How To Cry In New York City

WORDS AND VISUAL BY ALYSSA GENGOS / @ALYSZSA

A couple of weeks ago, I talked a little bit about my feelings in regard to moving from my hometown of Los Angeles to New York City for college. I've lived here for almost a month, which means I have four Weekly Cries under my belt. Now, I'm sharing my wisdom with you. I guess this isn't just a guide for crying in NYC; it applies to any city, but I feel like one of the steps to becoming a Real New Yorker is crying in public, and I kinda just want to brag.


STEP ONE: PRIVATE CRY

you will need: your room, a comfy bed, and a good soundtrack.

This is the easy one - the beginner's cry, if you will. It's quite simple to conjure up some tears when you're listening to emotional music. My experience was simple: I turned off the lights (not my cute twinkly lights that are necessary for every college dorm room, though - those were on), put on my headphones, cuddled up under the sheets, blasted "New York, I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down" by LCD Soundsystem, and let the tears run. Simple as that.

STEP TWO: PUBLIC CRY

you will need: a nice outfit, a populated area (a party, the subway, etc.), and bottled-up feelings.

Okay, time to take it to the next level. I suggest the nice outfit (extra points for nice makeup) because it makes the contrast of ugly cry/pretty human so much stronger. Now, in terms of where you're gonna stage this cry, it's really go-big-or-go-home. A packed subway car is a great option since you're in such close contact with a number of people who will have no clue what to do with you (and will ignore you). I, personally, chose a crowded area outside of one of Columbia's campus bars, Mel's. This is a hard one to do without some help, so I would suggest having a friend to talk to; venting about your feelings is a great way to catalyze the cry. And once you start, don't get embarrassed and stop... let it out!

STEP THREE: GROUP CRY

you will need: a group of friends and a saddening experience that you can share (a hard test, an emotional movie night, old memories, etc.)

This, I feel, is the epitome of crying in New York City. You've now mastered the private and public cries; this sort of is a synthesis of the two, and multiple people crying really ups the ante. If you're not into big groups, a crying partner works well too. During the first week that I lived in NYC, I watched Frances Ha in my dorm room with a friend, and we cried nearly the whole way through for no reason whatsoever. Well, maybe it had to do with the fact that we're both arts majors and have no clue what we're gonna do when we graduate. (But... let's save that for another time.) Partner activities like eating together or braiding someone's hair have such an intimate sense of humanity, and the Group Cry is no exception.

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Once you master these three essential crying experiences, you can move on to more advanced moves like the In-Front-of-Your-Crush-Cry or the During-Class-Cry. Remember, this is only a guide; crying is a natural emotional response that you should never feel bad about. Crying in new places is a fun, exciting experience! The most important thing is that you know it's ok to let it all out. Godspeed, babe.

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