I’m lucky enough to belong to two great writing groups, one of which meets in New York every week.
We meet in a Public Space near Julliard close to Lincoln Center. I had never heard of a Public Space- spoken of in capital letters- before I met these excellent people. A Public Space is a place where you have the right, just by being a member of the public, to be there. Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s something of a big deal here. They don’t kick you out because you’re taking too long to finish your cappuccino or someone else wants your table; they only kick you out for being seriously annoying and/or dangerous, in which case the cops do the kicking. Not that I would know about that.
At the Public Space in which we meet there is a Public Restroom. These are rare and highly valued in New York. One of the reasons I’m not revealing the exact location is so that you don’t show up and I have to wait to use the restroom because you got there ahead of me. I live in Jersey. We don’t play nice.
There are actually two public restrooms in this Space, but one of them has no door handle and while you would think you would just be able to push the door open and go in, you can’t. I have no idea how to open the door. I’m not writing about that one.
I’m writing about the other one.
I had to be sneaky to get these pictures. Every corner of this building is under surveillance, and authorities here don’t take too kindly to people taking pictures of the insides of buildings.
A Unisex bathroom. I’m down with that. Except. . . it has multiple stalls. Huh.
Even though the door goes all the way to the floor, it’s weird.
Because girls go here…
And so do boys.
It got me thinking. Somehow there’s a very European feel to this restroom. I base that on absolutely nothing, because the only two places I’ve ever been to in Europe are London and Berlin. While I did have a unique restroom experience in Berlin which you can read about here, that restroom looked nothing like this restroom, with its instructions on how to flush:
And how to panic:
(Here’s the panic button. You can’t miss it)
My natural inclination, upon walking out of a stall and running into a member of the opposite sex in a public restroom, is to panic. However, to date, I have restrained myself from hitting the panic button. It’s poor form.
Have you ever run across multi-stall unisex restrooms? If so, where? Is it weird, or is that just me?