I have lived in New York City for three years. This makes me somewhat of an expert on all things small and big…apple (lol). The question I get most frequently is “Davidson, when is the best time to visit you in New York?” Well here it is, the definitive answer to all my family members and friends.

The Winter: November 1st -April 30th
The ashen ruins of Dresden circa 1946 were more hospitable than New York during this time. A wind-swept winter horror show—New York City extends its bony, undead middle finger toward anyone foolish enough to skid onto LaGuardia’s icy runways for a visit. Sure, the Rockettes are kicking and Rockefeller center is awash in Christmas lights for a five-week stretch, but that just amounts to putting lipstick on a murder victim. Freezing gusts of wind will make your skin feel like you just jumped through the stained-glass window panes of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, naked. The 4 P.M. sunsets will make your soul feel as dead as the people commemorated on those panes. Save your money and watch Home Alone 2 from the comfort of your Bethlehem, PA home with a slice of authentic Domino’s Pizza.

The Spring: May 1st-May 9th
You might as well have someone with SARS cough directly into your mouth. It’s allergy season here in New York, which means it’s prison rules baby. You are either the one doing the sneezing or the one getting sneezed on. Your eyes will water as New York lures you in with promises of beautiful flower blooms and new beginnings, just to slap you in the face with a pollen-laden backhand. It’s the city that never sleeps for good reason—we are kept up at night crying from the abusive boyfriend that is NYC in the spring. Spring is short though, up next, before you can even bat a swollen eye it’s…

The Summer: May 10th- September 15th
There are three distinct rivers in New York: the Hudson, the East, and the one continuously flowing down into your ass crack. And let me tell you, during summer, that river will be raging. If you come to the city with anyone you are romantically interested in, sex is completely and utterly out of the question. Going down on your significant other would be the equivalent of marching into an actively melting-down nuclear reactor armed only with your sense of duty to country and a pair of Levi’s. The sun beats down mercilessly on a populace doggedly committed to draping every square inch of skin in black denim. How many cows must die so that a pale Brooklynite might avoid sun poisoning? The answer is always more.

The Fall: September 16th-October 31st
Autumn in New York. Breathe it in. Having shirked off the pit-stained t-shirt for the cologne-spritzed cardigan, life can begin again in earnest. Leaves change and maybe this year, you will too. Optimism suffuses the cinnamon-spiced air. Life here is as layered as the boy who didn’t know what to wear to their first job interview. Depression is kept at bay with the promises of final rooftop hangs and backyard cookouts. This six-week span is the only time you aren’t either encased in the sweltering subway or embalmed in your Airbnb bedroom sheets. Hope falls eternal in the Big Apple. That was a pun. I’m sorry.

So, visit me in New York, you really must. But please, come only in Autumn.