Top Five Places to Cry in NYC

When did crying in public become cool again? I think it must've happened right around the time we started sharing viral proposal videos. You know, the kind that start with some sort of very determined, generic classical piece (heavvvyyy on the stringed instruments) that drums up excitement while the malefiancé  tells a story about how he's known Jenny* for seventeen years but four years ago he went to Bonnaroo and got SUPER lost coming back home and she was dating someone new when he returned and it took months of playing a painfully mediocre, yet heartfelt version of Mumford and Son's "I Will Wait" on his uke outside her window to win her back? Those ones. This is why it's cool to cry again. So, I guess, I'm cool biddies. 

I love a good cry. My very favorite cry is when I can get into pajamas, drink wine from a coffee cup, open my iPad and watch each and every sad looking trailer at http://trailers.apple.com/. Also, soldiers coming home and their dogs freaking out. Those are my jam. My dearest friends enjoy a solid cry, too. One friend indulges in a quick "get it all out" cathartic cry while watching the last ten minutes of Step Mom. Seriously, google "last ten minutes of step mom." It'll come up. I love the internet so hard.

People think New York City is the best city in the world for so many obsolete reasons. The REAL reason New York City is the best is because of the plethora of perfect places you can (if the spirit moves you) publicly cry. There are a few places you shouldn't cry (anywhere in Times Square) but everywhere else is fair game. I would like to share with you, if I may, some of my very favorite places to publicly cry. I foster the idea of a luxury public cry, not because I want you, dear reader, to be wrought with sadness and the need to cry. But more because a quick cry in a sweet setting never hurt nobody. And, like a tape worm, better out than in.

TOP FIVE PLACES TO PUBLIC CRY IN NEW YORK CITY

                                                                                            1) Central Park

Change "macaroons" to "can of dark chocolate frosting and a spoon" and this man/woman and I are most assuredly soul mates.

People are always like, "Oh my gosh Sheep Meadow! So much fun! Frisbee and shit!" but the best part of Central Park are the benches. Have you read any of the dedications on the benches? THEY ARE DEVASTATING. One time I didn't even have to cry and I made myself by reading some of the bench dedication plaques. You can sit, put your sunglasses on (please be in the park crying during the day, at night it's no longer cathartic as much as it's dangerous) and let it all out. The wonderful part is there are benches EVERYWHERE so there's bound to be a subway stop that takes you to the park and helps you publicly purge. And when you're done you can grab a big pretzel or a hot dog and live in your truth.

2) Any Greek Cafe/Diner 

Baklava= my anti-drug.

Baklava= my anti-drug.

It's a Greek belief dating back to the first Olympics that hard crying for twenty minutes steadily is the emotional and physical equivalent to running a marathon.** See, now you won't miss that answer on Trivia Crack. You're welcome. I think Greek diners are awesome. Sometimes a lady needs four to five pieces of baklava and a release of emotion in the form of crocodile tears. You might've  deduced that the Greeks are comfortable with tears, based on their loud, emotional conversations and passionate hand gestures but they are actually very stoic people. If you cry in their establishment they will most likely leave you alone until they send over another piece of baklava, on the house. 

 

 

 

 

3.) Port Authority 

A picture I took for you guys of Hell.

A picture I took for you guys of Hell.

Port Authority is the worst place. Port Authority smells like dashed dreams and Cool Ranch Doritos that someone urinated on and left in a corner. It feels like, maybe, it's not a real place at all but perhaps a movie set from the 1970's that someone forgot to break down after filming wrapped. The florescent lights leave nothing to the imagination. If you are tired, Port Authority knows and will expose you so hard. I caught myself crying at Port Authority recently trying to catch a Peter Pan bus (because I am LUXURY) to Massachusetts to see a therapist who believed he could cure my tension by playing Tibetan singing bowls.*** I was at that seventh layer of hell disguised as the the Authority of the Ports at 7am, on time, but was denied a seat on the bus because they overbooked. It was a perfect storm of frustration and exhaustion and it most certainly all came to a teary halt. But, here's the beauty of Port Authority crying: it never lasts that long. It's not a place that facilitates a comfortable, glamorous cry. It's the quick, dirty release that it needs to be, and then you buck up and you get your ass on the next bus to somewhere vaguely near your desired destination. You get a big Snapple and a trashy magazine and you COMMIT to being a part of that gross place while chalking over the money for your Amtrak ticket back home. 

4.) Fancy hotel bars

The Ace Hotel or, Fancy-Town.

The Ace Hotel or, Fancy-Town.

The exact opposite of Port Authority, the fancy hotel bar gives you a comfortable, plush, crushed velvet couch that you can call your own while you sit with whatever poor girlfriend is stuck listening to you cry about having too much work, not enough work, too many men, not enough men, too many credit cards, not enough credit cards, and various other fake problems that can only be shared over drinks where at least one of the ingredients are muddled. I love a fancy hotel bar, like that library themed bar in the Ace Hotel because everyone is trying so so hard. If you're the woman/man (because ya'll cry too) crying at the Ace Hotel bar, the facade gone. You might as well unbutton your jeans and let the mascara run free, your walls are down and the pressure is off and you can ACTUALLY ENJOY what a nice place it really is. Also, ain't nobody gonna ask to share that crushed velvet couch with you crying like that, so spread out and stretch and live your life!

5.) 59th and Lexington Subway Stop

Crying when I took this picture because, life.

Crying when I took this picture because, life.

This one might just be my special place so, please don't take it from me. Go find your own subway stop to cry at, this one's mine, I've cried all over it. For some reason, anytime my feelings are being felt it's at this exact station, most specifically in the underpass from the uptown to the downtown trains. It's so gross there, the rats outnumber humans 3 to 1. I think it wants to be glamorous, what with the Bloomingdale's and all, but somewhere between 1950 and today, the charm has been lost. But here's the thing: that charm and glamor are still alive within every single commuter passing through that station. Crying Bligh has been handed tissues, given seats on the bench, and even been gifted a free water from the bodega. Whenever I needed a bit of kindness it was always readily given by a person at this station. Maybe those people spent their fair share of time crying at 59th and Lex too, and they get it, and they want to pass along a good deed or two. I'd like to believe that because it makes me happy but maybe my pale blotchy-skin cry face are wicked scary and people are trying to avoid me. Whatever the reason may be, I implore you to find your own special train station where you feel free enough to cry. Just make sure it's a stop accessible during your regular commute and that the people (and rats) are kind. 

*Because all the women are usually named Jenny, and I'm sorry if that sounds rude of me I actually think Jenny is an awesome name.  

**This is a boldface lie.  

***these bowls are awesome. I'm sorry, but they're way more awesome than the name Jenny.  

 

 

 

A Lady's Truth

Oh my but the fall weather makes me all kindsa feisty. I think it's the compounded affect of transitioning to warm, caffeinated drinks and my dislike of that "sweaty cold" sensation. You know, when it's windy and perhaps some might say "nippy" and yet, while hustling to your next destination you are somehow sweaty? I perpetually live in this state during the fall as I am naturally (and unfortunately) a sweaty lady. Sometimes I like to pretend I'm just sweatier than most other people because I'm living harder. There is no science to that. 

Catalyst of feistiness aside, I want to get back to the topic at hand which is this idea of what a lady should be. I am a sweaty lady, I am often a tardy lady, and the other day on the train a poor unassuming man got a justly deserved dose of feisty lady.

It was mid-afternoon on a weekday, on a fairly deserted Q train. I had been up since 7am, working the morning until 1pm and I was on my way to my second job, but not before a quick audition in midtown. I had calculated that to make my next job at 2:30pm I would need to leave ten minutes before 1pm from my first job, pray the trains were running smoothly, and do my makeup en route. Now, to clarify, this is not EVER my ideal situation. No lady yearns to be skilled in liquid eyeliner application on a bumpy subway car. That's like, not a goal, just so everyone's aware. But sometimes you have to factor in audition primping during travel time as a necessary evil of a busy day. But someone had feelings about this. As I sit, balancing two bags and a mascara wand a middle-aged man chimes in:

MAN: You look great, stop fiddling with your face.

ME:Oh. Um, thank you.

MAN: Yeah, you girls nowadays with the primping on the train. It's not ladylike ya know. And when I was young, a lady did this kinda stuff at home so us men didn't have to know all about your beauty tricks. 

...tricks? First of all, miserly-man-I-refuse-to-call-sir, mascara and eye-liner are not "tricks" they're sacred historical tradition (thanks Cleopatra). And second of all, REALLY? You think I'm sitting here uncomfortably getting ready for this audition out of some personal, social decorum revolution I'm staging? You think I like rushing from place to place, carrying my life on my back? Do you think I really like that I know which Starbucks bathrooms are clean enough to change shoes in? I'm proud of that, but I don't like it. But...oh...I see...you do think that somehow all this beauty trickery is for you. Well, I'll clarify then: 

ME: This is not all for you. This, all this "fiddling" is more than likely for two badass gay men and maybe a dainty brunette casting assistant. And ALSO, it's not really for them either. But how can you begin to understand when your "younger" days more than likely refer to a time 20 plus years ago when you had hair on your head.*

...now that last bit was rude and unnecessary. And I'm sorry, truly. I know how particular your sex can be about the hair issue. And wouldn't it be horrible if you lived in a world where society was hellbent on deeply ingraining ideology that one of your JOBS was to keep up some preconceived notion of how a gentlemen should look/behave/dress/speak? That there was some sort of judgment put upon you as an individual because of your subsequent lack of hair? Wouldn't that be difficult!

Men of the world, the truth is women are not dressing or primping to impress you. I PROMISE. If I wore what every man I've ever dated thought I looked sexy in I'd dress exclusively in large button down  shirts and hot yoga shorts with my hair half up, half down. What's so great about that, by the way? The half up half down. It makes me feel like it's 1995 and I'm struggling to figure out what hairstyle will go with my First Communion veil. But back to the point, it's important ya'll understand how MUCH we are not dressing for you. Some women do, to be sure. But the majority, I swear to you, could care less what you think about their outfit or their hair or their makeup. We want you only to articulate how beautiful we are. That's it. But when we dress up, it's for one of the following reasons:

1.) Women dress for other women.

-You guys. This is the truest thing. Want to know why? All women are trying to impress other women. Even when we're all "Oh my gosh stop I do NOT look angelic today in this messy top knot and perfectly matching Lululemon ensemble!" we love when we get compliments from other women. There is an underworld of female to female flirting that you will never understand. And if you're a lady incapable of admitting that you've been attracted to/flirted with another woman for a variety of reasons, then I just need you to go watch any Penelope Cruz movie. Any one of them and get back to me...

2.) Women dress to try a concept.

-In tandem with the aforementioned, women dress in what I refer to as "concepts" and then try them out around their girlfriends to get a good idea of its wearability. Everyone needs a friend like my girl Whitney who's going to tell you your "top looks like a quinceanera vomited all over it." THAT'S friendship. But sometimes you see something on Pinterest that you've just got to try! Some concepts end  up really taking off and changing your style for the better. There was a whole summer I spent in suspenders and bandanas like a 70's runaway living on a cult compound, farming the land. That summer was the shit. 

3.) Women dress to "feel skinny."

-I know, I know. This is a bad thing to say, Bligh! This is anti-feminist! And yes, it absolutely is. But it's also absolutely true. Why not try to stop blaming mainstream media, magazines, model culture and the American obsession with "beautiful is skinny" and admit that WE ALL ALREADY THINK THIS WAY. Even when it's not PC to admit, if you think it, say it. Maybe if we said it more instead of hiding behind faux female empowerment and shared Jezebel articles we could enact some change about female body dysmorphia. Maybe. Because the truth is, I dress to feel skinny when I walk out the door. I want to look like the best version of my damn self and that version is the American, svelte Natalie Dormer! I want to FEEL like  the healthiest version of myself, but sometimes, that's not an option when getting dressed in the morning. I can admit to dressing to get thru my day feeling good about myself by "looking skinny." And I'm ok with that. 

So you see, there are plenty of reasons why I, and many other women get dressed every morning. Our fiddling is for ourselves (as most good fiddling is) and for a plethora of other reasons besides the ones I've noted. But the main takeaway should perhaps be: who really cares? Let's redefine a "lady" as someone who makes it work with as much finesse and grace as she can muster in her given circumstance. And let's redefine a "gentlemen" as someone who gracefully declines comment during said redefining process? It's worth as much of a try as the safe execution of an even cat-eye on a moving Q train.

 

*I'd like to take this moment to be honest and say what actually came out of my mouth in retort the subway man was something like, "Leave me alone, you are bald." Which, again, is deserving of dozens of aplogies for its rudness and overall unimaginative delivery

 

 

 

 

 

 

My brother Liam and I being idiots, me in full concept outfit.    

My brother Liam and I being idiots, me in full concept outfit.