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Best Kinda Public-ish Bathrooms

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Still better than the stalls at Port Authority

What’s awesome about New York is that if you’re cold, hungry, thirsty or tired there are never a shortage of places to go into to remedy these issues. Bodegas, delis, bookstores, coffee places, bars.  But what about the bathroom?   We all know that walking into a Starbucks bathroom in New York City means bracing yourself for a plethora of potentially horrifying sensory experiences best avoided.  Nicer Bookstores, decent coffee/cafe places and if you can find it, the secret bathroom in the Crate & Barrel on Houston and Broadway are all fine but sometimes in a pinch, they’re not an option.  What are the alternatives?  I’ll tell ya:

Bar Bathrooms

If it’s evening time and the bar is crowded enough, it’s easy to just slip in and slip out of a bar bathroom. The cleanliness of the bar usually speaks to the cleanliness of its bathrooms so use your judgment. The rule of thumb is that the dirtier the actual front of the house is, the bathrooms will generally be about five times worse.

Worst Bar Bathroom: Mars Bar

Best: Pegu Club


This is tricky if it’s a nice place, because it’s hard to slip in and out unnoticed, but if its someplace big and busy i.e. Sushi Samba on 7th Avenue, or that place Public on Elizabeth Street, there’s a good chance that you can just make yourself inconspicuous. If you get stopped just tell the hostess that you’re meeting someone at the bar. As long as you’re quick, clean and respectful it’s no harm, no foul.

Worst: Bleecker Street Pizza -doable, but only a step above a Starbucks

Best: Otto

Hotel Lobbies

If you are dressed nicely enough and have the swagger, you’ll do no better than a hotel bathroom.  Just walk in, ask where the restrooms are or find them yourself.  If anyone bothers you say, again, that you’re meeting someone in the lobby or the bar. This works best for places that have hotel bars or restaurants where the people there might not necessarily be staying at the hotel, such as the W Union Square, 60 Thompson, or the SoHo Grand.

Worst: Probably the “Gem Hotel” in Chinatown

Best: Cooper Square Hotel

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BAS Writers is mostly a collection of articles written by people for the early days of this site. Back then nobody knew that snarky articles they were writing could come back and haunt them when job searching a decade later.