One of the most under-appreciated qualities of a city is what a splendid place it can be if you need a good cry. Say, for example, you’ve had an awful day at work. Go ahead and bawl your eyes out on the subway home, barely anyone will notice. Some people might call that depressing. But really, there's something poignant and cathartic about having a chance to be sad but not alone.
We here at Cities have our share of stories about public crying. In my experience, the uptown 4 train in Manhattan around midnight on a Thursday is a good place to let the tears flow. One of my colleagues has a detailed list of places she and her friends have cried, including everything from Logan Airport to a legendary nightclub in Berlin.
And yet, despite the secret popularity of this particularly urban trait, there’s never been a comprehensive guide to crying hotspots in major cities. There still isn't, but at least we have the entertaining beginnings of one with a new Tumblr called NYC Crying Guide.
The guide is exactly what it purports to be: A list of spots the author, who claims to have "6 years of passionate NYC crying experience," has cried in New York City and brief reviews of each sob-worthy venue. It is sporadically updated, with only six entries between February 13 and now. What has been posted, however, is definitely more likely to make you laugh than cry.
Apparently, the Build-A-Bear Workshop on Fifth Avenue is a terrific place to weep.
“I built the perfect nurse-firefighter bear AND all the employees completely ignored the fact that I was crying during the whole building process. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated that.”
However, the AT&T store on Fifth Avenue left the blog's author reeling.
“No. No No. NO! Terrible. … 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.”
Whether or not the blog will continue remains to be seen. If it does, we can imagine it going the way of most gimmicky Tumblrs, reaching its inevitable terminus by being turned into a small coffee table book to be sold exclusively in Urban Outfitters, itself a potential crying locale the author has yet to review.