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Need a safe place to cry in the city? This blog is here for you

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a New Yorker. And you probably need a spot to have a good cry.


Aja Romano


Posted on Mar 5, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 4:27 pm CDT

Has life in the big city got you down? Do you spend your days in a monotonous routine shuffling between voluminous crowds on the subway, the escalator, the sidewalk, each avoidance of eye contact marking your further alienation from humanity? Do you head home to your cramped, overpriced apartment, brooding all the while about the cruel injustice of modern society and also alternate side parking?

Then you’re probably a New Yorker. And you probably need a spot to have a good cry.

But in Manhattan, you’re lucky to find a public bathroom, much less a moment of privacy.

NYC Crying Guide is here to weep with you.

The blogger behind NYC Crying Guide knows the benefit of a good cry, and knows exactly where to go to get it.

Although the Tumblr has only been active for a few days, we’ve already learned that the best way to get a full-on crying jag underway while traversing the mean streets is to hop on the 7 train, any time, day or night, where the riders are all apparently in a universal stupor.

Then ride the standing side of the escalator up Grand Central Station and go around the block to the 5th Avenue Build-a-Bear. There, by the guide’s account, you can receive stuffed-animal therapy while sobbing your heart out in front of deliberately oblivious attendees.

Just don’t drop into the 5th Avenue AT&T, whatever you do:

No.  No No. NO! Terrible. I went in here last week when tears starting streaming down my face as I was walking down the street. I entered this establishment to get myself together and I’m sorry I did.  I was constantly asked by not 1 but 3-4 employees if I had been helped and if I was looking for a new phone. When they saw my eyes full of tears they ignored it and looked away while continuing to push new phones on me. It was a terrible experience and I walked out just as teary as I walked in. Let’s just say, AT&T, I will NOT be returning to your store to cry.

New York City residents usually relegate commentary on their mental health to jokes about therapy and Woody Allen references. But despite its relatively light tone, NYC Crying Guide is an earnest attempt to start a serious conversation. With 15 million adult Americans suffering from depression, and 8 million super-stressed New Yorkers, the odds are high that many of them can’t safely address their moods as they’re going about their days in the city.

“Yesterday I was in the middle of an all-day crying session,” wrote the crying guide, “but I really really needed to get my niece a gift for her birthday.” She had “no other option but to leave my apartment…”

Few professionals are taught how to deal with crying customers, even if they do want to open their doors to customers who are “making a scene.” The Crying Guide’s description of the Build-a-Bear staffers who dutifully left them alone is most likely a rare one; more promising to potential criers is the 5th Avenue Duane Reade, where the benefit is not oblivious staffers, but simply no people at all:

Although this location is in the heart of midtown which is usually a criers arch-nemesis, this particular Duane Reade offers a relatively empty second floor!  I cried here yesterday during my lunch break in the vitamins aisle and experienced NO problems at all! It was a wonderful 10-15 minute cry that is so rare to come by these days.  Come cry here quick before the word gets out! Highly recommended!

Though the NYC Crying Guide isn’t exactly one for the tourists, it does offer one additional advantage. It provides Manhattan residents with a whole new way to view their city: through the perspective of someone on a tear bender.

Next time you’re slogging through the crowds in Union Square or going on a run in Central Park, you can ask yourself: Could I cry here?

The answer may change your relationship with the Big Apple.

Photo via Charles Phillips; CC BY-2.0

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*First Published: Mar 5, 2014, 2:25 pm CST