It’s OK to admit it: You’ve cried in New York City.
We’ve all been there — a bad breakup, a crappy day at work, stuck on the subway. (I once cried on the Q train.)
And even though we’re surrounded by strangers at nearly every moment, there’s still some privacy that comes with crying here. No one approaches you. No one asks you if you’re OK or what your story is.
Greenpoint programmer Kate Ray has tapped into this unique experience with a new map launched on Feb. 11: “Crying in Public.”
The interactive site allows anyone to post an emotional moment they had, with emojis pinpointing pivotal moments. It’s like a visual diary of New Yorkers’ personal experiences.
The posts range from serious and sorrowful to downright silly, such as:
- “I got lost and I was late and I felt like a giant f—ing failure” at King and Varick streets;
- “My entire department was laid off over Skype” in midtown;
- “This is where I tripped and fell so hard that my weave flew off and landed on that bicycle dude. I’m typing this bald” in TriBeCa;
- “Twerked all up on that Mini Cooper” in Greenpoint;
- “This is where my dad pants’d me in front of Billy Idol” in Chinatown;
- and “I teeteed in this pool of water because I couldn’t hold it and this is basically a giant potty” at the Washington Square fountain.
Good to know.
When putting in your own moment, first choose your emoji: The flame means you got fired, the peach is used for a “not safe for work” moment, the hammer and sickle represents where you adopted a new ideology, the cat is a bodega cat you met and a lollipop represents where you reached a peak of an altered mind state, among others, including the all-important loudly crying face.
The map is extremely revealing, giving you access to thoughts and experiences that you wouldn’t normally be privy to, even if you asked.
“It’s the opposite of what you’re seeing when walking around,” Ray said. “You may be seeing them crying in person, but you don’t know their story. This map shows the stories without the physical stranger part.”
Some places, the map shows, mean completely different things to different people. One person’s engagement location could be another person’s go-to crying spot.
“I like the contrast so much,” Ray said. “Some things are pretty sad and serious and then there are very funny stories and some that are both. I like that often they’re happening at same place. It’s a reminder that you’ll have a whole spectrum of feelings happening right in the same place.”
So my dramatic walk down Second Avenue could be the place where you gleefully learned you got the job. Brooklyn Bridge Park could be where you asked someone to go out with you and where someone else cried over a breakup.
Ray, 30, hopes to put her findings into chart form to mirror official statistical reports and hopes to expand the map to other cities.
Before releasing her Crying in Public map, she created another called “Where is Williamsburg” in 2016 that helps users find and mark the “Williamsburg” in any city in the world. It was first based on the locations of hipster favorite American Apparel but now takes contributions from the public, like the emotional map of NYC.
So wipe those tears away and log on . . . just, please, don’t “teetee” in any more fountains.