Warm and cozy walk

Don't waste your winter hibernating---hike through the frozen West Village for hot chocolate and cool jazz.

  • #3: Three Lives & Company

  • #5: Hudson River Park

  • #9: Jacques Torres Chocolate

  • #11: Smalls

#3: Three Lives & Company

1. The first step toward accepting—nay, liking—winter in New York is fleeing the merciless wind tunnels of midtown. Start by tucking into Village streets like Washington Mews (between Fifth Ave and University Pl above Washington Sq Park North), whose old-world charm makes the city feel snug. Built as carriage houses in the 19th century, the Mews are now owned by NYU and open to the public only during the daytime.

2. Wander along Washington Square till you reach Joe the Art of Coffee (141 Waverly Pl at Gay St, 212-924-6750), where you can order a rich latte with elegantly swirled foam ($3.50 for a small) before settling in with a newspaper from the caf's window basket.

3. A few blocks away, Three Lives & Company (154 W 10th St at Waverly Pl, 212-741-2069) has catered to the neighborhood's literary tastes for more than 30 years. "We look for a good story well-written," says owner Toby Cox, whose staff is always ready to talk books. Have a browse; the nook-filled shop is built for whiling away the time.

4. Toast your fingers by the fireplace at the creaky-floored Blind Tiger Ale House (281 Bleecker St at Jones St, 212-462-4682), whose chalkboard hawks 31 rotating brews. Try a British-style cask ale like the local Chelsea Rye ($6.60); they're kept just a tad cooler than room temperature.

5. With booze in your veins, buck up for a gusty walk to the end of the Christopher Street Pier in Hudson River Park. In the clear winter light, the view is brilliant, and the quiet park, thronged in summertime, is yours to enjoy.

6. You've earned yourself another drink: Defrost at Turks & Frogs (323 W 11th St between Greenwich and Washington Sts, 212-691-8875), a wine bar lit with candles and antique lanterns. Pair the hummus plate ($6) with a warming glass of full-bodied Montelpulciano D'Abruzzo ($9).

7. Next, duck into the Housing Works Thrift Shop (245 W 10th St between Bleecker and Hudson Sts, 212-352-1618) and rummage through the basket filled with knit mittens ($10--$15) and racks hung with lamb's-wool sweaters ($50--$55). Proceeds help support New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS.

8. Heading south on Hudson, pause at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields (487 Hudson St between Grove and Barrow Sts, 212-924-0562) and imagine how the neighborhood looked in the 1820s, when it was little more than an isolated village. The walled garden beside the church is a peaceful—if now barren—refuge from both the city and the chill.

9. The blocks down to King Street may be windy, but decadent rewards await at Jacques Torres Chocolate (350 Hudson at King St, 212-414-2462). Try the chipotle-spiked Wicked Hot Chocolate ($3.25) and a jumbo chocolate-chip cookie ($3), while enjoying the aromas of the best-smelling shop in town.

10. Basement jazz club Smalls (183 W 10th St between Seventh Ave South and W 4th St, 212-252-5091) feels like a boho's living room, and you can treat it like one by camping out on a couch for hours. The $20 cover buys you live music from 7:30pm until 4am, and a drink on weeknights. "Greenwich Village is the home of jazz and poetry, and it's disappearing," says co-owner Lee Kostrinsky. "We want people to feel relaxed and comfortable, like they did in the '50s." Not to mention, you know, warm.