Best Places to Cry in LA
Anyone can write a travel blog about where to get the best sushi in Los Angeles. If you want a real local’s guide, stick with me.
1. Your car.
A seminal classic. A rite of passage. Take advantage of one of the innumerable freeways and interchanges, and treat yourself to a cathartic and potentially hazardous emotional upheaval. The 10. The 5. The 101. The 60. The 405. The plethora of choices is overwhelming but the possibilities are endless. Will a famous director spot you from his Tesla and realize you are the muse for his new star vehicle while he sees you sobbing in yours? Will you rear-end Kim Kardashian? Will you get rear-ended by the love of your life in the most quintessentially LA meet-cute of all time? Get more bang for your buck from the leased 2018 Nissan Versa that you somehow procured on a wing and a prayer even though your credit score doesn’t break 600. The most important component to your breakdown on-the-go is the accompanying music. The soundtracks to the musicals Dear Evan Hansen, Waitress, and High Fidelity do nicely, but it’s dealer’s choice. And in LA traffic, you’ll have plenty of time.
2. In-N-Out: Over 60 convenient locations in and around Los Angeles
A tourist favorite, a can’t miss California staple and a very affordable alternative to talk therapy. Double double down on your breakdown and eat your feelings for a surprisingly affordable price. You’ll wait at least 20 minutes in a line that poses as much of a traffic hazard as a toddler on the highway, so feel free to kill two birds with one stone and check off number one on this list as well. If you’re new to the franchise, the teenage student taking your order with all the warmth of a TSA screener will love it when you, with a wink, ask for something off of the secret menu that everyone with an internet connection knows about. I recommend the 4 x 4. You’re crying already, how much worse can high cholesterol make it.
3. Trader Joe’s (Or, if you make more money than I do, Whole Foods)
Welcome to the only place in Southern California with a more maddening parking situation than the aforementioned In-N-Out. If you feel like a good cry but aren’t quite there yet, leave it to the frazzled parking attendant and disgruntled shopper trying to park an Audi SUV in a compact spot yelling at you in tandem to beat it out of you. If financial woes are what’s bringing you down, Trader Joe’s offers a bevy of reasonably priced seasonal treats. But exercise caution, because they sneak kale into everything. Also be prepared for an aggressively friendly employee who looks like they love their health insurance to ask you why you’re crying and then look you in the eye and genuinely care about the answer.
The only downside to this option is the environmental impact of the Fearless Flyer they will start to send you on a weekly basis, and the four double bags you will inevitably have to purchase at $.10 a pop because you left your reusable bags 30 yards away in the trunk of your car. If you think you’re better than everyone else, consider trading up to Whole Foods.
4. An overpriced coffee shop (Alfred’s and John’s are two favorites. They have locations all over gentrified parts of LA, and even two less desirable locations in the Valley)
The sneering baristas will sniff out a Starbucks devotee in coffee aficionado‘s clothing, so don’t be a hero when you order. Enjoy that $8 cup of black coffee from somewhere you’ve never heard of while you indulge in a public display of vulnerability surrounded by hipsters. Sometimes it feels good to watch people openly pity you, though it’s more likely you will just get ignored.
5. Hollywood Arclight
Honorable mention: Arclight Sherman Oaks
Going to see a movie by yourself is incredibly therapeutic. See whatever you want, order as many snacks as you want, and cry as much as you want in a dark air-conditioned room, free of judgement. In the dark, no one can see you cry. If the movie wasn’t enough to get it all out of you, cry harder when you realize you have to walk a mile and a half back to the lobby because you forgot to get your parking validated. Cry even harder when you realize you lost your parking ticket, and owe them your firstborn child.
6. Farmer’s Market
Enjoy a pensive stroll down rows of booths filled with shit you’ll never buy as you weep behind your sunglasses on a Sunday morning. Great for people watching if your interests are bougie WASPy families with kids whose names sound like something that should be for sale there, and minor celebrities calling the paparazzi on themselves. Pretend you know what organic, gluten, and GMO mean and that you’re interested in buying overpriced vegetables covered in dirt so you can try free samples. It might even brighten your day.
7. Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, Pour Vous, Dirty Laundry, Break Room 86, Harvard and Stone…really any pretentious Houston Brothers bar will do.
The Houston Brothers are famous in and around Los Angeles for their stylized and highly conceptual cocktail bars and speakeasys. Their 14 different nightlife hot spots boast opulent decor, great craft cocktails, and girls crying in bathrooms, though the latter may just be personal experience. Nothing fans the flames of an impending mental breakdown like alcohol. Bring an online date to a screeching halt, ruin a dear friend’s birthday party, or just sit back and enjoy watching the bartenders feel badly for you and go for it all by yourself. When you wake up the next morning and your bank account is overdrawn after too many $15 cocktails (that is, if you were lucky enough to make it home with your credit card in the first place), remind yourself that you got to enjoy an emotional release without the displeasure of having to remember it.
8. The bathroom at your work
When your boss pushes you just a little too far at your job as an assistant/nanny/server, away yourself to the bathroom. Sit on a filthy tile floor and let the floodgates open as you wonder why you left your Midwestern hometown for this. Wonder what you’ll say to your well-meaning but prying family when they ask how the writing/acting/directing is going and you scour your brain for things to satiate them with so they don’t wonder why you’re still single, broke and underemployed. Wonder why you’re allowing your boss to snap his fingers at you to get your attention because he’s “on an important call” when you have a fucking Bachelor’s degree. Wonder where your favorite celebrity was at your age. Google them. They had been famous for four years. Put your phone away. Wonder how much longer you can stay in here before he notices you’re gone. Finish crying. Get up. Dry those tears. Remember that you took this job for the connections. Realize how far you’ve come. Remember that you’ve built a life for yourself here out of nothing. And that you’re closer than you think. And get back out there.