Hey, Millennials! Have you ever wondered which of NYU’s many bathrooms are the best places for a neurotic, overachieving student, who is at times totally consumed by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, to indulge in detailed cleaning rituals during a hectic day of class? Look no further! Here’s exactly where NYU’s OCDs are washing their faces!
1. The Handicap Bathroom Below the West 4th Starbucks
Hands down, this is one of the best bathrooms NYU has to offer, due to the convenient location! Since you’ve probably spent most of your day hanging around here on your laptop anyway because your dorm with its hospital-hallway lighting is too depressing for you to stomach going home just yet, this is a very convenient place to wash your face if you’ve eaten anything your mind does not categorize as Clean, or if you’ve for any reason begun to sweat at all, even a little bit. You can also pop down here to wash your hands if you accidentally touch a stranger’s hand while reaching for your fourth coffee of the day, or if your table had a sticky spot that you accidentally rested your hand on before jerking it away as if you had been burned.
Since this is a single bathroom, you can take as long as you want to wet a paper towel, then methodically wipe your forehead first, down your nose, then each side of your face across your cheekbones and downwards, and finally from each of your temples down to the center of your chin. No odd glances here! No other people at all. You can even, on a bad day, perform this ritual several times in a row. Popping your zits in this bathroom is possible, but not recommended you stupid fuck, you silently scream at yourself in the mirror while watching yourself do the things you’re telling yourself not to do; you’re just going to make it worse, just leave it alone, PLEASE.
Bonus: if you’ve just had your heart broken over the course of a busy day of classes and need a quick spot to recharge, you can come here—multiple times during your college experience! Reuse is never a problem with this bathroom!—you can come here, lay your backpack down gently, carefully sink down so you don’t have to touch the floor with your hands, gather your knees into your chest (avoiding the spot midway down your calf where a spatter of muddy water from a bike landed on your way to class), and stare at the door’s blank white space for as long as you want, until you finally make your way home to huddle under your blankets and message your friends about what happened, and only then, maybe, you begin to cry.
2. The Gender Neutral Bathrooms in the Building With the Argo Tea
These bathrooms are a sneakily minimal concession to political correctness— they’re gender neutral, but they’re also both one-person bathrooms. So they’re basically just like any single bathroom, really. Where have you seen a single bathroom with a gender marking on it? Nowhere, that’s where. Everyone’s happy; trans people get to use the bathrooms they want, and cis people don’t have to share a bathroom with trans people. You guess there are just enough conservatives going to NYU (or donating to NYU, ba-zing,) that there can’t be a multi-stalled gender neutral bathroom here yet. Since you know NYU is mainly interested in continuing to receive huge amounts of money from its many and varied sources of huge amounts of money, you figure you shouldn’t have expected more. Political correctness, more like political corruption, am I right? Am I right?
Some of you may have noticed a theme here— single person bathrooms are by far the best places to wash your face! You often wonder why these gender neutral bathrooms are in this building in particular. Are there way more trans students in the departments that meet in this building? You know there are a lot of English classes here, so you guess that makes sense? Though you really don’t know that many people in English, and none of the ones you do know are trans, so you don’t know where you got that conception, now that you think about it. You’ve been apathetically in the closet about being genderqueer for a while, so you also wonder if you should personally be happy about this advance, but like… you personally just don’t care?? Doesn’t mean other people don’t deserve bathroom access, that’s not your point, you just thought you’d mention you guess?
While you may not have many classes here, there are paper towels aplenty in this bathroom, so not only can you use this bathroom to wash off from the shockingly greasy muffins at the Argo Tea, which after a couple tries you just decide not to buy one again because it’s too much distress to see that horrible oil shining on your fingertips and probably all around your mouth, the impurities sinking into your skin to bubble up again in tumescent cysts that make you want to dig and scratch that grime right out of yourself, just pick and pop until the blood flows out and you know it’s all gone, not only that, but whenever you have a panic attack during class you can also come to these bathrooms and pace, or curl into a ball, or do whatever you need to make the scream inside you recede for long enough to finish out the lecture.
3. The Single Bathrooms on the 11th floor of the Tisch Building
Another MVP among NYU’s bathrooms, this single bathroom actually has a satisfying deadbolt you can turn on the outer door, and it makes you feel like you’ve truly shut the world out in a way that you just can’t top with the less tactile experience of other bathroom locks. There’s a vaguely odd layout in here. Basically there’s a sink right when you walk in, but then there’s a stall with the toilet in it?? Like so someone could use the sink while another person pees, or as if someone in line might wait in the outside part as someone uses the stall, knowing that this is a single person bathroom and that they might as well just wait outside? Wouldn’t that be deeply awkward? Is it just you? Do other people do this and you’re the only one who doesn’t? Who designed this?
You meditate on these questions each and every time you visit this bathroom, without fail, and over four years of film school you will log many hours of such meditation. You never come up with any answers, though. Just more questions. You’ve also tried to discuss this bathroom with other people, but somehow whenever you think to discuss it you’re never actually around anyone who’s in Tisch film and thus would have used that bathroom, so instead you’ll be in a bar talking to some random guy who’s just trying to take you back to his place and fuck you but you’re trying to explain to him the layout of a bathroom he’ll never use in a building he may never set foot in, or you’re in a non-film class drawing a diagram on notebook paper for someone in another school and telling them they should visit this bathroom, just check it out you’ll see what I mean, and they’re like “maybe” but you know they won’t.
You’ll visit it during a freshman year class held just across the hall— it’s at 9:30 AM on Mondays, so you’ll spend the first hour or so surreptitiously coming over here to puke, then on your way back nonchalantly trying to catch a glimpse of someone who never thinks of catching a glimpse of you; you know his class is very very close, maybe if you linger over these three or four steps across the hall making your hungover desperate way back to your class, which when you walk in your teacher will give you that sympathetic look that makes you never want to go to her office hours in case she asks if you need help or something. You really actually think that he might happen to come out and this one time just magically be interested in conversation with you and then you might start to feel better, Jesus, and then you’ll visit it a bunch more times when you’re editing in the nearby computer lab, plus to wash your face in after you go for meal breaks, since, as you quickly notice freshman year, most of the food places around the building don’t have bathrooms. What the fuck is wrong with New York that most food places don’t have public bathrooms?! You suppose it’s a space issue, and might have to do with trying to keep homeless people from hanging around, also New York just seems to be trying to repel humanity like a body sending white blood cells after invading bacteria.
4. The Secret(ish) Bathroom Around the Bend by the First Floor Elevators in the Kimmel Building
The NYU Secrets Facebook page shut down years ago, but NYU still has some secrets left to tell! When you tap in downstairs, if you make a hard left instead of continuing on to the elevators, you’ll find a single person bathroom, oddly enough with the same layout as the single bathroom in the Tisch building. Since it’s so close to the entrance, this one’s one of the most convenient for if you suddenly have to rush inside to wash, like if the autumn wind blows a wet leaf into your face, or if you bump up against someone in the street and your hand brushes theirs, or if your hand somehow touches your shoe, or even if you just feel like it! After all, do you really need a reason to wash your hands or face? Sometimes you just feel like you have to, with no explanation!
You can also safely use this bathroom because, unlike the Tisch building or even the Starbucks, you are almost guaranteed to never meet someone you know in Kimmel. You’ve basically never run into anyone in that building. Since your department doesn’t have any classes that meet there, and since the dining hall there is mediocre on a good day, people in your social circles seem to give this building a wide berth, which means that if ordering coffee was more social interaction than you were looking to do today, this building will give you solace from the threat of any unplanned conversations.
5. The Bathrooms in the Basement of the Tisch Building
We get it, you’re a film student! But in all seriousness, Tisch is one of the better-appointed buildings as far as bathrooms are concerned. The main criterion here, which you may have guessed is the presence or absence of paper towels, is satisfied in almost all the bathrooms in Tisch, whereas many of the NYU buildings are beginning to transition to air dryers to save the environment; maybe the Tisch building is behind the times on this because, as you notice in your time there, while art students are all about acting in various affected ways to signal that they’re edgy and nonconformist, not many of them can name even one political cause they care about, this mainly stemming from the fact that they’re overwhelmingly rich and white.
Like sure, they voted for Obama, and a lot of them probably feel like they Made History by voting in the last election or at least Witnessed History Being Made or whatever. But so most of their political involvement is them getting caught up in whatever their favorite celebrity is into, or wearing Che Guevara shirts because you guess that’s still a thing. You often wonder if you’re one of them, considering you’ve never been arrested like a few Real Activist friends of yours and since you too are overwhelmingly rich and white, but considering you’ve actually read a decent amount of the literature on your views while most of your Tisch friends just parrot the Comedy Central lineup, or SNL for the more lowbrow ones, you can usually reassure yourself on that one pretty easily. It’s not hard to feel politically radical when you go to school with a bunch of gentrifiers, the bulk of whom care most about weed being legalized, or at the very best subscribe to Lena Dunham feminism, which mainly focuses on making there be more female CEOs and letting Scarlett Johansson get paid as much as Robert Downey Jr., which means it doesn’t talk about poor or black women pretty much ever at all even once.
The basement of Tisch is a minefield of people you know, and this bathroom is no exception; one reason for its low position on this list. As the first and only non-single bathroom on this list it must be noted that if you want real privacy, it’ll be hard to come by here. If you’re here during the day, and during class hours, it’s a decent bet you’ll find it empty, but rarely for long. Still, you’re perfectly good at being furtive when you need to be, and since the glasses you wear for class make you break out you won’t have much of a choice but to sometimes, on a really bad day, come in here several times to wipe off first your face, then your glasses. And god help you if you’ve eaten one of the hibiscus or dulce de leche donuts at the coffee shop in the building’s main lounge; those things are as costly in time washing your face as they are in dollars!
Well, that’s the lineup of the most wash-able bathrooms around NYU! We hope that next time you feel filthy enough to claw your own skin off, except that wouldn’t even help, since the filth would just be able to get inside your blood that way, you stop by one of these amazing choices!
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