8.6.19

Bathroom List: There Ain't No Place to Pee in New York City (Unless You Know a Few Spots)

It's a common occurrence. You have to pee. And you're in the city. You probably don't want to risk peeing in an alley or behind a tree (although I must admit I have been forced to do that). New York City, unfortunately, has very few public places to relieve oneself. When nature calls, what are you going to do?
Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash



1. Bryant Park
Photo by Krisztina Papp on Unsplash
The number one best free place to pee in New York City happens to be the bathroom in Bryant Park. Parks are generally the best bet to finding a toilet in the city but Bryant Park's toilets are superb. It's a posh bathroom replete with station attendants, an ample amount of soap, calming music, clean stalls, and orderly lines. Find it midway on 42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in midtown Manhattan.

2. Central Park
Photo by Brunno Tozzo on Unsplash
Central Park is a sprawling park space in Manhattan (duh.). There are a few places to pee in the park but the ones I like the most (and use the most) are the bathrooms by the Delacorte Theater and the stalls on either side of the Bethesda Terrace.


3. Washington Square Park
Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash
Washington Square Park had an overhaul a few years and its comfort station has been given a re-do. Nothing fancy. But you'll appreciate the convenience when you're out and about in the Village.

4. Starbucks
Photo by Wisma Urcine on Unsplash
Starbucks sells coffee but they also have bathrooms. Expect a long line. Same thing for McDonald's fast food restaurants. Also, try Whole Foods - the one in Union Square and the one on Houston Street are my favorites.


5. Subway Stations
Photo by Luke Cooley on Unsplash
New York City Transit's subway stations often do not have bathrooms (save for a few). If you find one when traveling underground be sure to hold your nose and get in and get out quickly. The Times Square station in Manhattan, the Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue station in Queens and the Atlantic Avenue Barclays station and the 36th Street station in Brooklyn have public bathrooms. 


6. Public Libraries
Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash
Public Libraries across the five boroughs are the best places in the city to find a quiet place to study or read but they also serve up some of the best bathrooms in the city. Ask for a key at the front desk. 


7. Delis and Bodegas (?)
Photo by Clément Falize on Unsplash
Delis and bodegas have bathrooms but they don't let customers use them (unless you're pregnant). But it doesn't hurt to try and ask (and you're about to pee in your pants).


8. LGA and JFK
If you are close to La Guardia or John Kennedy airports and you can find parking head over to the public spaces - you're bound to find a potty. Also if you have any foreign bills lying around or you want to try the airport version of Shake Shack - it's a good bet all around.

9. Grand Central Station
 I like using the lower level of Grand Central Station (near the food court) to pee. Grab some lunch too. Penn Station is not as nice-looking but, hey, it's also an option.

10. Bars
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
Bartenders expect you to buy a drink at a bar, but it is actually quite easy to walk into a bar (preferably a crowded one) and find a bathroom and walk right back out. If stopped just say you couldn't find your friends. Avoid bars with a bouncer out front.

In this book of short narrative essays, I tell quirky tales
of life in New Orleans and New York City


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