5 Places Where You Can Cry in Public Safely: Los Angeles

Will Langenberg / Unsplash
As part of our Maps series, we suggest the perfect public places to have a good cathartic sob.
Words by Lisa Kwon. Map by Sam Liacos.

After the year the world has had, what is there to do but cry? Last year (and continuing into this year) has encouraged–and often provoked us–to examine our relationships with productivity, stability and connectivity. If heartbreak wasn’t multifaceted for you before, perhaps it is now. Chances are, you have experienced a shard-sharp break up this past year, if not with a human being, than with old habits or pleasures once taken for granted. Maybe you broke up with what you once knew was wellness, peace or love. Whatever it is, it sucks.  

Yes, crying in your car under the smog-choked Sweet James billboard while inching eastbound on the 10 is an L.A. mood, but sometimes it is more cathartic to do a private act so unabashedly in public. Here are five places in Los Angeles to cry safely while still remaining socially distanced.

1. Stoner Park – 1835 Stoner Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90025 (West L.A.)

Weepy for your childhood or our stolen summer? For the waterworks that spring from your well of nostalgia, enjoy Stoner Park. This West L.A. public park has a skate plaza, a family-friendly recreation center, a community pool with a sun-bleached slide and sprinklers, and a massive playground. Besides, it simply wouldn’t be an L.A.specific list if Los Angeles’ most aptly named park isn’t at the top. 

2. “Daddy’s Little Girl” Mural – Pickford Market, 4566 Pickford St. (West Adams)

Angelenos would claim that they knew last year would tailspin the day Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant passed away. This mural of the beloved Laker player and his daughter, painted by graffiti artist Jules Muck, was one of the first ones to go up in the city. At the time of its completion, many fans gathered over the coming weeks to bid farewell with flowers, Lady of Guadalupe prayer candles, and basketballs. Nowadays, it’s quieter below the richly pigmented splashes of aquas, purples, yellows, making the memorial a haven for your heartbreak.

3. Liberty Park – 3700 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010 (Koreatown)

Thick concrete slabs and concave walls frame Koreatown’s Liberty Park, one of the very few public green spaces in the neighborhood. On a warm day, it is common to see teenagers skating the ledges or people finding respite under the stately pine trees with their pendulous shade-providing branches. Most beautiful of all, the park sits in one of the most bustling parts of the neighborhood. For those who like to be seen, cry here. 

4. Los Angeles River (Frogtown, Atwater Village)

In actuality, many parts of the Los Angeles River have long been sluiced from their years as proper, healthy waterways, but this particular stretch remains one of the most heart-wrenching places to be, especially when heavy rain nourishes the drying vegetation in the basin. Nearby is the historical Glendale-Hyperion Bridge that welcomes those walks and bike rides that carry the dreamy aimlessness of a Saturday afternoon. Granted, L.A. hasn’t seen much precipitation since spring, so fill it with your tears.

5. The Americana at Brand’s Rooftop Parking Lot  – 889 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91210 (Glendale)

Though The Americana at Brand is no secret, its rooftop parking lot remains a gem for picturesque, private sobs. On a clear day, you can spot the nearby Verdugo Mountains hugging the circumference of the Glendale and Burbank areas. Catch a cotton candy sunset and release your bitter emotions. Parking is free for one hour, so time your cry strategically. 

By Lisa Kwon

Writer and reporter based in Los Angeles, CA

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