East River State Park
Strand Book Store
If you’re going to potentially humiliate your soon-to-be-ex, it’s good to do the deed in an out-of-the-way spot. This Gowanus dive fits the bill, providing tables in the back where you can have an awkward conversation, along with drink specials during the week ($1 off drafts on Mondays; $4 Goose Island pints on Wednesdays).
In 30 Rock’s sixth season, Liz and Criss go to Ikea for a table and end up questioning their entire relationship. If you need a slight push to start the breakup process, bring your no-longer-beloved to the Swedish chain’s Red Hook outpost. You’ll have ended things with a screaming match by the time you reach the miles-long checkout lines, guaranteed. And you can get away with not blaming yourself—as Liz says, “Ikea tested us—we failed!”
This Williamsburg space will match your mood by the time you’ve parted ways: In the winter, it’s a little bleak. Have a seat on a bench, where you can stare at the Manhattan skyline and take a few deep breaths. Then, move on: Head to the Woods (48 South 4th St between Kent and Wythe Aves, 718-782-4955), where you might just find someone new to snuggle up with.
There are some advantages to initiating a breakup at this multilevel bookstore. You can have that uncomfortable chat in one of the many uncrowded nooks in the basement, where you’re likely to be left alone. Once it’s over and done with, seek out literature to help you through the healing process. Look for tales of romance—both failed and successful—in the fiction section on the first floor, or find solace in the advice-books section, down in the basement.