I’m avoiding calling my mother. I haven’t spoken to her in weeks. I can not bear the thought of listening to the unnecessary, down right cruel information she will regale me with if I pick up the phone. The cherry blossoms are in bloom! It was 68 degrees today! Baby birds and bunnies! Tulips! Rainbows! Sunshine and blue skies! The sort of thing I just can NOT handle right now.
This is easily the most difficult time of year for me. It is solidly Spring in San Francisco but here in New York a persistent layer of snow covers the ground. And it’s not melting anytime soon. You can just make out the hint of buds on trees but they’re just a tease. It will be many weeks before any actual green appears. After this many winters I finally have no delusions that spring starts in March. Not around here anyway. So I’m counting the days until April and avoiding spring-happy San Franciscans. And continuing the battle against seasonal depression.
Eating is more fun in the winter. Do you agree? There is something so satisfying about putting hot food in your otherwise freezing cold body.
Warm me up and fill me up in NYC.
I love soup. Hydrates, fills you up, millions of different kinds and preparations. Makes you feel immediately warm and toasty. It’s the ultimate cliché comfort: chicken noodle soup. Mmm-mmm good. But soup in July? Not the same feel good effect. So I’d better enjoy my soup fix before the weather warms up!
Asian noodle soup is one of the few things I will crave. Mee Noodle Shop is a quick 10 minute walk from my house. And they deliver- in the case of blizzard or sickness. You pick the kind of noodles you want, they have 8 kinds, and for 7-9 bucks you get a huge bowl full of any and all the meats and veggies you could want. I usually get 2 meals and a warm happy feeling that well lasts me the 13 blocks home.
Hot chocolateis to winter what ice cream is to summer. The perfect sweet pick-me-up, Starbucks will do in a pinch, as I’ve mentioned before. But when it gets to February, it’s time to pull out the big guns. Something City Bakery understands. This February (right now!!) is their 18th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival, every day featuring different awesomeness (Darkest Dark Hot Chocolate is today…I want to leave work and go right now!) or unusual-ness (missed Tropical Hot Chocolate last week, Sunken Treasure Hot Chocolate coming up on the 21st. Can you imagine what those taste like?) I haven’t been yet, and so far it’s the only reason I’m not wishing February ended tomorrow!
I’ve also been seduced by the cuteness of Lily O’Briens Cafe. It’s right next to Bryant Park. The roomie and I almost drowned our sorrows there, after missing Bryant Park Ice Skating (which closed January 24th when winter had only just gotten serious. SO DUMB), but changed route at the last-minute. So this place is on my list.
Of course if you’re looking for a hot drink and you live here and you’ve gotten this far into this post, you’ve probably been to Alice’s Tea Cup. It’s the New York cute tea place. The ambiance is great- everything envelopes you in cute and cozy when you sit down. The feeling only intensifies as you open the menu which overwhelms you with choice. Pick any pot of tea and 2 scones (I’m in love with their pumpkin scones) and its a perfect $10 treat to share with a friend.
One appreciable thing about winter vs. summer, you get a considerably higher bang for your rent buck. In the summer no one stays inside in New York. The winter is a different story. Especially if you like your roommates. I look forward to cozy nights at home. We’ll pick up a gallon of spiced cider at the neighborhood year-round farmer’s market and 1 or 2 not-stocked ingredients and spend the night sipping hot cider and baking muffins- from scratch if ambitious, a Trader Joe’s mix if we’re not. With the smell of banana-oat muffins, the warmth generated by the oven, (maybe an episode of Sex and the City), slippers, and my 2 best friends, I can look out the window at snow falling and think “Winter is beautiful.”