Adult life can be upsetting, be it stress at work, the end of a relationship or even a really bad salad. There are times when what you really need is a good cry. Kids have permission to wail it out just about anywhere, anytime, but adults tend to be more selective. Let’s face it — the office bathroom can only cut it for so long.
There are plenty of crying guides for that big city to the north. From the NYC Crying Guide Tumblr to the New York Times, New Yorkers have lots of ideas for where to have a satisfying sob session. (My favorites: Outside the IFC Center theaters, at Baked by Melissa and on the standing side of the escalator at Grand Central.)
It’s about time the District had its own guide. After much research and a few trial runs, here is my list of the five best spots for effective public crying in our nation’s capital:
1.) The Summerhouse behind the U.S. Capitol
This secluded brick hexagon is great for letting it all out. Unlike other popular crying spots, such as the Creamery in the Longworth House Office Building or the Sweetgreen on Pennsylvania Avenue (what?! they’re out of spicy sunflower seeds?!), this haven is usually devoid of depressed Hill staffers. If the House is in session, you may even run into House Speaker John Boehner out on one of his daily cries. But aside from Boehner and the occasional jogger stopping to use the water fountains, you should have this spot all to yourself. Choose from 22 seats on stone benches in the Olmstead-designed structure. The summerhouse has no ceiling, a perfect metaphor for the limitless despair driving your tears.
2.) Macy’s at Metro Center, Basement Level
What better to be surrounded by as you sniffle your way through a somber midday cry than luggage sets and beautiful La Creuset items you’ll never afford? This is a great place to let loose about failed home renovations, relationship troubles or a bad meeting with your boss. For advanced criers: Try stifling back your outpouring of emotions while purchasing a quirky coffee mug or a set of wash cloths you’ll never use because they’ll remind you of that time you cried in the Macy’s basement.
3.) Dupont Circle
Benches lining the circle offer both shaded and sunny spots for letting your emotions take over. Sitting near the fountain allows you to watch pigeons while pondering the simplicity of fowl existence. This is an especially good spot to turn on the eye faucets after leaving your therapist’s office or consulting with a new oral surgeon. Though it might seem that the encircling traffic would be a distraction, it might actually make you thankful you’re not behind the wheel, getting cut off by some jerk who is in the wrong lane to turn onto Mass Ave. Note for novices: If embarking on a seated cry, choose your bench wisely. There are few things worse than having to move mid-sob because you’re sitting too close to a smelly trash can or someone on a loud phone call with his mother.
4.) The G8 bus
If you live in Brookland, Bloomingdale, Eckington or Shaw, this is a great bus line to cry on while heading to the movies to take your mind off the real world. With stops at 9th and H Streets and 11th and H Streets NW, you can easily get to Chinatown’s Regal Cinemas or E Street Cinema, all while having a well-lit, seated-sob. Note: The G8 is not a good place to cry during rush hour. For commuting cries, it is recommended that you walk along Rhode Island Avenue NW or along P Street toward Logan Circle. These are usually sparsely populated with dog walkers who are too preoccupied with collecting waste to pay your public waterworks any mind.
5.) Corner of 16th Street and Columbia Road NW
Did you just get dumped in Meridian Hill Park? Did this happen immediately after discovering the Mt. Pleasant Farmer’s Market was out of kale again? Head north on 16th Street as your emotions begin to get the better of you. This thoroughfare offers wide sidewalks so you can avoid bumping into other pedestrians as your tears cloud your vision. Once you reach Columbia Road you will be nearly equidistant from Five Guys in Columbia Heights and Super Taco in Adams Morgan. Both establishments offer excellent, affordable post-weeping meals. Pro tip: Do not return to the scene of this cry for at least two weeks.