I've been a spoiled southern boy the past few years and I'm not used to these frigid Central New York temperatures so I’ve compiled a list of my favorite places to stay warm here!  

The New Hartford Public Library

When I can’t stop shivering I often visit this cozy little retreat off of Oxford Road. What’s really awesome about this place is that they have a fireplace! It’s usually roaring and there are plenty of chairs to relax in while you’re reading your favorite book. What I like about The New Hartford Public Library is the really friendly and accommodating staff. These aren’t the staunchy, stuffy librarians that you remember from your childhood. They’re always smiling and always helpful. If you’re thinking it’s the friendly staff and fireplace that keep me coming back you’re only partially right. They also have an abundant supply of FREE candy at the checkout counter! And oh yeah they also have an enormous DVD library that makes Red Box look silly.

Barnes and Noble

If you’re looking for a little tranquility and a good cup of coffee after work, swing into this cozy spot off of Commercial Drive. It’s not as serene as The New Hartford Public Library but there’s just enough ambient noise to make you feel comfortable. It’s the perfect place to escape the cold while reading your favorite magazine in a warm, comfortable environment. When I have a hard time reaching my friends after work this is my go to place because I’m bound to run into at least one of them!  I’m waiting for the day they decide to ban reading without buying but until that day arrives……….

Union Station

Even if you don’t plan on hopping a train this is a terrific choice for people watching in Central New York. It’s a great place to meet people too! What’s great about relaxing at Union Station in Utica? The benches are heated! I've never been one to appreciate architecture either but I think I had a wow moment after my first trip to the station. Great American Stations website describes Union Station:

The interior is as impressive as the exterior. The main waiting room rises to a coffered, barrel-vaulted ceiling thirty-five feet at its peak. The vault is supported on each side by a row of concrete and steel columns faced with Botticino marble, and the floor is made of durable terrazzo.

It’s quite impressive! There’s also a delectable coffee shop Bagg’s Square Café to help keep you toasty and warm!