Flush with pride!
July 2, 2010 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Where Is the Best Throne in New York? This year, two bathrooms in the city — the one in Bryant Park and the one at the Muse Hotel — have been nominated for the best bathrooms in the country. New York has yet to make it to the winner’s circle in the nine years that the Cincinnati-based Cintas Corporation has run the contest. Any restroom in the United States that is open to the public is eligible. Last year, the loo in the Shoji Tabuchi Theater in Branson, Mo., earned top honors. But this year, New York City has a chance to flush the competition, which will be determined by popular vote.

This is only the second year that the Big Apple has made the cut.

The toilets at Radio City Music Hall were among the finalists last year, but did not win.

Other contenders are the Rivue Restaurant & Lounge in Louisville, Ky.; the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City; the Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne, Ind.; The Fountain on Locust in St. Louis; Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kan.; the Santa Monica pier in California; Joe's Farm Grill in Gilbert, Ariz.; and the China Grill at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
posted by Fizz (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
posted by mkb at 9:38 AM on July 2, 2010

Those are pretty impressive bathrooms. Almost a shame to use them.

That said, the highest value characteristic I find in a bathroom is single occupancy.
posted by DU at 9:39 AM on July 2, 2010 [5 favorites]

A friend used to run a New York toilet blog(!). I can't seem to find it though.
posted by grobstein at 9:39 AM on July 2, 2010

Port-o-potty fake out! Hysterical!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:46 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Port-o-potty fake out! Hysterical!

Like a cross between the Tardis and the wardrobe from 'The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.' Journey to a magical land....
posted by ennui.bz at 10:01 AM on July 2, 2010 [3 favorites]

new york is the worst city to try and find any public bathroom, let alone a 'beautiful" one. i have like a 45 second window of opportunity, once i feel the urge. it's complicated.
posted by billybobtoo at 10:01 AM on July 2, 2010

wait - where the hell are there public bathrooms in bryant park? i've always had to use the closet-sized one at the wholefoods-wannabe market on 41st...
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:07 AM on July 2, 2010

Okay, so I've always been a proponent of Starbuckses (Stabucksi? Starbucksen?) popping up over NYC for one simple fact: free, clean(ish) public bathrooms.

A number of years ago, a few friends of mine and I are on the bathroom line at a Starbucks on the Lower East Side. There's a young woman ahead of us all, next in line. We've all been waiting for much longer than one would for a public bathroom. The young woman knocks on the door and there's a muffled voice, a flush, the standard hold-your-horses,-I'm-getting-off-the-can noises. The door flies open and out bursts a man who has very clearly -- clearly enough that the glass pipe and lighter in his hand is redundant evidence -- just smoked a whole bunch of crack. Huge smile on his face and he bolts out of the shop. With a bit of hesitation the young woman walks into the bathroom, closes the door behind her and comes out about a half-minute later later. She turns to us with equal frustration and resignation: "you ... don't want to go in there." We end up trekking it to the Whole Foods nearby.
posted by griphus at 10:15 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Harrumph. That's not even the best bathroom in Louisville. This is.

...and that Branson theatre link gave me a headache.
posted by Mcable at 10:17 AM on July 2, 2010

Port-o-potty fake out! Hysterical!

God, now I want that in my future house. Along with the fireman's pole that leads to the ballpit.
posted by SNWidget at 10:27 AM on July 2, 2010

At long last, this may finally put New York on the map.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 10:28 AM on July 2, 2010 [5 favorites]

This reminds me of a mall that was built right by the train station near where I used to work in Japan. When it opened, they had a flyer advertising their various themed washrooms on every floor of the mall. My co-workers and I attempted to try them all out and report back on which were the faves. Floors 2 and 3 were particularly nice.

So I did a quick google search, and what do I find? Behold: The Toilet Guide of Lusca Odawara! This place has got my vote as the #1 spot for a #2--they were actually as clean as shown in the pictures.
posted by Kirk Grim at 10:35 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

[...]popular vote.

Don't you mean POOPULAR vote? Why yes I'm ashamed.
posted by JHarris at 10:36 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

I dunno. The Muse Hotel is hideous. All of it. Better luck next year, NYC.
posted by xod at 10:42 AM on July 2, 2010

I suppose fancy-schmancy has its place, but for me the throne at home is always the best. Smooth hardwood seat, the latest Vanity Fair... Ah, now there's perfect happiness.
posted by longsleeves at 11:04 AM on July 2, 2010

The lobby bathroom of the Plaza Hotel. I once snorted some coke in there with my GF and it was a great place for it. All black marble flooring, black and white tile, and mirrors.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:14 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best bathroom is so subjective. Here are the metrics that are important to me:

Humorous decal I can pee on in the urinal (Osama Bin Laden and GWBush are both acceptable).

A selection of quality reading material near the throne. Reader's Digest is surprisingly, er, facilitative, and that crap never goes out of date. Absolutely no newspapers, that's just gross.

Free flowing toilet paper roll. Don't make me tear off a square at a time. Trust me. And you'll feel confident trusting me if you have....

Toilet suction like a jet engine. It should be capable of sucking down a pug without a hitch. Small children should be barred from its vicinity.

A shelf next to the throne to put my cell phone, and a hook on the door. Which should be floor to ceiling, by the way.

A basket of high quality paper towels on the vanity, and somebody to wipe down said vanity every 15 minutes. Dripping hands don't care about the quality of the marble, and puddles form, which, because it's a bathroom, are disgusting.

IR on/off for EVERYTHING. I don't want to have to touch anything, and that includes the door on the way out, so put it on a swinging hinge I can push open with my foot.

An anteroom that gives me an extra five seconds to make sure the barn door is closed.

And finally, an antique bathroom upright scale, like in the Union League bathroom in Philly. That is genius. When you're dropping A LOT OF KIDS off at the pool, before and after weights are just good info to have. What? What do you tweet about?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:38 AM on July 2, 2010 [3 favorites]

The best public bathroom is secret yet available to all, therefore no bathroom nominated for this award can possibly deserve to win it.

The best bathroom I've ever know was in the geography department of my university. It was always empty, because who takes geography anymore?, and the insides of the stalls were plastered with interesting and educational maps (The Mongol's path through Eurasia). Man, I miss it.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:41 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

i have to question these two choices. you cant just walk into Radio City and use the bathroom. best bets are hotels and big stores. of course, if you are pregnant or with little kids, some restaurants will let you use their loos as well.
posted by liza at 11:52 AM on July 2, 2010

They should just ask George Costanza for his opinion.
posted by gyc at 2:00 PM on July 2, 2010

For me, the bathroom I compare every other bathroom to is the bathroom at the tourist attraction/stadium I work at:

• I have never waited in line as there are enough stalls/urinals.

• It is always clean, you don't have to touch anything (the in/out doors can be easily pushed with your foot).

• The soap leaves your hands feeling cleaning.

• The IR sensors for the sinks, toilets, soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers, etc. all work without flaw every single time.

• The paper towel dispenser is not greedy.

• It is well lit.

The only thing I could hope for more are taller dividers between the urinals.
posted by 47triple2 at 11:00 PM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

all I care about is not getting a free wash when I flush while still seated. that's just awful.
posted by krautland at 4:00 AM on July 3, 2010

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