We’ve always known there are bathrooms on the subway, in that sort of vague way that we know that there are fish in the Gowanus Canal. But we never in a million years would have guessed that normal people would ever consider seeking out such things and using them, even in situations of extreme duress. But a six-month survey by amNY of every single one of the 69 working bathrooms in the MTA system (there are about 60 more that are locked or closed) shows that some of them are actually not revolting. But most are:
Of the open bathrooms, a third were frightening caverns of garbage, urine, standing water or unseemly smells. Odors from the Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. station on the N caused an amNewYork reporter to feel faint during a recent visit. “They’re pretty disgusting. People are always cleaning themselves in there and doing other stuff,” said Kelvin Pau, 27, a rider using the 168 St. A station, which reeked. Don’t expect to find toilet paper or soap, as few of the bathrooms had either. And while graffiti has largely been eliminated from subway stations, it lives on in the bathrooms, as many of the walls and stalls were covered in tags.
If you must go, the paper recommends the Myrtle-Wyckoff L/M station, though there are no paper towels. Or the Canarsie Rockaway Parkway L stop. But by all means, never, ever, ever attempt to utilize the bathrooms in the Astoria Ditmars Blvd N/W or the 57th Street N/R/Q/W stop.
This article does not answer one lingering, obvious question, however: What on earth the staffers who performed this “six-month survey” could have possibly done to deserve such punishment. We cannot imagine anything so evil as to merit a search of every single subway bathroom in the city. And lately we’ve been starting to watch Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
Flush with filth: Many subway station bathrooms dirty, or locked up [amNY]
Update: OMG! Before your Intel bloggers worked at New York, apparently this very magazine made young interns go to every single one of the subway bathrooms in Manhattan. Not as dire as going to all of the ones in all five boroughs, but brutal nonetheless. “It was all my idea. Three consecutive classes of interns were roped into this,” New York’s Ben Mathis-Lilley tells us of the project. “I checked some of the places myself, and it was definitely like being in a Saw movie. We only did Manhattan, though. AM NY, you crazy for this one.”