I paid a visit on the luxurious and wonderful Bryant Park public bathroom this weekend. It's easy to forget that this imposed stone edifice is usually open, but if you're in the area and nature calls, you could do a lot worse.
Still, you could also do better. Or, rather, the Parks Department could. I'm happy to report that, last Saturday, the bathroom was in fine shape. The 10-foot coffered ceilings, mosaic tiles, the wainscoting of mosaic vines and flowers, the mirrors framed in cherry wood and the sinks and baby-changing table capped with Bianco Verde marble from India—all were all spic and span. There were even fresh flowers in the vestibule and at the sinks.
But that was all spoiled by the musical backdrop: a nonstop soundtrack of the most hardcore and explicit hip hop music you could wish for was piped through the bathroom speakers. I can only guess this was the aesthetic choice of the staff, who want to pass their dreary workday listening to music that they like. I understand that. But, really, how inappropriate can you get? If ever a bathroom screamed out for classical music, it's the classy one at Bryant Park. Or, if you must, showtunes, since it's so close to Broadway.
Also, sorry to be a prude, but the bathroom is visited by many tourist and their children, who may have a lot of questions for mom and dad after sitting in the stall for five minutes listening to the colorful sexual exploits of playas. C'mon. Change the channel.