NYC’s best free public bathrooms, according to TikTok

It’s been some New Yorkers’ No. 1 concern for ages: The place do you go whenever you actually gotta go? 

For Teddy Siegel, the town’s dire lack of public bogs got here to a head this previous July, whereas she was buying in Instances Sq. after guzzling an iced espresso. 

“I’ve all the time had an especially small bladder so being within the metropolis has all the time been extraordinarily anxiety-inducing for me,” the 22-year-old graduate scholar advised The Publish. “I used to be on the verge of peeing myself.” 

She requested one retailer to make use of their rest room and was denied; ultimately she needed to shell out for a $3 bottle of water to make use of a McDonald’s rest room. The acquisition stung of injustice, particularly when she realized the door was unlocked.

“I would like my $3 much more than McDonald’s does,” she mentioned.

Siegel, who seen that the pandemic made it even more durable to pee in NYC as companies locked down their restrooms tighter, determined nobody ought to ever be stranded within the metropolis with a full bladder.

So, she began a TikTok account, Got2GoNYC, the place she’s itemizing free bogs throughout the town and crowdsourcing recommendations on discovering extra. She’s develop into a leak leaker, too, liberating entry codes for customer-only bogs, together with posting late-night choices and spots with free menstrual merchandise and altering tables.

Clearly lots of people got2go: The account has gained greater than 92,000 followers and the movies have racked up hundreds of thousands of views. The feedback are filled with appreciative residents and vacationers praising the whiz child for saving their days. 

Teddy Siegel in front of her favorite public bathroom in the city, in Bryant Park.
Teddy Siegel in entrance of her favourite public rest room within the metropolis, in Bryant Park.
Tamara Beckwith

“Adopted! We fly in Wednesday to elope, frightened of needing to pee in my marriage ceremony costume,” one commenter gushed. 

New Yorkers have lengthy tracked free public bogs in numerous shared maps or by phrase of mouth, however Siegel, a Lengthy Island native who lives in Gramercy, desires to do extra with the account. She’s driving the memes and lip syncs of the TikTok algorithm to name out the cruelty of denying folks, particularly unhoused New Yorkers, entry to essentially the most primary human want.

“It’s truthfully so unacceptable that New York Metropolis is just not caring for the individuals who dwell right here,” mentioned Siegel, including that as a younger white girl, she has it simpler than some others who must beg for lavatory entry. “It’s type of offensive being turned away from completely different locations whenever you’re actually on the verge of getting into your pants. It’s simply probably not one thing that folks ought to must cope with.” 

Exterior of the Harry Potter store
The Harry Potter retailer has a clear rest room.
Tamara Beckwith

The Massive Apple is much from flush with bogs, in accordance with a 2020 report from the City Design Discussion board.

New York ranks a crappy eightieth out of 100 cities within the nation within the variety of locations to go in parks, libraries, subways and public areas per capita. Squeaky clear Washington, DC, has 3 times as many. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged in 2006 to put in 20 paid, self-cleaning bogs across the 5 boroughs; solely 5 have been put in, in accordance with a report by the information website the City. The remainder of the thrones sit mothballed in a warehouse in Queens.  

Lack of bogs, Siegel says, instantly results in one other notorious New York Metropolis gripe: It smells like piss. And one other sizzling summer season is correct across the nook. 

“In the event that they [the city] simply got here up with a distinct answer, they wouldn’t must arrest folks for public urination or have the town odor so horrendous,” mentioned Siegel, who has teamed up with the nonprofit ClearPath NYC to offer a listing of bogs for homeless youth.

The NYPD wrote 571 summonses for public urination in 2019; that quantity really dropped prior to now two years, when cops eased up on high quality of life enforcement throughout the pandemic. The difficulty hasn’t been wiped away, although: Complaints about public urination doubled from 2019 to 2021, in accordance with 311 information. 

Siegel hopes the town will create a tax incentive for companies to open their bogs to the general public, or simply construct extra in public areas. Till then, she’ll maintain consuming her iced coffees with new confidence.

“Generally I’ve to ration the quantity I’m consuming till I do know that there’s a place that I can use the toilet,” she mentioned. 

Right here by location are Siegel’s favourite free bogs within the metropolis.


West Elm bathroom
West Elm

Siegel loves West Elm's gender neutral bathrooms.
Siegel loves West Elm’s gender-neutral bogs.

West Elm bathroom
The restroom at West Elm

West Elm, 1870 West Broadway 

West Elm has two very large gender-neutral bathrooms outfitted with a altering desk; nice for dads. In addition they have a coverage posted on the mirror that states that they sanitize the toilet after every use,” Siegel mentioned of this favourite close to Central Park, Columbus Circle and Lincoln Middle. 


Siegel snapping a selfie outside of the downtown Bloomingdale's.
Siegel snaps a pic outdoors of the downtown Bloomingdale’s.

Siegel taking a selfie in the Bloomingdale's bathroom.
She says the lighting is nice within the Bloomgindale’s rest room.

Bloomingdale’s, 504 Broadway

“It’s my personal favorite, it’s all the time very clear and has nice lighting for selfies — every mirror has its personal lengthy gentle. It’s simply actually aesthetically pleasing, the tile that’s within the rest room is a very nice, calming shade of blue,” Siegel mentioned. Plus, “there’s a number of stall choices, so that you don’t actually have to attend very lengthy.”


The public bathrooms at Bryant Park are surprisingly well maintained.
The general public bogs at Bryant Park are surprisingly effectively maintained.

Bryant Park restrooms
The restrooms at Bryant Park.

Bryant Park public bathrooms 

“The Bryant Park bathrooms are the nicest I’ve ever been to,” Siegel mentioned. “They’ve classical music, recent flowers, artwork on the partitions and attendants who’re consistently cleansing. They actually ought to be a vacationer attraction.”


Siegel outside the Park Slope Barnes & Noble
Siegel mentioned the Barnes & Noble close to Prospect Park is a superb place for a pit cease.
Tamara Beckwith

Barnes & Noble, 267 Seventh Ave., Park Slope 

Want a pit cease after making the loop round Prospect Park? Siegel known as this “the most reliable bathroom in Park Slope. Conveniently situated close to a Starbucks, for many who are lactose illiberal however dangerously hooked on entire milk caramel macchiatos.”


Steinway Library’s main entrance on 31st Street.
The newly redone Steinway Library boasts three brand-new bogs, together with one that’s all-gender, single-occupant and ADA accessible.
Steinway Library

Queens Public Library at Steinway, 21-45 thirty first St., Ditmars Steinway

“Any public library will enable folks to make use of their bogs!” Siegel mentioned. “Libraries are a pleasant calming setting to be generally [and they’re] normally fairly inclusive and welcoming.” This library is especially welcoming: It reopened earlier this 12 months after present process almost $5 million in renovations to improve the inside and make it extra accessible for these with disabilities.

Particular mentions


The restroom at Harry Potter New York
The lavatory at Harry Potter New York is no-frills, however the environment are pleasant.
Tamara Beckwith

Harry Potter New York, 935 Broadway 

“Generally the road to get into the constructing may be lengthy, however should you go on a weekday you need to be capable to simply stroll proper in,” Siegel suggested. The bogs are “actually large and gender-neutral, and there’s an indication in ‘Harry Potter’ font.”

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