Sunday, March 01, 2015

Winter in New York City

We have had our share of cold and snow in New York this winter, but not enough to stop some recent visitors from enjoying the city. While my previous NYC guides and tips have been more summer and warmer weather focused, I thought I'd summarize some winter outing tips for future reference.

Top 5 picks for non-holiday season winter months in NYC (in no particular order):

  • Museum: Metropolitan museum of art, (or other museums such as Natural history museum, Guggenheim museum, MoMa)
  • Music: jazz bars in the village, or whatever type of music suits your mood. 
  • City watching: pick any food and coffee place with a nice window and watch the snow fall. people watching is awesome too.
  • Ice skating: Bryant Park, Prospect Park, Central Park, Rockefeller, etc. Tip: wear stretchy pants and finger less gloves! take a break with hot chocolate and marshmallows.
  • Bookstores/Comic Shops: Strand is great for browsing/reading/buying. For comics I usually go to Midtown comics but Forbidden Planet is just a few doors down from Strand so good for a combination visit. Here's my bookstore list (which seriously needs to be updated. sigh)
Misc Tips
  • weather tip: dress warmly and wear warm comfortable boots. if the weather is below 10, may be easier to plan your day around one neighborhood (food/drinks/music/fun) as to avoid too many cold subway transfers or walking.
  • host tip: make sure to stock up on hot chocolate. my favorite is Godiva's hot chocolate (dark chocolate). I make it with hot water and add cinnamon/nutmeg. then add a bit of milk. You can also make this with hot milk (a min or two in the microwave). 

Q's visit notes

Q is a friend I met in Shanghai years ago. Despite the number of years that has passed, I'm glad we are still able to chat and catch up and hang out together. It was her first time in NYC. NYCGO has a nice list of top attractions here

Fri - Jazz at Met museum (this was a special event organized by Jazz and Colors), starbucks under Rockefeller Center (the worst starbucks service I've seen in the city, but it is indoors and has seating and good for a chat), Q and her classment went to Top of Rock and Times Square afterwards.

Sat - Financial District - Charging bull, Battery Park sights, Wall street, New York Stock Exchange, Stone St for lunch at Ulysses burger and coffee. Excellent Statue of Liberty photo op on board the free Staten island ferry. Quick mid-afternoon snack break at Underground pizza. Another break afterwards for hot chocolate.
Artsy spiral building and ceiling photo shoot at Guggenheim (looks prettier during the day though). They have free Sat evening admission so we also looked through exhibits (mostly under construction though).
Metropolitan Museum visit to see more exhibits. Luckily they open late on Friday and Saturdays. Egyptian temple, armor wing, american wing. persian, islamic, chinese art exhibits (peking opera face paints). bus downtown then ramen break. Zinc Bar jazz concert (Monika Oliveira and the Brazilians. great flute and sax parts and of course singing).
we ordered birth of cool and A-train cocktails.

Sun - french toast with apricot/chocolate and genmaicha tea
Brooklyn Bridge. Seaport stationery shop and park for views of BWM (Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and Manhattan) bridges
grocery store challah adventures.
sesame bagel with veggie cream cheese

E's visit notes

E and I met in middle school and were penpals (yes real letters and stamped envelopes) when I moved out of state. We managed to stay in touch and I'm glad I got to visit her in SF a few times and soon in Philly too. 

Japonica - good tuna sashimi, Japanese pickles and green tea. we watched snow fall outside. it's very relaxing to watch snow.
origami meetup at Cosi- butterflies, modular origami
flamengo jazz guitar Andreas Arnold - Cornelia Cafe. For cocktails I ordered a madison manhattan and E ordered a sneaky ginger.
Rasa - Malaysian curry.
Dessert at Amorino. I had a gelato (cafe and hazelnut). E. and R. ordered very thick looking Italian hot chocolate.
We wandered through Strand bookstore until closing.

French toast brunch
brunch part two: Open door gastropub Caribbean wings and virgin bloody mary (tomato juice and hot sauce)
E went to catch a broadway show with family, I had flute ensemble practice followed by a flute concert.

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