Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

The Providores and Tapa Room – Marylebone High Street, W1

Posted in London on May 24th, 2003 by jcn

Entering the gents at The Providores and Tapa Room is to find an establishment that truly appreciates its loos. Dark walls give way to a gleaming porcelain urinal resting on the wall, a single spotlight trained down upon it. One can not help but take pause and admire the simplicity of the loo, sinks on the left with space enough for someone to wash while another is relieving himself, with this vision of plumbing as the focus of the room. Caution must be taken when actually utilizing the facilities, however, as the moment one approaches the urinal, he will cast his own shadow over it, severly hindering the usefulness of the illumniation.

Those uncomfortable without full visibility might consider using the stall instead.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Posted in New York on February 14th, 2002 by jcn

As can be expected, the portable loos provided backstage at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week event in New York’s Bryant Park are a cut above other portable restroom facilities. Upon entering the unit, an overhead light is illumniated, activated by standing on the soft, carpeted floor. Simultaneously, an “occupied” sign is lit outside the loo, to avoid the door-handle-jiggle (with its often-accompanied accidental-opening) which is common with the standard red/green occupancy indicator.

The flushing mechanism of this toilet is also quite unique in that there actually is one. Upon completing one’s business, a foot-operated lever is pressed and the bottom drops out of the toilet bowl, depositing its contents into the holding tank below. Release the lever and the trap-door shuts again. Neat and clean.

Additional features of the loo include a working sink, a fan to keep the air circulating, a heater for proper climate control. All in all, the perfect treat after a grueling walk down the runway.

The Bathroom At My Office – 32nd Street

Posted in New York on January 3rd, 2002 by jcn

The bathroom on my floor as work is accessible only with a key, which serves to prevent the unwashed masses from using the facilites that are reserved for the unwashed privileged folks who need to pee in the course of a normal, coffee-fueled work day.

The men’s bathroom has both a standard urinal as well as a toilet in a stall. The first thing that should be noted about the stall is that it faces the door to the bathroom, which means that if the stall door happened to be open when another person entered the bathroom, then the first thing that said person would see would be the toilet stall. This does not seem like so much of a concern except to realize that there is no handle on the door to stall, requiring the occupant of the stall to pull the door shut by grasping on to the top edge of the door and pulling in closed. It is not always the case that the occupants of my floor have accomplished this task and on numerous occassions I have entered the bathroom to be confronted by more of my floormates than I ever would like to.

Assuming one is finally able to enter the stall (and pulls the door shut, as is only appropriate in such situations) one would note that the walls are rather narrow around the toilet. Looking down, one would note that there are ten and a half tiles between the walls. At two inches each, the stall measures just under two feet wide. While sitting on the toilet and feeling claustrophobic (escaping the stress of the work day) one is reminded of the story of William Taft who was so fat that he got stuck in the White House bathtub. One would consider this image (with a particularly large gentleman being stuck in a too-narrow toilet stall) amusing. One would be correct in this assessment.

The bathroom itself is fairly nice, being cleaned every day by a professional cleaning who replace the toilet paper and soap and urinal cakes on a semi-regular basis. There is, however, no hot water coming out fo the sink, shut off either to protect the folks at work from hurting themselves or to save money. The soap in the dispensers is of a particularly high quality (for public-ish soap), including just a touch of moisturizer and scent, it would appear. The paper towel dispenser is always stocked and contains product at least an entire step up from the brown paper towels of elementary school days of old.

Riverside Park – bottom level at 105th Street

Posted in New York on July 23rd, 2001 by pottymouth

If I believed in a benevolent omniscient omnipotent being, I’d thank him or her heartily for this wonderful bathroom. Somehow, despite being in a public park, this 2-stall loo manages to be clean (more or less, leaning toward more) stocked with toilet paper, a sink, soap, and paper towels. In an agnostic world it’s hard to know who to thank for this miracle, except for maybe the people who run the really nice little outdoor cafe adjacent to said wonderful bathroom. In fact, I have only one complaint about this bathroom: it’s only open during the summer, like the cafe. Hear my plea, Mister or Ms Park Tender, give us our delightful facilities year round. Please?

Loews Cineplex – 84th and Broadway

Posted in New York on July 21st, 2001 by pottymouth

If I didn’t mind pee all over the seat, this would be one fine multi-stall loo in this multi-screen moo-vie theater. However, I do mind pee all over toilet seats, and so despite the ample amounts of TP provided by the good people of the Loews Cineplex on 84th and B’Way, I give this bathroom a hearty YUCK.

Show World – 42nd Street and 8th Ave

Posted in New York on June 28th, 2001 by pottymouth

I was at this porn palace in order to see a very avant garde series of one act plays being put on by Zoetrope, Francis Ford Coppolla’s literary magazine. I tell you this because I don’t want anyone thinking that this site is written by the sorts of persons who are so secure in their intellectual, professional, heterosexual identities that they go visit strip clubs and then tell everyone about it under the guise of it being an ‘experience worth deconstructing’ or any such drivel. I don’t care to participate in the intellectual, professional, heterosexual co-opting of seamy things, no I don’t.

There was no sex at all going on at the Show World I visited; it was, as I say, a series of completely sexless one act plays I came for. Well, the plays weren’t completely sexless- the 5 I saw were all about how relationships between people who love each other (or should) get screwed up, by convention and its bearing down on the interaction of two individuals, by preconceived ideas about how two men in a bar should begin to relate, by a narrator who speaks out loud the story he’s imagining is the life of two people eating brunch. They may have dealt with issues of sex and sexuality, but there was no actual nudity on stage the night of my visit to Show World. Well, there was one suggestion of nudity, and the beginning of sex, but nothing lewd occurred, anyhow. Let’s put it this way: no one got turned on by what was on stage. Bit of a shame about that, though the plays were actually quite good. And the theater itself was sort of neat, too. It was red and black with art deco-y patterns made of pieces of mirrors all over the walls and ceiling. Those I was there with (no, I don’t make a habit of going to porn shops on 8th Ave and 42nd Street alone, thank you very much) and I enjoyed the looks of the place for some time, which is really neither here nor there since this is a site about toilets, not about porn decor.

So let me get back to what I was meant to be writing about: the toilets of Show World, which I have to say, aren’t great. There wasn’t enough toilet paper (luckily I had some tissues in my bag), the hand drier didn’t work, the soap was a bit watery and not so nice smelling, and there was an unidentified liquid surrounding the base of the toilet which I’m afraid I may accidentally have splashed on my leg.

Acela – high-speed train from Boston to Washington, D.C., got on in NYC, off in Philly

Posted in New York on June 28th, 2001 by pottymouth

This train ride was a real treat. I was lucky- my law firm paid for me to sit in the business class section of the train, so I can’t (and won’t) comment on what the business classless lavatories might be like, but I will tell you this: the bathrooms I saw (and I saw a few, as I made it a point to visit three separate stalls during my 1.5 hour trip. You see, don’t you, why toilets interest me so?) were fantastic. They were large, had easily lockable doors, clean, colorful toilets and sinks, soap, paper which chafed not, and a choice (!) between paper towels and a hand drier. They even had little indicators on the outside of the door to let a person know whether another person was already occupying the stall the first person thought she might go and use, if no one minds. Though it’s neither here nor there (quite literally, since the train is almost constantly in motion, moving through any place that might be called a ‘place’ at such high speeds that I think it’s fair to say that the train is never ‘there,’ if you catch my drift), I do feel it worth mentioning that the whole train was a delight, from where I was sitting.

Alfredos – 49th Street between 5th and 6th Aves

Posted in New York on June 25th, 2001 by pottymouth

Someone’s job at this fancy place is to make sure no one ever has less than 3/4 of a glass of water, and so it is a very good thing that the bathrooms are so nice. They’ve got that kind of sexy lighting that makes a person think when looking in the mirror, “Oh, Baby, you’re so hot.” It also has plenty of soft TP and soap.

McDonalds – Route 1 South on the corner of Chesterfield Rd., East Lyme

Posted in Connecticut on June 25th, 2001 by pottymouth

This McDonalds has one of the classiest pee-spots of any Micky-Ds I’ve ever had the honor of defacing. A one-stall jobbie which was clean, tiled, had toilet paper (thin but quantiful), soap, hot water (that’s right- HOT WATER!), blow drier– this loo had it all. It even had as its caretaker a lovely older man who was more than willing to discuss with us McD’s legal troubles pertaining to the very bad corporate decision to include bits of cow in the french fries and then not only not disclose said quite-non-vegetarian flavoring, but to advertise the fries as if they were vegetarian by proclaiming on large signs and other printed matter “Fries Are Fried in 100% Vegetable Oil.” I mean, come on, at the very least there ought to have been an asterisk which tempered this statement with an: “However, Fries Are Coated In Something Quite The Opposite of 100% Vegetable Oil.” Really.

Eatery – 53rd Street and 9th Ave

Posted in New York on June 25th, 2001 by pottymouth

Apparently Ice T (the rapper) comes to eat here a lot (or at least my friend Sharon claims to have run into him there twice). This is apropos of nothing, except that Iced Tea (the drink) tends to make one have to pee a lot, and at Eatery, Ice T has to pee from drinking Iced Tea, or so Sharon claims. The loos are trendy like the restaurant staff– attractive, black-clad, and yet, still, accessible, somehow. The loos have in them stone sinks which, like the restaurant staff, are a little hard to figure out, but which look neat all t

[the rest of this review was lost]