Monday, January 7, 2013

Surviving Winter in New York

If the song has it right and Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year, then it's unfortunate that the two months following are just the opposite.

"The Least Wonderful Time of the Year" probably won't be a song anytime soon, but that's what January and February are in New York. I never particularly liked the dead of winter in Ohio either, but here it's even worse.

The pristine white flakes that rest on glistening fields in the Midwest quickly turn into a gray, mushy mess in New York.

Temperatures that dip into freezing in Ohio may make you run to your car a little faster, but in New York you have the same long walk to the subway no matter what the temperature. Only in the winter, you don't have the promise of heated car seats -- you only have the high probability of waiting on an equally freezing subway platform for a train to arrive.

Sure, New York has the same world-class museums and excellent restaurants all year round, but you still have to venture outside to get to them without the aid of a warm car. And many of the things that make New York so special -- like the large parks and the ability to walk to where ever you want to be -- are shelved til spring unless you want to risk frostbite.

And so we wait out winter inside, hoping the gray skies will turn to sunshine and fool us even for a moment that it's warmer outside than the thermometer proclaims. It never is. But a cozy blanket and the clank-clanking of the radiators confirm that at least you'll be warm on the couch. That -- and a warm pair of mittens when you must defy Mother Nature and take to the sidewalks -- will help this winter eventually pass like all others.

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