You gotta go, even if you don't have to go.
January 2, 2020 1:21 PM   Subscribe

The urinals at Old Town are a thing, as well.
posted by phooky at 1:33 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

Not nearly as pretty, and only accessible for people with penises, but in Brussels there are public, practically open-air urinals installed right on the outside wall of St Catherine Church, and for someone raised Catholic Lite (ie, Episcopal), there is a heady sense of empowerment and transgression just openly peeing on a church like that.
posted by solotoro at 1:33 PM on January 2 [4 favorites]

For me it will always be the famous Boulder Pass pit toilet.
posted by Cezar Golescu at 1:49 PM on January 2 [6 favorites]

The most impressive toilets I've encountered are the men's urinals in the Princess Louise in Holborn, London. The marble urinals and tiled WC are mentioned in their Grade II heritage listing.
posted by thecjm at 1:53 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

My daughter got to use the bathroom in the reception area at Buckingham Palace when we took the public tour there a few years ago. I asked her how it felt to sit upon the throne of England, but she didn't get the joke.
posted by briank at 1:54 PM on January 2 [8 favorites]

Impressive for an entirely different reason is the single washroom at The Pig and the Lady in Honolulu's Chinatown.

The entire washroom is a shrine to Big Trouble in Little China.
posted by thecjm at 1:56 PM on January 2 [6 favorites]

When I was going to school in Shanghai in the 90s, I used to make special excursions to use the lobby restrooms in the Peace Hotel (former Sassoon Hotel) on the waitan. My dormitory was standard shared squatters, which were fine but every now and then being able to sit down and do my business in the clean, quiet, historic environs of the Peace Hotel was a transcendent experience. Two thumbs up, highly recommend.
posted by soren_lorensen at 2:03 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

My favorites: 1. The restrooms at Radio City Music Hall are stunning; it’s worth taking a tour if only to see both Men’s and Women’s. 2. Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, has restrooms whose entry is a living wall and the individual rooms are spacious, round and magnificently accessible.
posted by kinnakeet at 2:05 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

The restrooms at Felix Restaurant are pretty awesome. From the urinals that have you pissing over one of the great views of HK, to the tomb like marble stalls that have you sticking your finger into a very deep hole to flush - the whole thing has a sense of luxury, fun, and a bit of fuck you attitude all for the price of a quick elevator trip.
posted by helmutdog at 2:20 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

So many beautiful spaces, almost all of them inaccessible to women. Though I suppose it almost makes up for the huge Ladies Lounges in the women's bathrooms in some grand old hotels.

Meanwhile, that two-story outhouse raises far more questions than it answers.
posted by Mchelly at 2:45 PM on January 2 [9 favorites]

Valletta's Strait Street toilet named 'the best in Europe' [designed by Chris Briffa]

[just don't drop your harmonica in there....]
posted by chavenet at 3:06 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

a-also, the urinals at the São Jorge Cinema in Lisbon are a thing of beauty
posted by chavenet at 3:08 PM on January 2

The urinal at the Hotel Royalton is quite clever.

Though it wasn't a functioning bathroom, I'm always surprised at how John Whiteman's Divisible by 2 has basically disappeared from design discussions - especially considering how eerily prescient is was about agendered bathroom paranoia (shortly after it was finished, the project was destroyed by a firebomb, but a culprit was never identified, so the motive was unresolved).
posted by 99_ at 3:11 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

One of the nicest views was the old pit toilet on Mt. Whitney at 14,500 feet on the roof of California. Just a seat in open air over a pit and a 1000 foot cliff dropping off in front of you.

But it has been removed and now you have to pack out your waste.
posted by JackFlash at 3:20 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

The cliff toilets at the base of Kilimanjaro's summit cone also have a gorgeous view and are agender
posted by bl1nk at 3:27 PM on January 2

I greatly enjoyed this sculpture at Burning Man a while back - especially because most of the people I encountered climbing around it hadn't twigged that it was a giant urinal
posted by mbo at 4:08 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]

only accessible for people with penises, but [...] there is a heady sense of empowerment and transgression just openly peeing on a church like that.

grab your favorite pee funnel or STP prosthetic and make your dreams come true!
posted by gaybobbie at 4:11 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]

Years ago I took a famous European rock star (in his own mind) to the men’s room at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, where you just stood and micturated into a waterfall. He declined the experience.
posted by njohnson23 at 4:58 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

Also worthy of mention: The Madonna Inn.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:59 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

As someone who is mostly familiar with Keith Haring from upbeat clip art, this was enlightening.
posted by jordemort at 5:05 PM on January 2

Came for the Madonna Inn, was not disappointed.
posted by panama joe at 5:05 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

I used to work in a pretty bonkers private residence. Please enjoy the italian marble shitter with actual gold-leaf toilet seat.
posted by workerant at 5:14 PM on January 2 [5 favorites]

In Boston in the early 90s, the swanky Ritz-Carlton Hotel had one of the only public restrooms downtown--since the gold-leafed walls, marble sinks and ginormous floral arrangements made their bathroom was infinitely swankier than the public library's, it was my preferred pit stop. (NOTE: I don't think they INTENDED it to be public, but it was in the basement just under the main entrance--no one could tell if you'd come there from the street or the dining room.)
posted by pangolin party at 5:16 PM on January 2

Please enjoy the italian marble shitter with actual gold-leaf toilet seat.

Love the ordinary box of Kleenex on the back. Stars are just like us!
posted by pangolin party at 5:18 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]

Yes to the Madonna Inn... finally!

But also the Storkespringvandet Public Toilets in Plaza Amagertorv in Copenhagen.
posted by sjswitzer at 5:18 PM on January 2

Somewhere I have a picture of the "Loo Of The Year" plaque in the ladies' room at the Tower of London café in April of 2001.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:18 PM on January 2

I'm really shocked that the Madonna Inn isn't on this list. If there's any bathroom that belongs on here, it's the one in the main building.
posted by rednikki at 6:19 PM on January 2

Counterpoint: The Worst Toilet in Scotland
posted by kirkaracha at 6:50 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

If you're ever in Osaka, and you decide to visit the Abeno Harukas building (300m observation deck, second-tallest observation deck in Japan) I strongly recommend visiting the bathroom while you're there.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 7:22 PM on January 2

There's a local restaurant with a disco bathroom. It's painted funky colors and when you flip the disco switch the light changes to a colored bulb, a disco ball starts turning and disco music starts playing. It's pretty great! (Or was. A quick search suggests the disco is down.)

My favorite place to pee was the pee-pee teepee, a canvas teepee style structure over a composting toilet in the Wallowas in Eastern Oregon. We cross-country skied out to these huts and stayed there for a few nights. There was a cooking tent, a sauna tent, sleeping tents and the toilet. You can do your business with the flap flung wide open, it faced the ridgeline which had enough of the grandeur of a little Swiss Alps to take your breath away.
posted by amanda at 7:43 PM on January 2

The Olympic Club in Centralia Washington has huge urinals (memorialized in paint! ) in the men's restroom and 12 faucets in the women's restroom. Local news story on the Only Club restrooms and 4 other neat toilets in Western Washington.
posted by vespabelle at 7:43 PM on January 2

Gotta mention the women's restrooms at the Columbia Tower Club, on the 76th floor of Seattle's tallest (for the moment) building. Each stall has its own commode, sink, and full-wall view east toward Lake Washington. Yes, I have eaten there for a team function, and one of my female co-workers snuck me in to see the restroom. This was pre-smartphone, so no photos of my own :(.
posted by lhauser at 8:25 PM on January 2

I got to use CBGB’s back in the day, so I figure I’ve used all my mythical restroom points for this lifetime.
posted by mykescipark at 8:27 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]

The best bathrooms ever are Chung Yo Department Store's themed restrooms. There's an aquarium theme! A Coca-Cola theme! A candy theme!
posted by storytam at 9:41 PM on January 2

I really enjoyed the restrooms at L’Avenue in Montreal. Their brunch is excellent too.
posted by terrapin at 5:14 AM on January 3

I just visited the one in Nashville last week - the hotel actually has a policy that Men and Women are allowed to go in the Men's room since it's so unique.

Restrooms are one of those things that are easy to not pay attention to, but it's amazing how many unique and odd restrooms there are out there. My son (almost 6) got really into YouTube Elevator, Escalator, and Toilet tours and we make it a point to go exploring anytime we travel to find interesting ones to see. We've been in restrooms of every color, size, and shape - toilets where the seats lift sideways, toilets facing each other with no stalls, ancient toilets that make funny noises.

Thank you for sharing this!
posted by mincus at 7:46 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]

I would have added the bathrooms that were in the Haagen-Dazs at the Dotonbori bridge in Osaka during the late '90s, which were like a psychedelic musical carousel, but sadly, it is no longer there anymore, and I can't even find pictures online.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:01 AM on January 3

This is an excellent post. I'm camping (side trip to for coffee & wifi) and any indoor toilet is swell right now.
posted by theora55 at 10:29 AM on January 3

Maybe this is a boring thing that everyone knows about now, but most memorable bathroom experience was in Portland's Rimsky-Korsakoffee House.
posted by naoko at 10:47 AM on January 3

mincus, I was also a young public bathroom enthusiast, and loved hearing about your kid!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:05 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

« Older I Am The Passenger   |   " freighted with both dread and grief. " Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments