tumblr of the day

Where to Cry in Public Peacefully in New York City [Updated]

Photo: HarperOne

Today’s Tumblr of the Day, with a (sad) bullet, is NYC Crying Guide, a budding Yelp for breakdowns. Sporting the simple tagline “The Best/Worst places to cry in New York City,” the blog is now taking anonymous submissions to add to its wide-ranging initial crop, which includes the Build-A-Bear Workshop (“My tears were never addressed!”) and the 7 train (“no one will EVER look at you!!”). This is crowd-sourced service journalism.

The site was started by 28-year-old Kerry O’Brien, who got the idea after a breakup but started the Tumblr as a joke between friends. “I got dumped and then I realized I was picking my lunch break place based on where it would be best to cry,” she told Daily Intelligencer.

While she admitted that she hasn’t necessarily used all of the locations listed — all the reviews are hers so far — they’re all around her office in midtown Manhattan. (In addition to her day job, O’Brien is a writer for the UCB house sketch team.) When it comes to a favorite locale, she doesn’t really discriminate. “I’ve cried everywhere,” she said. “And I will cry everywhere. I don’t really have a spot — you can’t really control it.”

Devastated people going sloppily and soggily about their business are a city staple, like subway break-dancers and people using their cell phones on a crowded bus. The topic was covered most memorably in a 2010 New York Observer story titled “The Town Criers,” which featured the wisdom, “You’re anonymous and whatever you’re doing is your business. In New York, public is private.”

It’s almost like an act of defiance,” said one woman of letting it rip in front of others. “You’re almost daring people to stop you and you sort of know no one will.”

The story also includes a proto-NYC Crying Guide entry from none other than Rosie O’Donnell:

… after a couples-therapy session, a bad one, she was walking down Columbus Avenue bawling her eyes out. Everyone started noticing, because she’s Rosie, so she darted into a nearby Coach store and bought the biggest pair of sunglasses she could find. They cost $400. She never buys $400 sunglasses; they don’t carry them at Target, where she does all of her shopping.

Like everything else in this city, the best cries are a luxury.

O’Brien said she’s received at least 50 submissions for additional reviews today alone, which is good because she’s toned down her own tears. “I’m good now,” she said of her current crying routine. “Not every lunch.”

This post has been updated with comments from the site’s founder, Kerry O’Brien.

Where to Cry in NYC