NEW YORK CITY — When winter gets you down, resist the urge to burrow.
The shorter days and frigid temperatures make many people feel sluggish, but you can counteract the effects of winter by staying active and being social, experts told DNAinfo New York.
“Having less light in the winter — a lot of people are sensitive to that,” said Amy Hoffman, medical director of Bellevue Hospital’s outpatient psychiatric clinic.
“It’s more of an emotional thing. Some people experience social isolation. It’s much harder to get out due to weather," she added. "People tend to feel lonelier and feel disconnected from their usual activities."
To help you stay active this winter, DNAinfo New York has compiled a list of activities that all take place a short walk from major subway connections, so you won't have to travel too far in the cold.
Union Square (4, 5, 6, N, Q, R and L trains):
Men’s knitting night:
Lion Brand Yarn Studio, at 34 W. 15th St., offers a free monthly event just for men to knit, crochet, embroider and mingle over a bottle of wine. Usually the event draws about a dozen guys per night, said Claire Cromwell, studio manager at Lion Brand.
“It’s really about hanging out, and a couple of bottles of wine helps,” said Cromwell. “Some of the men have been coming to the group for years and they make some gorgeous sweaters.”
The group meets one Thursday every month and is open to men of any skill level. Those who are interested should RSVP online and check the calendar for exact dates. Space is limited.
Care for animals:
Volunteer to walk dogs and socialize with cats at Mighty Mutts & Ollie’s Place. The no-kill shelter needs help walking dogs and showing them off to potential families at the southwest corner of Union Square each Saturday.
For those willing to invest more time, the shelter at 430 E. 9th St. is also looking for volunteers to clean crates and feed and socialize with cats seven days a week.
Grand Central (4, 5, 6 and 7 trains):
Learn to wield a sword:
Sword Class NYC offers lessons in drilling, cutting, sparring, sword safety and the drawing and sheathing of a sword.
The studio, at 520 Eighth Ave., offers classes in longswords, Kendo and Siljun Dobup, which focuses on body coordination and discipline. Prices are $30 per class or $100 for four classes. Unlimited training is also available with a full membership, which costs $165 per month. For new students, a $10 intro class is available.
Grand Concourse (2, 4 and 5 trains):
Street artist Lady K Fever is launching her first solo show at Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture beginning Feb. 4. The exhibit, called "Dubbed: Lady K Fever," includes remixes of her street work, layering graffiti, photos, drawings, paintings, Plexiglas, cardboard, barbed wire and found objects.
"How does graffiti get interpreted?" asked the artist, also known as Kathleena Howie, who has been doing graffiti all over the city for the past 24 years. "Graffiti, what we paint on the street, can never be translated in a gallery. We can translate the style, but not the scale."
The exhibition will run through May 6. There will be a DJ soundtrack playing from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Feb. 4 opening and live drawing on March 4 from 5 to 9 p.m. The gallery will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Beatboxing on police conduct:
A pair of beatboxers and three actors will perform a one-hour skit at Pregones Theater, at 575 Walton St., tackling controversial issues including police conduct in communities. The show, called "In 5 beats," will portray five points of view on recent and past moments of tension involving police in the United States.
The event will take place at 8 p.m. on Feb. 21. Tickets are $12 in advance and $40 at the door.
Columbus Circle (1, A, B and D trains):
Dance the ice away:
Watch artists transform 3,000 pounds of ice into a replica of Central Park’s Romeo and Juliet statue at the Parks Department's Ice Festival on Feb. 14, and then stay for the silent disco afterwards.
Ice-carving artists from Long Island City's Okamoto Studio will be using electric chain saws, chisels and picks to hack away at the block of ice from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Naumburg Bandshell, between 66th and 72nd streets.
The Mall will be decorated with lights for a silent dance party from 5 to 7 p.m. Three DJs will be spinning '80s, top 40 and classics while guests listen along on headphones.
Queens Plaza (E, M and R trains):
Eat your way to Mars:
Flux Factory’s Menu for Mars Supper Club meets once a month to explore restaurants in the city and to talk to restaurant owners about what dish they would prepare on Mars.
A guest expert in fields such as spaceship permaculture, space nutrition and culinary anthropology will join the discussion at each dinner.
"We meet about once a month, each time at a different restaurant that represents food from a country that has an active Mars program," club organizer Douglas Paulson said. "So far, we've had Indian, Russian, Ethiopian and Chinese food."
The club is free to join, but participants are responsible for paying for their own dinner. Sign up for the club's newsletter to find out about the next meet date, and RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center (B, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 and LIRR trains):
Shoot a bow like a pro:
Gotham Archery will be launching a weekly game night on Feb. 1, where teams of three to five members will participate in competitive games, including shooting at moving targets, shooting at balloons and archery trivia, Gotham Archery co-owner Ken Hsu said.
“We wanted to make it a little more interactive so that people aren’t just staying in their own lanes, but getting to know each other,” Hsu said.
The night will end with time to socialize at a local bar, which will offer specials for members, Hsu said. Participants should be age 21 and older and will have to take at least one class in order to be eligible.
Introductory lessons cost $27, including training, bow rental and 45 minutes of practice time.
Those interested in game night can come with their own teams or join a team. At the end of the season, the team with the most points will earn a bow. Call (718) 858-5060 for more info.