When you gotta go, you gotta go...but when you're out and about and have a potty-training preschooler or an infant in need of a diaper change you don't always have the luxury of advance planning. You need to find the closest, (hopefully) cleanest, publicly accessible bathroom—and fast.
Have we ever got a list for you. Thanks to the work of one thoughtful, brilliant Rutgers professor, Dr. Wansoo Im, (hey, Jersey's good for something!) we now have an interactive map of every city bathroom. Get your bookmarks ready.
Since launching, the New York Restrooms map has grown exponentially and its open source format lets users just like you add new restrooms as they pop up, so, once you're done washing hands, be a good neighbor and let the public know where to go.
Restroom options are handily color-coded and broken down by location type, ranging from public restrooms to restrooms located inside hotels, fast-food joints, bookstores and coffee shops, plus a catchall "other" category. Click on a listing and you can see a Google Maps view of the location, plus locate some other handy info, like whether the spot is handicapped (or stroller) accessible, and if it's open.
The map works beautifully on a smartphone, too, so be sure to add it to your bookmarks. While some businesses may require you to purchase something, I've never seen a potty-dancing kid be turned away, nor one who just asked politely...even if they were asking on behalf of their mother.