Friday, March 28, 2008

Very Specialized New York Maps

True, it leaves out Columbia University in Manhattan and the U.S. Tennis Center and Shea Stadium in Queens, but Streeter Seidell's White Folks’ Guide to the NYC Subway System is still pretty amusing. It's almost funnier to read all the irate comments -- mostly of the 'why is my stop not in there?' variety. Are people upset about that? Should they be? Inidentally, my stop in Brooklyn is not included.

Anyone who has lived in or even visited New York City knows that public restrooms no longer exist here. That Starbucks locations, although they are everywhere, do not always have bathrooms. And if they do, it is a single unisex bathroom with a queue that never lets up. McDonald's locations sometimes lock their bathrooms. It's awful, and many New Yorkers are obsessed with the problem.

Thanks to the The New York City Public Toilet Map, "the only wallet sized map of restrooms around Manhattan," 250 toilets are at your disposal. It was created by artist Tommy Mintz as a part of the Jewish Museum's Off the Wall: Artists At Work open studio project. Mintz is selling the small folded map for $2 on the Internet.

According to the New York Times, Mintz suffers from ulcerative colitis, which means he really needs to know where these bathrooms are.

As the Times points out, this has been done before: lists 258 restrooms on a Google map. It includes the categories: public, bookstore, coffee shop, hotel, and other. As of yet, the map does not appear to be available for mobile devices like Blackberries and iPhones.

It was created by Wansoo Im, who was profiled in the New Yorker in 2006. “If everyone contributes information to the map, pretty soon there will be no more rest-room problem,” Im optimistically told John Seabrook.


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