A recent article from The NY Times talked about the increase in restaurants diners in NYC that like to dine outdoors when the weather barely jumps above acceptable. While I have never lived in NYC, I have lived in another U.S. tundra, Chicago, so I certainly understand this phenomenon. Hell, I lived it.
If you haven’t heard by now, winter is officialy nine months long in Chicago. Yeah, it sucks. I’ve seen bikini-clad women sunbathing in the park in March when the weather hits 60 randomly, even though it will probably snow later that night. When you survive Snowmagaddon on a yearly basis, the slightest weather shift must be celebrated–you thrive on it.
I have noticed already here in Northern California, people jump at the chance to dine outside, even if the weather is a bit nippy or a heat lamp is needed. Then again, the weather doesn’t dip much lower than 40 at night in winter, which is nothing compared to the subzero blizzard weather New York and Chicago get.
It gets so cold in these cities, the warmer weather literally signifies a rejoining of society, which basically hibernates all winter. People walk their babies in strollers on the sidewalk, couples share a cup of coffee at the local cafe as people everywhere try to soak up as much sun as they can. So yeah, I can totally see people jumping at the bit to eat outside as soon as freaking possible, even if they have to suffer a bit. Because nothing is as bad as being locked inside your apartment for 9 months.
Personally, I hate coldness of any kind, but I also love being outside. If I have proper coverage, I can totally bbq outside at weathers as low as 45 degrees F!
Have you noticed such a phenomenon in your city? How cold is too cold to eat outside where you live? I imagine people strive to eat outside more that live in a city, and do not have access to their own personal outdoor space. What is your favorite eating outside weather?