Ranked: Places to cry in NYC

No, this isn’t a cry for help (yet), but thanks for your concern!

Sabrina Choudhary and Joey Hung

It’s that time of year, babes. Whether midterm season is stressing you out or the changing weather is taking its toll on your mental health, now is the time to let those feelings out. Finding a private place for catharsis in New York City is a bit of a conundrum, especially if you have roommates. But fear not: We’ve ranked some noteworthy public spaces to consider for your next menty b

11. The subway

Your crying can be safely covered by the roaring sound of the trains passing by. (Staff Photo by Jake Capriotti)

Hands down the worst place to cry. Bad on the platform, and even worse in the train car. Especially if it’s 2 a.m. at the West Fourth station? Creepy men stare you down, the lighting looks like something from a horror movie and the ceiling is disturbingly low. We can think of no worse place to cry than a confined space filled with strangers and buskers. Even worse: If you’re crying too hard, you miss your stop. Then you cry even harder.

10. Washington Square Park

While NYU doesn’t have a traditional quad, the park at the center of Greenwich Village offers many spots to cry between classes. (Staff Photo by Jake Capriotti)

Without a doubt, this is the most convenient option on the list for the Manhattan-based NYU student. It’s so public that it’s almost private — so much happens in Washington Square Park at any given moment that no one will pay a speck of attention to you. Go ahead and contribute to the chaos. The only downside is the likelihood of bumping into someone you know. On the bright side: If it’s a professor, they’ll probably go easy on you in class, and if you run into a classmate or friend, they’ll totally understand and your bond will probably strengthen.

9. Times Square

In one of the busiest spots in NYC, no one has the time to judge you for crying, you may not even be the only one. (Staff Photo by Alexandra Chan)

If you’re already sad, then you can wallow in one of the worst places in the city! This is as public as it gets, but like many places in New York, no one is going to bother you about it. New Yorkers mind their own business, and tourists will be scared of you. Plus, if you’re drunk, the lights are a vibe. 

8. Storage centers 

Imagine that you’re moving out of your apartment because it’s the end of the school year; you have to go back to your hometown to rot in your childhood bedroom, or you’re moving to Brooklyn because you can no longer afford the Lower East Side. Manhattan Mini Storage doesn’t have student discounts and it’s finals season. You’re crying, because of course you’re crying, but no one offers to help you or even asks if you’re okay.

7. Airport

LaGuardia Airport might be one of the worst airports in the United States, but it’s a great place to cry. (Staff Photo by Manasa Gudavalli)

This isn’t one you’d seek out, but if it happens, it happens. Like Washington Square Park and Times Square, everyone has their own business to attend to, so don’t be shy about sobbing in Terminal D after a disastrous Thanksgiving trip or after fighting the airline for overcharging you for checking a last-minute suitcase. 

6. Bobst Library

A Bobst study room is without a doubt the most convenient place to cry as you study for your midterms. (Staff Photo by Sirui Wu)

There are so few places on campus where you can feel a real sense of privacy, but the reservable study rooms in Bobst are special. These won’t work for spontaneous bursts of feelings, but if you can plan your waterworks in advance, they’re a stellar option. The only other catch is that they’re not fully soundproof and the doors have windows in them, so take that as you will. The Lower Level bathrooms and the quiet stacks on the eighth floor are also excellent choices.

5. Kimmel stairwell (eighth or ninth floor)

The Kimmel stairwell is many people’s place to go when they want a view of the park as they cry and also offers some quietness and privacy. (Staff Photo by Sirui Wu)

We’ve all taken photos of Washington Square Park from these secluded windows, or even some selfies when the lighting was right. The combination of the view and the isolation makes it a peaceful spot and a pleasant place to cry as well. Taking in the view of the busy park and the landmarks of the New York City skyline can give you some perspective on your place in this giant city and make your problems feel a little bit smaller. 

4. The bathroom of a bar or club

Depends on the type of bathroom. If it’s a multi-stall restroom and you’re under the influence surrounded by supportive drunk people, it’s a great place to have a mental breakdown and have people hype you up before taking mirror selfies with your besties while eyeshadow runs down your cheeks. If you’re in a single-stall bathroom in a dinky club throwing your brains up… less fun, but still a vibe.

3. Tisch School of the Arts

Crying at the right place can be considered a talent. (Photo by Alina Patrick)

Because they’ll just think you’re acting. Duh.

2. The streets of New York at 3 a.m. with a bottle of wine, your vape and best friend

You can never get too crazy on the streets of this crazy city at crazy hours. (Staff Photo by Jake Capriotti)

Nothing hits more different than a mid-semester mental breakdown with your best friend. You’re having separate conversations in pajamas; all you’re carrying is your phone and keys. You’re no longer getting head highs from your Air Bar because you hit it way too many times. Random creepy strangers are staring at you and you’re lowkey sussed out by them, but you’re too in-your-feels to tell them to shove off.

1. The steps of a random brownstone

Crying just makes you all the more cinematic when you sit on one of these. (Staff Photo by Sirui Wu)

This one goes out to all the dramatic baddies who want a cinematic moment. East 10th Street is ideal, but the West Village is full of other beautiful options. Take a little stroll past the romantic old buildings, park yourself on a set of those multimillion-dollar steps and let it out. This is an ideal chance to FaceTime your best friend who lives across the country or cry on the phone to your mom. This experience is best for everyone involved if it happens under the cover of night. These areas are quiet, so broad daylight can be a bit much. The downside of this option is that said brownstone’s resident can kick you out at any moment.

All jokes aside, if you’re truly feeling overwhelmed or sad, the NYU Student Health Center offers free counseling. Please make use of these resources and take your mental health seriously!

A version of this story appeared in the Oct. 18, 2021, e-print edition. Contact Joey Hung at [email protected] and Sabrina Choudhary at [email protected].