Behind every great blog (and there are so, so many) is a regular human with thoughts and feelings. As much as I like to sell my happy-go-lucky, affable persona, even your favorite neighborhood blog-o-man gets a little down sometimes.
Recently, I’ve been going through a breakup. And believe it or not, ol’ Josh here is actually chock full of feelings. Right now, those feelings are mostly sad ones.
Which is okay. It’s okay to be sad. To acknowledge that sadness as legitimate and dwell a little bit and maybe eat a little candy when nobody’s looking.
I’ve written many lists about how to have a good time in New Haven. Where to get drunk, where to eat pizza, where to go to the beach.
However, I’ve completely ignored one of our most fundamental human emotions: sadness. Where do you go when you’re sad? How do you have a “good”, sad time in the Elm City?
Let me tell you, you have come to the right place. If there’s someone better at blogging and being sad in New Haven, I’d like to meet them. And hug them.
Have You Tried Drinking Alone
Sure, I’ve given up drinking, but that doesn’t mean you need to! I have many fond memories of getting Sad Drunk at various bars all over New Haven.
The key to a good place to drink alone is:
- A TV so you aren’t just awkwardly staring into the abyss (that’s my nickname for myself!)
- Plenty of bar stools so you don’t have to stand in the corner like a weirdo
- Other sad people
- Nachos, The Official Snack of Sad People™
You can’t go wrong with a classic Irish pub, where generations of sad people have drank their problems away. Have you heard that Trinity is open? Trinity is back open. I think I’ve mentioned it a few dozen times.
It’s got plenty of barstools and TV’s where you can watch Professional Sportsfellows and root for your Favorite Squad and maybe forget about that fight you just had.
Rudy’s and Three Sheets are another two classic options with slightly different flavors of sad hipsters. Why not try both and figure out who you look best standing next to and smoking cigarettes in the front/back of?
Barcade is another great option. Surely the cling clang of the pinball machines and blinking lights of Joust will make you forget that you’re just a hollow shell inside.
Have You Tried Staring Wistfully Off Into the Distance
The summit of East Rock is the perfect place to look down at all of those thousands of people and their happy lives, just holding hands and going about their days without a care in the world, probably. You can see the whole city from up here. It reminds you how small you are. How little you really count in the cosmos.
You hear the children playing and their laughter and you remember laughing. Have you ever laughed? It feels like a distant memory.
Shout out to West Rock for also being a great place to stare off into the distance, with the added bonus of being less popular so you can really focus on how alone you feel.
Lighthouse Point Park is another great spot to fix your gaze. The dichotomy of the radiant sun’s shining heat with the darkness you feel inside of you feels almost… apropos? Nothing says “I’m depressed” like gazing off into the sea, watching the waves lap back and forth.
The endlessness of the sea provides a kind of comfort. The smell of the seawater. The waves crashing into the sand just like Marlene crashed into your life.
Friend of the blog Dave recommends watching the sunset from Fort Hale. Nothing like the crushing beauty of the sun to remind you you’re alone.
You should probably reapply your sunscreen.
Have You Tried Working Out
If you’re going to feel bad, you might as well look good, right? If you can summon the motivation, the gym is an absolutely terrific place to hate people.
Why didn’t that guy put his weights back? Does he really need to scream as he throws the weights down? Why has that lady been on the treadmill for 49 minutes when there’s people waiting?
Yes, that’s right, let it fill you. Summon that darkness and put it straight into GAINS.
I hear great things about mActivity though to me East Rock might as well be another planet. If, like me, you work for Yale, then the Payne Whitney Gym is a fantastic place to ask yourself WHY ARE THERE SO MANY EXPLO KIDS HERE CAN SOMEONE GET A LEASH ON THEM.
I’m doing fine.
Have You Tried The Staggering Beauty of the Human Condition
The day after Donald Trump won the election (my birthday, btw), the world felt surreal. I know I wasn’t the only one. What had we done? Is America really this type of place?
I had to do something. To feel something else.
I went to the Yale University Art Gallery. I stared at some of the most beautiful pieces of art ever created. Just to remind myself that there’s still beauty in this world. It’s still real. Nothing can take that from you.
Not Donald Trump. Not climate change. Not that stupid jerk Mike.
Or try going to the Yale Peabody Museum. If your life seems tough, remember that dinosuars got hit by an asteroid or Jesus or however that all went down.
You think you’re better than me, T-Rex? Well now you’re oil and I put you in my car and spew the fumes into the Earth and oh man…
Drinking alone remains an option.
Have You Tried Eating Your Emotions
If you’re anything like me or let’s face it most Americans, you probably eat your feelings.
So what better way to be sad than also be sad and full of pizza or seafood? Try that new restaurant you’ve been meaning to check out!
Ice cream is the perfect treat for sadness. Plus, you can do your own little Taste Test and then send me an angry email telling me how wrong I am. I never tire of that!
Is eating alone at a place without a bar weird? Hell yes it is. But you’ve got a Kindle and you can stare it intently, feeling all of their prying, judging eyes on you.
But fuck it. Why should you have to make small talk to enjoy food? You shouldn’t. You can just eat food and read Lord of the Rings and nobody should ever be like wow Josh get some friends because honestly that’s rude and we’re not talking about me right now.
Have You Tried Dating
Hahhahahahaha just kidding this is why you’re sad in the first place.
But seriously sometimes it’s nice to meet local weirdos. I’ve accidentally made a few friends dating. Sometimes you’re just like oh this person is pretty cool and we should definitely not sleep together though we probably will!
Have You Tried Just Accepting It
Seriously. It’s okay to be sad sometimes. Don’t let those Positive Pams and Pauls out there tell you how to feel. Sometimes it’s appropriate to be sad. Running from it isn’t going to save you.
Spend time with your friends. Work on a project you’ve been putting off. Work out. Lie in bed all day watching Netflix. It’s your life.
New Haven is a great place to be sad. Trust me. I’m a professional.
I read your blog because of your insightful voice on many things, not just New Haven, and that today includes being sad. Thank you for being open about it because I believe that moves all of us in a healthier direction, from your example of talking about it and eloquently. I was devastated by a long term relationship that broke up, and after a learning period found the best way to get through it just like you said, acknowledge it and talk about it. And it opened my eyes to how common and shared a human experience it is. Even the toughest dude at the restaurant where I worked, whose nickname was, “Peligro,” meaning danger. Peligro opened the restaurant working as a cook on the hardest station in a high volume open kitchen: the wood burning oven of a very busy celebrity chef restaurant for the busiest period of the day, AFAIK has been doing it every single day (except Sundays and Mondayfor more than a decade now.) Even he had his heart destroyed and kept on working thru it. Now he’s a single dad like Superman. Hang in e man you are not alone.
Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment, Arthur, I really appreciate you taking the time. It means a lot to me that it meant something to you. And thank you for sharing your story about Peligro, it was very touching! And thank you for reading.
Josh I just want you to know that the day Trump was elected was not only your birthday, but MY birthday, and I spent plenty of time being sad about it that night at Barcade.
Oh my god Liz we’re Sadness Siblings. I feel you!