Astor Place, 6 Train
We have already Untapped the mystery of some public bathrooms in New York City, but we’re still curious about the ones you can find in many subway stations. Out of NYC’s 468 subway stations, only 129 of them claim to have restrooms. With the help of YouTube user Eron Watt, we’ve verified that only 48 of these lavatories were unlocked. The rest of these appear to be locked, repurposed for storage, or converted into convenient newsstands like the one shown below. Here’s the dirty low-down on what awaits you behind the few unlocked doors of subway bathrooms.
So, it seems that there are three ultimate fates for the city’s restrooms. Firstly those that remain in use, albeit in a disheveled state, were documented by our friend Eron Watt whose quest to document NYC’s subway bathrooms stretched five years, from 2009 to 2014.
After reaching out to him when discovering his video, he responded “I started searching the internet to see if the NYC Subway System had and still has restrooms that are open for the public. I had this crazy idea of making the first video on the internet that showed many of the restrooms of a subway system.”
14th Street, between the 1/2/3 and the F/L
He also said he was surprised to hear the news of a man dying while relieving himself between moving cars and one who died while doing the same on the third rail. He writes, “Those guys would have been alive today if they saw this video. Oh well.” Eron also put together the above subway map of the 45 bathrooms he visited up until 2012, including an additional 3 rooms on this updated map released in 2014. This guy knows subway bathrooms.
The second fate for NYC subway restrooms are the ones that have been repurposed. Some transit workers are currently using using former stalls as locker rooms, equipment stock, or other general storage. Many of these rooms are now unmarked and a lot of them remain locked. You can spot these rooms rather easily, as they often have two parallel doors (presumably former male/female restrooms).
The Times Square bathroom is manned by an actual person and there’s a “5 minute time limit”:
Finally, many bathrooms in the NYC subway have been completely remodeled and changed into newsstands, and other retail spots. The one shown above in Astor Place is a full fledged subway newsstand!
More scatological fun: check out the coolest and quirkiest public bathrooms in New York City. Also check out the maps of subway stations that have Wi-Fi and the best coffee shops in the vicinity of each subway station in Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens. Get in touch with the author @uptownvoice.