A lot of New Yorkers love Fall and Winter the best because of apple picking, pumpkin spice, and Christmas lights. WTF?! Summer is the only time that matters to me…everything revolves around it and is a tease to the one and only true season. Which is why each year, I need to remind myself of how to survive New York’s winter and trick my body and mind into thinking that it isn’t real. Here are a few activities that I have been holding on to since the cold has officially hit New York and that will hopefully help you out:
Sweat on the dance floor
New York has a lot of places to go dancing, especially in the Meatpacking. Although glamorous spots like the Standard Hotel are always fun, this is not what I ultimately recommend. Get your ass on the 1,2 train and head to Harlem instead. Shrine is where the party’s at! This small venue starts with live bands in the evening and keeps the night going with a DJ usually spinning mostly West African and Caribbean music, with just the right amount of Hip-Hop. Make sure you can shed those winter layers when you go because people are not joking on the dance floor. Shrine is more efficient than your weekly cardio session! Last time I went, I came in with a faux fur coat and ended up pouring water on myself to keep me going. I can’t think of a best way to forget that it’s freezing out.
Bring the party home
Too lazy to step out? No worries, winter is the best time to host a fun house party – if your friends are a little less sensitive to the cold than you are and can actually make it to your apartment. But even if they aren’t, the idea of going out to someone’s place instead of bar hopping in the snow and checking five winter gear items at each venue should convince them. And since New Yorkers are pragmatic people, there’s even a new app to help you bring the best local bars straight to your casa! My talented friend Rod just launched Bartisanal, an app that allows you to order high-end cocktail crafting kits and delivers them right to your doorstep. So save the energy of hailing a cab while drunk in a blizzard to actually make something from scratch for the homies – and get wasted in the comfort of your own home for a change!
Turn Up The Heat
Literally. New York has an incredible amount of spas and I would say that any place with a steam room can do the trick. But if you want to feel like you escaped somewhere exotic, far from the daily New York grind, then I suggest you treat yourself to an ancient baths session at AIRE. This Tribeca retreat is an invitation to space and time travel. The candle lit hot baths, cold plunges, steam room, Jacuzzi, and salted floatarium will make you feel like you just landed in Ancient Greece. The amount of relaxation you get at AIRE is worth every penny, it’s the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion. I’ve never been more chill on my birthday!
Keep It Soulful
When nothing can stop the cold, keeping your soul alive is all you have left. I recently discovered the First Corinthian Baptist Church and I must say it’s worth the trip to Harlem on a Sunday morning. I wasn’t raised religiously and I am not a morning person, but I do need my dose of spirituality now and then and this is the perfect place for it. So if you want to hear a positive message, meet incredible people, and hear powerful voices, I definitely recommend FCBC’s Sunday service. Don’t be fooled by the line of (mostly white) tourists outside entering through a different door. This Harlem landmark doesn’t discriminate, but members and local people are given priority over buses of tourists. Unless you come with a group of foreigners wearing sneakers, you can use the same door as anyone else. If you are the secular kind, why not warm up your soul with some art? The Matisse exhibit currently showing at the Moma is a breath of fresh air. The artist’s bright colors and playful shapes will remind you of summer on the French Riviera.
Indulge In Winter Treats
Food is definitely my ultimate winter pick me up because A) Bikini body panic doesn’t start until Spring and B) Winter may suck, but Winter Food is brilliant. The good thing about New York is that you get to try winter treats from all over the world while just being in one place. For some reason, it took me over two years to try Ramen, but I’m actually glad I waited for the first cold day of the season to do so. This is my new winter addiction! I recommend Naruto for a quick lunch, or Totto Ramen for a casual dinner with friends. Another cold day must is hot Apple Cider, which is often my only motivation to come out during the day. You can find a great one in Bryant Park’s Christmas market. Last but not least, the holiday classic that accompanies my Netflix marathon, one and only Sour Cream Walnut Apple Pie from Little Pie Company…this heavenly dessert would almost make me love winter in the City, and that tells a lot for someone like me.
Now it’s your turn to share your favorite activities of the season…we WILL survive!