NYC Landscapes for the Heartbroken

There are many ways to try to cope with heartbreak: burrowing under the covers, comfort eating, binge-watching, talking to friends, and obsessive social media monitoring. You can also try to go outside to find solitude, take a long walk, and try to change perspective.

If you live in or are visiting New York City, here are a few places worthy of a visit when you are sad, desolate, or heartbroken.

When You Need to Cry Outside, But Not In Public

In NYC, we often share our private spaces. If you don’t want your roommate/partner/children to hear you crying, consider going outside to find privacy. Visit Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn for almost guaranteed solitude in a quiet and beautiful setting. You can walk for hours among centuries-old trees, pausing in the shade of gravestones and statues to sob your heart out.

Green-Wood Cemetery by Katie Carman

Founded in 1838, Green-Wood was one of the first rural cemeteries in America. Its 478 acres of hills, valleys, ponds, and wooded paths became a popular tourist attraction in the 1860s and inspired New York City’s Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

Minerva waves to Lady Liberty (photo by Timothy Vogel)


Climb to the top of the hill in Green-Wood, one of the highest points in Brooklyn, to see the bronze Minerva statue waving to the Statue of Liberty across New York Harbor.

You may also see the hallucinatory sight of bright green parrots fly by. A colony of monk parakeets nest in the cemetery’s gates.

If you are looking for an encouraging sign, you may find one in the monk parakeets, descendants of the escaped who thrive against all odds.

When You Need to Walk It Off

Sometimes the best antidote to heartbreak is a long walk along the water with an unencumbered view of the horizon. There are a few options in the five boroughs. My favorite is a long walk along Rockaway Beach.

Rockaway Beach by Stefan Georgi

Rockaway Beach is the largest urban beach in the United States. It stretches for more than five miles along the Rockaway Peninsula facing the Atlantic Ocean. I like to start at the Beach 98 (the Beach 98 – Playland subway stop) and walk for miles in either direction.

Depending upon the time of year, you might have the beach to yourself. You might find solace in the continuous tides and the vastness of the ocean.

When You Need Perspective

If you want to change your perspective, try a hike through Inwood Hill Park. It’s the perfect place to focus on Deep Time as an antidote to mourning in your own human time.

Inwood Hill Park by Steve Guttman

At the northern-most tip of Manhattan, Inwood Hill Park has the city’s last native forest. Some of the trees here tower 100 feet overhead and have lived here for more than 200 years. Try to imagine the trees’ past and what they have stood through.

Inwood will remind you of geological time. On your hike, you will pass cave-like rock shelters, slabs of bedrock piled up from the glaciers that passed eons ago. Look for large indentions in the rocky outcroppings along the path. These are glacial potholes, hollowed out from water melting from glaciers 20,000 years ago.

It may help your heart to think about a rock’s history. Try to imagine the rock’s “life” thousands of years ago. Envision your parallel time periods. Imagine the rock’s future.

These are just a few urban nature retreats in NYC that might offer solace when you need it. What is your favorite landscape to visit when you are sad?



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  1. So good, Traci!


  2. Very good thoughts here. I always find a nice walk amongst nature has such healing qualites about it.


  3. I wrote about the north end of Central Park this weekend for the same reason. I’ve taken several long park walks in the past week – the fresh air does wonders to heal the soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a time-appropriate posting! Great ideas of how to deal with our grief. Thanks so much Traci.


  5. An absolutely great time to find oneself outside. Thanks for this!


  6. Wonderful article. Very well thought out and nicely written.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s beautiful Traci. The photos an the prose. Love you Sharon Paris.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve forgotten how I’ve dealt with being heartbroken in the past. Crazy that knowing myself, I still don’t think that going out and exploring was actually one of my “getting over” activities. But surely with those kinds of views, it definitely would make “getting over” an easy transition.
    Striking colors! … including the black and white. 🙂


  9. You have a knack for words that make me stop and take a look. Your title definitely caught my eye. Who has not lived with sorrow? Offering places close to hand that offer solace is a wonderful and thoughtful idea. A mended heart is sure to come from visits to such places.


  10. It s easy to find folks with the same hobbies as you during an NYC meetup for an activity you love. Whether that’s jogging around Central Park, trying new restaurants, or playing a sport, there are hundreds of groups designed to get people together in New York, and what’s a better way to meet someone compatible?

    Liked by 1 person

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