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Astoria Park
Max Touhey

New York City’s best places to cry in public, mapped

Because sometimes life comes at you fast

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Astoria Park
| Max Touhey

New Yorkers have developed a reputation for being able to handle whatever life throws at us, but let’s face it: we all get overwhelmed at times. The good news is with everything else going on at any given moment in the city, crying is not a transgression that many people will notice—so if you’re feeling frustrated, or sad, or angry, it’s okay to weep in public. (There’s even a website, NYC Crying Guide, that’s been chronicling the best and worst places to do so since 2014.)

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of our editors’ picks for the best places in the city for a good sob session, from the Staten Island Ferry to the fancy bathrooms in Bryant Park. Got another spot where weeping openly won’t elicit odd stares? Let us know in the comments.

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Staten Island Ferry

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Because there’s something oddly romantic about weeping quietly to yourself on a boat as it glides across New York Harbor. The Statue of Liberty provides a rather cinematic background, too.

West Village

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We’re not going to recommend any one street in this Manhattan neighborhood; the thing that makes it perfect for a good public cry is the fact that there are so many small, hidden side streets, that it’s easy to let yourself wander and work through those emotions that’ve been welling up inside.

A West Village street with a motorbike. The building on the corner has a light grey facade. Shutterstock

Strand Book Store

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With 18 miles of books, there are plenty of spots where you won’t be noticed if you’re having an emotional moment.

The Strand Book Store in New York City. There are many books on tall shelves. A person is squatting looking at books on a lower shelf. AP

Chelsea Piers

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Chelsea Piers isn’t on this list due to its lack of activity but more for its location and scenery. It’s relatively easy to tune people out here so go ahead and grab a bench, gaze out onto the water, and let your emotions run free.

Chelsea Piers in New York City. There are various parts of the piers in front of many tall city buildings. Shutterstock

Bryant Park bathrooms

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The public bathrooms within Bryant Park happen to be among the nicest park bathrooms that you’ll find anywhere in the city, and you know what that means: tissues when you need them most!

The exterior of a public bathroom in Bryant Park. The facade is concrete and the door is arched. Jane Kratochvil Photography/Bryant Park Facebook

Ford Foundation atrium

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The benefits of this newly opened public space for weepy New Yorkers are numerous: It’s open to the public, it’s a serene oasis, and there’s plenty of space where you can sit by yourself.

The interior of the Ford Foundation Atrium in New York City. There are multiple tall trees and plants. There is a large skylight. Getty Images

Fifth Avenue

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The middle of this busy thoroughfare is typically so clogged with people that no one will notice if you’re shedding a tear or two.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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The Met is enormous, meaning there are plenty of places to sneak off and hide if you need a quick cry. It may seem counterintuitive, but some of the best spots are the most crowded ones—no one will notice if you’re quietly weeping on one of the seating areas in the Temple of Dendur, for example.

The Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are multiple historic buildings within a room with walls that have floor to ceiling windows. Getty

American Museum of Natural History

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This may seem like an unlikely candidate, what with all of the school kids and commotion, but here’s the thing: There are so many nooks and crannies within this vast museum that you can easily sneak away for a moment of reprieve. Our recommendation: Head to the panorama section or dip into one of the theaters—who doesn’t want a comfy seat when they cry?  

The exterior of the American Museum of Natural History. The facade is white with columns. Shutterstock

Fort Tryon Park

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Skip the Cloisters and head to the benches overlooking the Palisades, across the Hudson River; the scenery will be a balm after you’ve spent some time deep in your feelings.

Park benches, trees, and a path in Fort Tryon Park in New York City. In the distance is a body of water. Shutterstock

Elevated Acre

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Amid the bustle of the Financial District hides a secluded garden oasis above the city streets. If you’re searching for a moment of solitude, the Elevated Acre offers a lush garden retreat perfect for pensive thought. An escalator setback from the sidewalk will take you there at 55 Water Street.

Wave Hill Public Gardens

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Nothing like immersing yourself in the natural world to sooth what ails you. Located in the northwest Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades, Wave Hill is another secluded respite where you can ruminate. You’ll find plenty of quiet spots here to get a good cry out.

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

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The Promenade’s cinematic views are most often enjoyed by photo-snapping tourists and neighborhood residents, but it’s not a bad place to go if you need a quiet place to sob for a bit. (It’s especially good at night, when the Instagrammers have cleared out and you’re more likely to get a bench to yourself.)

Ikea Brooklyn

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Remember that episode of 30 Rock in which Liz Lemon and her boyfriend, Criss, take a trip to the Ikea in Red Hook, and get in a massive fight that nearly ends their relationship? That’s not totally fictional; At any given moment, you’ll likely see someone having some kind of meltdown at Ikea. What that means: if you need to have a quiet cry—or, hell, a hysterical jag—it’s highly unlikely that anyone will notice.

The interior of Ikea Brooklyn. There are many items of furniture on shelves and stacked on the floor. Shutterstock

Green-Wood Cemetery

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You won’t look out of place if you’re weeping here; it is a cemetery, after all. But there’s something about the Gothic architecture and the overall vibe of this Brooklyn landmark that lends itself to ennui, so go ahead and let the tears fly if need be.

Greenwood cemetery in New York City. There are multiple varied tombstones and trees in the foreground. In the distance are the tall city buildings of the New York City skyline. Getty Images/fStop

Shore Road Promenade Scenic Lookout

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Another timeless cry spot, park yourself on a bench and watch a fleet of freighters cruise in and out of the harbor.

The subway

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If you’ve lived in New York City for long enough, chances are you’ve had at least one emotional breakdown on the subway—and blessedly, most commuters are too absorbed in their own issues to notice. (Just be sure to carry tissues with you at all times; you never know when that moment might hit.)

The interior of the G train in New York City. The seats are orange. There is a subway map on the wall.

Astoria Park

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We’re of the mind that any spot with an idyllic cityscape view is a good place to let the feels out. In Astoria Park, you’ll find plenty of sprawling waterfront views ideal for contemplating life’s quandaries.

New York Chinese Scholar's Garden

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This pocket of serenity on Staten Island is an excellent place to contemplate life, the universe, and all of those other mysteries of existence—and if that inspires a bit of sobbing, so be it.

South Beach

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South Beach makes for a lovely less-crowded alternative to the Rockaways or Coney Island during the summer, but in the offseason it’s the perfect place for a sandy, secluded stroll along miles of beach. If you’re looking to be alone, and maybe shed a tear or two, this is a scenic spot to do it.

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Staten Island Ferry

Because there’s something oddly romantic about weeping quietly to yourself on a boat as it glides across New York Harbor. The Statue of Liberty provides a rather cinematic background, too.

West Village

A West Village street with a motorbike. The building on the corner has a light grey facade. Shutterstock

We’re not going to recommend any one street in this Manhattan neighborhood; the thing that makes it perfect for a good public cry is the fact that there are so many small, hidden side streets, that it’s easy to let yourself wander and work through those emotions that’ve been welling up inside.

A West Village street with a motorbike. The building on the corner has a light grey facade. Shutterstock

Strand Book Store

The Strand Book Store in New York City. There are many books on tall shelves. A person is squatting looking at books on a lower shelf. AP

With 18 miles of books, there are plenty of spots where you won’t be noticed if you’re having an emotional moment.

The Strand Book Store in New York City. There are many books on tall shelves. A person is squatting looking at books on a lower shelf. AP

Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers in New York City. There are various parts of the piers in front of many tall city buildings. Shutterstock

Chelsea Piers isn’t on this list due to its lack of activity but more for its location and scenery. It’s relatively easy to tune people out here so go ahead and grab a bench, gaze out onto the water, and let your emotions run free.

Chelsea Piers in New York City. There are various parts of the piers in front of many tall city buildings. Shutterstock

Bryant Park bathrooms

The exterior of a public bathroom in Bryant Park. The facade is concrete and the door is arched. Jane Kratochvil Photography/Bryant Park Facebook

The public bathrooms within Bryant Park happen to be among the nicest park bathrooms that you’ll find anywhere in the city, and you know what that means: tissues when you need them most!

The exterior of a public bathroom in Bryant Park. The facade is concrete and the door is arched. Jane Kratochvil Photography/Bryant Park Facebook

Ford Foundation atrium

The interior of the Ford Foundation Atrium in New York City. There are multiple tall trees and plants. There is a large skylight. Getty Images

The benefits of this newly opened public space for weepy New Yorkers are numerous: It’s open to the public, it’s a serene oasis, and there’s plenty of space where you can sit by yourself.

The interior of the Ford Foundation Atrium in New York City. There are multiple tall trees and plants. There is a large skylight. Getty Images

Fifth Avenue

The middle of this busy thoroughfare is typically so clogged with people that no one will notice if you’re shedding a tear or two.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are multiple historic buildings within a room with walls that have floor to ceiling windows. Getty

The Met is enormous, meaning there are plenty of places to sneak off and hide if you need a quick cry. It may seem counterintuitive, but some of the best spots are the most crowded ones—no one will notice if you’re quietly weeping on one of the seating areas in the Temple of Dendur, for example.

The Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are multiple historic buildings within a room with walls that have floor to ceiling windows. Getty

American Museum of Natural History

The exterior of the American Museum of Natural History. The facade is white with columns. Shutterstock

This may seem like an unlikely candidate, what with all of the school kids and commotion, but here’s the thing: There are so many nooks and crannies within this vast museum that you can easily sneak away for a moment of reprieve. Our recommendation: Head to the panorama section or dip into one of the theaters—who doesn’t want a comfy seat when they cry?  

The exterior of the American Museum of Natural History. The facade is white with columns. Shutterstock

Fort Tryon Park

Park benches, trees, and a path in Fort Tryon Park in New York City. In the distance is a body of water. Shutterstock

Skip the Cloisters and head to the benches overlooking the Palisades, across the Hudson River; the scenery will be a balm after you’ve spent some time deep in your feelings.

Park benches, trees, and a path in Fort Tryon Park in New York City. In the distance is a body of water. Shutterstock

Elevated Acre

Amid the bustle of the Financial District hides a secluded garden oasis above the city streets. If you’re searching for a moment of solitude, the Elevated Acre offers a lush garden retreat perfect for pensive thought. An escalator setback from the sidewalk will take you there at 55 Water Street.

Wave Hill Public Gardens

Nothing like immersing yourself in the natural world to sooth what ails you. Located in the northwest Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades, Wave Hill is another secluded respite where you can ruminate. You’ll find plenty of quiet spots here to get a good cry out.

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

The Promenade’s cinematic views are most often enjoyed by photo-snapping tourists and neighborhood residents, but it’s not a bad place to go if you need a quiet place to sob for a bit. (It’s especially good at night, when the Instagrammers have cleared out and you’re more likely to get a bench to yourself.)

Ikea Brooklyn

The interior of Ikea Brooklyn. There are many items of furniture on shelves and stacked on the floor. Shutterstock

Remember that episode of 30 Rock in which Liz Lemon and her boyfriend, Criss, take a trip to the Ikea in Red Hook, and get in a massive fight that nearly ends their relationship? That’s not totally fictional; At any given moment, you’ll likely see someone having some kind of meltdown at Ikea. What that means: if you need to have a quiet cry—or, hell, a hysterical jag—it’s highly unlikely that anyone will notice.

The interior of Ikea Brooklyn. There are many items of furniture on shelves and stacked on the floor. Shutterstock

Green-Wood Cemetery