While on a first date, I was randomly asked what my favorite season was. Without missing a beat, I responded, “The end of fall and the beginning of winter—when all of the leaves have finished falling and snowflakes have begun to fall from the skies on a near-daily basis.” Thankfully, my date wasn’t one of those guys who thought that being a Winter Wonderland enthusiast was a bad thing. Although the relationship with that one boy didn’t last very long, my relationship with the “hot cocoa and cuddling near a fireplace” season is ever lasting.
Now that Thanksgiving break is behind us, we can all start planning our Winter Break itinerary. As a Brooklyn-bred New York State student, I’m privileged enough to take a single bus ride down from upstate New York and into the Big Apple for my month long vacation away from the ‘Nell. Considering my love of the cold season, I’ve acquired quite the bucket list of wintry activities, five of which I will share:
“I’m kind of craving chocolate.”
In a nutshell: Serendipity 3, Jacques Torres Chocolates, and Max Brenner Chocolatier. These three havens, as I like to call them, serve up some of the richest, creamiest, most scrumptious chocolate treats in any and all forms imaginable—frozen hot chocolate, anyone? For those with a sweet tooth, or who simply want a chance to dip strawberries in chocolate fondue and roast a marshmallow over an authentic fire, these three chocolatiers are your holiday hot spots.
“Babe, let’s hold hands as we skate the night away.”
You’ve seen all the romance films—some might even call them Chick Flicks. The two main leads are cascading across the ice rink, gloved hands intertwined as one attempts to not slip and the other laughs because their date is such a klutz. There’s a moment where one is about to slip, and when everything is calm, and the hyena laughing has died down, their eyes meet. This is the moment when they realize that they’re in love. Everyone wants to moment. When I think of places to bring my date in the hopes that he’ll almost slip and our eyes meet—hopefully we haven’t both fallen and received concussions—the Central Park ice skating rink comes to mind.
“Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree!”
Rockefeller Center has an annual night in which the Norway spruce tree is lit up, dazzling the crowd with a wondrous show of neon lights and snowflake shadows. The crowds go crazy with cheers, Christmas spirit, and the inevitable instagram photo-ops. There’s something otherworldly about being in that crowd the moment the tree lights up.
“3, 2, 1…Happy New Year!”
You see it on the television screen every year. In fact, you attend a party where the huge television screen plays a live feed of New York City’s Time Square New Year’s Eve celebration. One day, you actually choose to take the subway ride over to 42nd street. You arrive just in time–and by that, I mean you arrive several hours before midnight so that you can get into the center of the craziness. You fight off all of the other tourists, and continue to sweat from having to hold in all of your pee. You think this is all so stupid, when suddenly, the 60 second countdown begins. You look around, and everyone starts to yell out the numbers. You begin to do the same. When 0 hits, everyone cheers and you feel a sense of exhilaration. You are part of something huge.
“Stay in and be cozy.”
And my favorite activity, staying home, sitting next to the fireplace, dressed in my Snuggie, sipping on a cup of hot cocoa with five marshmallows floating on top of the foam.