Whether you missed your L train and have to wait 20 minutes for the next one or because your AC fell out of your window, you keep it pushing because it is New York City. The city is home to dollar pizza, over 800 languages, and people who love to scream in public.

Young woman in coat screams by a Manhattan harbour
In a city as densely populated as NYC, there are a surprising number of places where you can scream in public to let off steam © Sadia Uddin / Lonely Planet

I was born and raised in Queens, New York. For me, there is an air of pride that comes with claiming this city because New Yorkers are an eclectic breed that can tolerate bustling urban challenges. However, even this New Yorker admits that the city can be overwhelming at times. To remedy the exhaustion, I sometimes scream in public. While this sort of behaviour is not always socially acceptable or understood, screaming in New York City is an exception. Public theatrics are pretty normalized. From increasing rent prices to delayed subways and winter gloom, we sometimes have reason to. In my experience, it can be cathartic, even cinematic. So if you want to get your scream on without scaring anybody, below is a list of the best places in the city to let it all out.

Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn. It's usually very crowded but you can still scream amid all the chaos; people would probably just assume you're excited to be on the iconic bridge. From Brooklyn, you can access the pedestrian walkway at the intersection of Tillary St and Boerum Place or via the underpass on Washington St. From Manhattan, you can find the entrance along Centre St. The closest subway stops are via the 4, 5, and 6 trains at Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall station; the J or Z train at the Chambers St station; or the R train at City Hall. I also recommend exploring Brooklyn Bridge Park and hopping onto the NYC Ferry from the Fulton Ferry Landing Stop in Brooklyn Bridge Park to return to Manhattan. 

Manhattan skyline with Lower East Side on foreground and Empire State Building in the background.
The rooftops of the Lower East Side are a great place to pump up the volume © Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

Any rooftop in the Lower East Side

Located in the southeastern part of Manhattan, the Lower East Side is known for a fusion of both high end and gritty streets. Night-time draws modish young crowds to the area's animated bars, music venues, and restaurants. My pro tip is to simply find an apartment building and walk up a stairway until you find a rooftop and scream your heart out— but only if you are comfortable with some casual trespassing. You can also ask any resident of the building if you can sneak up to a rooftop for a quick skyline glance by giving a sob story; feel free to get creative in the spirit of New York City!

Morningside Park

Morningside Park is a public park in Manhattan that expands across the neighborhoods of Harlem and Morningside Heights. The steep hills in the park provide you with a lucrative landscape to both scream and run without being disturbed by others. It also may be the ideal setting for some college students who need to disengage for a bit as it is only a few blocks from Columbia University. The B or C train to Cathedral Parkway–110th St or 116th St can get you to the park. You can also stop and journal your feelings at The Hungarian Pastry Shop, a snug writer’s cafe. It's just a five-minute walk from the Southeast entrance of the park via W 110th St/Cathedral Pkwy. 

Manhattan Bridge

The Manhattan Bridge crosses the East River, connecting Lower Manhattan at Canal St with Downtown Brooklyn at the Flatbush Ave Extension. Your screams can easily get muffled when a train is passing by across from the pedestrian walkway. Before heading up to the bridge, be sure to stop off in Chinatown. There are lots of reasonably priced BYOB spots where you can eat, drink and unwind, including Peking Duck House, Spicy Village, and Buddha Bodai.

Young woman screaming on Roosevelt Island
Nancy clears her head and her lungs in Roosevelt Island © Sadia Uddin / Lonely Planet

Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island lies between Manhattan and Queens, offering a waterfront view of the city. At the northern tip of the island is Lighthouse Park which includes your very own stone lighthouse to scream next to – pretty prolific. The island is accessible by car, foot, the Q102 bus, or F train. You can also take the Roosevelt Island Tram. Board the tram at the station located at 59th St and 2nd Ave in Manhattan.

Luna Park 

Luna Park is an amusement park in Coney Island, Brooklyn. It holds the notable Cyclone roller coaster where screaming is probably mandatory. That wooden beast is terrifying. Depending on the day and the weather, park hours vary, but you can scream under the guise of the adrenaline from all the amusement park rides. The park also neighbors Coney Island Beach. The F, D, N, or Q trains can take you to the park.  

Madison Square Garden 

Madison Square Garden is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Midtown. It's used for professional ice hockey and basketball, boxing, concerts, ice shows, circuses, professional wrestling and other forms of sports and entertainment where audience participation is welcomed. You can scream with fans while watching your favorite team or artist. The venue is accessible by N, Q, R, B, D, F, M, 1, 2, 3, A, C, and E trains. 

A small waterfall and bridge at Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
Prospect Park is a great place to release stress © solepsizm / Shutterstock

Prospect Park

Prospect Park is an oasis of calm in Brooklyn. With an area of 526 acres, you will find plenty of space in which to strategically get lost and release some rage, hurt, and/or silliness. It's fun. You can access the park at the Grand Army Plaza station with the 2, 3, 4 trains; the Prospect Park station with the B, S, Q trains; the Parkside Ave Station with the Q train; or the Prospect Park Station with the G train. 

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a public park in the northern part of Queens, famous for hosting the US Open (tennis) where screams and grunting noises are common across the courts. Its attractions include the Queens Zoo; the Unisphere, the New York State Pavilion. Feel free to walk around and squeeze in a few worthwhile screams along the way. The easiest way to Flushing Meadows is by the 7 train at Willets Point/Citi Field. 

Any warehouse party/club 

New York City nightlife is generally rowdy and intense. You can certainly scream and find fellow screamers in the crowd who will most likely be belting out the lyrics to their favorite songs. In the trendy Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bushwick and Williamsburg you'll find venues like Lot 45, House of Yes, Bembé, Kinfolk and Elsewhere, where you'll probably have to shout to be heard. Most of the venues charge a cover depending on the night.

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