In a city that prizes space so rapaciously, it’s really a shame how many establishments waste the real estate of the bathroom. So many people visit it, every day! Shouldn’t we aspire to something better than that generic “ambience” with the awful watery pink soap and scratchy toilet paper?
Here are seven of the quirkiest places that made more—a lot more—out of their commodes. Turns out that from Long Island City to Midtown to Prospect Heights, creative lavatories abound in NYC!
We’re pretty upset we missed this amazing coffee shop/motorcycle shop combination in our recent Top 10 Coffee Shops in Brooklyn for Design Buffs roundup. Jane Motorcycles opened up just five weeks ago on Grand Street in Williamsburg. It’s a nice balance of everything you want–coffee shop aesthetic, gallery-like display of motorcycles, gear to go, cool books, men’s grooming products, and chill owners.
Yesterday, Untapped reader Michael Pellas (via @History_Pics) shared with us this aerial photo of Manhattan in 1944 by Andreas Feininger. Feininger was a LIFE Magazine photographer whose work is hauntingly precise–so much so that it becomes art. It’s easy to see how is work as a practicing architect (and cabinet maker) influenced his aesthetic. In a glowing piece on him, LIFE wrote that he was one of the photographers whose images define New York City, “not merely how a great 20th century city looked, but how it imagined itself and its place in the world.”
This Gramercy Park spot, Pete’s Tavern, is one of the oldest bars in New York City–author O. Henry penned “The Gift of the Magi” in one of the booths.
On December 10, 1905, William Sidney Porter, under the pseudonym O. Henry, published a short story “The Gift of the Magi” in the magazine New York Sunday World. It later became part of his collection entitled The Four Million in 1906. Legend has it, the entire story was written in a booth one of the oldest bars in NYC, Pete’s Tavern–in only a few hours on one night. The building where the tavern is located has been around since 1829 but it was established in 1864.
We recently stopped by Rough Trade NYC, a new massive record shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that’s outfitted with cantilevered and stacked shipping containers. It’s the U.S. counterpart to the independent British store which has two locations in London. The 15,000 square foot space makes it the biggest record shop in the city. Like in London, Rough Trade NYC is much more than just a music retailer. Focused on an experiential atmosphere, there’s a full stage and concert venue, a coffee counter with food by Greenpoint favorite Five Leaves, an exhibition space, a place to create and DJ music yourself, a bookstore and even ping pong tables!