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Thread: NYC in December

  1. #1
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    Red face NYC in December

    Hi!
    I'm planning to visit NYC at the beginning of December. I'm a Portlander, so we typically get rainy winters and we are very casual, so I can wear a rain jacket and Pendleton shirt anywhere. When we do get cold, I break out the bulkiest wool sweaters I have, but I'm trying to pack efficiently for this trip. I'm a knitter, and I'm planning to make a few items for the trip, but I want to make things that will pack small. Suggestions? I'm planning to buy an Aeronaut 45 and packing cubes for the trip.

    I'm also looking for some VERY comfortable winter walking shoes for this trip. Sneakers won't fare well on wet slushy sidewalks. I typically travel with a pair of Finn Comfort Ikebukuro shoes, but I want something waterproof. My LL Bean duck boots are waterproof but I won't be able to walk miles and miles in them. I'm also female if that helps your suggestions.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Hi! Former NYCer here, although I've been in LA since 2014, so I've mostly forgotten what winter is like (I just described a 75 degree day as "cold"). That said, I typically dressed in a few warm layers - long-sleeve shirt, v-neck merino wool sweater, uniqlo down jacket - when it was cold, and pulled a rain shell over the whole thing when the weather was especially harsh (although that typically doesn't come until January or February). The uniqlo jacket (or any down jacket, really) is great, because it compresses down very small, but it's quite warm.

    As for footwear, my wife and I both used to wear LL Bean duck boots for weeks on end in the winter and would walk all over town. Why are you ruling them out for your trip?

  3. #3
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    I live in New York. (I'm also a woman and work in the arts, if that helps place my advice.)

    Weather is (increasingly) erratic. Sometimes it's very, very cold, but more often in the past few years it's been warmer (40s, 50s, an occasional even warmer day.) In other words, in December, it's unlikely to be frigid (February seems to be the coldest.) So you might not need super warm things, and frankly, I find being dressed too warmly to be far more uncomfortable on the subway or when in restaurants, stores, and museums. Slushy probably won't be a problem then, either (that's more a problem in February or March.)

    I pretty much wore some Dr Marten Chelsea boots all winter long last year (the Flora style): they're waterproof, comfortable, and are appropriate everywhere. If it's not wet, I usually wear Vans. One of my jobs is very close; my other is about a 2-mile walk (one way), and I'll walk that in either Docs, Vans, or shearling-lined Birkenstock Arizonas (yes, they are kind of ridiculous, but yes, they are awesome to about 45 degrees) happily round-trip unless the weather is really awful. And, I too have LL Bean boots, but mine get worn maybe a few days in February or March if at all.

    I'd say really anything that passes for appropriate in Portland (doing similar things as you're planning on doing here) will mostly work fine here.

  4. #4
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    Thanks! I typically wear wool base layers, a wool sweater, down jacket, and a rain shell when I'm in Portland, but our winters are usually above freezing (except last winter). The LL Bean duck boots are heavy and rub on my legs, unless I wear them with the thickest of wool socks. My idea of a fun vacation is walking and walking and walking, and when I went to Disneyland in the fall, even my Brooks running shoes made my feet ache.

  5. #5
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    Agree with turnleft, NYC heating is very strong. If you are comfortable outside you'll be roasting inside. I end up taking off all additional layers whenever I walk into a building.

  6. #6
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    New York City
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    NYC winters are fun. As turnleftbrighteyes suggests, recent weather trends mean more like breezy fall temps but a potential to drop well below freezing.

    If snow is in the forecast, note that not all sidewalks or areas get cleaned, so you may have to stumble over small glaciers on street corners or walk on some packed (icy) snow to get where you're going.

    A heavy wool coat with a good sweater and scarf is a classic NYC fall and winter outfit. It's not too stuffy if you go indoors but protects well if you have to brave cold wet days. Your Portland winter outfit sounds appropriate for lightweight clothes that'll handle our winter.

    A good, warm hat will go a long way. I am a huge fan of Black Rock Gear down hats for both daily use and travel. They crumple up about the size of a golf ball and are wind and water resistant and warm.

    Be advised that we get some strong brisk winds in the winter, and the tall city buildings can amplify this effect. Any jackets that aren't windproof rarely seen here in the winter because of this.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    If snow is in the forecast, note that not all sidewalks or areas get cleaned, so you may have to stumble over small glaciers on street corners or walk on some packed (icy) snow to get where you're going.
    Everything posted above is right on. I would echo/reinforce that while it may not yet have snowed when you get here - once it does, with the fluctuating temperatures there are often big patches of ice and watery slush, particularly at street corners. Waterproof boots can save you a half-block of walking to get around one of those slush-lakes to cross the street.

    Enjoy your visit!

  8. #8
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    I'm male, so take any fashion recommendations with a grain of salt, but when I worked projects in NY or NJ I never bothered with boots. I typically have made do with my dress shoes. I just make sure they're a good sturdy shoe (like Dr. Scholls) and then try to be cognizant of where I walk. While you might hit the odd sidewalk that's not cleared, it's still not usually deep enough to warrant travelling with an extra set of boots.

    Even at home here in Canada, I usually just make do with a set of runners most of the winter. The hiking boots get broken out if I'm snowblowing, but that's about it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaadk View Post
    I'm male, so take any fashion recommendations with a grain of salt, but when I worked projects in NY or NJ I never bothered with boots. I typically have made do with my dress shoes. I just make sure they're a good sturdy shoe (like Dr. Scholls) and then try to be cognizant of where I walk. While you might hit the odd sidewalk that's not cleared, it's still not usually deep enough to warrant travelling with an extra set of boots.
    I have a similar experience. In the fall and winter my daily shoe everywhere in NYC has beeswax-treated leather and flat rubber-bottomed soles. Careful footwork and okay water resistance has seen me through everything but the nastiest of snowstorms. I do have a shoe dryer at work however, and I think I would be pretty miserable if I were out all day with somewhat soggy shoes.

  10. #10
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    I love my La Canadienne winter boots. They are all waterproof, and look classy enough to wear with dresses and casual enough for jeans. The suede ones without a zipper are the most comfortable to me. Leather ones are too stiff, but suede is nice and floppy. I also go with low heels and good traction souls. And I buy a size up and add Dr. Scholls inserts for extra comfort. I live in Florida, by the way, so I'm always searching for the perfect travel boots.

  11. #11
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    I was in NYC January of this year, and early December of 2016 and 2015. It was cold for me--I've been in Costa Rica for the past 30 years but was originally from the NYC suburbs. I got by with a shell (Rohan Atlas Jacket), and either a medium fleece or a Uniqlo light down jacket.
    I can remember it was windy between the tall buildings. What was essential for me was a good scarf, lined gloves, and a hat.
    Rain or snow was not an issue. It rarely snows early December, maybe some flurries but accumulations are rare. I used by standard Rockport World Tours...stodgy, but comfortable, decent looking, good for walking, and thick enough for some warmth. And if you get caught by snow or rain, duck into Century 21 or a similar store to buy some Totes overboots or similar.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by katek8 View Post
    Hi!
    I'm a knitter, and I'm planning to make a few items for the trip, but I want to make things that will pack small. Suggestions?
    I am a knitter to (well - on and off) and my absolute favourite that I always pack is a giant version of this pattern: knitty.com. If you are a ravelry.com user this will be familiar already to you as this is the most popular pattern there I think. (I acutally think I bought the yarn for my fav one at PurlSoho in NYC).

    It doubles as a blanket/scarf/wrap.... and if I may say so myself looks rather smart while doing it, and not like something I did in 5th grade and gifted to polite parents to be put in a drawer - which to be honest is still the outcome sometimes. It also fits in a medium stuffsack with room to spare

  13. #13
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    The trip is coming up, but I ended up getting some Keen Presidio shoes. I'm breaking them in, but they are super comfortable so far, and they came in purple!

    I knit a Clapotis years ago, when the pattern first was released. I was living in San Diego at the time, so I knit it out of bamboo yarn. I do have plenty of giant wooly shawls I can bring on this trip though.

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