All Quiet on the Seventh Floor

A New York poet in search of solitude finds her secret sanctuary nestled deep inside the campus of Columbia University.

Story by Emon Hassan | Photo by Emon Hassan | August 21, 2014

More than eight million people, eight-and-a-half billion square feet. Suffice to say, New Yorkers have a love-hate relationship with space, all the more reason for us to occasionally get away from it all. But finding sanctuary in the city is not as hard as you might think. In “My Secret New York Sanctuary,” a new series by Narratively and WNYC, we get up close and personal with New Yorkers who use a little ingenuity to find solitude in some rather unlikely places.

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Growing up in the southwest, poet Iris Cushing has always been able to find a quiet corner to herself, something she remembers doing even in elementary school. In 2007, Cushing moved to New York City where, two years later, she started her MFA in poetry at Columbia University. Desperate for a space to get away from it all and relax in solitude, Cushing navigated through the chaotic college campus and found her secret sanctuary during her first semester.

Poet Iris Cushing shares her secret New York sanctuary (radio version).
Drag the pin to the location of your secret sanctuary in the five boroughs to share details and a photo. Click on existing pins to see other secret sanctuaries in the city.

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 Find more Secret Sanctuaries on WNYC’s website.

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