John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Your weekly eruption of the world's best bathroom news.
Here's this week's share of shining, just-scrubbed toilet news (more Toilet Tuesdays):
A MOST MYSTERIOUS LADIES' ROOM, AT THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE
The New York Stock Exchange is trying hard to alter its reputation as a boy's club, what with its support of the let's-get-more-diversity-in-corporations campaign, "Moving the Needle." And female stock traders have a good suggestion of where the NYSE should start fighting sexism: the women's bathrooms. Right now, you practically need a map to find them. While the men's facilities are located near the trading floor, the route to the ladies' room tracks down a long and winding path marked by occasional signs pointing in different directions. A urine-filled wayfarer, after encountering the third blind corner, might begin to wonder if these restrooms are indeed mythical. The Good Men Project, which has posted a hilarious (unless you're a woman who needs to go) photo essay on finding the tucked-away commodes, writes dryly:
Given the fast-paced nature of the stock exchange, it seems that this workplace in particular would benefit from having restrooms that are available for quick and efficient access.
Perhaps one of the first steps the NYSE needs to make to Move the Needle would be to move the ladies’ restroom.
TOURIST ANNOYED AT SEE-THROUGH STALLS, IN SEATTLE
One man has caused an unbelievable stink over the public-toilet stalls at the Pike Place Market, which he says are too low. Shahrukh Pestonji, a 52-year-old computer techie, recently visited Seattle and cried so loudly about these restrooms that he got a longish story in the Seattle Times. By his account, the height of the stall doors are well below his own 5 feet 7 inches, allowing several bathroom denizens to observe him as he attempted to poop. "You're sitting on the toilet with your pants around your ankles and people are peering over at you — that's not very pleasant," he told the Times. (Really, Seattle dudes? You like to watch people taking a dump??) The folks who run the market say the doors are specifically designed to be short. As with the vaunted public loos of Portland, Oregon, the increased visibility into the stall helps deter criminal activity. And what nasty stuff might be going on inside a toilet stall? According to a quoted market official: "I think I'll let you define that."
TAXI DRIVERS ESCAPE BATHROOM-MESS CHARGES, IN TORONTO
Authorities at the Toronto Port Authority know that somebody is making a disaster zone out of the restrooms at downtown's Billy Bishop Airport. What they don't know is who's responsible. But a couple weeks ago, they took a guess and banned all taxi drivers from using the facilities. In a memo explaining the harsh move, the TPA said that “urinating and defecating on the floor, walls, hand driers etc. is not acceptable and will result in all taxi drivers being refused access to the building.” Cabbies who attempted to drain the snake inside were instead redirected to a row of portable toilets put outside the terminal for their use. But it's the drivers who are having the last laugh. After representatives from the opposing factions talked about the burden of proof, the airport decided to let cabbies use the potties as long as they helped clean up, reports CTV News. Now the TPA is even planning a separate bathroom reserved solely for taxi drivers.
TWEET SENT BY MAN ON THE DAY HE DIED IN OLYMPICS BATHROOM
“Love the snap of Wills n Kate celebrating GB gold win — the joy the whole nation feels." (R.I.P., Conrad Readman)
Top illustration adapted from smlp.co.uk's original.