Let’s face it, Philadelphia is a sad city. Suffering the Napoleon complex to its neighboring city New York, ranking a top-percentage in highest crime rate in the country, and a parking authority that has the equivocal malignancy to BOB from Twin Peaks, who here doesn’t have a reason to cry? But hey, dissatisfaction is a symptom of ambition, right? Maybe…after a few rounds.
As dystopian this city may seem, our justification to urban dwelling eventually surfaces: comfort in the company of strangers, total autonomy for those in need of a fresh start, cultural magnetism. We urbanites find ways to excavate our identity and self-worth through a series of rituals. And as if the most human instinct above all didn’t speak to us before, we discover that crying– preferably in the convenience of a public place–is the most go-to method of catharsis. Here are a few suggested locations:
First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
2125 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19103
This place is more known for its music venue than for its spiritual services. If Earth Crisis happens to be playing that night, all the more reason to cry for humanity and the world without anyone really noticing. But for your own self-pity, any day of the week, preferably in daylight, the actual church serves as a great space for total solitude. If you are seeking refuge for a quick moment or maybe switch religions, this may be the place.
Tiger Beats – Monday nights at The Barbary
951 Frankford Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19125
Whether you have to work the next day or have a million reasons not to wake up Tuesday morning, Tiger Beats is the Monday night party where one tears up and twerks in equal measure. For those approaching the age of 30, or holding on to what remains of their 30s, there is no need to explain why you absolutely must cry here. Loathing the fresh 21-year-old shoes you once stood in, you begin to realize how very little has changed since. There is nothing you want more than to re-live hearing Goo for the first time–or at least talking about it. However, crier beware: at Tiger Beats you are on camera. But if you are a voyeuristic-type and need proof of your sadness (and look hella good doing it), find your way to the nearest DSLR to docu-cry.
The basement of Anthropologie in Rittenhouse Square
1801 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
For starters, give yourself credit for being outdoors and not pinning imaginary living spaces on Pinterest. In this space, you can weep in style as you surround yourself with beautiful home accents you cannot afford. This manic-pixie-dream-girl nook will bring you to the crude realization that you are shopping for no one else other than the future-perfect life you have curated for yourself and your future-perfect wine tasting buddies, remembering thusly how lonely and poor you actually are. What is comforting are the cute owl illustrations on the ceramic plates. They will make you smile on your way out.
Kurt Vile “Wakin on a Pretty Daze” mural by Steve Powers
corner of Front St. and Master St.
This mural is one of many by Steve Powers in his Love Letters to Philadelphia–all of which are tear-worthy while traveling on the Market-Frankford line between 45th and 63rd Street. Its best to experience the pleasure of all the murals as they give off empathetic vibes no matter how you are feeling that day. This particular mural, located northbound in Fishtown, is comforting in its playful typography of lyrics to the song Wakin on a Pretty Daze by Kurt Vile. As the overbearing weight of burden in your life is on the brink of implosion, crying by this mural is like turning all that burden into alphabet mylar balloons and letting them fly away. If you are lucky, a plastic bag may blow by and you can have the full American Beauty experience.
The Franklin Institute Tuttleman IMAX Theater
222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
If your heart is unable to handle all the beauty there is in the world, then this is the perfect spot to let your heart explode. Massive screens depicting the Ice Age, cataclysmic disasters, and the universe will give you a sensory overload worth sobbing over. Class field trips may give you questionable looks, but at the very least they should consider it a first-hand look at real real life. And if that isn’t enough for you, go to the giant heart exhibit–you will quickly learn this 60-year-old walk-through heart model is more perfect that yours.
30th Street Station
Market St. and 30th St.
Because when Philthy gives you lemons, you go to New York.