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    9 ways to escape winter in NYC (without buying a plane ticket)

    By Kelsy Chauvin
    January 31, 2017, 5:46:11 PM EST

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    If the blustery winds and overcast skies of winter are getting you down, don’t despair. There are summery scenarios waiting to warm your chilly attitude all around New York City. Some will put a fruity drink in your hand and spin salsa beats, others will spruce up your day with rainbows of foliage and butterflies. Here’s a rundown of 10 ways to dispel the winter doldrums and summon the sunshine. Because even writer Anton Chekhov, who knew a thing or two about the coldest of seasons, admitted: “People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”

    Surf's up

    Surf's up

    (Photo/Jennifer Arnow)

    The big yellow surfboard propped up by the Midtown door of Réunion is not a mirage. It’s an invitation to drift into this subterranean French surfer bar (named for the island off Madagascar) for drinks like the frozen Corona (a beer slushie), Singapore sling, or other punchy-fruity concoctions to ship your brain off to an island far, far away from Times Square. The food menu stays on theme with seaside classics like grilled Mexican-style corn and fried clams.

    Latin Beats

    Latin Beats

    (Photo/Fodor's Travel)


    Just across the East River in Williamsburg, Bembe brings the drums and tropical drinks of Latin America to Brooklyn. This little club has nightly DJs spinning “global beats” that span reggae, salsa, merengue, and more, sometimes with accompanying live drummers. If the music alone isn’t enough to get you onto the dance floor, let the tasty mojitos or other tropical cocktails set you in motion.

    Jerk Chicken

    Jerk Chicken

    (Photo/Daniel Krieger)


    New York City has plenty of enticing Caribbean restaurants dotting upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs, but one of the very best is downtown. Miss Lily’s embodies all things colorful and spicy both in its décor and dishes. Head to its original SoHo outpost for the jerk chicken that put the restaurant on the map, or try its East Village satellite (called Miss Lily’s 7A) for a little more space and equally delectable stew, plantains, and pitchers of rum punch to wash it down.

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