I asked some New Yorkers to submit winter-tide favorite spots around the city. Here's a comprehensive list for each day of the week.
Visit Friend of a Farmer, a cozy restaurant located on the edge of historic Gramercy Park. With antique wall paper, old-fashioned wooden tables, and a blazing fireplace, you will not only be warm but also will fall in love with their apple pie. After dinner, walk around the gates of Gramercy Park and enjoy the beautiful 1920s architecture of the National Arts Club and the Gramercy Park Hotel.
You might want to slip into some skinny jeans and plaid before stepping into Birch Coffee on East 27th St. The ground floor of this hipster-friendly cafÃ© boasts a coffee shop with comfortable seating around candle-lit tables. Around the corner, rests an old piano and walls filled with of modern art. Upstairs is a notable "barter-book" library where you can trade your old college books for some new reads while waiting for your wine or Chai tea. You'll probably be greeted by fellow patrons in French, German, or Swedish because Birch also includes an international hostel. Starting at $40 a night, the hostel is a great recommendation for visiting friends.
Before it snows this weekend, make a trip to pick up some tea leaves and mouth-watering scones from Alice's Tea Cup. Stop by after a walk in the snow to enjoy warm create-your-own crepes with a $6 pot of tea or bring some tea leaves home for an intimate tea party with friends. Look for Alice's Tea Cup on both the east and west sides.
"Why has no one told me about this?" is the most common reaction you'll hear from newbies leaving the swing party, "Frim Fram Jam" at Club 412. Whether you are a swing pro or never lindy-ed in your life there's room for you. There's an optional beginners swing dance at 9pm. Come with a crowd, or alone, or bring a friend or a sweetheart. Meet new friends as you swing with strangers. Located on corner of 31rd St and 8th Ave, admission is $5 for students.
Panna II features delicious Indian platters starting at $6 with many of their appetizers - like the coconut nan bread - starting at $2. Located in a space the size of a typical New York apartment, their line is always long, often winding down the stairs and onto the street below. Not only is the food delicious, but you'll enjoy it under an entertaining light-up ceiling. Make sure you come on your birthday because the friendly waiters will switch their ceiling lights to disco and sing you a Bollywood rendition of "Happy Birthday."
Rent a camera from ATSRentals, grab a photographer friend, and learn how to take professional-quality photos. This a fun way to capture New York and create photos to hang on your wall or decorate greeting cards for your friends. ATSRentals has low-priced camera rentals shipped to you for however long you want them.
Situated close enough to the middle of Central Park, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir has a breath-taking panoramic nighttime skyline of the residential buildings along the West and East borders. Buy a cup of hot chocolate from Starbucks on 86th Street and Broadway and stroll along the pond with your sweetheart or best friend.