As a family-oriented site, I try to keep away from such talk but in this case, I will definitely make an exception.
As America’s population ages, there are more and more visitors who have bowel and kidney issues. Add an average family with small children and you’ve got a concerned and worried bunch who have got to go NOW! I won’t even mention the itinerant sailor docking on our waterfront looking for a simple thing as a bathroom!
The trouble with many public restrooms downtown, they are often locked just when you need them the most. The Firehouse would be a a good resource but the doors remain solidly shut when the box office is closed. The tourist restrooms by the visitor booth has some of the most fickle hours for operation that I have ever found. Great facilities but unless the town is jammed with people, it remains stubbornly closed.
And of course, there are huge amounts of bathrooms available to you if you’re purchasing a meal. But, there are many a times when short on cash or unwilling to spend the time in a sit-down environment; makes this option out of reach for many.
So here are the hidden spots that are available:
Richdales. A great place and centrally located, it is a solid resource. The owners have long discovered that many a purchase has been generated by slightly guilty patrons after a hurried shuffle back of the store. The problem lies in it’s remoteness from the waterfront which explains why all those people are constantly rushing up State Street. It’s certainly a way to get more foot traffic onto upper State and Pleasant!
The Library. Not as extensive in hours as Richdales but definitely a place if you desperately need a quality restroom. Be sure to ditch the ice cream outside and try your best to look ‘studious’. And for heaven’s sake go quietly.
The Tannery. Much closer to the water but still a bit of a hike eastward from the central waterfront. If arriving at the docks or first time in the city, just look for the in-town Lighthouse. The restrooms are small but a great place to explore the shopping center after you’re relieved!
The Chamber. Restrooms are just to the right of the main room, out in an antechamber. They have business hours so useless in the evening but are close to the waterfront and downtown.
City Hall. Limited hours during the day (closes often by 4:00) but unless you have an aversion to city hall employees and politicians, adequate facilities. The most private are in the basement and are accessible by a rickety elevator.
In addition to these locations, there are our many coffee shops – though they may not be thrilled that your main reason to be there is to use the restrooms; most recognize that you’ll be usually leaving with a coffee in hand and may even stay to enjoy the desserts and pastries! One of the best is Plum Island Coffee Roasters – which, since it has an isolated location on the waterfront is pretty handy.
The Black Cow – yes, it’s a restaurant but they have an agreement with the city that the restrooms are available to passersby – so, if you can’t wait – it’s close proximity to the boardwalk makes it one of the most advantageous. Since accessing this website makes you one of the few to know about it – there rarely is a waiting line – yes, I’m speaking to you ladies in particular!
And for the absolutely desperate, the Police Station. Just go up the steps and turn to the right. You might get a mild interrogation by the attending officer or more likely a long glare; but its trifle when you have to go! If you have children, just pretend your giving them a lesson on negative alternative lifestyles…behave or else!