Gotta go? NYC’s best free public loos, according to TikTok

It’s been some New Yorkers’ No. 1 concern for ages: Where do you go if you actually gotta go? 

For Teddy Siegel, the town’s dire lack of public loos got here to a head this previous July, whereas she was purchasing in Times Square after guzzling an iced espresso. 

“I’ve always had an extremely small bladder so being in the city has always been extremely anxiety-inducing for me,” the 22-year-old graduate pupil instructed The Post. “I was on the verge of peeing myself.” 

She requested one retailer to use their toilet and was denied; finally she had to shell out for a $3 bottle of water to use a McDonald’s toilet. The buy stung of injustice, particularly when she realized the door was unlocked.

“I need my $3 a lot more than McDonald’s does,” she stated.

Siegel, who observed that the pandemic made it even more durable to pee in NYC as companies locked down their restrooms tighter, determined nobody ought to ever be stranded within the metropolis with a full bladder.

So, she began a TikTok account, Got2GoNYC, the place she’s itemizing free loos throughout the town and crowdsourcing recommendations on discovering extra. She’s develop into a leak leaker, too, liberating entry codes for customer-only loos, together with posting late-night choices and spots with free menstrual merchandise and altering tables.

Clearly lots of people got2go: The account has gained greater than 92,000 followers and the movies have racked up tens of millions of views. The feedback are stuffed with appreciative residents and vacationers praising the whiz child for saving their days. 

Teddy Siegel in front of her favorite public bathroom in the city, in Bryant Park.
Teddy Siegel in entrance of her favourite public toilet within the metropolis, in Bryant Park.
Tamara Beckwith

“Followed! We fly in Wednesday to elope, terrified of needing to pee in my wedding dress,” one commenter gushed. 

New Yorkers have lengthy tracked free public loos in numerous shared maps or by phrase of mouth, however Siegel, a Long Island native who lives in Gramercy, desires to do extra with the account. She’s driving the memes and lip syncs of the TikTok algorithm to name out the cruelty of denying folks, particularly unhoused New Yorkers, entry to essentially the most primary human want.

“It’s honestly so unacceptable that New York City is not taking care of the people who live here,” stated Siegel, including that as a younger white lady, she has it simpler than some others who’ve to beg for toilet entry. “It is kind of offensive being turned away from different places when you’re literally on the verge of going in your pants. It’s just not really something that people should have to deal with.” 

Exterior of the Harry Potter store
The Harry Potter retailer has a clear toilet.
Tamara Beckwith

The Big Apple is much from flush with loos, according to a 2020 report from the Urban Design Forum.

New York ranks a crappy eightieth out of 100 cities within the nation within the variety of locations to go in parks, libraries, subways and public areas per capita. Squeaky clear Washington, DC, has 3 times as many. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged in 2006 to set up 20 paid, self-cleaning bogs across the 5 boroughs; solely 5 have been put in, according to a report by the information web site the City. The remainder of the thrones sit mothballed in a warehouse in Queens.  

Lack of bathrooms, Siegel says, instantly leads to one other notorious New York City gripe: It smells like piss. And one other sizzling summer season is correct across the nook. 

“If they [the city] just came up with a different solution, they wouldn’t have to arrest people for public urination or have the city smell so horrendous,” stated Siegel, who has teamed up with the nonprofit ClearPath NYC to present an inventory of loos for homeless youth.

The NYPD wrote 571 summonses for public urination in 2019; that quantity really dropped up to now two years, when cops eased up on high quality of life enforcement through the pandemic. The difficulty hasn’t been wiped away, although: Complaints about public urination doubled from 2019 to 2021, according to 311 information. 

Siegel hopes the town will create a tax incentive for companies to open their loos to the public, or simply construct extra in public areas. Until then, she’ll preserve ingesting her iced coffees with new confidence.

“Sometimes I have to ration the amount I’m drinking until I know that there is a place that I can use the bathroom,” she stated. 

Here by location are Siegel’s favourite free loos within the metropolis.

Uptown 

1 of 3

West Elm bathroom
West Elm
Siegel loves West Elm's gender neutral bathrooms.
Siegel loves West Elm’s gender-neutral loos.
West Elm bathroom
The restroom at West Elm

West Elm, 1870 West Broadway 

West Elm has two very large gender-neutral bathrooms equipped with a changing table; great for dads. They also have a policy posted on the mirror that states that they sanitize the bathroom after each use,” Siegel stated of this favourite close to Central Park, Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center. 

Downtown 

1 of 2

Siegel snapping a selfie outside of the downtown Bloomingdale's.
Siegel snaps a pic exterior of the downtown Bloomingdale’s.
Siegel taking a selfie in the Bloomingdale's bathroom.
She says the lighting is nice within the Bloomgindale’s toilet.

Bloomingdale’s, 504 Broadway

“It’s my personal favorite, it’s always very clean and has great lighting for selfies — each mirror has its own long light. It’s just really aesthetically pleasing, the tile that’s in the bathroom is a really nice, calming shade of blue,” Siegel stated. Plus, “there’s a lot of stall options, so you don’t really have to wait very long.”

Midtown

1 of 2

The public bathrooms at Bryant Park are surprisingly well maintained.
The public loos at Bryant Park are surprisingly nicely maintained.
Bryant Park restrooms
The restrooms at Bryant Park.

Bryant Park public bathrooms 

“The Bryant Park bathrooms are the nicest I’ve ever been to,” Siegel stated. “They have classical music, fresh flowers, art on the walls and attendants who are constantly cleaning. They literally should be a tourist attraction.”

Brooklyn 

Siegel outside the Park Slope Barnes & Noble
Siegel stated the Barnes & Noble close to Prospect Park is a good place for a pit cease.
Tamara Beckwith

Barnes & Noble, 267 Seventh Ave., Park Slope 

Need a pit cease after making the loop round Prospect Park? Siegel known as this “the most reliable bathroom in Park Slope. Conveniently located near a Starbucks, for those who are lactose intolerant but dangerously addicted to whole milk caramel macchiatos.”

Queens

Steinway Library’s main entrance on 31st Street.
The newly redone Steinway Library boasts three brand-new loos, together with one that’s all-gender, single-occupant and ADA accessible.
Steinway Library

Queens Public Library at Steinway, 21-45 thirty first St., Ditmars Steinway

“Any public library will allow people to use their bathrooms!” Siegel stated. “Libraries are a nice calming environment to be in general [and they’re] usually pretty inclusive and welcoming.” This library is especially welcoming: It reopened earlier this yr after present process practically $5 million in renovations to improve the inside and make it extra accessible for these with disabilities.

Special mentions

 

The restroom at Harry Potter New York
The toilet at Harry Potter New York is no-frills, however the environment are pleasant.
Tamara Beckwith

Harry Potter New York, 935 Broadway 

“Sometimes the line to get into the building can be long, but if you go on a weekday you should be able to just walk right in,” Siegel suggested. The loos are “really big and gender-neutral, and there’s a sign in ‘Harry Potter’ font.”

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