The Instagram Thing is an occasional column spotlighting things you’ll want to Instagram. Our previous editions highlighted the ten-foot snake topiary at the Standard East Village, the pegasus at Serendipity3, the beef tartare at Little Mad, the bicycles at GupShup, the giant moose at Spaghetti Tavern and the cheesecake creature at Vestry.
I have already established that Nothing Really Matters has merits beyond its bathroom. The drinks are good with an aim to be “the best cocktail bar in the universe,” its incidentally hidden-ish entrance is a hoot, and that location, adjacent to the downtown-bound 1 train platform at 50th Street and Broadway is about as close to being on the way home as you can get . . . provided home is somewhere between the greater Times Square area and South Ferry.
But this occasional column spotlights Instagram Things, the things you’ll wish to Instagram, and Nothing Really Matters’ contribution to that category is its sparkling john.
Bathroom selfies used to really mean something in this city. They were a way to convey, not only did I visit this hot spot, but I stayed long enough to have to use the potty. And Nothing Really Matters is the first place in the post-vaccine pandemic to honor that august NYC history.
Regular readers will know the drill here: Descend the stairs toward the subway on the south side of 50th Street just west of Broadway, stop short of the turnstyle and hang a quick right into the bar’s darkened door. Rows of glowing spirits are straight ahead, stools dot the space on the left and a couple of cozy nooks suitable for groups and/or canoodling are to the right, along with a somewhat discrete disco ball that foreshadows what lies a bit beyond.
Keep moving past the bar’s westernmost end, and the bathroom is on your left. The preceding statement paraphrases the instructions I was given when I first asked where the bar’s bathroom was a few months ago. And in a city rife with exaggerations, overstatements and P.T. Barnum-style subterfuge, those blasé directions betray the dazzling destination.
Recall the disco ball. Now, imagine you are Polly Pocket, residing inside that very sphere. Your animal companion is a plastic dog, which is nice, your existence is undisturbed by the elements and you have many accessories. Life is good. And everything is covered in glitter illuminating your complexion like the poreless, lacquered idol you’ve always known you are.
Nothing Really Matters’ bathroom envelopes you in shine. Its gleaming walls are covered in a refracted finish designed to catch the light just right. It’s tempting to wish to reach out and touch their surface with the flesh of your fingertips–to feel their topography rumble under the thin edges of your fingernails–but it is still a semi-public toilet so maybe do not do that. Or do, I do not care, and whatever transpires is between you and the unending reflections of your beautiful face from each tiny metallic peak and valley of the momentary sanctuary’s countless, tiny reflective surfaces. This is probably all a metaphor for something, but again, it’s a bathroom in a bar, and somebody’s surely waiting outside, so snap a selfie and save the deeper thoughts for your own landlord-classic loo.
When they’ve gotta go, you’ve got to go.
Love doing stuff in your city? Tell us all about it in our annual, global, Time Out Index survey.