hearts–priced from $2.50 to $14—and heart-shaped boxes of cream-filled candies. He’s open from 7 to 3 pm Monday through Saturday.
Midtown also has a traditional candy maker: Michael’s Candy Corner and Florist, which has occupied the corner of St. James and Broadway for 11 years. Owned and run by Michael and Frank Briglia, the business started in 1917 and sells a variety of chocolate and hard candies. Valentine’s Day is the busiest day in the year for sales of large boxes of candy, according to Michael. The chocolate-dipped strawberries sell out so be sure to order early; they are sold by the piece or the pound. The business also employs florist Sam DeGraf, so a shopper can purchase chocolates, flowers and greeting cards without having to step outside. Call 338-6782 to order. Open Monday through Saturday from 9 to 9, Sunday until 6.
At Frank Guido’s Little Italy, at 14 Thomas St., off Broadway near UPAC, you can be my Valentine the entire weekend. On Friday evening during the Happy Hour complimentary buffet, musicians Darryl McGill (lead singer of the Big Smoothies) and Ed Rrocks perform, followed by serenading violinists on Saturday and Sunday. Besides enjoying the specials, ladies get a special present: a gemstone in a little velvet bag, along with a 10 percent discount coupon for Kingston Fine Jewelers, at 207 Boices Lane. One of the stones is a genuine diamond. To find out which, you have to bring the stone to Kingston Fine Jewelers; after identifying the authentic diamond, the store will set it into a gold pendant with a value of $1,200. Those who don’t have the diamond can still enjoy the discount. Frank Guido’s serves dinner until 10 pm.
Down in Rondout, Ship to Shore, at 15 West Strand, is offering a Valentine’s Day special on Friday and Sunday nights. Lobster and scallops are among the special ingredients, and the dessert includes chocolate dipped strawberries for two; for more mouth-watering details, go to www.shiptoshorehudsonvalley.com. For a one-of-a-kind gift for your sweetie, check out the vintage jewelry at Mezzanine Antiques Center, at 79 Broadway; they have a splendid selection of Victorian pieces as well as other fine gifts. A few blocks away, Flowers by Maria, at 90 Abeel St., sells the perfect dozen roses. The superior-quality flowers will last for days, reminding your sweetheart how much you love her (or him). Located in a restored 1850s firehouse, which has been featured in This Old House magazine, the floral shop has the “best roses in Kingston,” according to proprietor Maria Dijk. The arrangements are tasteful and unique, and she sells many other varieties. Order early by calling 339-0980 or on line at www.flowersbymaria.net.