Portable toilets are always set up for major events, such as the Thanksgiving
and St Patrick's Day parades. Bring your own handiwipes or Purell.
Even if someone tells you that their restroom is for customers or guests only,
if you're nicely dressed, well behaved, polite, or pregnant, it's unlikely
you'll be turned away.
However, if you're in an area where there are no hotels or big department
stores and only small shops, be smart. Go into a coffee shop, buy a cup of
coffee or a soda and then ask for the restroom. Or, head for a bar.
Bartenders are a lot less snippy about the restroom search than maitre d's and
Most Barnes and Noble bookstores and Starbucks have clean bathrooms... .with
some you need a key. So do the Off-Track Betting parlors, if you don't mind
less-than-chic crowd. All of the city's hospitals have public bathrooms near
If worse comes to worse, look for a construction site.. you'll undoubtedly
a portable toilet.
Starting at 42nd St and heading north or uptown...
Grand Central Station, 42nd St at Park Av. The station is being renovated, but
the men's room is basically OK; women's room still under construction. Women
(and men, too) will prefer the restrooms on the upper level of the Grand Hyatt
Hotel,right next door at 42nd & Lexington Av. Problem: Recently, the hotel
requires that you have a room key to use these restrooms, located behind
the bank of elevators. Solution: If this happens to you, take the elevator to
level C - Conference level - where there are plenty of spacious, clean
Also along 42nd St, going east heading toward 1st Au, the Helmsley Hotel and
the old Hotel Tudor.
The New York Public Library. Use the entrance on 42nd St between 5th and
for the Ladies' Reom, which is basic but clean. Ask directions for the men's.
Bryant Park. On 42nd St between 5th and 6th Avs, just behind the NY Public
Libraiy; this Beaux-Arts public facility is kept clean by an attendant,
employed by the Grand Central Partnership.
The Roosevek Hotel, 45th and Madison, has just reopened after a beautiflil
restoration. Restrooms on the main and mezzanine levels.
The Shopping Atrium, 575 5th Av at 47th St. The public space on the lower
has two unisex toilets, complete with benches and a waterfall.
Saks Fifth Avenue. between 49th and 50th Sts. Ladies' is on the fourth floor;
men's is on the sixth.
Liz Claiborne, 5th at 54th St. Two unisex bathrooms on the second level.
Takashimaya 5th Av at 54th St. Men's and women's rooms on lower level behind
the tea room.
St Regis Hotel, just east of 5th Av at 55th St. Men's and women's rooms on
lower level; very elegant.
Henri Bendel, 712 5th Av near 55th St. Lovely and spacious. Individual stalls
have toilets and sinks.
Peninsula Hotel 5th Av at 55th St. (Entrance is on 55th.) Walk up center
staircase to lobby level; additional restrooms near restaurants.
Niketown, 5th Av at 57th St. Bathrooms on third floor.
Trump Tower. 5th Av between 57th and 58th St. Restrooms on the garden level,
which is actually downstairs, past the news stand and the Tower Records store.
Warner Bros Store. 5th Av at 57th St. Third floor has several; the women's
has a diaper changing area.
Bergdorf Goodman 5th Av at 58th St. On the seventh floor.
Plaza Hotel. 5th Av at 59th St. Go in on the Central Park South side;
are downstairs, near the Oak Bar.
The Ritz-Cariton Hotel. Just west of 6th Av on 5~h St, has its public
hidden away on the upper level. Simply walk up one flight of stairs to the
of the main lobby
Above 59th St.
Polo Ralph Lauren. 867 Madison Av near 72nd St. Head for the basement for
private, beautifully-tiled rooms.
Mark Hotel. 77th St between 5th & Madison Av. Up the staircase on the left,
Stanhope Hotel, 5th Av at 81st St. In a recessed area to the right of the
desk, heading back toward the cockail lounge.
Claremont Stables, 175 W 89th St. About the only place within Central Park
that's decent; basic but clean.