Winter is officially here. Ugh. Just two weeks ago Jonas came hard and fast and blanketed most of the east coast with heavy layers of that white stuff we all love to hate. What started as a gentle foreplay on a Friday evening turned into a full blown fiesta de blanco on Saturday. The trains stopped running, it was illegal to drive, and I spent almost 36 hours in my two bedroom apartment with my roommate and visiting parents. It was interesting. And just this morning lil’ Sexi Lexi surprised us with a fresh coat of snow first thing. It took me almost 2 hours to force myself out of bed and into the mind numbing tundra called Brooklyn.
Since this is my first official winter back on the east coast after 3 luxuriously warm years in Los Angeles, I’m still readjusting to the cold. The unusually steamy December toyed with my emotions but the cruel January and February has lead me to a new conclusion: winter does not fuck around in NYC. So I created a little survival guide for all you readers currently slipping on black ice, sinking into calf-deep slush puddles, and trying to appear moderately attractive under 13 layers of clothing, boogers, and chapped skin. Good luck.
As this is a health adjacent blog of sorts, I’m going to kick the guide off with some handy tips for food. Typically the newscasters recommend stocking up on milk, eggs, and bread. News clips show sweeping videos of completely empty bakery aisles and a sad package of broken and damaged eggs in a cooler. WRONG. What is this – Litchfield Penitentiary without the babe lesbians? You’re better than this provincial combo and you know it. If you need to buy bread at least get a baguette so a) you feel fancy and French, and b) in case of emergencies you can use it as a weapon if a food riot starts.
Chili: This is the easiest shit ever. Seriously. Brown up some meat, throw in an onion, add in some chopped peppers, canned beans, seasoning and voila. You have a hearty meal that will keep everyone in your tiny 2 bedroom apartment full, satisfied, and content for at least a few hours. Pro tip: keep it light on the beans because farts and the inability to open snow covered windows = recipe for disaster.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is the best because it can literally just be oats and water or you can make that shit blogger fancy. I’m talking chia seeds. I’m talking halved figs. I’m talking tiny bowls of apples cut to look like roses floating in a brown sugar reduction sauce. You do you, boo.
Nuts: You can watch your dad eat two giant plastic containers of cashews in less than 24 hours. Marvel at the resilience of this 6’5” man who can literally eat 4,000 calories of cashews while maintaining a slim figure. Bonus points for an unlimited supply of nut related jokes for the entire weekend.
Alcohol: I’m putting this under food because there’s a good chance you’ll need a lot of it. Being indoors for hours on end can make even the most sane people go loopy and alcohol can get you through a lot. Truthfully there’s an alcoholic pairing for every meal of the day so you can’t go wrong. Breakfast Mimosas or Bellinis to kick off inches 1 – 3. A Bloody Mary bar for lunch pairs well with 3 – 6 inches of snow. A mid-day Irish Car Bomb will distract you from the now calf-deep snow. And don’t forget about pre-dinner, dinner, and post-dinner whiskey. I recommend Bulleit because it’s just expensive enough to feel fancy but not expensive enough that you won’t feel super bad if you drink too much and get sick. Health!
Pro Tip: Remember when you were a kid and you would scoop bowls of snow and cover it in maple syrup? This is not recommended in a city. I’ve already seen brown, yellow, and my new winter favorite RED snow and it’s only snowed twice.
Activity + Entertainment
It’s Electric: If you manage to stay #blessed your electricity may still be on. If that’s the case you’ll have the internet at your fingertips and Netflix and chill, Hulu and hang, and iTunes and whatever at your disposal. If you’re single and not boycotting dating apps you are allowed to swipe without judgement for as many hours as possible. Which brings me to my next topic.
Ayyyyyyyy: No explanation needed here. If you’re stuck inside and lucky enough to have a dude, chick, polyamorous situation or whatever weird thing you’re into at the ready – the world is your oyster. Pro tip: birth rates tend to spike 9 months after natural disasters, storms, etc so be an adult and stay prepared. Also the worst STD is a snowstorm induced STD. Actually a Sandstorm induced STD is the worst but a snowstorm one is a close second.
Adult Supervision: Need to pass the time when your parents are in town? Keep board games in your house. Seriously when was the last time you hunkered down and played a classic like Sorry or Scrabble? They’re super fun, pair well with alcohol, and can help you get through hours of Dad jokes. If your parents are cool, bring out the Cards Against Humanity. My roommate’s Mom has a strong affinity towards the “dick fingers” card.
Ugh, Health: I’ve used snow, rain, a slight drizzle, humidity, and a perfect day as an excuse not to go to the gym but when it comes down to it, a bit of bad weather is the perfect reason to get your sweat on. If you can’t make it to the gym there are a million workout apps available on your phone or Apple TV. Any Kayla Itsines workout can be done in your apartment as long as you have hand weights and stairs in your building. Plus you have infinite bragging rights if you take half an hour to workout while everyone else in the house lounges around in sweats.
Pro Tip: Even though it may temporarily feel good, standing in a corner and banging your head against the wall will not actually help you in any way. The snow will melt. The ground will thaw. Someday it will be spring. Someday.
My Dad has been saying this for years and Portlandia immortalized it with this Get The Gear sketch. It’s all about layers. I’m fine looking like the Michelin man as long as my buns stay warm. My mom bought me a pair of cheetah print texting gloves so I’m a Cheetah Girl, Cheetah Sister who can text without getting frostbite. Also recommended: long johns, thick denim, layerable thermal shirts, heavy sweaters, a sleeping bag coat, #beanielyfe, wool socks, and some type of massive waterproof, fur-lined winter boot. All worn at once. It takes 47 minutes to disrobe but it’s worth it.
Pro Tip: Someone needs to invent a tearaway winter ensemble. Actually, I’m going to invent that. Don’t steal it. I’m talking to you sports players and male strippers.
The Bright Side
Nothing pairs better with snow than an overflowing mug of hot chocolate and because #America, there are a bunch of low calorie options to choose from. Plus, you can easily add alcohol. Sup.
Trudging through knee deep snow is actually an awesome workout. As long as there are no cars on the road you can walk straight down the middle of the street and pretend you are one of the only survivors on Earth and you need to find a hot dude or lady to repopulate the planet with.
Snowfall means a bevy of new winter activities are freshly available. Change your Tinder profile to say “ready 2 sled” and take a first date to Central Park. Or hit that fresh pow and shred the gnar with a hot snowboarder (I have no idea if this means anything).
So good luck out there Struggle Readers. Winter is bleak but we can get through this. Also anyone have leads on job openings in California? Asking for a friend. Hahaha just kidding. Yep. Definitely kidding.