New York’s Holiday Season brings thousands to our city–thousands and thousands. Visitors enjoy our treasures, find the great bargains always on must-have lists. Dining highlights are perfect for thawing the season’s chill. Add ice skating and you’ll have the best selfies! A select few of the Christmas villages–especially Bryant Park–remain open well past the holidays, and their goods are still beautiful and well-priced for all-year gifts..
BUT–how does everyone stay warm? No fun to wander our great city with freezing toes and painful fingers, icy ears and drippy noses. Wishing you was home in bed! Well, this writer, her whole life of freezy winters spent here in New York, offers good counsel.
Be aware that Midtown’s skyscrapers either block the wind or funnel it–a matter of luck! Steam often comes rushing through the sidewalks during maintenance work–but the cold wind prevails on deep winter days. Happily, there is always a place to pop into for a cup of something hot and satisfying, tasting even better when the body longs for a hot cup or bowl in hand. Asian noodle shops have recently proliferated just about everywhere. Winter chill loses as the body warms with freshly made noodles and steaming broth. Some of the best ramen spots are noted here, but there are tiny quick-serve spots all over, and all are worth your try.
PLAN AHEAD PLAN WELL
Perhaps you’ve wisely purchased all the right accessories either back home or from our many street vendors or discount stores. Here are three excellent products perfectly invented for humans-out-in-the-cold. Just takes a bit of planning ahead or making some choices as toes and hands beg for warmth and comfort. HotHands and HotFeet work for eight hours once placed in gloves and socks, or that back pocket of jeans. A full day of warmth, feeling good! Vaniply and Carmex can be purchased at drug stores and many shops, guaranteed to keep skin healthy.
If the budget allows, winter shoes and boots could be the shopper’s perfect choice. Seek the closest DSW or Marshalls for amazing boots–glamorous or all-weather styles. There are brand-exclusive shops as well, mainly $$$$. If you find yourself on the Upper West Side. Harry’s and Tip Top stores are world renown for their vast selections of serious winter footwear. AND, close by is Zabar’s, with a warming stop for hot soup and a New York-style sumptuous sandwich. Downtown is Century 21, just opposite the Freedom Tower, with its own store just for shoes and boots…and at amazing prices.
Hefty winds are prevalent in some quarters almost year round, and a relaxing stroll may not be possible. Upper Fifth Avenue can be quite the challenge! Winds come across Central Park north of the 80’s, blowing full force from as far as New Jersey. These are felt during popular visits along Museum Mile. Brrr! Here’s a surprise: Church of the Heavenly Rest on Fifth Avenue and 91st Street features its own cafe–Bluestone Lane . Small, good service fair prices, excellent offerings. Just along the street are the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian, the Guggenheim Museum, then, the Neue Gallerie, so this will be a warming highlight for any visitor–a perfect find! Actually, all the fine art institutions along Fifth Avenue have welcoming cafes, several with multi-ethnic warming fare.
Downtown–thousands congregate around the 9/11 Memorial. Walk further down along the Hudson River or East River and WHEW! The wind can be a plan-changer. You are not that far from the open Atlantic Ocean and its rough blowing towards the city. The open intersection of Fifth Avenue-Broadway-23rd Street is the stunning site for the Flatiron Building, where winds once blew Gibson Girls’ skirts into the air–and, there, the phrase, “23-Skidoo” was born…so they say.
Day’s end, or after heavy-duty shopping, being close to a brilliant fireplace, toddy in hand–some great recommendations for the winter visitor.
You’ve done well, Dear Winter Visitor! A challenge…but you know it was worth it. No matter the season, being part of New York City is what travel dreams are made of.