The sun has set over the city and the Empire State Building is beating like a heart, so there's no more denying it: it's Valentine's Day, it's way below freezing, and you've got work tomorrow. This dismal and frigid Sunday night really has nothing going for it (unless you're really excited about the premiere of Vinyl, to each their own), and so in the interest of communal self-care, we're offering you a few ways to pass the empty hours between now and bedtime.
1. Visit a foreign country from the comfort of your own couch
All of Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain's new(ish) CNN series is currently available for streaming on Netflix, and if you're not watching, you're missing out on what might be the most consistently excellent televised nonfiction of our time. The chef, writer, and travel addict has utilized the news networks' big budget and deep reach to visit places like Libya, the Congo, and Tokyo's seediest back alleys, and the stories he brings back are compellingly told and beautifully shot. Plus, there's plenty of food porn. Just check out his trips to Thailand and Vietnam—episodes where the spicy ingredients and high humidity seem to flow right through the screen. It's hot and hungry TV.
2. Make a pagan love pact
Gothamist editor Ben Yakas has been brushing up on his Wiccan rituals, and he's offering some...strange...ways of expressing your love. "Make a blood pact with your significant other," Yakas said. "Is he willing to mix his blood with yours? That's how you can tell he's really into you, ladies." If you've got love notes and keepsakes from past lovers stashed somewhere, he suggests building "an elaborate blanket fort and then burning those mementos inside of it to stay really toasty." Just remember to play safe, witches!
3. Work on your iPhone photo skills
If you're not using a smartphone in 2016, what gives? And if you're using a Samsung, what, you think you're better than the rest of us? The truth is, iPhones still rule the roost when it comes to phone photography, and you owe it to yourself and your Instagram followers to learn how to make proper images with them. Whether you've got a new-fangled 6s or are still clinging to your so outdated OG iPhone 5, this clip, which comes from the ever-excellent Youtube channel Digitalrev will give you some useful, easy pointers on how to up your on-the-go photography game. Spend some time shooting still lives around your apartment, or better yet, a portrait of your sweetheart.
4. Listen to The Life of Pablo on repeat
In case you haven't heard, Kanye West has finally dropped his much-anticipated seventh album, The Life of Pablo. And while its release has been something of a haphazard mess, the music at the center of it all is brilliant—aggressive and melodically nuanced in ways that it seems only Kanye can make possible. The New York Times fawned over TLOP in a review published earlier today, claiming that it perfects "the art of aesthetic and intellectual bricolage, shape-shifting in real time and counting on listeners to keep up...This is Tumblr-as-album, the piecing together of divergent fragments to make a cohesive whole." But you don't need Tumblr to enjoy Kanye's newest music. All you need is a good pair of speakers and an open mind. By the time you get to the end of "Ultralight Beam," you'll understand. Sign up for a 1-month TIDAL trial and listen here.