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Philly’s top 10 places to cry in public

Go ahead, let it all out

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Note: This story was first published in 2017 and has recently been updated.

So Independence Day has come and gone. Maybe you’re sad about that, maybe you’re upset about the state of the world, maybe you imbibed just a little too much yesterday. No matter what, you probably need to know the best places in this city to let out your tears. We mean, really let them out.

Perfect for both exhibitionist criers and meek weepers alike, we’ve compiled a list of public spots to let out a good wail, from the chaotic comfort of Reading Terminal Market to the private solace in the depths of the Navy Yard.

Do you have a favorite place to cope that we didn't include? Let us know in the comments. We won't judge.

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The Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

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Yeah, technically this should be a place of triumph, but what they didn’t show when Rocky reached the top of the steps was the four-hour cry that followed. Whether you stay at the bottom or challenge your quads through the burn to the summit, there’s still a part of you that wonders if this was the best use of your time. No one will blame you if you take a teary-eyed selfie here.

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Front window-facing seat on the El

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Who knew sitting next to a pile of dirty napkins and crumpled newspapers could be this exciting? The closer you sit to the front of the car, the less likely you are to see anyone you know. Also, the window seat is ideal for prime city landscape views while your tears effectively clean the dirty panes just like every sad travel montage from your favorite rom com.

A post shared by ISEPTAPHILLY (@septaphilly) on

Reading Terminal Market

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Deep within the canals of one of the country’s most famous culinary delights are nooks and crannies perfect for a cry. Boasting over 70 merchants from bakeries to Thai cuisine, Reading Terminal Market is where your hanger comes to die, or your indecision brings you to tears. Regardless of your locale within the market, there’s a deli counter, line or horde of tourists to mask your sobs. Afterwards, there’s always binge-eating whatever foodstuffs get you going—donuts, a killer smoothie, rotisserie chicken, and more.

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Kurt Vile Mural

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There’s something about the openness of the parking lot which this mural faces that provides an equal playing field between you, sobbing and exasperated, and everyone else, walking to get a beer. It’s not even like Vile’s tunes have driven you to tears, it’s just this was a really convenient place to stop to cry in the middle of the day: it’s flat and unthreatening as hell. Just pretend Kurt is right there with you, strumming along elegantly.

A post shared by @typefaceplant on

Clark Park

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Spread over nine acres in West Philly, Clark Park holds summer movie nights and theatrical performances so no one will really mind that you’re alone on a blanket sobbing. The cries are scenic during the day, too! With wide open fields and plenty of shaded areas, you can kill two birds with one stone and enjoy nature while confronting your demons. For a quick tissue, pop into the coffee shops and restaurants along Baltimore Avenue and ask for a handful of napkins.

The Navy Yard

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The southernmost part of the city provides a calming view of the Delaware and, if you look hard enough, New Jersey. Wander to where the ferry used to dock, transporting workers to and from the naval shipyard, for a serene cry, letting the riverfront breeze cleanse your mind and soul. Hang there for any period of time and you’ll be treated to a good view of planes overhead making their descent to the airport.

A post shared by The Navy Yard (@navyyardphila) on

City Hall Courtyard

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Stand in the compass in the center of the courtyard because nothing screams “My life has direction!” like a person crying on a painted compass. The foot traffic passing through brings people of all backgrounds who will keep their heads down as you search for meaning. Given City Hall’s proximity to many Center City offices, this space is good for lunch break sobs. Your next epiphany could happen here.

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Ikea parking lot

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You’re in need of some form of home good, hence your visit to Ikea in the first place, but the reason for such home good is potentially rooted in a life transition. You’re vulnerable, full of meatballs and the parking lot is spacious enough where you can pull into a spot close to Chick-fil-A and just let it all out. Maybe the dresser isn’t fitting in your new home, maybe the dresser is just a microcosm of everything else that’s going wrong right now. No matter what, the Ikea parking lot is the place to cry.

A post shared by Bob Bruhin (@bobbruhin) on

Rodin Museum courtyard

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After a long day, you have more in common with "The Thinker" statue than you do with your own family. Embrace the sculpture's pose and watch the tears fall to the ground. The serenity of the gardens with its central reflecting pool and lush shrubs is sure to bring inner peace when everything else feels too chaotic to function.

Jefferson Station

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So it’s been a long day and you want to head home. This station—formerly known as Market East—is a good place to let it all out. Who hasn’t had a sub-par night, or even just a sub-par hoagie, and cried in this vibrant colored station? Cry here, let it all go, ignore the tourists, and head home for a good rest (and hopefully a better hoagie tomorrow).

A post shared by Ravinda Gunaratne (@ravinda24) on

The Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Yeah, technically this should be a place of triumph, but what they didn’t show when Rocky reached the top of the steps was the four-hour cry that followed. Whether you stay at the bottom or challenge your quads through the burn to the summit, there’s still a part of you that wonders if this was the best use of your time. No one will blame you if you take a teary-eyed selfie here.

Courtesy of Shutterstock

Front window-facing seat on the El

Who knew sitting next to a pile of dirty napkins and crumpled newspapers could be this exciting? The closer you sit to the front of the car, the less likely you are to see anyone you know. Also, the window seat is ideal for prime city landscape views while your tears effectively clean the dirty panes just like every sad travel montage from your favorite rom com.

A post shared by ISEPTAPHILLY (@septaphilly) on

Reading Terminal Market

Deep within the canals of one of the country’s most famous culinary delights are nooks and crannies perfect for a cry. Boasting over 70 merchants from bakeries to Thai cuisine, Reading Terminal Market is where your hanger comes to die, or your indecision brings you to tears. Regardless of your locale within the market, there’s a deli counter, line or horde of tourists to mask your sobs. Afterwards, there’s always binge-eating whatever foodstuffs get you going—donuts, a killer smoothie, rotisserie chicken, and more.

Courtesy of Shutterstock

Kurt Vile Mural

There’s something about the openness of the parking lot which this mural faces that provides an equal playing field between you, sobbing and exasperated, and everyone else, walking to get a beer. It’s not even like Vile’s tunes have driven you to tears, it’s just this was a really convenient place to stop to cry in the middle of the day: it’s flat and unthreatening as hell. Just pretend Kurt is right there with you, strumming along elegantly.

A post shared by @typefaceplant on

Clark Park

Spread over nine acres in West Philly, Clark Park holds summer movie nights and theatrical performances so no one will really mind that you’re alone on a blanket sobbing. The cries are scenic during the day, too! With wide open fields and plenty of shaded areas, you can kill two birds with one stone and enjoy nature while confronting your demons. For a quick tissue, pop into the coffee shops and restaurants along Baltimore Avenue and ask for a handful of napkins.

The Navy Yard

The southernmost part of the city provides a calming view of the Delaware and, if you look hard enough, New Jersey. Wander to where the ferry used to dock, transporting workers to and from the naval shipyard, for a serene cry, letting the riverfront breeze cleanse your mind and soul. Hang there for any period of time and you’ll be treated to a good view of planes overhead making their descent to the airport.

A post shared by The Navy Yard (@navyyardphila) on

City Hall Courtyard

Stand in the compass in the center of the courtyard because nothing screams “My life has direction!” like a person crying on a painted compass. The foot traffic passing through brings people of all backgrounds who will keep their heads down as you search for meaning. Given City Hall’s proximity to many Center City offices, this space is good for lunch break sobs. Your next epiphany could happen here.

Courtesy of Shutterstock

Ikea parking lot

You’re in need of some form of home good, hence your visit to Ikea in the first place, but the reason for such home good is potentially rooted in a life transition. You’re vulnerable, full of meatballs and the parking lot is spacious enough where you can pull into a spot close to Chick-fil-A and just let it all out. Maybe the dresser isn’t fitting in your new home, maybe the dresser is just a microcosm of everything else that’s going wrong right now. No matter what, the Ikea parking lot is the place to cry.

A post shared by Bob Bruhin (@bobbruhin) on

Rodin Museum courtyard

After a long day, you have more in common with "The Thinker" statue than you do with your own family. Embrace the sculpture's pose and watch the tears fall to the ground. The serenity of the gardens with its central reflecting pool and lush shrubs is sure to bring inner peace when everything else feels too chaotic to function.

Jefferson Station

So it’s been a long day and you want to head home. This station—formerly known as Market East—is a good place to let it all out. Who hasn’t had a sub-par night, or even just a sub-par hoagie, and cried in this vibrant colored station? Cry here, let it all go, ignore the tourists, and head home for a good rest (and hopefully a better hoagie tomorrow).

A post shared by Ravinda Gunaratne (@ravinda24) on