Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

Zagat takes on the loo

Posted in New York, Reviews on August 25th, 2011 by jcn

standard

Zagat is taking a stab at the loo reviewing with the 11 Sexiest Bathrooms in New York Restaurants. We have not tried any of these out yet, but the aesthetic at the Standard Grill is right up our alley, so we might have to give that a go.

Where to Pee in NYC

Posted in New York, Reviews on May 28th, 2009 by jcn

The Resident over at Babelgum has a great review of some of the best places to pee when you’re wandering around NYC.

Unclean hands

Posted in Saipan on December 7th, 2005 by pottymouth

For a while now we have been working in Saipan’s most govern-mental building: it houses the Governor’s office, the Legislature, and the Office of the Attorney General.

For even longer than we’ve been here, this building has suffered a major problem – the water in the bathroom goes off at around 4 pm every day. We usually work until around 5:30 or 6, which means that we are frequently without easy means to wash our hands after using the loo.

Which is disgusting. We like to be sanitary, and so we always use a cup of drinking water to wash our hands when hands should be washed after 4pm. But most people don’t; this we know for a fact.

There was recently a big election on Saipan. A lot of the people who work in this building will be leaving soon. Perhaps it’s time for cleaner hands in Saipan’s government?

Photo Feature: Arosfa Hotel

Posted in London on December 6th, 2005 by jcn

Arosfa Hotel Ensuite

We’ve never actually stayed at a hostel before, but we recently learned from the New York Times that the hostels of today are no longer the room-sharing, toilet down the hall adventures that they once were. Many of them even offer private ensuite accommodations, which makes us wonder what makes a hostel and different than a sans-“s” hotel. Regardless, on our last visit to London, damned if we were going to stay somewhere that required a trek out of the room at 2am to visit the loo and so “ensuite” was our keyword of choice. Wanting to be fairly central, we discovered the Arosfa hotel, a smartly appointed hotel on Gower Street that struck us as neither overly generous in its amenities nor overly stingy (I believe that the “full English” breakfast was on all occasions missing at least one ingredient that would have brought it up to the level of being a “full” English as opposed to, say, merely toast, tomato and eggs; also, there was no Internet to be found at all on the premises; but there was a breakfast involved and the entire building was immaculate).

True to its advertisement, the room we got (on the top floor no less) did feature private facilities, but the true marvel was the engineering required to deliver the room with a full shower, toilet and sink all in a space smaller than 5′ square. The shower was designed such that we had to turn the water on with the shower head pointing at the wall, lest the spray from the nozzle soak the entire room. Once the temperature was to our liking we were to step into the shower area, pull the curtain around us, and only then swivel the shower head into position.

The toilet itself was situated in such a way that our knees pushed up against the bathroom door when it was closed, which made for a rather distracting experience, and which required us on several occasions to use the loo with the door ajar. This in itself was something of an adventure for to get the plumbing in place for this loo-in-a-box, the entire unit was placed about a foot off the floor, which gave us the feeling of relieving ourselves from a very, very high place.

While it was not the most comfortable hotel bathroom experience we could have had, it continues to give us much joy in discussions of it as an engineering marvel, and for that we can do nothing but whole heartedly recommend it for all London-bound travelers.

Managaha is beautiful and fecal

Posted in Saipan on November 20th, 2005 by pottymouth

B. and I made a last-minute decision to spend yesterday afternoon on Managaha, which is a tiny island around ten minutes by boat from Saipan that a lot of tourists go out to visit. Managaha has gorgeous white beaches and clear water that you would never know just by looking is hideously polluted with human feces. Anyway, it’s a really beautiful place, and we like to go there and pretend we’re on vacation every few weeks.

Managaha and all the other gorgeous beaches are polluted because Saipan has terrible waste management. Basically, the hotels which line the beaches here just dump sewage into the ocean. So here’s my review of the oceanic loo: Stunning. Just drop dead gorgeous. Perfect beach, water that’s about a hundred different shades of blue and green, and fish that come in more colors than your poor little brain can process. Too bad about the inevitable eventual cholera outbreak, though!

Photo Feature: The Hammer Museum

Posted in Los Angeles on November 19th, 2005 by jcn

The Hammer Museum (interior)

The Hammer Museum (interior)

The Hammer Museum (courtyard)

The Hammer Museum at UCLA is named after Armand Hammer the man, not the baking soda, but that does not affect the cleanliness of the toilets there. Though the museum itself is small (we only counted three exhibits when we were last there), they spared no expense on the loo which is on the far side of the second floor walkway surrounding a lovely courtyard. The weather is always wonderful in Los Angeles, and the open air walk to the toilet is made even more lovely by this fact. Once inside, the men’s room is arranged and lit spectacularly.

bathroom at Godfather’s, Saipan, USA

Posted in Saipan on November 17th, 2005 by pottymouth

Hawaiian shirt Friday. Only we’re in the tropics, so we’ve also got Hawaiian shirt Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as well as Hawaiian shirt weekends. And the Hawaiian shirts are just called ‘shirts.’ Well, they’re called Aloha shirts. They should be called Hafa Adai shirts, because Hafa Adai is how people say Aloha out here.

Me, I’m wearing a camo skirt and plain green shirt. My boss noticed the camo skirt and said ‘You’re wearing a camo skirt!’ and I said, ‘Supporting the troops. Got to support the troops.’ This led us into another discussion about how bizarre this whole Iraq war is.

Speaking of which – Jarhead is a good movie. OK, so nothing happens. But it’s riveting. At least I think it is. I don’t find it to be anti-soldier at all, either. Anti-government, yes, but rightly so, and here’s part of why I think that. One night at a bar called Godfather’s I met a guy who works as a merchant marine, and he told me that after the tsunami last year he and his ship were sent off the coast of Aceh to do relief work. They boated out to Aceh and anchored (is that the word?) two miles from the shore, where they waited for instructions from the government about what to do next. The instructions came about a month later: turn around and go home. That was their relief work.

So last night I was at Godfather’s with a friend and we were having a drink and some pizza (me) and salad (she) and catching up since we’ve both been off-island recently, she in Hawaii and me in Osaka. A guy from another military ship that’s in town came up and started talking to us. He sat on my side of the booth and said his name was Rxxx (to protect privacy), but that he hated that name. He said that his mother was in love with a Panamanian guy named Rxxx, and had an affair with this guy, and that he was this guy’s son. His father isn’t his father, he said. So one day he went to Panama to see Rxxx and found him selling peeled oranges by the side of the road for ten cents each. Rxxx said to the guy that he’d come to meet him, and that he was his father. And then he never finished the story because he started telling us about his beautiful lesbian aunt who lives in New York and by the time I remembered that Rxxx never finished telling us what happened in Panama I was at home in bed.

The bathroom part of the story: both my friend and I had to use the bathroom but neither of us wanted to leave the other because we didn’t want to leave the other alone with Rxxx, who was a nice guy and not at all dangerous seeming or anything, just seemed like someone who could talk for a while. (Actually, I would have left my friend, but Rxxx was sitting on my side of the booth and I couldn’t get out.)

When we did, at last, get to the bathroom, we found it to be as it always is: it’s a single person bathroom that’s surprisingly clean for a bar bathroom, and it’s got soap,TP, and paper towels. There’s one of those huge Calvin Klein jeans posters featuring the guy from Limp Biscuit (I think) that’s been in this bar’s bathroom for a few years now, even before the bar was called Godfather’s and when it was still called Beefeater’s. There are plastic flowers in the bathroom, too. It’s a nice touch.

Wagamama – Leicester Square, WC1

Posted in London on May 24th, 2003 by hotwater

This loo is falling apart.

Tasty food, cheap food and attractive waitstaff are the reasons we love Wagamama. But with long lines, big bowls of soup and free green tea, the loos in this joint take on a new level of importance. Like the many other Wagamama restaurants in London, the Leicester Square location has simple and sleek design. However, when this loo-goer went to check out the facilities she was shocked to be confronted with a disgusting mess. No paper was available, it took a good 5 minutes before the automatic sinks would recognize her existence and most frightening of all, the ceiling looked brown and waterlogged, threatening to collapse at any moment. Needless to say, this stressful episode put a bit of a damper on my similarly brown and waterlogged buckwheat noodles.

Taja – Whitechapel Road, E1

Posted in London on May 24th, 2003 by hotwater

This loo smells like curry.

Erected in 1893, says the White Chapel Works stone outside of the trendy Taja curry house. This little Indian restaurant is in a building that actually once was a public lavatory. Now, however, it exists as a psychedelically painted restaurant that stands oddly away from the main strip of stores and close to the street. The inside of this old loo has been gutted and redesigned. There is room only for a couple of tables and thankfully the open kitchen area allows you to see most of your food being prepared. What is lacking in food quality is made up for by the odd sensation of knowing you are dining in style where almost a century of Englishmen have come to relieve themselves. That, and venturing to the loo within a loo, which is more than satisfactory with nice smelling soap and pleasant d├ęcor.

Busaba eathai – Wardour Street, W1

Posted in London on May 24th, 2003 by hotwater

This loo is posessed.

There was something wrong in the busaba eathai loo the day I was there. The automatic faucets in the sink were turning on and off of their own accord, shooting irregular bursts of water into the too general direction of the basin and when I arrived a woman in her 30’s was cringing in the corner.

“This loo’s crazy,” she muttered as I tried the first stall.

The door was extremely heavy and at first I thought the stall was occupied. I persisted, however, and slowly the door opened.

Wide-eyed, the woman said “Blimey[sic], I thought they were all full…for so… long…”

I had to switch to another stall, this time with paper, and rushed to get out of the tomb-like space as fast as possible. When I came out, the faucets were silent. There was plenty of soap and the rest of my loo experience was uneventful. As I mounted the stairs back to my pumpkin curry, I could hear a man’s surprised exclamation and a woman’s apologetic panic. The ladies’ is the first door on the left.