This LibGuide humbly aims to provide informative resources for one of the most pressing modern mysteries: the location of public restrooms in New York. We envision that this guide will assist all New Yorkers in finding public restrooms; additional resources for homeless library patrons are included.
While finding a bathroom may seem like a simple task, the ramifications for not finding one can include: discomfort, the undue economic burden of purchasing items for restroom access, and potential legal ramifications. Given the threat of legal entanglement – and our attention to servicing all members of the New York public – we have included maps and information about local legislation and building codes to empower users to know their bathroom rights. Libraries and parks are often assumed to be the only public restrooms, but the included maps highlight public restrooms that often mask their accessibility, including Privately Owned Public Spaces (P.O.P.S.) which are awarded subsidies in exchange for public access. In addition to maps and building codes, we have also included histories about public restrooms in New York and the symbolic role of public restrooms in American social movements.
We hope you find these resources useful as you navigate the city!
George Costanza's guide to New York bathrooms. From "The Busboy," episode 12 of Seinfeld season 2.