Hey you little homegrown honey. It's winter. And if you're anything like me, this time of year up north has you missing your country roots more than ever. Don't let it get you down. Here's a list of things you can do in New York City that will make you feel right at home... like you never even left.
- Throw on your cowboy gear. This includes your boots, cowboy hat, daisy dukes, and your countriest flannel. Go out. Stay in. Do whatever you want, because you're from the country and you like it that way.
- Lose yourself at a country concert or music festival. Or at least purchase your tickets. All of the local events are listed on the event calendar.
- Drop in at your local country-western bar. My recommendation would be The Waylon with it's old school country jukebox and it's cozy atmosphere, but word is there may be several others around the city worth a shot as well.
- Ride the mechanical bull at Johnny Utah's. You may not get the country music you were hoping for (depending on the night), but you're sure to feel a little less citified after taking a turn on that guy.
- Eat some good southern BBQ. Two of my personal faves are Georgia's Eastside BBQ and Dinosaur Bar-b-que, and are the closest you can get to the real stuff in this big ole city.
- Pull out your mama's recipe book and make some soul food. If you don't feel like venturing out into the arctic tundra, any of Paula Deen's buttery recipes are sure to do the trick. I'm actually making my grandmother's peanut butter pie as we speak. Okay, no I'm not. But it sounded good, didn't it?
- Phone home to grandma and grandpa. This gives you the opportunity to bask in their southern accents for a while, but beware. This one may instantly make you NOT miss home because they will likely ask you when you're going to bring home a nice southern boy. Grandma, I'd like to know too.
- Blast this Home Sweet Home Spotify playlist. Have your own house party (Sam Hunt wouldn't oppose) and don't apologize to your non-country-music-loving roommates and neighbors. You need this.
- Line dance in your living room. Slide the furniture out of the way and turn on YouTube. Lucky for you, this also replaces a gym visit and will make up for all of the bad (but also delicious) food you ate earlier.
- Immerse yourself in a good southern movie. If you can't actually do it, you can at least pretend you're surrounded by a bunch of good looking country boys with thick southern drawls. Sweet Home Alabama always does the trick for me.
- Find your nearest rodeo. This is one I'm working on. The PBRs were at MSG not too long ago, but more to come on local ones in the surrounding areas.
- Book a flight back home. There's no shame in needing a little getaway every now and then. Besides, some sweet southern comfort does good things for the soul.
- Rent a car and take a drive. If you're like me and don't have a car, you are probably really missing those drives with the windows down and your music blaring. Surprisingly enough, there are some decent country-ish destinations in New Jersey. You just have to give it a chance.
- Retail therapy AKA new cowboy hat and boots. Make a trip to Space Cowboy Boots (and let me know how it is) or just place an order on Amazon for instant satisfaction.
- Go stargazing. And by that I mean, turn off the lights and stare at your glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. Because in your mind your somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon (at least).
- Dive into the NYCountrified blog. You're already making great progress on this one. Now just make sure you're connected to the Instagram and Twitter so you never have a relapse again.
- Repeat multiple times if necessary. I'm certainly not judging you.