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15 things every New Yorker does to prepare for winter

This winter in NYC will be a doozy.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

Winter in New York City takes cojones to survive it. New Yorkers quickly learn what they need to make it through the darkest, coldest months in the Big Apple—from the right winter coat to artificial sun lamps and more.

This winter, in particular, is set apart from all others. We're having to learn and abide by new rules and settle indoors more than ever before.

Below, you'll find 15 things New Yorkers do to prepare for the winter: 

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1. Open the windows to counter the blazing radiators that make us sweat in the dead of winter.

While we are grateful to have heat, the "raging fire" that emanates from our radiators is enough to have us strip down to our skivvies to survive as if the banging and clanging wasn't enough torture.  

2. Buy new winter boots because the city killed your last pair.

A good pair of winter boots is essential, especially for a wet winter promising salt and slush for every step we take. They wear out quickly after particularly bad winters, but also, changing up our boots to match current fashion trends is a must when we wear them every day.

3. Say our goodbyes to the sun, which we shant see again until roughly late March.

The daylight we have is so minimal these days, so we enjoy every ounce of it that we can soak up. 

4. Bring the happy lamp out of the closet that we'll also use as a ring light.

Because there's so little light, those among us with Seasonal Affective Disorder have a weapon we like to use to fight against the blues. Our little artificial light lamps mimic the sun and are actually pretty good ring light alternatives.

5. Pack our weekends with brunches and drinks in igloos to pass time.

There's an abundance of igloos and bubbles to dine and booze in these days. And since outdoor dining is a certainty this year (as opposed to indoor dining), we'll be inside these semi-private hovels more than ever this winter.

6. Buy a new puffer jacket before they sell out.

We all have our tried-and-true puffer jackets that get us through the winter, but there's a small window to get them before they sell out.


7. Bring in our illegal fire escape gardens — nothing to see here!

Cold temperatures aren't great for the plants and gardens we cultivated over 2020. It's time to move our plant babies indoors.

8. Re-up on new pairs of gloves and winter socks each winter, because we rarely come home with full pairs after trips to the laundromat.

Having an actual pair of mittens and matching winter socks at the start of the season is a rarity. 

9. Scout out the closest bodega with the ultimate snacks, so we don't have to venture out too far, once it's so cold that our faces hurt.

Knowing where the best bodega is for the winter is imperative while we hibernate. No one wants to be outside longer than we have to.

10. Do a test run to our bodegas in PJs the first day it gets below 30 to make sure it’s bearable.

Find out which PJs are the warmest to run out in by heading out to the bodega to get those snacks.

11. Bookmark the best winter warmer recipes from New York chefs and curate our recipe lists of soups to cook up.

The season of soups and stews is here! Now is the time we bookmark those comfort food recipes we've been meaning to try or gather our cozy go-to's. 

12. Consider masks with fur or flannel on them.

We've never really had to think about it before, but face coverings are part of our wardrobe this winter and companies are releasing fur- and flannel-covered masks to keep our faces extra warm and trendy. Therefore, we need to re-think our mask game. 

13. Stop by our local bookstores to pick up a stack of winter reads.

With even more time indoors, catching up on our reading lists is a must. Before things get real messy out there, we'll need to head to our neighborhood bookstores to stock up on titles.

14. Consult Time Out New York's Google doc of every NYC restaurant and bar with an outdoor heater

Dining out is going to be a challenge this winter. We'll need to plan ahead to make sure we aren't sitting in 20-degree weather without a heater nearby, that's for sure. We'd rather chew our food than chatter our teeth, so we'll consult this running list of bars and restaurants with heat.

15. Buy a blanket scarf for all those nights we will be dining outdoors.

Blanket scarves (a la Lenny Kravitz) seemed a little over the top until now. We don't want to leave our level of warmth up to fate, so we'll be prepared with our fashion-forward, dual-use scarf blankets, thank you very much.

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