Monday, February 8, 2016

My Winter Memories in New York

My First Winter in NY

The New York winter day I remmber the most is when I was awakened in the early morning by the sound of my mom bustling in the kitchen. When I saw her by the stove wearing her yellow apron and making crepes, I wondered why she was still home as her usual bus to work took off at 6:05 am. When I asked, she replied, “MTA is cosed due to the blizzard.” I looked through the window in our rented railroad apartment in Quenns and I saw soft flakes coming down from the sky. Cluttery backyards and rusty fire escape stairs were covered with a fresh layer of white snow.  I replied, “It’s not a blizzard, it’s just snowing.” Atypically, this day my family ate breakfast and spend the whole day together. It was like a holiday, except no one knew it was coming.

Snow stopped falling during the night, and the next morning, social life on the streets of Ridgewood flourished once people went out to clear snow off the sidwalks and cars. Soon, the snow turned to slush and life in NYC returned to normal.

Winters I Remember

I a native Polan, I am very use to snow. Poland has four seasons: beautiful spring, hot summer, golden autumn, and winter, with the chance of snow from November till March. People never know when the first snow may come and how long it will lie. I remember winters when snowdrifts would build up over the months and not melt till early April. Yet, school was never canceled due to the snow. The only exception was when the last calass was caceled so the whole class could go sledding on sacks filled with hay or we would have horse-draw sleigh ride that ended with a huge campfire in the woods.

Queens, New York 

As a kid, I loved playing in the snow: I would find the biggest drifts to overcome, or build a snowman and steal my dad’s hat to put atop my snowy friend. When driving on a street with high snowdrifts on both sides of the road, I would always imagine that I was driving through a mystical maze to a magical place, a wonderland from a fairytale. 

Winter is a magical time that brings people together. During the holidays people all around the world spend time with family and preparing traditional dishes and watching movies. However, the the best way to really appreciate a true beauty of winter is to go out and enjoy the snow and the ice.

Ice-Fishing on Tupper Lake

Another very meorable winter experience in New York was when we pack up and drive five hours upstate to spend a weekend in the coldest part of the state icefishing. My brother fishes all year long, so he has a New York State fishing license and all of the necessary equipment, including good cold weather gear to stay warm.

Ice-Fishing on Tupper Lake 

Ice-Fishing on Tupper Lake 

Ice-Fishing on Tupper Lake

On the ice, it was so freezing that taking my gloves off was painful. The ice was so thick that making bonfire in the middle of a lake was safe. Surprisingly, there was something very peaceful about being out on a frozen lake.

Campfire on The Lake 

I am not a fishing pro, and I never really enjoyed fishing in the warmer months, but I loved being out on that cold ice. For me, it wasn’t about catching a fish. It was about the crisp winter air and beautiful, snowy landscape that seemed to clear and calm my mind. These surreal circumstances allowed me to simply be and nothing else seemed to matter.

Winter Fun in the Adirondacks

The Adirondack Region is located in the northern part of New York State and made up of twelve year-round destinations with mountains, valleys, and lakes. I particularly like this part of New York in the winter, since its frosty landscape reminds me of winter in the place where I grew up—the Northeast part of Poland.

Lake Placid is a destination known for high peaks wilderness, Whiteface Mountain, and winter sports—Lake Placid hosted the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980.

Tupper Lake, well-known for its picturesque hiking, pristine lakes, and friendly atmosphere is one of the best regions for the fishermen. If you don’t have fishing experience, I would not recommend ice fishing alone. It’s best to start with someone who has already done it and knows how to identify safe ice conditions. If you don’t know anyone, don’t worry. There are a lot of options in Tupper Lake to have fun on the ice or in the snow such as skiing, cross-country skiing, sledding, hiking, and much more.

Check out Tupper Lake official website for more winter fun inspirations. Bundle up, get outside and try a new way to spend a New York winter getaway.


  1. Justyna, I love everything about this, especially your first New York "blizzard" experience! Ha! I can't believe you actually made me want to enjoy winter. I'm totally inspired by you :-) Xo, Molly