Showing posts with label toilets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label toilets. Show all posts

Monday, April 1, 2024

What a relief: Portable toilets return to Tompkins Square Park

Updated April 2: The toilets have been unlocked!

Hopefully, this isn't an April Fool's Day joke! 

This morning, workers brought in a truck full of porta-potties for Tompkins Square Park. (Thanks to EVG reader Lauren G. for the photo!)

The busy 10.5-acre park had been without toilets since Jan. 9, when city workers carted off the three porta-potties from their temporary home near Ninth Street and Avenue A.

At the time, sources told us that the previous porta-potties were constantly trashed and not really the most fun things to use. So, the thinking was, Why replace them with more only to meet the same fate?

So, in the past three months, anyone who needed to answer nature's call did so in nature, including in, on and around the playgrounds, causing a stink among residents. (Photo below from this morning via our friends at the De Colores Community Yard.)
As previously reported, the restrooms in the Tompkins Square Park field house are closed due to an 18-month (or so) renovation that began last May. The porta potties arrived around the same time ... before an August 2023 relocation.

In February 2023, a Parks official explained that temporary toilets were not part of the contract "and cannot be supplied during construction." The alternative for public use during this period: The restrooms at the McKinley Playground on Fourth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue adjacent to P.S. 63/the Neighborhood School — roughly a seven-minute walk.

By March 2023, though, Community Board 3 noted that porta potties would be on-site after all. 

According to the Parks Department website, work at the field house is 34% complete, with an anticipated wrap-up date of September 2024.

Updated 5 p.m. 

There are three port-potties... located near the ping-pong table by the field house... the two line green models are actually called Key Lime Restroom...
Per the Callahead website
The KEY LIME RESTROOM is designed with bright key lime coloring specially for waterfront and seaside locations. The KEY LIME is another design by Charles W. Howard, CALLAHEAD's President & CEO, to add to the long list of specialty designed restrooms to look amazing and add value to any location. The Rockaways, City Island, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, Coney Island, Jones Beach, Brighton Beach, the Hamptons, Fire Island and Montauk are just a sample of where the KEY LIME RESTROOM is a popular rental.
And Steven notes the grand opening must be at a later date — all three latrines are padlocked...

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Saturday's parting shot

A reader shared this from Second Street between Avenue A and First Avenue... unfortunately, the toilet here is currently out of service...

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Hold it now: No porta potties for Tompkins Square Park during the 18-month field-house renovation

Reconstruction of the Tompkins Square Park field house is expected to start next month. And according to a Parks Department official, during this 18-month project, the city will not provide any portable toilets for public use.

A resident shared an email from a Parks official, who explained that porta potties were not part of the contract "and cannot be supplied during construction." 

The alternative for public use during this period: The restrooms at the McKinley Playground on Fourth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue adjacent to P.S. 63/the Neighborhood School. (The official incorrectly stated that McKinley is on Avenue A.) 
Hopefully, the construction workers will have access to a closer temp toilet during the reconstruction.

The other day, we walked from the center of the Park (the muddy entrance to where the lawn used to be) to McKinley.
Walking at a fairly brisk clip took us five minutes and 40 seconds to get to our temp restroom destination ...
So roughly 12 minutes to and from, not counting time at McKinley. 

Meanwhile, we've had a possible sneak preview of what's to come during the reconstruction in Tompkins Square Park. As we've reported (here and here and here), the public restrooms have been locked to the public since early November. 

Parks officials told us last November that a malfunctioning boiler and a broken pipe in the basement of the field house are to blame. And the Parks Department decided to wait for the reconstruction to make the repairs.

In recent months, readers and residents have noted an uptick in people relieving themselves around the Park (photo below by Derek Berg) and between cars parked along Avenue B and Seventh Street.
Granted, the restrooms in Tompkins, with missing doors and toilet seats, among other things, desperately needed a makeover ... though they were suitable for prompting some nostalgia... A 2019 comptroller's report found that Chinatown and the Lower East Side had the highest percentage (at 40%) of parks restrooms rated as "unacceptable" in the five boroughs.

As for the renovation, per the Parks website, the work is slated to be completed in September 2024. 

So that's two summers without toilets for Park visitors (unless a local elected official can find some financing for the rental and maintenance). The city does provide toilets for the Park's major events, including the Dance Parade in May and the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in August.

Perhaps adult diapers and portable toilets will become the must-have accessories for gatherings in Tompkins Square Park in 2023 and 2024.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Thursday's parting shots

Photos by Derek Berg 

This discarded toilet on Second Avenue certainly could use some #sprkl ... (courtesy of East Village-based musician-artist Paul Kostabi).

And then, an uncaring world intervenes  ...

Monday, July 1, 2019

Comptroller's office: Park bathrooms in the East Village and LES are the worst in the city

[Photo from 2012 in Tompkins Square Park by Bobby Williams]

A report issued by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer's office late last week found that the city's 1,428 park bathrooms are — paraphrasing — pretty shitty for a variety of reasons, especially apparent if you've ever been inside the ones in Tompkins Square Park.

Anyway, let's get right to that report:

[M]any NYC Parks comfort stations have fallen into disrepair, subject to poor maintenance and hazardous conditions. Among the 1,428 NYC Parks bathrooms, nearly 400 sinks, toilets, walls, ceilings, changing tables, and other features were damaged or missing during their latest inspection. Over 50 “hazards” were identified that presented the chance of moderate to debilitating injury. And, in nine Community Districts, more than a quarter of NYC Parks bathrooms were deemed “unacceptable.”


[F]ar too many NYC Parks bathrooms remain in unseemly condition; repelling children, families, seniors, and everyday New Yorkers, rather than providing relief. In total, 100 bathrooms across the City were found to be in “unacceptable” condition during their most recent inspection. This included 15 percent of NYC Parks bathrooms in Manhattan and 12 percent in Brooklyn ...

The report breaks down the city into community districts, and leading the pack with the largest share of “unacceptable” park bathrooms is District 3 — Chinatown/the Lower East Side (including the East Village), where 40 percent of the facilities were found to be unacceptable...

... due to a) multiple features being unsatisfactory, b) one feature having a serious safety hazard, or c) the playground having a failed cleanliness rating.

Stringer's report offers recommendations for fixing these park restrooms.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Parks Department disputed Stringer's findings. Gothamist has the story:

"This administration has invested in the construction and reconstruction of more than 15% of our park comfort stations—27 have been completed, and 76 are active capital projects. Since 2015, we have worked to standardize their design and each facility includes changing tables — in the men’s and women’s restrooms.

"Through our robust PIP inspection program, and park management and staff oversight, we closely monitor the conditions of each of our 690 comfort stations. Our reporting shows that they are open on average 94% of the time (FY16, FY17 and FY18) during the season."

Sunday, February 3, 2019


Photo on 10th Street tonight by EVG regular Daniel...


Photo this afternoon on Second Avenue between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place by Derek Berg...

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Tuesday's parting shot

When the meeting came to order on Ninth Street earlier today... photo via Steven...

Sunday, February 25, 2018


[Click for a better view]

Goggla shares this photo today from East River Park ... art doubling as an Urban Etiquette Sign (or the other way around).

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Discarded toilet on 2nd Avenue continues to captivate

[Photo by Steven]

The toilet arrived yesterday morning on Second Avenue between Fifth Street and Sixth Street... delighting the children as only a discarded toilet can...

[Photo by Steven]

...and by today, there were additions...

[Photo by Derek Berg]


Saturday, September 10, 2016

New amenity alert

Third Street near Avenue A.

Unless this is some new public art. (In that case, thank you Amanda Burden-Christ!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

First look at the new public toilets in Tompkins Square Park

[Photo today by Derek Berg]

The toilets are currently in beta testing.

Eventually, each toilet will include free one-gigabyte WiFi, though individual toilet-users are more likely to see upload and download speeds closer to 300 megabits per second. This is still much faster than most cellular or landline Internet connections in the United States. Range can theoretically extend up to 400 feet, as long as there are no obstacles in the way, such as NYPD Patrol Towers. (Also, toilet-goers worried about security can get a key for an encrypted connection, although this requires additional steps.)

Other features include free VoIP calls through Vonage, and a dedicated button for calling 911. Maintenance costs should be offset by two 5-inch displays showing ads and public service announcements.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Rest area

Avenue C between East Ninth Street and East 10th Street … photo via Bobby Williams

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Helpful flyer reminds residents what they can flush down the toilets in this East Village building

[Click on image to enlarge]

A reader shared this letter that the super dropped off over the weekend... seems as if residents in this building or using the toilets to flush stuff other than [censored] or, as some people crudely call it, [censored].

Other items mentioned in the flyer that should not be flushed: "Stolen government files, drug stashes, pet alligators or last night's leftover meatloaf."

The super/landlord then goes on to list exactly what can be flushed. "If what you're thinking of flushing does not meet the requirements of the above list, then do not flush it."

Kidding aside, probably a good reminder for some folks, like the ones I heard who discard their kitty litter via the toilet. Or the remains of the baby deep fryer.

As we wrote last year: Letters addressing what you can and can't flush down your toilet are always so... awkward.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Just passing along some toilet-tank decorating ideas... via EVG reader Mike on Avenue B between Sixth Street and Seventh Street...

Friday, May 4, 2012


[Click to enlarge]

Letters addressing what you can and can't flush down your toilet are always so... awkward. Haven't seen it done well yet. And who dumps cat litter down a toilet? (Wait, don't answer that...)

Via Shawn Chittle.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Avenue C and East Sixth Street today via EV Grieve reader Steven...