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How to Feel Zen in NYC

By Olivia Klayman, Junior Newhouse NYC student and TRF major 

New York City is a fast-paced concrete jungle. It’s arguably one of the greatest cities in the world, but it has its shortcomings as well. In a city that never sleeps, it can be difficult to get the opportunity to relax and recharge. As a Californian, where life is much slower-paced, it can be difficult living here. While I love NYC, I sometimes am overwhelmed by the hectic lifestyle. To function at the your optimal productivity, you need to find peaceful places. These are five I regularly seek refuge in:

Music shops: Places like the Guitar Center on 42nd and 7th are great to blow off some steam. I have a religious routine where I go and play different instruments, ranging from guitar to banjo, in the acoustic section of the store. It can be very cathartic. I recently only stopped going because they were having a sale. I finally commit to purchasing my very own Yamaha folk guitar!

Coffee Shops: Not to be a stereotypical writer, but these are sensational. I prefer shops that are a bit larger as to avoid any sort of intimate interactions with strangers, but there are a whole variety in the city. It’s nice to be alone without feeling alone. A coffee shop is the perfect place to be an “individual” in a sum of many “individuals.” I encourage you all to branch away from Starbucks and look for shops with more character. I suggest Black Brick, Blank Café, Milk and Roses or Coffeed.

Art Galleries: There are hundreds of art galleries in the city. They are easy to find online or through word of mouth. It can be nice to see the product of someone else’s misery/pain/pleasure. It forces you to reevaluate your life or escape from it. I recommend the David Zwirner Gallery, Gagosian Gallery, or the Luhring Augustine gallery.

Parks: Nature is amazing. I’ve enjoyed places like Central Park and Bryant Park because they have a lot of cool activities going on every day. There used to be free yoga in Bryant Park every Thursday where you and 1,000 of your “closest friends” could peacefully do yoga. The other benefit of parks is their peacefulness. They are calm, clean and serene. Enjoy it before it starts snowing!

Museums: Museums are clean, organized and informative. They have everything from art to history museums in the city. There’s no way better to transcend time than by walking through a museum. And you can often get a student discount, and many spots like the Guggenheim are “donation based” where you can pay as much as you would like.

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