I don’t really consider myself much of a crier. I’m more likely to ignore my feelings than cry over them.
But we live in New York City, and this city can chew you up, spit you back out, and throw away the napkin it spat you in without breaking its stride down Houston Street.
Through three and a half years, five jobs, two breakups, four apartments, and countless nights of a little too much wine, I’ve cried my way across this whole city (well, my tears have mostly been confined to Manhattan).
So you could say I know a thing or two about the best places to let the floodgates open in public and really get your sob on.
In order of worst to best, here are my favorite places to cry in New York City. What are yours?
1. On the subway
If you’ve never cried on the subway, are you even a New Yorker? But, like a few other resident rites of passage—killing your first cockroach, paying too much rent for too little space—it pretty much sucks.
You’re a sitting (crying) duck for public scrutiny, and you just know everyone is praying you don’t wipe your snotty nose with the hand you’re using to hold onto the pole.
2. In a taxi
One step forward: you’re the only rider in the car. Two steps back: the cabbie hears every individual snuffle, sob, and snivel.
If the trip is short, it’s manageable, but I’m not down with baring my ugly cry face to someone I have to give money to in 15 minutes, who also now knows where I live.
3. In the stairwell of your office building
This seems like a viable option when your day job has really gotten you down, but there are a couple issues. For one thing, stairwells are echoey. Your tears of dejection can reverberate up and down multiple flights.
For another, you never know when someone in your office is going to forego the elevator and actually use the stairs for once in an effort to work off the sad desk lunch they just finished, thus discovering you in your wallowing state.
4. At the bar
On one hand, everyone else is busy drinking. On the other hand, your bartender will probably cut you off and you’re definitely not getting that cutie's number.
5. In the bathroom at the bar
There will probably be at least one kindly soul who asks if you’re okay and offers to call someone for you. But most people will just wash their hands judgmentally, be thankful it’s not them, and then go tell their friends there’s a drunk chick losing her shit in the second stall.
6. On the dance floor
Get creative. Do enough twirls and twerks that your crying face is never still enough for anyone to get a good look at it. Just keep the motion going. The next song will make you forget all about it.
7. In line for pizza
Hey, when some middle-aged man at the bar tells you “don’t gain any more weight, you look good just like that” (true story) there’s nothing to do but eat your feelings in the form of 99 cent pizza.
While it’s getting warm in the oven, wipe away your silent tears with thin napkins and pretend like eating junk food after you’ve been called fat is a sane reaction.
8. On your stoop
When you lose your purse at the bar and have to call your roommate to come home from his party and let you into the apartment on a Thursday at midnight, crying on the stoop is inevitable. As is the Snapchat that they send of you crying to all of their friends.
The perk here is that if they’re a good roommate, they’ll get there quickly and soon you’ll be crying in the comfort of your own home (thanks again, roommate).
9. At your local bodega
If you’re a frequent shopper at your local bodega (as any good New Yorker is), the friendly workers will make sure you’re okay, and throw in an extra package of gummy bears for free. Score!
10. At the airport
My theory is that people cry in airports all the time. Whether it’s a happy arrival or a sad departure, tears flow freely from the security line to the baggage line and every gate in between. No one will think twice about your public emotional release if it’s accompanied by a carry-on bag and supportive neck pillow.
11. In Times Square
Trust me, you will not be the strangest sight in Times Square.
Unless you foolishly cry standing in front of Ann Taylor Loft at 42nd and Broadway, which is a little too far away from all the tourists paying to take photos with Elmos, and you literally have to say to someone “Isn’t there anything else for you to look at??” as they walk by (Again...true story).
12. Walking down the sidewalk
This is by far and above my favorite way to cry in public. Everyone in NYC walks so fast, even if people actually have the time to register your tears, you’re already half a block away. Plus the wind in your face will dry up those pesky little drops of water falling from your eyes. Keep your chin up and keep moving.
We’re New Yorkers. We’re tough. And sometimes, being tough means not giving a damn what anyone else thinks about you crying in public.