101 things to do in the winter in New York City 2009

Seasonal classics and must-do events.

81. Drink bourbon in Brooklyn
Start at the Smoke Joint (64 Lafayette Ave at South Elliott Pl, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 718-797-0292) and opt for a three-liquor flight ($15--$18), featuring one-ounce tastes from small-batch distillers such as Tuthilltown and Basil Hayden. Another fine choice is the JakeWalk (282 Smith St between Sackett and Union Sts, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; 347-599-0294, thejakewalk.com), where you can try one of two dozen tasty bourbons, like soft, buttery 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve ($20). But Smith Street’s true brown-liquor HQ is Char No. 4 (196 Smith St between Baltic and Warren Sts, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; 718-643-2106, charno4.com), where you can sample the exceptionally smooth and affordable seven-year-old W.L. Weller Antique (one-ounce pour $4).

82. Eat grown-up ramen
Visit Ippudo NY (65 Fourth Ave between 9th and 10th Sts; 212-388-0088, ippudo.com/ny) for a taste of “Ramen King” Shigemi Kawahara’s tonkatsu—a pork-based broth. Midtown West mainstay Sapporo (152 W 49th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, 212-869-8972) has been serving top-notch noodles since before it was cool. The newly expanded offerings at Ramen Setagaya (37-02 Prince St at 37th Ave, Flushing, Queens; 718-321-, 718-321-0290* 90 University Pl between 11th and 12th Sts, no phone) include spicy, sesame-flavored tan tan men; slightly sweet curry with pickled ginger; and a vegetarian miso.

83. Get drunk by the fire at Shoolbred’s
This East Village bar owes its atmosphere to co-owner and Tony Award--winning costume designer William Ivey Long, who filled the cozy pub with stained-glass flourishes, an abundance of orchids, cherrywood-paneled walls and Louise Bourgeois lithographs—plus a roaring fireplace and armchairs practically built for snuggling in. You’ll find low-key tipplers conversing over fresh-squeezed screwdrivers and greyhounds, made to order with an old-fashioned citrus press on the bar. 197 Second Ave between 12th and 13th Sts (212-529-0340, shoolbreds.com)

84. Learn to knit
The frigid economy is a good excuse to skip the sales rack and knit yourself a set of winter accessories. Craft stores throughout the city stock a rainbow of yarns and offer classes and words of encouragement, among them Brooklyn General Store (128 Union St between Columbia and Hicks Sts, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; 718-237-7753, brooklyngeneral.com), Knitting 321 (321 E 75th St between First and Second Aves; 212-772-2020, knitting321.com) and Knitty City (208 W 79th St between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway; 212-724-9596, knittycity.com). Yearning to hold your own stitch-and-bitch session? Many shops have private lessons.

85. Skate at Rockefeller Center
Give yourself the gift of crowd avoidance: During the week, the rink is significantly less packed, so play hooky and glide your heart out. If you can’t cut out of work, haul out of bed on a weekend morning and beeline to 30 Rock; the rink opens at 8am. 30 Rockefeller Plaza between 49th and 50th Sts (212-332-7654, therinkatrockcenter.com)

86. Clean out your closet for charity
Donate your Bush-era clothing at one of five Saturday Greenmarkets: Union Square, Inwood, Grand Army Plaza, Fort Greene or McCarren Park. Your unwanted garb will be sold or recycled, and your donation is tax deductible. Visit cenyc.org/recycling for locations and times. If you’re a lady with professional clothing to give, donate it to Dress for Success (dressforsuccess.org) and it will go to women in need. Men can bring their business wear to Career Gear (careergear.org), and Salvation Army and Goodwill both have locations throughout the city. Prom dresses—we know you’ve got ’em, and we’re picturing some sequins—can go to Operation Fairy Dust (operationfairydust.org).

87. Commune with crafters
At Etsy Labs’ Craft Nights, there will be crafting, there will be movies, there will be snacks, and there will be someone to help you when you accidentally superglue your fingers together. 325 Gold St between Johnson St and Myrtle Ave, sixth floor, Downtown Brooklyn (718-855-7955, etsylabs.com). Mon 4--8pm.

88. Swim with the pool sharks at Ocean’s 8
Teens, twosomes and grizzled gents take to Ping-Pong games, bowling lanes and pool tables. Bring a friend, or try to single out a weak opponent you can challenge for a plate of spicy chicken wings or any of the 24 draft brews (Blue Moon and Chimay make appearances). 308 Flatbush Ave at Seventh Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-857-5555, oceans8atbrownstone.com)

89. Indulge all your senses in Chinatown
Start at Chinatown Fair Video Arcade (8 Mott St between Mosco and Worth Sts, 212-964-1542), a noisy old-school game hall where joystick lovers huddle around everything from Ms. Pac-Man to hi-def games like The King of Fighters XII. After you’ve worked up a sweat in Dance Dance Revolution, relax your feet at Foot Heaven (16 Pell St between Bowery and Mott St, 212-962-6588), one of many massage spots lining Pell, Mott and Bayard Streets. When hunger strikes, try the excellent soup dumplings at Nice Green Bo (66 Bayard St between Elizabeth and Mott Sts, 212-625-2359).

90. Visit the Brooklyn Brewery
The name of the game at one of New York’s most successful breweries is beer. The name of the game in the Tasting Room is cheap beer. For four bucks, you get one token, redeemable for the on-site brew of your choice (and a 20-minute tour of the facility, if you need some walking-around time). 79 North 11th St between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-486-7422, brooklynbrewery.com). Sat, Sun noon--6pm.


101 things to do this winter
Seasonal classics and must-do events.