Experiencing sub zero temperature in New York – A survivors story

I went to the big apple in February this year with the boyfriend to celebrate Valentines day and his birthday. It was my first time in New York and also my first time visiting the states. When I arrived I immediately felt like I’ve been there before. The countless movies, video games and TV series set in the city I’ve seen a thousand times growing up made me almost think New York was a make believe city. Like it was something built for Hollywood. And I never thought I’d be able to save up money to go since it’s a long way from Sweden and quite an expensive city so I almost felt like I was walking in a dream or at least in a movie set being there.

I felt like Carrie Bradshaw walking along 5th avenue drooling over the expensive designer shops, or Holly Golightly looking in at the jewelry at Tiffany’s. Hell I could even identify with Godzilla at some points even though the huge skyscrapers and tall buildings makes you feel so small. It’s quite surreal actually.

To choose February as the month to go to New York might not have been our smartest move though. It was not only cold, as you’d expect February to be, it was the coldest month the city had experienced since 1934. They even had warnings going out on the news a week before our departure about snowstorms stopping up traffic. Luckily no blizzards swiped us away during our stay, but we sure were worried the weather would ruin the whole vacation before even arriving.

I pictured the scene from the movie The Day after tomorrow in my head where the Statue of Liberty is covered in snow up to her torch and the Hudson river turned into a ice skating rink on the flight over.

So being from Sweden where the weather is so unpredictable year around some winters you can get snowed in in the morning and go out and get a tan in the afternoon, I packed for the worst and filled up my suitcase with winter wear. I know one of the days I had four layers on and two pairs of gloves. You could easily tell the tourists apart from the locals just looking at what they were wearing. The New Yorkers were fierce, especially the women, they wouldn’t let any record cold ruin their style.
Jay-Z was right in his song Empire State of Mind when he said “Caught up in the in-crowd, now you’re in-style and in the winter gets cold en vogue with your skin out” because even though it was hitting sub zero temperatures (that’s like -17 °C) New York girls were still rocking trench coats, stilettos and mini skirts with no tights.

But walking through Central Park in the white landscape and seeing the squirrels play in the snow was beautiful and all the city lights still warmed you up at night. They even turned the Empire state building red with pulsating lights resembling heartbeats for Valentines day.

I’m so happy we were able to go there, the food was amazing, the people there were so surprisingly friendly and helpful being such a big and busy city and let’s not even begin talking about all the shopping. Visiting New York was a dream come true. But next time I’ll be going to New York I think I want to go when the weather is a bit nicer and you don’t have to be afraid of freezing to death haha.


This was the middle of February and it was cold as hell. It was the coldest weather I’ve ever experienced, so cold that it hurts your face, but I was happy.


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