10 Hot Ways to Ride Out the Winter
By JOE DZIEMIANOWICZ
February 14, 2005
With the exception of intrepid (or is insane the better term?) Coney Island Polar Bears, no one really enjoys the cold. Even if the frostiest cold blast is behind us, there's plenty of winter ahead. Here are some inviting ways to warm up during the big chill.
1. Head for a hearth
Restaurants and bars with a fireplace are true hot spots this time of year. Those dancing flames inspire romance, sure, but what people really desire is the radiant heat. At Ici, in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, fireside tables "go instantly," says owner Laurent Saillard. Other locales with fireplaces include Chumley's, W Court Hotel's Wet Bar, Vince and Eddie's and Patois.
2. Get sex on the brain
Count on sex to make temperatures rise. Which means it's a good time to check out what's going on at the Museum of Sex, at 233 Fifth Ave. There's an exhibit of classic American pin-ups at the Chelsea museum, and a new show called "Spotlight on the Permanent Collection." More than 9,000 objects and ephemera relating to human sexuality and reflecting changing attitudes about sex over the past 250 years are featured.
3. Hang out with hothouse flowers
Even when the weather outside is frightful it's always delightful inside city gardens. In the Bronx, Wave Hill's Conservatory is a bikini-friendly 80 degrees. It's also a riot of color thanks to the Orange Flame Vine from Chile, red, blue and purple bulbs from South Africa and Golden Mimosa tree from Australia - all in bloom. "Coming here will take visitors away to warmer climates," says a Wave Hill spokeswoman. Same goes for guests at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the New York Botanical Garden, where rainforest and desert gardens are now flowering. NYBG's annual orchid show begins Feb. 26.
4. Bend till you glow
Every form of yoga is popular these days. But Bikram Yoga is especially hot. That's because it's done in a room heated to 105 degrees to warm up and loosen muscles. That makes doing Bikram's 26 postures easier to perform, says instructor John Golterman, who runs a studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. "We call doing [Bikram] 'building your internal fire,'" he says. "The glow you get lasts long after class." A 90-minute class costs around $20. Go to bikramyoga.com for studio locations.
5. Defrost with chili
The perfect antidote to chilly weather? What else, chili. And some of the city's tastiest chili can be found at Daisy May's BBQ USA, a nifty rib joint at 623 11th Ave. (at 46th St.), which also has five sidewalk carts around town (locations can be found at daisymaybbq.com). A $6 takeout cup is filled with tasty chunks of chuck simmered with onion, garlic and chilies. There's homemade hot sauce if you want to ratchet up the heat. If the weather is truly knee-knocking, the 11th Ave. mothership delivers anywhere in Manhattan.
6. Get rubbed the right way
In a foul-weather funk? A hot-stone massage may provide relief. As warm oils are massaged into the skin, hot stones are applied to pressure points along the body so heat is deeply penetrated into the body. Avon Salon & Spa, on the 6th floor of Trump Tower, 725 Fifth Ave. (between 56th and 57th Sts.), offers a 50-minute hot-stone massage for $140. Or try Simply Spa, 104 W. 14th St. which offers a 90-minute treatment for $150. Two words: It rocks.
7. Step up to the stove
If you can't stand the cold, get into the kitchen. The Institute of Culinary Education (iceculinary.com), at 50 W. 23rd St., offers a variety of recreational classes this month, including ones devoted to soup - a great cold-weather food. In Brooklyn, the Neighborhood Kitchen Culinary Arts Center (neighborhood kitchen.com), at 231 Court St., has its own roster of classes, including Baking for Beginners. If you're more of a do-it-yourselfer, grab your favorite cookbook and try a new recipe.
8. Sip yourself warm
Hot chocolate is a classic winter warm-up. At Norma's, the popular breakfast spot in Le Parker Meridien on W. 57th St., there's a trio of hot chocolates all made with Valrhona chocolate. There's traditional; chocolatte, with whipped cream and chocolate shavings; and cocospresso, a superstrong chocolate concoction with a dense pudding-like consistency. The treats run $4-$6.
9. Hit a 'hot' show
Don't let the cold weather turn you into a hermit. Go see a show. "We're Still Hot! The Musical," now in previews at St. Luke's Theater at 308 W. 46th St., is about four fiftysomething women who put on a show for their 35th-anniversary high school reunion. It opens Tuesday.
10. Tip your elbow
Frosty nights call for come-in-from-the-cold cocktails. Shiver-proof yourself with one of the following.
Wintertini, at Geisha, 33 E. 61st St., combines Stoli Vanilla, hazelnut liqueur, sake, hot milk and matcha (green tea powder) for garnish.
Hot Chocolate Monkey Martini, at Monkey Bar, 60 E. 54th St., blends rum, chocolate and banana liqueur, hot chocolate, marshmallows, grated dark chocolate and cinnamon sugar.
Greek-style mulled wine, at Snack Taverna, 63 Bedford St., simmers together wine with citrus, cloves and cinnamon.
Originally published on February 14, 2005