Photos by Stacie Joy
The public restrooms remain closed to the public in Tompkins Square Park.
We've seen various homemade signs about reopening the restrooms here since the Parks Department locked them up in early November.
Today, Jimmy was taking up the cause... a malfunctioning boiler and a broken pipe in the basement of the Park's fieldhouse are to blame for the closure.
As we've noted, perhaps the Parks Department is just waiting ... as they are expected to rebuild the fieldhouse. According to the Parks Department website, the contractor's contract is now registered with the city.
as gross as those bathrooms can be, they need to reopen. the park serves an enormous community - basketball players, skaters, THREE playgrounds worth of kids, people working out, and just regular park-goers. there needs to be a working bathroom in the park! the surrounding retail shops shouldn't have to (and really can't) provide bathrooms for all the people that need a place to go. am i the only one doubting that they're broken? i think they are closed in the hopes that it will help "clean up" the park, forcing out people who depend on them for daily use, or those that use the bathrooms for things besides what they're meant for.
What would it take to have a bathroom complex like the one in Washington Square Park? Did the city fund that or was a bunch of private money brought in? I know they have people policing the junkies which helps keep them less of a disaster and we would definitely need that.
The larger public health concern is that dozens of folks are now urinating on the back of the park field house and defecating elsewhere in the park with no one hosing that down or removing that waste from the park.
I've never understood why NYC bathrooms are such a nightmare when almost everywhere else I have been in the world manages to have decent public bathrooms. That goes for everywhere from suburban parks to large cities. NYC is the only one that almost guarantees public bathrooms that are disgusting, if they are even open.
If the bathrooms are to be closed, then portables need to be brought in. People still need to use the facilities.
I saw a disabled man urinating in the corner of the bathroom building because there was nowhere to go and it was obvious he could not walk home in time to make it. What do people with kids do?
I concur with 3:58 PM
I sadly witnessed a middle aged man defecating during a late, gloomy afternoon over a week ago near the dog park as I was walking home with groceries from TJ. He had no shame and appeared to be on something. I felt bad for him actually. I quickly turned my head and continued on my way while being completely grossed out but equally unfazed as most New Yorkers usually are. I detest those bathrooms too, but they should remain open to the public in preventing unfortunate situations such as this becoming the norm.
@anon 6:07 - it's really hard having a kid and no bathroom! for really little ones, there are travel potties people bring to the playgrounds. some little boys just find a place and go behind a bush etc. other people just figure out which cafes or restaurants will let them use their bathrooms. honestly the park bathrooms are so gross, and often had unsavory things going on inside, that a lot of people won't take their kids in there anyway. i agree with the earlier poster re: WSP bathrooms. those facilities are amazing, i don't know why we can't have nice things on our side of the city.
I could not forget the plethora of public bathrooms when I visited Berlin, Barcelona, and Stockholm a few years ago. They are everywhere, some remarkably noticeable with ornate art adorning the walls, some with music. I was in utter shock. Granted you have to insert two euros to enter the facilities, but it was such a relief no pun intended when you locate one, especially near a park. Most are sparkling clean, available for one person use only, and are automatically disinfected and sanitized after you exit. Why can't a world city like NYC offer more bathrooms to the public such as this? Many of our public bathrooms, including Tompkins are horrifying. Can you imagine if our tax dollars were allocated to a venture like this? A total game changer.
@7:55- Why, you say? Because cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation in Germany are a normal state of affairs. Plus NYC has a far higher ratio of lowlifes, losers, dirtbags, punks, and mentally ill people. Plus the City Gov really doesn't give a shit where you take a shit as long as you don't take a shit on their front porch. Even in stinky Paris back in the old days all the cafes and tabacs had at the very least a squattez-vous Turkish toilet-basically a porcelain platform with a hole in the middle. Squat, poop, go.
Paid bathrooms would solve a lot of problems but I’m sure the same people that complain about credit card only establishments would complain about paid toilets.
Until the "new" bathroom/park office building is erected, there ought to be PORTA-JOHNS in place. The fact that there are NONE only further demonstrates that the city and Parks Dept, as well as the city councilmember (Rivera), does not give a SHIT about our park nor about those who use our park.
When someone needs to GO, they (male or female) are going to GO. Wherever they can. Watch MORE piss and shit pile up in the park, on top of the nastiness from the dog run (airborne fecal matter dust and garbage cans filled to the brim with feces).
Then the park nazis will have another reason to whine about closing off sections of the park.
What a SHITTY mess.
The park has gone from bad to worst. Even the staff seems to have cleared out. The park office once housed NYC Parks supervisors, District Manager, park manager, a locker room full of personnel as well as the gardener, his assistant and dozen of job fare/community service workers on picnic in the field house. It’s a ghost town now. At 12 noon no staff in the entire park and front of park office being used by addicts to shoot up
New York is the greatest city in the world.
Also New York: Bathrooms are for customers only.
Reading these comments makes me sad. Tompkins needs a lot of TLC. The lack of grass for starters is disconcerting. It becomes more bare as the years pass. Who on earth wants to sit on their towel over a patch of dirt where rodents have roamed and buried holes? Secondly, the lack of trash cans only continues to the perpetuation of vermin and cockroaches who are feasting on garbage. Third, and most important, the bathroom situation is out of control. I read where someone said they witnessed a man do a number 2 in broad daylight near the dog park? What have we become? Animals? It is the responsibility of the parks department to address and rectify these said issues. We are neighbors of this park and tax payers as well. At what point does the city intervene? We are all humans. We all deserve the dignity of being able to access a bathroom when nature calls.
Hudson River park and Washington square park have conservancy’s. So they raise money from local neighbors, have fancy auctions and dinners and that’s where the money comes from to have nicer bathrooms. Even Central Park has a conservancy . I may be incorrect in the proper term for a group that cares for a public park area but I think that’s right. In fact I thought there was a East Village park conservancy?? Basically the city parks do not have enough money or are not run in a financially proper way. We the people need to help if we would like our neighborhood park to be clean and peaceful.
I called the offices of Carlina Rivera and Harvey Epstein (I’m their constituent, fortunately) and registered the need for toilets of some kind, pronto.
https://www.nycgovparks.org/planning-and-building/capital-project-tracker/project/9252 Apparently, the field house reconstruction has been designed AND paid for, since 2020.
Carlina Rivera, like always, will shift and assign blame to someone else while collecting her salary and accessing her benefits as she gaslights us.
A neat trick to get public acceptance of drastic "solutions" to a problem is to allow problems to get REALLY BAD. Case in point: Tompkins Square Park, where the establishment of a "conservancy," funded by the monied and by real estate vultures who seek to gentrify every inch of our community, will determine HOW the park is used and by WHOM.
As is clear, City Councilmember Rivera does not give a SHIT about our park, unless she can use it for political gain, popping up at "public meetings" and other photo ops to ACT like she's "doing something." Using her "discretionary funds," Rivera allocated $150k for the creep who blocks off sections of Avenue B with barricades that cars and trucks have to drive around in order to proceed, thereby CREATING dangerous conditions. That kind of money could GREATLY improve conditions in the park, but noooo.....
NYS Assemblyman Harvey Epstein is another weasel who ALSO gives not a SHIT about our park, unless he too can use it for his political gain. Like the time in April 2021 when he publicly embarrassed the mayor and parks commissioner because we DARED to hold an outdoor concert in OUR park, leading them to shut down our park shows for the next four months.
Though we provided him with copies of our permits and other details proving that the parks dept LIED to the media, Epstein went out of his way to milk the "controversy" even further, doing interviews in which he regurgitated the LIES about us and our show, including the LIE that we "had no permits of any kind."
$10,000 in legal fees and a lawsuit vs the city later, we got our shows back. Thanks, Harvey!
Those two professional politicians are enjoying all of the perks of being in office, while doing NOTHING for our community, other than sucking our blood, like the ticks that they are.
At some point, the community will need to do their jobs for them by way of a fundraiser for portable johns that gat delivered and serviced in the park.
It's either direct action by community members or allowing them to use conditions in the park that they allow to get increasingly bad in order to justify their pre-devised "solution."
Keep your eyes open, people!
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