New York Times reporters Andy Newman and Ana Fota took one (and sometimes two) for the team by visiting subway station restrooms across New York City. It was a shitty job, but someone had to do it. I guess. From the New York Times:
Norwood-205th Street, Bronx
The cracked concrete floor of the men's room looked like it had not been mopped in years. But on the plus side, on the frigid day of our visit, the room was toasty hot.
So hot that someone had wedged takeout Chinese food between the scalding radiator and the wall, possibly to keep it warm — a full container of shrimp-fried rice and brown-breaded nuggets.
"That's no good," said the station supervisor, S. Hope, when we brought it to his attention. "That will melt and catch fire." He threw it out.
In the women's room, fire safety has apparently been learned the hard way. "No storage within three (3) feet," read a sign on the floor beside a radiator covered in burn marks. The radiator was working fine, though. The environment was reminiscent of the tropical monkey habitat at the Central Park Zoo.
(Mr. Hope said the bathrooms are cleaned three times a day.)
The main door to the women's room has a peephole to let you see who's in the hall. But it does not lock. "People hert people," reads graffiti on the door.
The women's room offered another unexpected sight: a man, standing at the toilet. He apologized on his way out, but offered no explanation. Nor did he flush.
(image: Ana Fota/NYT)