Friday, November 6, 2009

New York Winter

There was a time when I shuddered at the coming of winter. The temperatures hovering near zero, the prolonged darkness, the piles of crusted over snow, the overcast skies, the drudgery of trying to move around in it, all made winter feel oppressive and just a bit suffocating. I have lived in quite a few places where the winters were long and frigid, and the prospect of facing those hard, seemingly endless days of unrelenting cold brought sadness and just a touch of desperation.

New York winters feel different to me, in part because it's New York, and I suppose, too, because I'm a somewhat changed person. Changes in weather of any kind don't depress me any more; they interest me, and the coming of winter is no different. I enjoy, at least for a while, wearing sweaters and heavier coats, and I really love the way the winter air feels and smells. Walking in the cold can be particularly invigorating. But the fact that I now live in New York has really transformed my attitude toward winter. Even though the cold may bite at times and the wind may blow powerfully (the winds of New York are, by far, the hardest part of winter for me), the fact remains that it is just a short distance to Lincoln Center, my favorite Bookstores, the partial shelter of Central Park, or the subway which can whisk you easily and directly to many fascinating parts of Manhattan or Brooklyn. Those New York winters just don't seem all that bad when there are so many wonderful ways to pass the time until the warm weather returns.

Will I be tired of winter by late March or early April? Almost certainly. But for now the coming winter brings thoughts of finding refuge in colorful museums, well heated theatres, congenial restaurants, and those little cafes where a hot cup of coffee or a rich container of hot chocolate offer protection from the winter cold that somehow seems to give this season of cold and abbreviated days its very reason for being.

1 comment:

  1. When recalling the days when I spent winter in the cold or when I visited for extended periods, I always think of how hard it was to get around, especially driving, when the weather turns bad. NYC has such wonderful transportation that this isn't really an issue. I think you have truly found your 'isle of joy', summer or winter.