By Time Out contributors, edited by Sophie Harris
Yes, we know NYC is overpopulated—but for all its crazy crowding, this is still the greatest city in the world for life's loners. All of us need some quality me time (and there's a ton of awesome things to do alone in New York), but here we've rounded up a spotter's guide to those New Yorkers who've made being a loner an artform—from too-cool-for-school grumps to poetic moochers and defiantly single types.
1. The poser loner
Cigarette in hand, standing in the dark, looking wistfully up at the Williamsburg scaffolding, the NYC poser loner uses his or her aloneness as a magnet. "I'm so ALONE. Maybe you can save me." Works every time, dammit!
2. The freelance loner
While the rest of us are at our nine-to-fives (or eight-to-tens), they're at their local coffeeshop, sipping chai lattes and taking advantage of free WiFi. They're deep in thought working on their screenplay or novel or app or web illustration, and unless they need you to watch their computer while they go to the bathroom, don’t expect them to even look at you.
3. The film-snob loner
A loner who loves being anonymous in the crowd, this film fan will shush you for whispering to your "date" (who brings a date to a movie?). They laugh the loudest at the film’s jokes, and cry the hardest.
4. The denial loner
Doing stuff on your own is awesome, but there's a limit to feeling independent and strong when you're at the Park Slope Food Coop with a basket containing a toilet roll and a single artichoke.
5. The embrace-it loner
Loves it. Loves it. This loner listens to Smiths songs and relishes every line ("Oh please don't drop me home / Because it's not my home, it's their home / And I'm welcome no more"). See also: New York men with their cats.
6. The Sunday Times loner
Brunch? How basic. These individualists have plans on a park bench with a croissant and the Styles section.
7. DIY venue loner
They stand in the back, wearing an old leather jacket and worn-out T-shirt, watching the band intently…perhaps too intently. They'll only pause to light a cig or chat briefly about how much better the old Silent Barn off the Halsey stop was (you didn’t ask).
8. The Food loner
Love? Significant other? Love is ribeye steak with a side of garlic mash and greens. That's bae.
9. The romantic loner
Adopts the Carrie Bradshaw motto: "Alone? I'm not alone. NYC is my date!" They ride the highs and lows like a well-accessorized surfer.
10. The hateful loner
They don't like you. They don't like anyone. They're fine with it. Don't talk to me.