My relationship with Winter is much more complicated in comparison to my flings with the alternate seasons. We were once absolutely enamored with one another – long before we spent more time together in New York. And as a loving partner, I don’t believe I am demanding too much. Communication, kindness, and emotional support. My holy trinity within any companionship. Necessities and simple essentials that have unfortunately not been reciprocated. Manhattan and Brooklyn seem to have created a tension between us. However, similar to every evolving relationship, we’ve come to terms with our changes and have found new ways to support each other.
This is my love letter to New York’s Winter that also doubles as a personal survival guide. Best of luck.
Mulled wine is a warm beverage that consists of red wine, citrus, and mysterious spices that neither myself nor my loved ones can decipher. This heady libation has become my drink of choice during the holidays. A stunning way to keep warm.
Although it’s proven to be a challenge to find, I was able to locate such a drink at Gelso & Grande on Mulberry Street – only after several relentless phone calls and harsh questionings, of course. At G&G, you’ll hear plenty of Donna Summer among other disco records while enjoying a festive mulled wine. I prefer mine with one orange slice, a few star anise, and a cinnamon stick. I also could not refrain from ordering a side of crisped potatoes. And if you ask politely, they’ll offer truffle aioli as a pairing.
Forte Green Farmer’s Market
The cold that Winter brings can be quite cruel, but with some heat-tech, a few layers, and perhaps a pair of knitted mittens, it is still possible to combat the weather.
On Saturdays I have been frequenting Forte Green Park’s Farmers Market. As the season progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to withstand the cold, but there is one incentive that keeps me motivated. The basil pesto croissant from Our Daily Bread’s stand. Forte Green’s Market also offers beautiful produce stands, fresh cut flowers, and a myriad of local businesses.
Another secret of mine that helps keep me warm during Winter; visiting local record shops and discovering music from unexpected archives and collections. Just between 5th Street and Cooper Square in NoHo, you’ll find Stranded Records, a pretty-in-pink outpost stocking vinyl records dated from the 1950s to the present, all across a variety of genres.
The staff are generous in sharing their expertise and are more than happy to give you a list of recommendations based off your musical preferences. Visiting vinyl shops is a clever excuse to lounge, gather warmth, and draft a new playlist to listen to on your way out.
After listening to a few new records, might I suggest a snack? Walk towards the heart of the East Village and look for Veselka, a traditional Ukrainian eatery from 1954. Riffle through their menu and place an order for a plate of Latkes.
A latke is a type of potato pancake or fritter in Jewish cuisine that is often prepared in celebration of Hanukkah. It usually consists of potatoes, onion, egg, and matzo meal.
Once the Latkes have been acquired, enjoy with a side of apple sauce and sour cream. I usually repeat this cycle two or three times a week during the months of December and January. You may have noticed Veselka also serves mulled wine and I suspect you’d like another.
Flower Market District
Playing with flowers must be my absolute favorite activity to fight off any case of Winter blues. What a treat it is to visit the flower market along the district of Chelsea. Choose your favorite blooms at G.Page, grab a selection of greenery from US Evergreens, and you’re ready to forge an arrangement of your own.
Floral design is influenced by many ingredients – emotions, surroundings, and intrinsic composition. A therapeutic means of self-express and a sentimental hobby to practice at home, in the comfort of your own space away from the cold.