After several long winters in NYC, I’ve finally figured out how to avoid spending the entirety of winter nestled deep within a self-made fort of styrofoam take out containers and bottles of red wine. The trick is pretty simple; just pretend like it’s summer. So if a tropical vacation is out of the cards this year or you’re just looking for an excuse to wear bright colors again, head to these spots around town:
The Desert Pavilion, Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Surround yourself with cacti, succulents, and wildflowers to feel like you’ve taken a road trip to the wild desert landscapes of the American West and beyond. The wooly coat of the of the aptly-named Peruvian Snowball Cactus is as close as you’ll get to actually seeing snow. As always, weekday admission is free December-February.
When you’ve grown tired of bare trees and slushy streets, make your way to the Royal Palms for a dose of the tropics. With several massive shuffleboard courts taking center stage, you can finally see why all those sunburnt cruise-going retirees are so happy. Oh, and don’t forget to order some summery cocktails from the bar to fully embrace your resort style daycation.
Glady’s, Crown Heights
This lively caribbean spot in Crown Heights is as a close as you can get to the Caribbean without leaving NY. The green walls, hanging plants, and blissful tastes will make you feel a world away from the snow-covered city. The Jerk Chicken and Curried goat will never disappoint. If you’re a fan of the Dark and Stormy, you’ll be happy to know they serve up a Dark and Slushie, the perfect rum elixir for an island staycation.
Sometimes all you need is music to transport you to another place. Throughout the cold months of the year Bembe hosts “Tuff Tuesdays,” a showcase of reggae styles throughout the ages. A good way to get those catchy Christmas jingles out of your head and dance to the beat of a different drum.
Mother of Pearl, East Village
This is definitely not your average dive tiki bar. After passing through the white sheer curtain entrance, you feel as if you’ve traveled back in time to a tacky-chic Miami lounge in the ’80s. As well as sipping tropical drinks, you can also munch on tasty vegan-friendly bites.You’d be making a mistake if you didn’t order the Shark’s Eye, an over-the-top tiki drink served in a shark-shaped vessel with blood, aka cherry red bitters running down its mouth.
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By Cory Keny