Public Restrooms

 There is no worse scenario than rushing into a Starbucks with your pregnant bladder only to find out that the restroom is out of order (

suuuure, Barista!

).  You've got two choices: Run across the street where the McDonald's bathroom line is wrapped around the soda fountain, or dip into a bar, head down, and search for a place to relieve yourself.  

What about the option most of us don't consider: the public bathroom. New York has quite a few public squatting holes that offer a place to wash your face, change your baby, indulge in #1 or #2s, or simply take a great selfie. To parse out which ones are hot, and which ones most definitely are NOT, we drank a lot of iced coffee and hit 10 different public restrooms in the city. Here are the top 7 places to let one go.

7. Madison Sq. Park
PRICE: $.25

New York City's first ever self-cleaning pay toilet is in bad shape. When we arrived, the only restroom available to the park's sun-catchers or Shake Shack patrons was teaming with flies and filled with urine. As one could imagine, the restroom's scent was hardly as inviting as the adjacent Shackburger, but...actually, this place was horrible and there was no bright side. Keep your 25 cents and your dignity.


6. Central Park North 

Located near the 5th Avenue entrance on 110th, the public restroom is nestled along a pond that boasts ducklings and a fish or two. Inside you'll find one large, spacious bathroom for men with a bizarrely triangular shaped toilet bowl. A whiff of urine and underarms permeates both the men and women's rooms.  And beware moms: I found baby poop smeared on the diaper changer. BUT, it's not the worst place if you've really got to go! (Heads up the Dunkin' Donuts across the street is a better option.)


Washington Sq. Park

Don't let the faux-brick entrance fool you, this public bathroom, built just a year ago, is already in shambles. Not only were all four stalls filled with urine, someone was actively taking a shower in the sink. Washington Sq Park is home to every type of New Yorker  - the student, the tourist, the weed dealer, the abodeless - and it seems that each have tramped through these bathrooms and made them worse for the wear.  Should you want to take a selfie outside the bathroom, the structure itself is quite pretty. 

4. Prospect Park
 At Brooklyn's Prospect Park, runners can take a break at one of the many mid-grade bathrooms which boast working soap dispensers and proper selfie lighting.  At the Picnic House near Middle Long Meadow, there's a hidden outlet so you can let go 


charge up at the same time.  

3. The High Line 
The High Line offers a pretty walk to the restrooms - but that's about it. The bathrooms are too small to handle the foot traffic, and so you'll find a line roping outside almost any hour of the day. With just two stalls for women, and one stall for men, this multi-million dollar project overlooked the one place we all feel safe -- the bathroom. Extra points, however, for the creamy, lightly perfumed soap.

2. West Side Highway

Joggers and bikers on the West Side pretty much have it made with a large public bathroom equipped with  four spacious stalls, a baby changer, a  row of sinks and color block orange walls for your fall  #BathroomSelfie. 


1. Bryant Park 
Even if you don't have to pee,  do yourself a favor and go check out the Bryant Park bathroom. It is hands down, the best public restroom in New York City. Freshly cut flowers greet you in a large vase at the entrace and mosaic tiles surround you from head to toe.  Pop a squat in one of the three stalls and worry not about a toilet seat cover because THERE ARE AUTOMATIC SEAT COVERS that can be replaced with the touch of a button. Upon exiting, tame your coif in a cherry wood framed mirror, or indulge in a luxurious hand-washing with frothy soap.  Cap off the experience by chatting with the full-time attendant who, while we were there, handed out paper towels at lightning speed.