It has now been almost 8 months-in living in New York City and I must say, one of the most trying experiences as a newbie New Yorker who runs on Starbucks and therefore on coffee is what happens when the runs relocate from your legs, to say, your bladder, or worse, digestive system. Not fun to imagine at all, right? And lets just say that I have this phobia as it is with any public washrooms period. And thanks to google and some hours dedicated to this research, I came across an article on Gothamist compiled and articulated via reddit to which I can now safely say have found the best bathrooms in New York City mapped out to its lateral coordinates et al. YASSSSSSSS.
And to anyone and everyone who either already visited or planning a trip to New York City can concur searching for sanitary public washrooms, let alone in New York City is something of the twilight zone. And not all public washrooms are necessarily safe either.
Picture this, you’re standing in Midtown, right? And you live too many blocks away to get home or to your hotel without first feeling the bead sweats down your crack. You’re thinking: oh my goodness, oh shit, yup, okay, this is it. I am going to make like Sex and The City‘s (The First Movie) Charlotte and Poo-wer Walk all around Columbus Circle.
You’re partially relieved because you know on the other end of these contractions, there is certainly no baby but then again, you’re about to obliterate your pants. The ones you just picked up from the cleaners, right before getting that ice cream after coffee, for fuck sakes!
You look around. You see a movie theater. No ticket? No entry. Plain and simple. But you become desperate so you decide to try your luck anyway and much to your dismay and time, the former was right. Paying customers only. There’s a Starbucks nearby too but those bathrooms have all too loudly marketed themselves as For The People. The line is long and God knows who and what has gone on in there. Plus you have to ask the barista for the bloody code! Who can remember numeric sequences in desperate times?! Usually they are the postal code of that area (for example, the Starbucks on 54th & Broadway code used to be 10019, but they do switch it up every now and then) And can I remind us of our ticking shit bomb?!
What now? There’s nothing worse than trying to find a somewhat sterile public washroom that’s been at least flushed, never mind placing toilet paper on the seats before sitting to lay the shit storm, but not before clenching every muscle to your ass cheeks while the cold sweats roll down the side of your face to make sure every square inch of that toilet seat is covered. The worst are the automatic flushers that go off between and sometimes fuck-up your cover-work, in which case depending on the severity of the pain, either re-do or just fuck-it-and-shit it. We have all been through it, and that’s okay. All I am saying is, we need to better prepare ourselves, especially in this City dubbed as the concrete jungle.
I wasn’t going to list what the Gotham had already published but I thought it would be a good way to validate from a Woman’s point of view, and Thank Goodness for their thoroughness sparing no detail about why these locations are great. But this is quite the literal commitment to a shit tale. So here we go; see my comments in Blue, and yes, I have visited each location first hand.
- Union Square: Best Buy (“Really clean, no line, no one thinks there will be a bathroom in a store without food. Avoid the long lines in Trader Joes and Starbucks.”); DSW (“Has a pretty clean public restroom. This is an especially good bet for dudes, since the clientele skews mostly female.”); Barnes & Noble (a popular choice at any of their locations); Burlington Coat Factory (“First floor back corner behind the registers. Wonderful facilities.”); Babies R Us (“wonderfully empty”) *all true and still existing! yay!
- Houston and Broadway: Crate and Barrel (“This bathroom sometimes has a couple dudes waiting but never more than 5 minutes. Conveniently located next to the Broadway/Lafeyette train stop.”) *true and still existing too but definitely longer lines.
- Houston and Mercer: Angelika Film Center (Everyone can access the restrooms in the cafe area) *true and still existing!
- SoHo: Bloomingdale’s (“Women’s room: 2nd floor, on the right as you get off the escalator”) *true and always reliable!
- 34th St/Herald Square: JC Penney at Manhattan Mall (“Downstairs, in the lingerie/underwear section. Never seen a line here.”) *true but there are lines on weekend
- NoMad: The NoMad Hotel (“29th Street between 5th and Broadway. Walk into the bar/lobby area make your first right and down the steps.”) *true and always reliable!
- Midtown: Rockefeller Center (“The public restrooms are nice. Take a right at the Starbucks heading toward the Swarovski store and just walk as far back as you can.”); Saks Fifth Avenue (Reportedly has a great ladies room) *true and still existing! Saks definitely has a nice one! (Bergdorf & Barney’s too)
- Times Square: The Marriott Marquis (“bathroom on the 8th floor.”); Crown Plaza Hotel (“Very nice bathrooms, no staff really bother you, plus sometimes there are couches or stools if you need to wait for a little bit”); *H&M (“second floor fitting room area.”) and the others still exist too!
- 53rd Street And 6th Avenue: The Hilton Hotel (“There are restroom on the lobby level near the garage. You can also take the escalators up to the 2nd and 3rd floors for 2 other restrooms.” “Has a flush like a jet engine!”) *true and probably the most reliable (safety & cleanliness) if you are around the area!
- Columbus Circle: Time Warner Center (“Holy shit (literally). Always clean, never seen a wait, they even have the fancy Dyson hand dryers.”); Mandarin Oriental (“Enter on 60th Street—take elevator to lobby. Exit elevator, turn right, go down small hallway.”); Trump Towers (“On Fifth Avenue, located on the lower level”) *true and still existing, Time Warner Center is always reliable (safety & cleanliness).
- Lexington between 59th and 60th Streets: Bloomingdale’s (“AMAZING SCENTED HAND SOAP. plus there’s a bathroom attendant. seriously.”) *true and still existing!
- Upper West Side: Barnes and Noble (“At 82nd and Broadway, on the third floor. Cleanest bathrooms I’ve seen at a B&N in the city.”) *true and still existing!
- Upper East Side: Barnes and Noble (At 86th Street/Lexington Avenue) *true and still existing (and definitely cleaner than the one on 54th)
Thank You Gothamist for making our lives (or at least mine) a little more bearable and for literally providing us with THE ultimate survival guide to New York City, you have made me feel invincible. “Can’t nobody take my pride, can’t nobody hold me down. Oh No! I gotsta keep on mooooovinnnnn..”
And now you can enjoy New York City the way its meant to be. You’re Welcome.