When I first moved to New York, I loathed winter. Coming from the south where the coldest days only dipped into the 50’s, the NYC months of November through March (sometimes even October through May!;-) were not an easy thing to process. However, I quickly realized that since winter makes up about half of the year here, I needed to find ways to adjust.
Enter hygge. Hygge is a Danish word that translates into coziness and enjoying life’s simple pleasures, and it’s a word that has helped me embrace, and even almost love!, winters up north. In fact, it’s been said that even with Denmark having the darkest days and coldest winters, they still consistently have the happiest people, and hygge is a large part of the reason why! Here’s 5 easy ways to get your hygge on in NYC this season.
1. Read ‘The Little Book of Hygge’
The Little Book of Hygge is a gem of a book will tell you everything you need to know about hygge and how to transform your life into one of upmost coziness. To get the full picture of how to achieve the Danish level of cozy and happy, I’d suggest starting with this read, while sipping a cup of something hot and snuggled under a blanket on your couch, surrounded by candlelight;-)
2. Become a member of the Scandinavia House
To really embrace Scandi culture, surround yourself with Scandinavians! You’ll find them at the Scandinavia House, a center in Midtown that offers Scandi films, lectures, dining, a book club, a children’s center and more. And good to know: they allow families who are not members to use the children’s playroom on Saturdays for $15—it’s seriously the coziest and cutest little play area in the city! Augusten and I are both huge fans.
3. Get Your Hygge Gear At The Danish Dollar Store
I’ve sung the praises of Flying Tiger years ago, and it’s still one of my go-to spots in the city. From whimsical children’s toys to adorable stationary to practical (but cute) apartment supplies, this spot has it all for just a few dollars. To really gear up your hygge, pick up candles, thick socks or slippers, a tea kettle, mulling spices, and anything else that gives you all the good feels.
4. Drink Scandi Coffee
You can’t have hygge without having a warm cup in your hands! Scandinavian coffee shops in the city include Fika, Konditori (which is Swedish), and Budin. The Fika on 824 10th Avenue in Hells Kitchen has a spacious upstairs and even an outdoor garden, which is great for cozying up with a friend or book when the weather is pretty (pictured below).
5. Eat Scandi Food
Whether you’re looking for high end Scandi fare in Manhattan (Aquavit), or a seasonally inspired 10 table dining room in Brooklyn with two Michelin Stars (Aska), or perhaps something featuring the best of wild and farmed NY State delicacies and centrally located in Grand Central Terminal (Agern–or acorn, in Danish)–you certainly have your pick. But even if you don’t pick Scandi cuisine, you can still achieve hygee by dining out at a cozy spot with lots of candlelight that feels like home–Jadis Wine Bar is one of my personal favorites…and they have mulled wine, a hygge must!
Would love to know…how do you achieve hygge in NYC?