John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
It's like they're prepping for a cover story in House & Garden.
The delightful smell of this Toilet Tuesday is from a nonexistent urinal cake:
Anybody who's visited San Francisco knows it has ridiculously nice residential architecture – all flower-decked trellises, ornately carved facades and flawless paint jobs.
The love of house and garden seems to extend to the city's outdoor bathrooms, too. That's according to my deep investigation into the local porta-potty scene, which has revealed three (in journalism, three is a "trend") toilets fancy enough to host a royal tea-time. Check out this serious-looking guy in Pacific Heights:
Is that redwood? I'd be afraid of using it for fear of violating some unwritten dress code. This next la-de-da loo I found in the Castro. What, you can't see it? That's because it's hidden behind garden latticework, ready to become a honeysuckle-covered fixture of the neighborhood:
Yes, I wander around the city at night taking grainy pictures of toilets. Here's another near Buena Vista Park that has god's-honest wall trim (the graffiti detracts a bit, though):
Other people have noticed this regional quirk, as well. Back in 2010, the author of Ice Tubes Blog had to cut a U-turn on his bike to return to this beauty, which appears to be decked out in lacquered panels. He dubbed it way too "hey, look at me," but you know what happens if you put out an ugly porta potty in San Francisco? THIS.
IN OTHER TOILET NEWS:
• You know what you don't expect while driving to school? A flying toilet in the face. Luckily, it "was clean."
• The public-wastewater employees in Hampton, Virginia, are real stand-up people. After a woman lost a wedding ring down a toilet, look at all they did to retrieve it from the muck.
• A man who protests against the government by putting toilets in front of municipal buildings (not this man) is running for Maryland's lieutenant state governor. Add "candidate" to the resume of Duane "Shorty" Davis, right above "suspect behind bomb scare."
• Always flush the toilet aboard Virgin Airlines lest you be "detained."