Congratulations to the Seahawks and Broncos. Their fans are happily scrambling for Super Bowl tickets, flights and hotel rooms. If you’re heading to NY/NJ for the festivities, I’d like to address the issue that strikes fear in the hearts of travelers everywhere. What do you do when someone in your party screams, “I gotta go!!!”
When the kids were little, this cry from the backseat would set off a complex chain of events that once resulted in a wrong-way detour down a one-way street to access a Johnny-on-the-Spot on a construction site. Mothers become experts at gauging, to the minute, how much time they have to locate a restroom based on a child’s gyrations and the urgency of their whine.
Walking around in cold weather generally increases my need to pee. If your physiology is similar and you’re wondering about the facilities in NY, rest assured. The main areas where tourists assemble in midtown are blessed with an abundance of clean, free, public restrooms. Any large department store, museum, chain restaurant, park, or transit hub offers a place to lounge. Just avoid independent restaurants – most have placards that indicate “Restrooms for Patrons Only” and they mean it. You will not be welcome. New Yorkers are friendly, but we have our limits. Don’t test them.
If you’re off the beaten path (and I encourage you to wander, particularly if this isn’t your first trip to NY) Charmin has an app/website called Sit or Squat. Type in your location and a map appears populated with green (sit – clean) and red (squat – you don’t need details, correct?) toilet paper rolls, based on information supplied by the public.
If you’re really desperate and considering public relief, ask a uniformed NYPD officer. They would prefer to direct you to a nearby facility rather than face the unpleasant task of arresting you.