It’s hard to find solitude in a City of eight million lost souls, but sometimes you just need some space. This list is for everyone who just needs to get away from the crowd, but can’t find the time, money or location to separate. This list was compiled by self-described loners who like to spend time by themselves.
1: Riverside Park near 99th Street
Not very many people make the effort to visit Riverside Park, even though it’s conveniently located near the 1 train. The park has benches and trees everywhere that are isolated and sparse. The park also provides great sunsets when you need to clear your mind from all of the worries. If 99th Street is crowded, try 98th Street or even 100th Street.
2: St. Lukes Hospital (in the outside garden)
If you can handle the sirens, this outdoor garden on 10th Avenue and 58th Street will offer you a quiet area to gather your thoughts. There are benches inside this outdoor park, surrounded by trees and flowers that will make you wonder why no one else thought of coming here. Uh, did we mention it’s in front of a hospital? If you look a little despondent, like say you just learned a relative has cancer, no one will bother you or ask you to leave.
3: Public Library on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street
You will never be completely alone here, but you will definitely feel like you’re by yourself. This library has several floors and corners that will give you time alone to think and ponder. You might have to sit on the floor but no one will think twice of bothering you or trying to speak to you if you’ve separated yourself from the crowds.
4: W Hotel in Union Square
The W Hotel in Union Square is in the middle of the action, yet you will feel alone inside the lobby on the first or second floors. No one will bother you. Staff will just assume you are a tourist, waiting for your wife or girlfriend. Even if you’re under-dressed, you can feel comfortable sitting alone in your own thoughts here.
5: Central Park near 110th Street
Central Park is always crowded but you can find fake suburban sprawl at the tip of the park near 110th Street. Not sure why, but most locals and tourists rarely want to venture above 96th Street, which is really a waste. Some of the most scenic views of Central Park can be seen near the tip of the reservoir. Of course, you won’t find any solitude near the reservoir, but walk off the beaten path and you will find places quiet enough to practice yoga.
6: St. Patrick’s Cathedral
You don’t have to be Catholic or Christian to appreciate this gothic cathedral. Sit on a pew, read a hymn book, stare at the pulpit and you will find escape from the city in the heart of Manhattan.
There is no better place to smell the flowers than the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The garden allows you to walk next to some of the prettiest plants and flowers, regardless of the weather. There’s something about seeing nature’s wonders at this garden that helps you unwind and gather your own thoughts in a pensive way.
8: Macys on 34th Street
Seriously? Macy’s? How is this tourist trap full of solitude? Skip the clothing section and go directly to the top floor where the carpets are located. Here you will find furniture to sit on and rugs to lay on. The top floor is so large that no one will even come near you if you give off the appearance that you are trying to figure out something (like buying a rug) on your own.
From May until October, you can get inside a kayak and paddle your way to peace. The only condition is that you know how to swim. What better place to find tranquility and peace then in the Hudson, overlooking Manhattan from a distant. You can rent a kayak on Piers 40, 96 and 72.
10: Saks 5th Avenue (the bathroom lobbies)
Who knew there were seats and couches outside the bathroom lobbies? Pretend like you’re tired of waiting for your girlfriend to try on clothes and head over to any bathroom lounge. Here, you will find complete silence, because no one wants to be bothered during business hours.