The Tracks Of My Tears

My old roommate Julia and I shared the belief that crying in Duane Reade is a rite of passage for New Yorkers. There is this ineffable quality to the way the fluorescent lights flicker in tandem with the beeping of the price scanner as you spend $75 you don’t have on four products you genuinely need that somehow says, “It’s ok, this is a safe space to cry.” YA FEEL ME?

I’ve cried in the pharmacy several times. First and foremost they are typically situated underground in a bat cave that lacks cellphone service — so no distractions! All other customers milling about are on a mission as they quickly pluck tampons and Advil off the shelves, and frankly could give a rats ass that you are welling up in the condoms aisle. Here, you are anonymous, and that is a beautiful thing.

Julia recently admitted to me she took advantage of DR’s all-night hours, dipping in for a late-night inebriated cry, thus escaping the unnecessary public drama of sobbing on the street. Then yesterday she sent me Crying New York, a Tumblr rating different establishments solely based on their ability to house a good cry.

For the record, they agree with me regarding Duane Reade:

“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!”

So now it’s your turn to talk public water works. We have tissues, so spare us no detail!

[Crying New York via Tumblr]

Image shot by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

  • Kate Barnett

    Bodega on w3rd & sullivan. pretending to contemplate canned spaghetti in the gloriously hidden back right corner.

    • Charlotte Fassler

      Bodega’s can be hard crying places because the employees like to be a bit too personally invested in their customers. Good for a cry that needs comforting but maybe not prime for an anonymous cry.

  • lavieenliz

    I cry so much…it’s pathetic. I say F It! Cry in public!!!

  • Rachel S.

    So this entire article is about the fact that Duane Reade is a good place to cry?

    • Rachel S.

      I think it would make a better story if you told us exactly why you were crying because then I might be able to resonate with you a lot better.

      • Leandra Medine

        It’s mostly really about addressing the fact that in a city as densely populated and small as New York, it is fun/ny to acknowledge the nuances that make this city special: Gothamist did a great story on the best public bathrooms of New York City (home is never close enough when you’re walking down Broadway) and this one, on places to cry, hones in on the inevitability that during your tenure as a New Yorker, you will either find yourself looking at a public cryer, or being one yourself.

        • Rachel S.

          Oh, okay. Gotcha!

  • Elisa Taviti
  • JM

    Though I reside in Toronto – I am frequently in NY. I too have cried at Duane Reade!!!

  • Ali

    so convenient because DR sells TISSUES!

  • “Come quick before the word gets out”? Now I’m just imagining the aisles of DR filled with crying 20-somethings. And it’s kind of hilarious.

  • Laura

    CVS is the perfect ugly-cry spot. I recommend the cereal aisle, cause honestly who is going to buy cereal at CVS?

  • snif

    I know this is late, but I just HAD to get this on the record!

    The best place to cry is in a foreign country. No one knows you: you can snivel – in public – to your heart’s content & no one will bat an eye.

    I once started crying at the airport in Dubai, and kept it up for about an hour.

    It was fabulous ….

  • Josie Poulsen

    I recently had a good cry in the elevator of my building. And staircases are always good, because everybody takes the elevator. Casually walk up the stairwell like you’re going somewhere, and then stop and bawl. If you’re rich, have a taxi drive you in circles around the city as you cry. And then tip him extra.

    -Josie Poulsen
    trade your fashions (!)