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Manhattan/NYC and restroom availability? Help me think through this

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I think this was mentioned in passing in another post about NYC and lack of restrooms.  Can we talk about this?  We leave soon and I need a plan.  I have a kiddo with an intestinal issue that absolutely has to have bathroom access.  I can tell that he is anxious about this apparent lack of restrooms.  He has considered not even going.  How bad is it?  I am hearing that even if you buy a coffee or eat at a restaurant, there aren't restrooms available?  How is this possible?  For anyone who knows Manhattan, can you give me any tips or thoughts for how DS can go.  

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Starbucks has a new policy.  From what I have read, even if you were Homeless people or Shooting Drugs, and not purchasing anything, you will be welcome to use the restrooms and hang out in Starbucks.

Look for Starbucks and there is no problem!

ENJOY your trip to the Big Apple!

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8 minutes ago, Lanny said:

Starbucks has a new policy.  From what I have read, even if you were Homeless people or Shooting Drugs, and not purchasing anything, you will be welcome to use the restrooms and hang out in Starbucks.

Look for Starbucks and there is no problem!

ENJOY your trip to the Big Apple!

 

 

Lanny,  I had no idea that all of the Starbucks talk/changes included this!  I looked it up and you are right.  Thank you so much.  I had read that even if you get a coffee you couldn't use it but now it looks like we are good.   A line might still make it tough for him but at least we see home hope, haha.

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NYrestroom.com

Perhaps you could map out the attractions you are visiting to reassure him of the access on the way.  Grand Central Station, library branches, McD, BK, Chipolte, museums, hotel lobbies, large dept stores... 

I beleive the rule is 19 seats or less in the food joint and they don't have to have a public bathroom.

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In addition to Starbucks you can also always find a bathroom at Barnes and Noble.

(And honestly, I've many times found bathrooms just by popping into offices and saying "It's an emergency". Those are some magic words! But if it doesn't work, don't argue the point.)

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I am hearing that even if you buy a coffee or eat at a restaurant, there aren't restrooms available?

 

There are usually bathrooms in restaurants unless they're really tiny, literal hole-in-the-wall types. The bathrooms in chain restaurants tend to be gross.

Where do you plan to go on your visit? Maybe we can tell you specifically where restroom access is in those specific places.

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From what I have read, even if you were Homeless people or Shooting Drugs, and not purchasing anything, you will be welcome to use the restrooms and hang out in Starbucks.

 

This phrasing is odd. Do you think homeless people are criminals, or that it's better for society if they have nowhere to relieve themselves but the public parks? (For that matter, is it better for society if people who are doing drugs have nowhere to do it but out on the street?)

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On my way out the door but - 

Main Public library, third floor or basement children's area.

FIT museum (free), lobby to the left.

Penn Station (and presumably other train stations).

Parsons - the building where they do tours - people walk in to use this one all the time.

 

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15 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

 

This phrasing is odd. Do you think homeless people are criminals, or that it's better for society if they have nowhere to relieve themselves but the public parks? (For that matter, is it better for society if people who are doing drugs have nowhere to do it but out on the street?)

 

Ummm, my teen worked a convenience mart job and found out just what shooting up in the bathroom means to public safety and health. Fortunately his previous employer had trained him and he didn't end up with a large medical bill.  The business ended up with a biohazard cleanup bill and counted themselves very lucky that the employees had closed the restroom before anyone had entered and touched the sharps and biowaste left behind.  It was the first indication we had that drug abuse was rising in the area; the chat with the officer was interesting. So, yes, its better for society as a whole that contagious or ill people who are doing drugs do not use public facilities. 

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Many times if you purchase an item, you can just use the code on the bottom of the receipt to access a restaurant's bathroom. You just punch in the numbers. Chipotle does this in the city.

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FYI - not every Sbucks in the city has a bathroom. Some are small with little to no seating and no bathroom. I mean, there is probably one in the back for the employees but it is not available for customers.

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If you are dressed/groomed nicely, you can often confidently walk into the lobby of a decent hotel as if you had a room there, and use their lobby bathrooms.  Walk in like you know where you're going and are supposed to be there.  I have done this in several major cities, without incident, and the bathrooms have been super clean.  (Like it or not, looking nice often gets you privileges and favors that you wouldn't otherwise get.  And the previous poster's story of the fallout from letting the wrong person use your bathroom speaks to why.  Pros and cons, obviously, to a complex issue.)

There are several free museums in the city.  FIT and the folk art museum come to mind; I've used the bathroom in both, plus they are nice small museums to visit - 30-60 minutes depending on your interest in the current exhibitions.  If you have a museum membership at home, check the reciprocal membership museums.  I've been to several museums in NYC for free because they are reciprocal with my local nature center to which we belong.  Having your membership card and a list of museums will give you options should you need them. 

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As someone else mentioned, there is an app/website that lists restrooms, so look that up ahead of time. If you are taking the train in, use the restroom at the station before heading out. Ditto for any attractions you go to where there are restrooms. The American Girl store has a nice restroom. There are restrooms in Bryant Park. Many of the department stores have them. You are definitely smart to think about this ahead of time, intestinal problems or no! I had no idea it would be so tough. Also, Consider your phone charging needs, because any apps will be useless if your phone goes out. Bring an external charging system along.

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It wasn't as bad I had feared.  I just remember one really icky bathroom in a train station...ugh.  no toilet paper...(thankfully I brought my own).  But it was one of those times where I just couldn't wait another minute.  

We went in one pizza place....very small....and as we were ordering pizza the owner starts yelling at some people who had walked in and headed straight to the bathroom.  They looked like normal customers.....but wow he was serious about not letting them use it until they ordered!

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The M&M store in the Times Square area was the only one we could find anywhere near there. Long lines too.

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I don't think access is going to be a huge problem, but quick  access might be, if you need to wait for a key or code. Have an emergency bag with you, because it might be embarrassing to plan for a bathroom accident, but not nearly as embarrassing as not planning for one can be. 

There are lots of lists online of available bathrooms. I think every NYC park has one, for example. 

On 6/4/2018 at 5:17 PM, Tanaqui said:

  The bathrooms in chain restaurants tend to be gross.

 

 

I for one do not care about this when I'm in the midst of a bathroom emergency, lol. 

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So, yes, its better for society as a whole that contagious or ill people who are doing drugs do not use public facilities. 

 

Sure! But since they evidently are using public facilities, would you rather those facilities are semi-private - like bathrooms - or not so much, like parks and playgrounds? (And homeless people gotta pee somewhere.)

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The M&M store in the Times Square area was the only one we could find anywhere near there. Long lines too.

 

That's because Times Square is god awful. The New Victory Theater might actually let you use their bathrooms if you have a child and are respectful about the inconvenience. But don't tell them I told you this. (Maybe other theaters would too, but we're at the New Vic three or four times a year.)

Otherwise, you can catch the shuttle to Grand Central, their bathrooms are decent and you can look at the constellations in the waiting room after. Or just walk a few blocks out of the death trap. I know there's a B&N not that far away. (My mother's office is a block away, and I love to go to the bookstore, so I'm pretty familiar with that.) There are bathrooms in Bryant Park as well, and that's pretty much right outside Times Square.

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I for one do not care about this when I'm in the midst of a bathroom emergency, lol. 

 

I feel ya!

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