How to survive a New York winter

by Bryan

Winter is coming. Isn’t it always? Here’s a refresher for what winter brings to New York, so you can adequately prepare.

Sometimes it’s cold

After last year, when winter decided to take care of its bloated self for once and was oh so judicious in handing out cold days, it’s hard to make a blanket statement that winter is, you know, cold. It certainly has the ability to be cold, which is important to keep local news in business with a reliable three-month story. It’s beautiful when it snows and a total disaster when it stops. Salt gets all over your shoes, and your hair will be perpetually crazed from taking a knit cap on and off all the time. Your apartment will either be too hot or too cold, regardless of the temperature outside. December will blow, because people will be happy, and you did not come to New York to be happy.

It gets dark early

If you work in an office, it’s entirely possible that you won’t see the sun once all day, which is completely normal for the Arctic Circle. This sucks because the sun is a pretty cool dude, even if you’re not getting your normal supply of Vitamin D from those January heat waves. Ninety percent of life is showing up, and the sun shows up every damn day, like a boss. No sun means unhappy you and, most likely, drunk you.

Those freaking ads

Every year, the tourism bureau of some Caribbean location will absolutely blanket the subway system with photos of their beaches.

You will stare at these ads with the fury of generations of your ancestors. The people who place these ads are monsters.

The holidays

The holidays would be a scourge on humanity if they didn’t obviously serve the purpose of slingshotting us through the rest of the winter by taking our minds off the fact that the days are getting shorter and shorter. It’s not exactly a shock that Christmas—which is almost certainly not the birth of Jesus Christ—and New Year’s, a completely arbitrary day, take place within 10 days of the Winter Solstice. But ho-lee crap, does Christmas do everything it possibly can to drive you up the wall, on to your roof, and over it, and ho-lee crap, does January 1 feel like sweet, sweet relief.

It’s dry

Do you get bloody noses? I don’t, I’m just asking for a friend who gets annihilated by the water-parched air, and is constantly on watch for an impromptu nosebleed. Let me know and I’ll tell him.

Also: Lips. Chapstick blows. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t really work preventatively for me. I put it in, my lips get chapped even faster, then I have to reapply, and it feels like one big Ponzi scheme by the petroleum jelly industry.

Winter beer

Winter beer ranks:

1. Harpoon Winter Warmer

2. Piss offfffffff

New Year’s

A devious but apparently necessary holiday that forces you to think about your life—like, really think about it—on a day where you don’t get a cake. That’s some B.S. The only thing worse that observing New Year’s is ignoring it: You can’t escape, whether it’s nature or nurture. So steer into that skid, and do what you gotta do, because help is just around the corner.

January-mid February

Easy breezy. New Year, no problems, except for long waits at the gym, which you only know because you’re going for the first time in forever.

Hot toddies

The quickest way to fall asl—

Mid-February-Mid March

MAKE IT STOP. There’s a reason that the Oscars, the NBA All-Star Game and 20 other huge made-for-TV events are on in a two week span from mid-to-late February: People will watch anything by that point. Maybe if you get REALLY excited, the weather will warm up sooner. What do you mean, that makes no sense? You make no sense! And so on, because people have been huddling too close for way too long to make nice anymore. When people start talking about spring training, you’ll ignore how pretentious they’re being and you’ll think, fondly, of Florida. The second you do that, it’s the sun’s cue to turn up the heat. There’s only so crazy we can get before the whole system shuts down, and the sun be knowing. Florida is, as always, the tipping point.