We don't mean to bum you out, but even in a city with eight-million neighbors, it can get super lonely here in the big, big apple. And, for researcher Ingrid Burrington, the most effective way to measure the solitude of the city is through the sketchy yet (kinda, sorta) semi-romantic outcry from NY-ers who post their "missed connections" on (where else but) Craigslist. Sure, we've been known to chuckle at the section from time to time, but things get a bit more serious at Burrington's Center for Missed Connections (yes, it's a real thing), where she strives to "understand the longing, both poetic and banal, within public spaces." As it turns out, the loneliest places in New York City, as determined by where the almost-kismet connections go awry, are the two spots usually inundated by crowds: Union Square and the L.E.S. Whole Foods on Houston. Sad? Sure. Solution? Try flashing a sincere but non-creepy smile at the guy in the organic-produce department, or a friendly grin at the musician-type who held open the door for you as you ran to make the 6-train. Maybe he won't be the one, but hey, a smile never hurt.
Learn more about Burrington's 1,000-missed-connection-posts-per-week research, the NY Loneliness Map (sad face), and how Missed Connections can help navigate all the moving bods bustling around us constantly. (The Village Voice)