Surviving the New York winter

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Despite new York being on the same level as is Madrid, winters seem to come a little cooler in new York than in Spain…

The New York Public Library on a snowy day in 2010 (image by Koen Blanquart)

The New York Public Library on a snowy day in 2010 (image by Koen Blanquart)

Today marks the first day of this winter season that temperatures will be freezing and below for the whole day. New Yorkers are digging up their north pole proof jackets, winter boots, classy hats and fancy gloves.

Since I learned to dress for cold, something that my western European episodes didn’t require, I’ve started to enjoy these cold moments. A lot of that joy comes from the fact that I have a roof over my head, have a working heating system, and have some winter gear.

For more than 60000 new Yorkers, that is a luxury they can’t afford. These people, mostly men, will spend the winter in the subway, the railway stations, shelters, or even in the street.

New Yorkers can do some things to help out. We donate our jackets: every police precinct is a collection point. And organizations such as city harvest work with the restaurants of new York (including Belgian chains such as Le Pain Quotidien, Exki, etc …). City harvest collects food that hasn’t been eaten and distributes that amongst those in need.

It’s a different kind of social system… but New York and the New Yorkers care.

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