Preparing for “Winter” in New York

This angry bird was unprepared for snow in October

When the end of October came around and New York City saw its first snow, I began to reevaluate my survival skills and wardrobe. Heading into my first east coast winter with a leather jacket, three pairs of jeans and two scarves was not going to cut it. Clearly unprepared, I asked around to see what exactly I needed to mask my obvious inexperience with living in the cold. Instead of encouragement, I learned very quickly that New Yorkers get a sick pleasure upon hearing its a California girl’s first winter in New York.

Scene: I’m at work and bored so I begin to make small talk with two women sitting at the bar. The conversation naturally goes to the weather and the upcoming winter.

Woman #1: “Last winter was so bad.”

Me: “Was it that bad? Its my first winter in New York.”

Woman #2: “First winter? Where are you from?”

Me: “California”

Woman #1 and #2 begin laughing.

Woman #1 (face lit up with excitement): “You’re going to die!”

After this uplifting conversation and many more like it, I decided it was time to take some action in postponing my impending death.

First line of defense: a proper winter coat.

In early November, I walked into the massive coat department at Macy’s, repeating my roommate’s instructions on what kind of coat I needed to buy, over and over in my head. The more  I thought about the qualities I was looking for, the more it sounded like I was shopping for a bomb shelter. “Long, down, waterproof, wind resistant, with a hood.” Luckily, there was no shortage of black, long, sleeping bag coats and I walked away ready to fight for my life against mother nature.

Second line of defense: proper boots

After learning what indestructible boots I’d need to stomp through the blizzards of winter, I decided to wait until I’d actually need them before I blew an entire paycheck on moon shoes.

Sunny January in SoHo. New York

Today is February 1, 2012, its 60F, sunny, my coat is as good as new and I still have yet to buy boots.  I’ve been getting the “just you wait until winter really hits”, for two months now.  I’m waiting. Is this so-called-horrible winter coming this month? Or is this an El nino winter? Will I be eating my words by the end of February?  I wouldn’t mind a good snowstorm where fresh snow covers my neighborhood and makes it look slightly less ghetto but I am also very comfortable with 60 F.

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