The City that Never Pees

overcoming fear of the blank page

I was surprised to discover today that New York has a real toilet problem. I wonder how much this has to do with Americans’ distaste of the word ‘toilet’. Whatver the reason, tourists to the Big Apple are warned to plan toilet breaks in advance!

The Bathroom Diaries has a staggering FIVE entries for New York city, all of which are either hotels or restaurants. Compare this to 26 for Sydney (in hotels, art galleries, train stations, public spaces) or over 100 in London, a city not usually renowned for its abundance of public conveniences.

It seems that again and again New Yorkers have been promised public toilets in their cities, but nothing has yet eventuated. An article in the New York Times last week calls it the “long, bitter history of the absent public toilets of New York”. For a bit of light relief, however, a toilet paper company has installed 20 temporary public toilets in Times Square, but only until the end of the year.

Visitors to New York are promised that there will be toilets by the end of the year. And they’ve been promising that since 2005. No, wait, since 1997. New Yorkers may have to keep their legs crossed just a little bit longer.

Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. For those of you who like to go in style, check out New York Toilets.

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Nat Newman - portrait

Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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