The Definitive Guide to Surviving a Brutally Cold NYC Winter

We don't want you to just survive the winter in New York City. We want you to thrive.

How do we plan on advising you in the direction of success? There are a few keys to making winter not only bearable, but a total blast in NYC.

First of all, you've got to eat all the comfort food you can get your hands on, and you have to have a very specific blanket regimen.

You're also completely allowed to go shopping and buy all the fuzziest pajamas and socks you can get your hands on. Turn up your sweater game. Get a really fly winter hat.

There are other keys, and we plan on sharing them with you. We want you to get through this winter with flair. Find out how below.

1. Perfect the temperature in your apartment

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Everyone knows the temperature situation in winter in NYC apartments is fraught. If your heater is off, then it's the arctic tundra, and you'll catch frostbite.

If the heater is on, it's a boiler. You wake up gasping for breath in the middle of the night due to your hot bedroom.


Of course, there are ways around these two horrors. You can first open your bedroom window with the heater on, or sleep underneath an electric blanket with the heater off.

You can turn your heater on and then turn on your ceiling fan. You have to tinker, but once you find the perfect combination of temperature alterations, you'll have a livable environment.

2. Fall in love with your bed

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When the weather is bleak, there's nothing like collapsing at the end of the day into the waiting, loving, warm bed. This is infinitely more likely to occur when you have a Casper mattress and all the glories that come with it.

We all love our beds, but when you've got the one bed that's universally comfortable for everyone, that's engineered with the same medium firmness that's been proven cozy for all, well, that's game over.

Casper's mattresses have open-cell latex foam, durable base support, a removable woven cover, and the secret to getting through the winter. No, we can't tell you the secret. That would take away the secret's power, wouldn't it?

We know you can't see stars in the sky in NYC, but when you're on your back on a Casper mattress and you close your eyes, you see stars behind your eyelids. You really do.

3. Bars with fireplaces

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We're guessing you don't have a fireplace in your apartment. Forgive us for assuming, but we're right, aren't we?

Before there were oil-powered heaters, everyone used fire to get warm. Why? Well, because fire is... uh, really warm.

So once you get into a bar and get super cozy next to a roaring fireplace, we don't know, maybe a hot toddy in hand, you'll achieve an unprecedented level of winter bliss.

Since every NYC apartment designer has oppressed us from having fireplaces in our apartments, we have to rely on bars with fireplaces. There are a few in this city. There's Shoolbred's, Molly's, and Harlem Public. Check them out.

4. Bars with heated rooftops

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We have to get out of the house in the winter. If not, we'll pretty much meld into a single entity with our Netflix, couches, and beds. We don't want that, do we?

We also have to drink on roofs. Since it's a sad travesty that we can't really see the stars at all here, we have to take what we can get. In NYC, we trade breathtaking nighttime star views for breathtaking nighttime skyline views.


So drinking on roofs is essential, and you do not need to be deprived of these just because it's freezing outside.

Check it out. There do happen to be bars with heated rooftops in NYC. There's Refinery Rooftop, which actually happens to have a fireplace in addition to a heater.

There's Skylark, Berry Park, and 230 Fifth. You'll have a better winter if you check these out, trust us.

5. Perfecting your winter wardrobe

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No, it hasn't snowed in the city yet, but that doesn't mean it won't. Investing in a pair of sturdy winter boots that will keep our the snow and keep in your warmth is key.

Believe us: once the ground is covered in dirty, icy slush you'll be glad you took our advice on this one.

You also need to acquire the right combination of gloves, scarves, and hats. Ladies, we all need to map out our hairdos around our hats. No, we can't wear an updo on the day it's zero degrees, and we need a hat to survive the walk to the subway.

NYC residents also start wondering weird things in the winter, like whether they can marry their comfiest blankets. The answer is no, you can't marry your bed or blankets, but having a really comfy blanket is too necessary this time of year. 


6. Open up your radiator

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If you're anything like us, your bedroom is pretty cluttered. You probably have a bike, two yoga mats, all your backpacks, and your hamper in front of your radiator.

Oh, is that just us? We knew it wouldn't be. We knew we were all strapped for space in this crowded-ass city. 

Well, you're going to need easy access to your radiator due to all those necessary apartment temperature alterations we talked about earlier. You're going to need to be trekking to your radiator often, turning it off and on.


Be careful not to touch it. Those things get hot, we've burned ourselves on them a time or two.

Also, apparently, the less stuff you have in your radiator's way, the better that radiator is at heating apartments. So there's that.

7. Become a pro de-winterizer

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You know that moment you're totally bundled in your scarf, hat, and gloves, and then you step onto the heated subway platform and feel like you want to die?

Yeah, that happens fairly often to us too. So here's what happens when you become an NYC winter pro: you become excellent at de-gloving, scarfing, and unzipping coats. 

The moment you step from the twelve degree air into the 60 degree subway platform, all your winter pieces are already tucked in your bag.

You also have to become a pro at putting your winter accessories away. Trekking into Duane Reade to buy mittens multiple times a week isn't fun, and it's also bad for your bank account.

8. Comfort food

It's one piece season, everyone, and that means no one's going to be seeing you in your bathing suit for a super long time. 

Unless you go on a vacation, but everyone knows dieting before vacation isn't the point of vacation, so, we'll get back to our point: comfort food.

The city is teeming with savants in mac and cheese, expert grilled cheese crafters, and the most succulent soups south of Canada. 


Go ahead. Treat yourself to the buffalo mac and cheese from S'mac. Splurge on the grilled cheese from Earl's Beer and Cheese. Satiate yourself with a steaming bowl of soup from Soup Spot.

We know the temperature won't be low, but your mood will soar once you discover just how tasty the comfort food in this city can be.

9. Winter activities

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Keeping yourself busy is absolutely critical if you plan to keep yourself from crumpling into the wallows of seasonal depression.

Luckily, NYC isn't for wimps. It's full of toughies who know how to bundle, get out of the house, and have a good time.

This winter in particular is also jam packed with stuff to do indoors. So do it. Climb a rock wall at Chelsea Piers. See a movie while drinking a craft beer at Nitehawk Cinemas. Get tickets to a film, food, beer or wine festival.

There also a ton of concerts blasting off in NYC all the time. There are free shows at Rockwood Music Hall and Pete's Candy Shop, and there are more high profile shows going on at all of NYC's eclectic music venues all the time. 

Basically, doing stuff will cheer you up. So you should do stuff.

Check out 8 Struggles of Going to Work in the Bitter Cold NYC Weather

[Feature Image Courtesy Flavor Pill] 

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