“Where is there a restroom around here?”

Before I became a guide I would go get a soda at a bar and use the restroom. But now my work takes me up-and-down Manhattan island and into Brooklyn.  Tour guides have to find toilets for groups of up to 55 people, the full capacity of a large coach bus. Here are many that other tour guides in the Guides Association of NYC have shown or told me about.  And a couple I’ve discovered myself.

Alphabetical order

Battery Park:  Standalone public restrooms on the North side of the park, across the street from the white cube- shaped building seen here:
https://youtu.be/PSFdrVnkrYs  More restrooms are found inside Castle Clinton, the old stone Fort.  Both sets close between 5 and 6 PM.  All the statue of liberty ferries have restrooms.

Castle Clinton

Brooklyn bridge: I was once seriously – seriously – asked, “are there any toilets on the bridge?” No, but there are toilets if you take the staircase down on the Brooklyn side to the hot dog stand. Tell Smiley, the hot dog man, “Tourguide Stan says hi.” Then turn right and go to the park you’ll see ahead of you. In the one building in the park, there are restrooms. I think they close at 5 PM.
If you start on the Brooklyn side, take the A train to High street, the 1st stop in Brooklyn. Then walk across to the park.  The staircase up onto the bridge walkway is just beyond the far left edge of the park.
If you’re crossing toward Manhattan and only have to go when you get to Manhattan, turn left. There’s a Starbucks at the corner of Park Row and Beekman street.
PRO TIP:  Make it an experience. Cross Beekman street and go into Temple Court in the Beekman Hotel.  Relax in a stuffed armchair at a little table and have some coffee. Look straight up to the 60′ skylight 9 stories above you!

Temple Court, Beekman Hotel

Central Park: the stairway restrooms by  Bethesda Fountain are closed in winter. Use the Hecksher playground near the 7th Avenue & 59th Street, or the ones about 30 yards or meters in from the Columbus Circle entrance that’s closest to the big silver globe across 8th Avenue. Cleaner, warmer restrooms are across the circle under the big curved building in the Whole Foods Market.

Bethesda fountain

Chinatown:  Columbus Park has two pairs of restrooms. The park closes at sundown.  There are I don’t know how many hundred restaurants in Chinatown, and each one has a restroom. If the waiter doesn’t speak English, try saying “chee saw.”  That’s my poor attempt at Cantonese, asking where the bathroom is.

Columbus Park restrooms

DUMBO: inside Empire Stores, first floor. It’s near the carousel.

Empire Stores in DUMBO

Financial District: 60 Wall Street is a POPS, a Privately Owned Public Space, with restrooms way in the back on the right side. Recently, in 2022, they have been locked. Maybe they’ll be open now?  They are supposed to be open.

Charging Bull

Fulton Center Subway station, where the green, red and blue trains come together, has lovely bathrooms but they are closed for the duration of covid. More than 180 MTA workers have died of covid, and now there is a shortage of workers, so there’s nobody to clean the restrooms. So they’re closed. Thanks, antivaxxers.

Grand Central: basement, west side, near Chirping Chicken sign.  Escalator back up to the first floor takes you almost straight to the souvenir store of the Subway system and MTA.

Grand Central

Greenwich Village: Again, many little places to eat and some very good restaurants as well. In Washington Square, there are public restrooms across the park from the big white arch.  I think they close at 6 or so.

Washington Arch

Midtown: Trump tower basement. Probably the nicest bathrooms in Midtown.  Trump tower is a ‘POPS’, or Privately Owned Public Space. Here’s an article about POPS that sometimes do and sometimes don’t have bathrooms: https://www.archdaily.com/988099/what-happens-when-public-spaces-are-without-public-restrooms#:~:text=When%20POPS%20are%20greater%20than,typically%20means%20an%20accompanying%20bathroom.

Inside Trump Tower

Rockefeller Center:  2 elevators inside glass bubbles are on the sidewalks of 49th and 50th street, flanking the skating rink. Go down the 50th Street elevator and look beyond a big empty room (in 2022) for restrooms. Women on the left, men on the right.  The status of that room may change over time, but the restrooms will be exactly where they are now. It’s really expensive to move plumbing around.

30 Rock

South Street Seaport, one-story building under the highway. Or any of the many bars and restaurants in the area.

SS Wavertree

Staten Island ferry terminal bathrooms are open all night long. You know this from the Edna Saint Vincent Millay poem:
We were very tired
We were very merry
We’d spent all night going
Back-and-forth on the ferry.
Incidentally, the ferries have restrooms, for when you go to Staten Island and back, 500 feet from Miss Liberty.

Times Square: Port Authority bus terminal near the elevators. The 3rd floor restrooms are cleaner than the 1st and 2nd, with shorter lines.

World Trade Center: under Tower 4. There are signs in the Oculus that send you through a long tunnel from the Oculus, then under tower 3, then under Tower 4. But if you’re near Tower 4 on the surface, you can save a lot of walking by just going downstairs.  The Episcopal chapel of Saint Paul also has three single restrooms, although you’ve got to go through a metal detector to use them.  But definitely look around the chapel. It is awesomely historic to Americans and in the September 11th story.

The Oculus

I hope this directory of tourist-friendly restroom advice helps you, when you visit NYC. Remember, I’m for hire by the hour – at least two hours a day – or by the day or week. Find me at tourguidestan@yahoo.com or go to http://www.isleofnewyorktours.com

Isle Of New York!

Isle Of New York Tours llc

Isle Of New York Public Tours

Tour guiding is my career!

Here are my scheduled public walking tours. They’re all 2 – 3 hours except the annual inflation of Thanksgiving Parade balloons.
These are all available as private tours whenever you like. Some private tours are offered day or evening, because the lights of the city are not to be missed!
You may also be able to schedule certain tours to end exactly at sunset.

Secrets of Chinatown https://book.peek.com/s/7df85c2a-c06a-4fe5-9807-5980e35ac6e6/O4Wyj–7d032f8e-01c1-4794-9583-3db577906b6e?hc=eyJ0bHMiOjE2NjYxOTQ1NDMxNzQsInR5cGUiOiJzcF9wZXJmb3JtYW5jZSIsImx0IjoibW9iaWxlIiwidGwiOjI1MzUyLCJ1aWQiOjE2NjYxOTQ1NDMxNzQyOTU4LCJzcmMiOm51bGwsImFwaWsiOiI3ZGY4NWMyYS1jMDZhLTRmZTUtOTgwNy01OTgwZTM1YWM2ZTYiLCJkaCI6Ind3dy5pc2xlb2ZuZXd5b3JrdG91cnMuY29tIiwicGF0aCI6Ii9pbmRleCIsImJ0bnMiOjMsImJkY250IjowLCJidWNudCI6MywibHMiOiJzdGFydCIsIm0iOjEsImNmaCI6MCwidG9rZW4iOiIifQ==

Secrets of Fort Tryon Park https://book.peek.com/s/7df85c2a-c06a-4fe5-9807-5980e35ac6e6/Nxvkk–d0740af8-29e9-4216-a183-323608babb22?hc=eyJ0bHMiOjE2NjYxOTQ1Njg1NDAsInR5cGUiOiJzcF9wZXJmb3JtYW5jZSIsImx0IjoibW9iaWxlIiwidGwiOjgwNDExLCJ1aWQiOjE2NjYxOTQ1NDMxNzQyOTU4LCJzcmMiOm51bGwsImFwaWsiOiI3ZGY4NWMyYS1jMDZhLTRmZTUtOTgwNy01OTgwZTM1YWM2ZTYiLCJkaCI6Ind3dy5pc2xlb2ZuZXd5b3JrdG91cnMuY29tIiwicGF0aCI6Ii9pbmRleCIsImJ0bnMiOjMsImJkY250IjowLCJidWNudCI6MywibHMiOiJzdGFydCIsIm0iOjEsImNmaCI6MCwidG9rZW4iOiIifQ==

Wall Street & the Land Of The Blacks, a walking tour from Brooklyn to Manhattan that includes a ferry ride https://book.peek.com/s/7df85c2a-c06a-4fe5-9807-5980e35ac6e6/pxwXj–59283e6a-8a11-44ae-ae8c-98a75b995629?hc=eyJ0bHMiOjE2NjYxOTQ2NDg5NjQsInR5cGUiOiJzcF9wZXJmb3JtYW5jZSIsImx0IjoibW9iaWxlIiwidGwiOjMwNzY0MiwidWlkIjoxNjY2MTk0NTQzMTc0Mjk1OCwic3JjIjpudWxsLCJhcGlrIjoiN2RmODVjMmEtYzA2YS00ZmU1LTk4MDctNTk4MGUzNWFjNmU2IiwiZGgiOiJ3d3cuaXNsZW9mbmV3eW9ya3RvdXJzLmNvbSIsInBhdGgiOiIvaW5kZXgiLCJidG5zIjozLCJiZGNudCI6MCwiYnVjbnQiOjMsImxzIjoic3RhcnQiLCJtIjoxLCJjZmgiOjAsInRva2VuIjoiIn0=

Secrets of Central Park https://book.peek.com/s/7df85c2a-c06a-4fe5-9807-5980e35ac6e6/pxwXj–59283e6a-8a11-44ae-ae8c-98a75b995629?hc=eyJ0bHMiOjE2NjYxOTQ2NDg5NjQsInR5cGUiOiJzcF9wZXJmb3JtYW5jZSIsImx0IjoibW9iaWxlIiwidGwiOjMwNzY0MiwidWlkIjoxNjY2MTk0NTQzMTc0Mjk1OCwic3JjIjpudWxsLCJhcGlrIjoiN2RmODVjMmEtYzA2YS00ZmU1LTk4MDctNTk4MGUzNWFjNmU2IiwiZGgiOiJ3d3cuaXNsZW9mbmV3eW9ya3RvdXJzLmNvbSIsInBhdGgiOiIvaW5kZXgiLCJidG5zIjozLCJiZGNudCI6MCwiYnVjbnQiOjMsImxzIjoic3RhcnQiLCJtIjoxLCJjZmgiOjAsInRva2VuIjoiIn0=

Hamilton and the Revolution in New York https://book.peek.com/s/7df85c2a-c06a-4fe5-9807-5980e35ac6e6/xp4D4–ad71316c-b1af-44aa-8112-8c99bbc755e3?hc=eyJ0bHMiOjE2NjYxOTUwODg3MDQsInR5cGUiOiJzcF9wZXJmb3JtYW5jZSIsImx0IjoibW9iaWxlIiwidGwiOjcwNDcxLCJ1aWQiOjE2NjYxOTQ1NDMxNzQyOTU4LCJzcmMiOm51bGwsImFwaWsiOiI3ZGY4NWMyYS1jMDZhLTRmZTUtOTgwNy01OTgwZTM1YWM2ZTYiLCJkaCI6Ind3dy5pc2xlb2ZuZXd5b3JrdG91cnMuY29tIiwicGF0aCI6Ii9pbmRleCIsImJ0bnMiOjMsImJkY250IjowLCJidWNudCI6MywibHMiOiJzdGFydCIsIm0iOjEsImNmaCI6MCwidG9rZW4iOiIifQ==

Wall Street and the Financial District https://book.peek.com/s/7df85c2a-c06a-4fe5-9807-5980e35ac6e6/JyAMw–036e4c8f-7f7a-4289-9b45-ffefcd5bb858?hc=eyJ0bHMiOjE2NjYxOTUxNTkxOTUsInR5cGUiOiJzcF9wZXJmb3JtYW5jZSIsImx0IjoibW9iaWxlIiwidGwiOjU4ODE4LCJ1aWQiOjE2NjYxOTQ1NDMxNzQyOTU4LCJzcmMiOm51bGwsImFwaWsiOiI3ZGY4NWMyYS1jMDZhLTRmZTUtOTgwNy01OTgwZTM1YWM2ZTYiLCJkaCI6Ind3dy5pc2xlb2ZuZXd5b3JrdG91cnMuY29tIiwicGF0aCI6Ii9pbmRleCIsImJ0bnMiOjMsImJkY250IjowLCJidWNudCI6MywibHMiOiJzdGFydCIsIm0iOjEsImNmaCI6MCwidG9rZW4iOiIifQ==

Mrs. Maisel’s Marvelous Greenwich Village https://book.peek.com/s/7df85c2a-c06a-4fe5-9807-5980e35ac6e6/aENkl–d437c873-62a2-4d96-a644-6d821a99a89a?hc=eyJ0bHMiOjE2NjYxOTUyMTgwMjksInR5cGUiOiJzcF9wZXJmb3JtYW5jZSIsImx0IjoibW9iaWxlIiwidGwiOjExNDA5OSwidWlkIjoxNjY2MTk0NTQzMTc0Mjk1OCwic3JjIjpudWxsLCJhcGlrIjoiN2RmODVjMmEtYzA2YS00ZmU1LTk4MDctNTk4MGUzNWFjNmU2IiwiZGgiOiJ3d3cuaXNsZW9mbmV3eW9ya3RvdXJzLmNvbSIsInBhdGgiOiIvaW5kZXgiLCJidG5zIjozLCJiZGNudCI6MCwiYnVjbnQiOjMsImxzIjoic3RhcnQiLCJtIjoxLCJjZmgiOjAsInRva2VuIjoiIn0=

September 11 Heroes & Memorials https://book.peek.com/s/7df85c2a-c06a-4fe5-9807-5980e35ac6e6/qzrXD–55a773d8-4882-4c5e-a4ec-556d8d777ac4?hc=eyJ0bHMiOjE2NjYxOTUzMzIxNDIsInR5cGUiOiJzcF9wZXJmb3JtYW5jZSIsImx0IjoibW9iaWxlIiwidGwiOjUyNTcwNiwidWlkIjoxNjY2MTk0NTQzMTc0Mjk1OCwic3JjIjpudWxsLCJhcGlrIjoiN2RmODVjMmEtYzA2YS00ZmU1LTk4MDctNTk4MGUzNWFjNmU2IiwiZGgiOiJ3d3cuaXNsZW9mbmV3eW9ya3RvdXJzLmNvbSIsInBhdGgiOiIvaW5kZXgiLCJidG5zIjozLCJiZGNudCI6MCwiYnVjbnQiOjMsImxzIjoic3RhcnQiLCJtIjoxLCJjZmgiOjAsInRva2VuIjoiIn0=

British Tour of Lower Manhattan https://book.peek.com/s/7df85c2a-c06a-4fe5-9807-5980e35ac6e6/jPB7Z–21e3fac4-8d43-4df6-bc45-a66f09f312f0?hc=eyJ0bHMiOjE2NjYxOTU4NTc4NjEsInR5cGUiOiJzcF9wZXJmb3JtYW5jZSIsImx0IjoibW9iaWxlIiwidGwiOjY2Mzg0LCJ1aWQiOjE2NjYxOTQ1NDMxNzQyOTU4LCJzcmMiOm51bGwsImFwaWsiOiI3ZGY4NWMyYS1jMDZhLTRmZTUtOTgwNy01OTgwZTM1YWM2ZTYiLCJkaCI6Ind3dy5pc2xlb2ZuZXd5b3JrdG91cnMuY29tIiwicGF0aCI6Ii9pbmRleCIsImJ0bnMiOjMsImJkY250IjowLCJidWNudCI6MywibHMiOiJzdGFydCIsIm0iOjEsImNmaCI6MCwidG9rZW4iOiIifQ==

The Best of Midtown: Grand Central, Saint Patrick’s, Rockefeller Center and Times Square https://book.peek.com/s/7df85c2a-c06a-4fe5-9807-5980e35ac6e6/RWLk2–392757a2-e75e-4df1-bee4-bd3bb39f5a36?hc=eyJ0bHMiOjE2NjYxOTU5MjQyNjUsInR5cGUiOiJzcF9wZXJmb3JtYW5jZSIsImx0IjoibW9iaWxlIiwidGwiOjYwNzkyLCJ1aWQiOjE2NjYxOTQ1NDMxNzQyOTU4LCJzcmMiOm51bGwsImFwaWsiOiI3ZGY4NWMyYS1jMDZhLTRmZTUtOTgwNy01OTgwZTM1YWM2ZTYiLCJkaCI6Ind3dy5pc2xlb2ZuZXd5b3JrdG91cnMuY29tIiwicGF0aCI6Ii9pbmRleCIsImJ0bnMiOjMsImJkY250IjowLCJidWNudCI6MywibHMiOiJzdGFydCIsIm0iOjEsImNmaCI6MCwidG9rZW4iOiIifQ==

Pre-Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Inflation Day, a once-a-year event 11/23 https://book.peek.com/s/7df85c2a-c06a-4fe5-9807-5980e35ac6e6/k4a7X–fb2b8f87-7d19-4365-a326-25c00d34f041?hc=eyJ0bHMiOjE2NjYxOTU5ODUwNzIsInR5cGUiOiJzcF9wZXJmb3JtYW5jZSIsImx0IjoibW9iaWxlIiwidGwiOjEzNTI1MiwidWlkIjoxNjY2MTk0NTQzMTc0Mjk1OCwic3JjIjpudWxsLCJhcGlrIjoiN2RmODVjMmEtYzA2YS00ZmU1LTk4MDctNTk4MGUzNWFjNmU2IiwiZGgiOiJ3d3cuaXNsZW9mbmV3eW9ya3RvdXJzLmNvbSIsInBhdGgiOiIvaW5kZXgiLCJidG5zIjozLCJiZGNudCI6MCwiYnVjbnQiOjMsImxzIjoic3RhcnQiLCJtIjoxLCJjZmgiOjAsInRva2VuIjoiIn0=

Secrets of Chinatown, a personal tour from my Chinese in-laws (fine shopping, Asian groceries, history, Five Points, street food, Jewish-Irish-Danish-Dutch-Italian influences)

Secrets of Central Park https://book.peek.com/s/7df85c2a-c06a-4fe5-9807-5980e35ac6e6/03pW4–a8403bd2-40cc-4d88-b1df-9468898b67b3?hc=eyJ0bHMiOjE2NjYxOTcxMDUwNzMsInR5cGUiOiJzcF9wZXJmb3JtYW5jZSIsImx0IjoibW9iaWxlIiwidGwiOjQxMjQ1LCJ1aWQiOjE2NjYxOTQ1NDMxNzQyOTU4LCJzcmMiOm51bGwsImFwaWsiOiI3ZGY4NWMyYS1jMDZhLTRmZTUtOTgwNy01OTgwZTM1YWM2ZTYiLCJkaCI6Ind3dy5pc2xlb2ZuZXd5b3JrdG91cnMuY29tIiwicGF0aCI6Ii9pbmRleCIsImJ0bnMiOjMsImJkY250IjowLCJidWNudCI6MywibHMiOiJzdGFydCIsIm0iOjEsImNmaCI6MCwidG9rZW4iOiIifQ==

In Chinatown: The Street Of Food And Haircuts

This ‘nice lowfon boy’ has been getting his hair cut on Doyers Street since he arrived here 40 years ago. My 1st wife was Chinese American. Her mother was born and raised in Chinatown. Her mom, my grandmother in law or ‘Po-po’ was born in British Columbia as the daughter of a cherry tree planter. She got a visa to attend nursing school in Chicago in the 1920s. She was allowed to stay in the USA because she was a nurse and therefore a skilled worker.

Po-po’s husband was a professional gambler in a neighborhood where everybody gambled. To this day, buses pull up on Bowery every morning to take people down to Atlantic City for a day of gambling.

My mother in law’s husband ‘Rocky’ had been a bodyguard for a warlord in Shanghai until the Communists took over. This was about 1950. He learned to cook in Taiwan, all that was left of the Republic of China. Then he immigrated to NYC and got a job as a Chinese-food cook in Chinatown.

Rocky found that he could supplement his meager income – no, quadruple his meager income – by becoming a fixer for gamblers.
He would find and rent basements that were safe from the police over on Elizabeth street. He was very proud of his crowning achievement: He bribed someone in the Corrections department to rent jail cells on weekends for his future father-in-law.

The Corrections Department is separate from the Police Department. The police couldn’t break into the jail, which was directly across Columbus Park from Chinatown. Easy commute.

My wife and I met in college upstate. When we graduated we got married and moved down to the family house in Flatbush. I’ve been getting my hair cut in Chinatown ever since. The fee for a haircut has never been as much as ten dollars. People in the know come in from Brooklyn and Queens for a Chinatown haircut. They all know Doyers Street.

Do Your Tours In Clusters!

Manhattan is 13 miles or 21 km long and around 2 miles/3km across. Places are clustered, sort of.

MIDTOWN includes the Public Library main branch, Grand Central, Empire State Building, Macy’s, Bryant Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s.

CENTRAL PARK is north of Midtown.

THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT is close to the Statue Of Liberty and Staten Island ferries, National September 11 Memorial, Wall Street, South Street Seaport, the Brooklyn Bridge, and it’s fairly close to Chinatown.

My company does walking tours that may go through up to 3 districts in a tour:

SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown.

Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights, and DUMBO.

Brooklyn Heights, ferry boat to Wall Street, and African Burial Ground.

Grand Central, Saint Patrick’s, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square.

Brooklyn Heights, ferry to Manhattan, Murray Hill, and end at customer’s choice of Grand Central or Empire State Building.

http://www.isleofnewyorktours.com or write Tourguidestan@yahoo.com

Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point originally was just a clifftop overlooking the Hudson in Northern Manhattan, at roughly 190th Street. It was right alongside the northern extension of Riverside Drive. A Greek temple was built at Inspiration Point in 1925. The temple was upstairs at the clifftop.  Below were restrooms.
Inspiration Point is mentioned in the last verse of the song I’ll Take Manhattan. Miss Ella Fitzgerald:

The northern extension of Riverside Drive was replaced by the Henry Hudson Parkway in 1937, cutting off Inspiration Point from almost all visitors.
The Hudson River Greenway, a riverfront park with a bike lane running from Battery Park to Dyckman Street, opened fully in 2010. Once again, people are able to stop at Inspiration Point, but only on foot or by bike. No train, car or bus comes here.
Hope you enjoy my singing!