When ya just gotta do the #2 in NYC!


It’s inevitable. You are out and about in NYC. Shopping, sightseeing, at a restaurant, relaxing in Central Park, stuck waiting on a subway platform, having drinks in a bar, or just walking around the city streets. It comes on all of a sudden. That feeling from deep inside. You feel the pressure building. Your body informs you that it is time whether you like it or not. Doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing. Your body betrays you. You try to pretend it’s not there. This is not happening. Not – Right – Now!  You panic as you realize there is no place close by to go. You need instant relief. You start to get all flushed as the sweat perspires on your body. You shake and shimmy to hold it in. There is no recourse. No time to wait. The #2 is gonna happen whether you are ready or not.

Time to drop off the kids at the pool! Time to lay some cable! Time to pinch a loaf!



Hey, we have all been there at one time or another. It’s a natural fact of life that one must relieve themselves on a regular basis. It happens to be a conundrum we all face living in NYC, and also a dilemma we all secretly fear when it comes to being forced to poop when out in public. How come it always seems to happen right after leaving your apartment? Or worse yet, when getting on a long subway ride? Or a woman’s worst nightmare – when out on a hot date! Problem is when in comes to NYC there are a blatant lack of usable public bathrooms to service the millions of people who live and work here. Many a time it becomes a race for survival as we scurry around in blind terror trying to find a toilet!

33638067Let’s start with the obvious. Make a dash into the nearest Starbucks and hope they have a bathroom open to the public. Most do, and many times there is always a line of people waiting for it. Not good if you are on the point of explosion. Still, there are so many of these locations you can usually find one to use. I refer to Starbucks as the “unofficial NYC toilet” as you really don’t even have to make a purchase to use them. Just be aware that everyone knows this and their bathrooms can be on the “unkempt to nasty abomination” side at times.

Yet, what to do when none are nearby? Well, if you have a membership at New York Sports Clubs to use all of the locations these are a great spot to go. If you are in the midtown area Macy’s is a decent choice but never use the lower lever bathrooms. They are pretty much disgusting and really should be firebombed. Go to the upper level lavatory if you can hold it in that long. Bloomingdales has some nice crappers that put Macy’s to shame. Penn Station/Amtrak is a decent pit stop. Another couple of secret type of locations that no one thinks of is Tiffany’s or Henri Bendels. Yup, you can be all fancy-schmancy while popping a squat at these upscale shops. Another good spot is the Hyatt hotel next to Grand Central Station. After entering saunter to the back and act like you are staying there to use their clean facilities. Heck, even Grand Central itself has bathrooms downstairs by the food court. Other spots that have public bathrooms are Old Navy, Barnes & Noble, and The Container Store – all pretty decent actually when in full dump mode.

Photo credit - crazyhyena.com
Photo credit – crazyhyena.com

If you are out in the wide open spaces you might be in trouble though when your body goes all five-alarm fire “get it out now”! One good spot are the public bathrooms at Bryant Park which are well kept. Also, there are around 20 public restroom locations in and around Central Park, so if you are anywhere near there enjoying a day outside you are in extreme luck. There have been many times over the years that I have had to run for my life or face the inevitable. Check out this website – NYRestroom.com – and keep it handy as one day it might save your ass, and clean underwear!



So, where do you run in to go when the feeling strikes? Any secret spots you can divulge? Have you had any bathroom disasters worth mentioning? Inquiring minds want to know!

25 thoughts on “When ya just gotta do the #2 in NYC!”

  1. Wow is this the truth. I remember visiting a few years ago and we’re walking around and my stomach starts to grumble.


    I was with some NYC-based friends and they said it wouldn’t be easy to find a place. So we looked and looked. I believe it was either a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts where I finally found a place. Pretty sure it was the DD, because I think we then had something to snack on quickly.

    I’ll have to remember that website for future visits. It really is incredible how few public heads there are in NYC. Other cities I visit have them way more readily available.

    1. Hey PJ!

      It’s always a dilemma many of us fear! Starbucks are the standby’s and DD usually does not have any bathrooms. You were lucky my friend!

      That website might be a life saver!

  2. LOL, Starbucks is the “unofficial NYC toilet”. You should contact them, they may want to work that into their commercials.

  3. Great review Phil, this could be a good travel guide for any NYC visitor. I didn’t know Starbucks were so open to visitors, maybe I need to go more often.

    Such a shame that I began reading this and saw your opening picture whilst eating room service!

    1. Hi Guy!

      Yup, there are so many Starbucks here we might as well use them for more than coffee!

      Glad you liked my post. Sorry about the pic, but maybe it helped you go! At least you were in a hotel room with a proper bathroom.

  4. I have three males in my house and they go #2 at public restrooms it seems every trip we go anywhere 🙂 As a lady I can honestly say that my muscles just don’t move until I get home. There is some weird thing with men versus women and using public restrooms. On vacations it is always women that have problems going in unfamiliar bathrooms. I don’t know what that says about my gender 🙂

    1. Hey Foodie!

      True! Us guys are like a bear in the woods! We can pretty much go anywhere. The problem is actually finding a spot to go in this city. My fiancee’ is the same as you, as are most of my female friends. Public pooping is a no-no! 🙂

  5. so true… I dislike going in public, even if the door is closed. I think it goes back to first grade and the boy’s bathroom with no doors. I remember Kevin (a classmate) walking in and starting to cry. I wanted to, but knew better. Public toilets are awful and most of the time I just need to go #1, but copping a squat is awful especially with the runs….. try Paris, it’s worse.

    1. Hello Clay!

      Hope you had a terrific vacation in the Florida Keys! I love it there.

      Yeah, I never agreed with schools removing the stall doors. At that age it’s kind of humiliating and scary for many kids.

      Good to know about Paris. Don’t get the runs there!

  6. I had that horrible feeling kick me in the gut after eating dim sum years ago. Luckily, we got a cab and made it home before my colon blew. I have a public toilet phobia. But, when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. So, I have my public toilet system in place in case of an emergency.

    Right now, just the thought of using a public toilet has got my panties in a bunch.

    1. Hey Lauren!

      Sometimes I have taken that emergency cab ride home hoping to not hit a lot of pot holes along the way!

      At least us guys can go anywhere. Women definitely have more of a public phobia about it!

  7. This post is so funny mate. I always make sure my bowels are relieved at home before I go anywhere. There have been times when I’ve had the urge but I’ll do what I need to do with those bum cheeks to hold that bomb in until I get home. Public toilets are filthy. My clean backside will not be violated with the seat of many….

    There was a time when this woman driving instructor that I knew had a dodgy curry the night before. Within hours she was ringing my doorbell like a nutter and when I answered she pushed me out of the way. All I could smell was mess, yes MESS. She had pooped herself in the car seat with diarrhea and wanted to do some more and knocked on my door to use the toilet in her distress. The back of her pants were covered in the stuff and I couldn’t stop laughing, ha ha ha. True story mate. Brilliant Post mate, I really enjoyed it and reading the comments.

    1. Hey Rum Punch!

      LOL! That’s why whenever I eat Indian food/curry I make sure it’s for dinner and I go right home. You never know with that stuff.

      How the heck did she even go back to work? I would have went right home, trashed those clothes, and taken a long shower! Hahah – I would have also laughed so hard I would have passed out!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  8. Some times it is damn near impossible to find a bathroom quickly in a big city. It hit my son when we were in Chicago last year. We went into a couple of stores but no bathroom. Finally went into a restaurant and we ordered a beer just so he could use the bathroom!

    1. Hey Matt!

      I have done the same thing. Hit a diner and order a cup of coffee to go and hit the bathroom. Just hope the coffee does not make you want to go again!

  9. Ha,ha,ha,ha looking for a bathroom in NYC in a hurry sounds like a nightmare. I have been there a 1000 times when I was little. Probably I would go back to Burger King and use it there. I will never forget when me and my friend ate there and then she fell down the stairs laughing. She was okay, but it was really weird.

    1. Hey Susana!

      It’s hard to even find one of those with an available bathroom. It’s really ridiculous that in a city this big there are not more available public spots to go!

  10. I once ate a Greek place on 1st Avenue near 76th. These guys had a beef with me from an earlier visit with some people from out of town. They slipped something in my food. An hour later I was blowing chunk out of both ends. Fortunately, I was back at my apartment. I had told my date I wasn’t feeling well or I would have been trapped on a subway.

Feel free to comment! We all have opinions!