Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Come to Roosevelt Island But Make Sure to “Go” Before Leaving Manhattan or Queens

A few of my friends when visiting Roosevelt Island have asked where there is a public bathroom on this Island. My usual reply is there are none. In truth I know of only one but I have never tried it and it’s all the way up by the Octagon Gardens across from the Fire Department Special Operations Command. I actually have no idea if it's even unlocked.

On days that I have been in the playgrounds (Al Lewis, The Castle, or Manhattan Park) with my kids and nature called to them I usually have had them use the porta-potty discreetly. When I have had to go I have either high-tailed it back to our apartment in Northtown or scurried into Trellis. So far Trellis has been good about these trips.

As reported in The Main Street Wire within an article or two or perhaps it was a letter to the editor I know I saw indications that the NY Public Library’s bathroom is off limits to all but their staff and they have been known to tell young mothers with children to go to Trellis. Now again Trellis has been good about this but try rushing down those stairs with a toddler either walking or carrying them and you are looking at a disaster.

With the opening of the Visitor’s Center I began wondering where all our expected guests are supposed to "go". I am not sure what the policy is but the bathrooms at the Tram station are usually locked. The tram staff has taken pity on the occasional parent of a toddler in need but that cannot be counted on and tourists don’t even know where these bathrooms are generally. These bathrooms are clearly marked but when you exit the Tram most folks walk off the platform heading away from the bathrooms.

It appears to me that if we want to be seen as tourist friendly we need to start planning on keeping the Tram bathrooms open to the public or we better buy a stand alone toilet like those currently employed at Greeley and Herald Square Parks in Manhattan.


  1. There are porta-toilets down at the Southpoint Park that are available. I think they were left there after the 4th of July fireworks.

    You should see the situation up at the Lighthouse where all the anglers are. If they need to go they just do it against the lighthouse. Especially now in the summer it smells and you can see the puddles on the ground.

  2. Have you ever used the "comfort station" that is by the Gardens?

  3. No, but I did see people coming out of there when we had a BBQ at the soccer field. Is that the one you mean?

  4. I believe so. It sits right off of Main Street