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Why is it so hard to find a public restroom when you really need one?

This is what’s driving us bonkers in NYC right now and making us (almost) want to move
Photograph: Mark Rosica
By Rob LeDonne |
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It’s a predicament that strikes dread into the hearts of even the most-hardened New Yorkers: You’re gallivanting around the city when, all of a sudden, nature calls. Say a prayer and brace yourself: Public-restroom options in this town are grim.

A coffee shop, which is very, very close to an actual public restroom, could work… if only the line for its sole unisex restroom didn’t stretch around the block like the latest Supreme merch just went on sale. You may as well go ahead and queue up a a few hour-long podcasts for your endless wait in lavatory purgatory: You can bet your life that the person ahead of you is about to spend 10 minutes washing their hands.

Then, maybe, there’s the nearby restaurant adorned with a handwritten sign alerting you that the facilities are FOR CUSTOMERS ONLY! Now you have to put on a show to convince the wary host that you’re considering eating there, paging through the menu before hightailing it to the water closet, then sprinting out as if you’ve just robbed a bank.

Once you finally realize your glorious goal of making it inside one of the Big Apple’s rare, bona fide public bathrooms, behold the disaster zone of strewn toilet paper and puddles so unspeakable they could well merit a helicopter visit from the Red Cross.

Your next stop after doing the deed? Your therapist’s office, to emotionally unpack the whole ordeal.

Not all of NYC is annoying

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