We've all been there.
You're walking in a new neighborhood, out for a run or protesting for hours in a park when the need for a restroom suddenly hits.
The brainchild of Williamsburg resident Andrew Maksymowicz, Poopers Guide reviews private bathrooms that are accessible to the public around Manhattan and Brooklyn based on five criteria — cleanliness, comfort, accessibility, size and amenities like Kleenex and changing tables.
La Colombe Coffee - Poopers Rating 💩1.8/5 Location: NoHo Ages 7+ Too Dirty and busy for a family Poopers Expert Advice (PEA) - See through door, croaked and long line for both coffee and bathroom, pass this one by...but stay for the tasty coffee. 🚽Cleanliness (CL) 1 - Trashed, litter flooded the floors 🚽Comfort (CO) 1 - Hard to say this bathroom offers much peace of mind 1) the line for coffee goes past the bathroom door, and there is always a line. 2) the bathroom offers see through glass where you can't make out much at a fast glance, but one could see some defining blurbs 🚽Accessibility (AC) 4 - Literally just walk right in to the coffee shop and look for the only door in the whole space 🚽Size (SZ) 2 - This does offer space, which a plus because when you want to wipe or pull your pants down you can hide from the glass in the door 🚽Amenities (AM) 1 - Bare basics, going back to the golden days of just soap and paper towels to dry your hands.
"I've been rating bathrooms for 10 years," said Maksymowicz, 31, who works as a manager at a nonprofit organization and who launched his online defecation directory in October.
The water closet connoisseur began his work in written form as a college student frequently traveling from his out-of-state college into the city to reach relatives living on the Upper West Side.
“I always needed a bathroom and never knew where to go," he said.
So Maksymowicz started toting a notepad and camera along to document the best and worst restrooms, particularly in Times Square where he found his need arose most.
He has since expanded the scope of his investigations and enlisted his girlfriend's help.
"She rates the ladies’ room so I have a more fair rating and score," he said.
Like most restaurant critics, Maksymowicz does his inspections undercover. He walks into an establishment off the street and asks permission to use the facilities.
“All these places are more easily accessible if you have the courage to walk into an empty restaurant and just ask to use the bathroom," he said. He acknowledged that factors like race and gender may have an as yet unmeasured impact on the way restaurant staff perceives those making the request.
Ace Hotel - Poopers Rating 💩4.6/5 - 🔱Scent of Approval 🔱 Location: Flatiron Ages 1+ -Has changing table Poopers Expert Advice (PEA) - USE use USE. Great bathroom, and stay for the cozy couches and seats in lobby, and the tasty Stumptown coffee 🚽Cleanliness (CL) 5-I have to wonder if Mr. Clean uses this restroom himself 🚽Comfort (CO) 5- I enjoy the fact the stalls feel like like your own world and the ambience is chill, maybe bringing a bottle of wine in here with you and enjoy your stay 🚽Accessibility (AC) 5 - Walk in from one of the many entrances to the hotel and head downstairs, women's to the left- men's to the right. There are also two bathrooms on the first floor ( not listed here a little more busy but also very nice) 🚽Size (SZ) 4- More than enough room to move around in, stalls for everyone and very rarely is there a wait 🚽Amenities (AM) 4 - Baby changing table in both men and women's room, wonderful woody scented soap and Dyson hand dryers, my favorite kind of electric hand dryer #nyc #manhatan #bathroom #travel #flatiron #acehotel #poop #poopersguide #pgflatiron #halloweencostume
According to the expert, the Shangri-La of toilets would be stocked with seat covers and a bidet, as well as "fantastic smelling soap, maybe some music playing over speakers, something I can just relax to … and definitely some funky tiles on the floor."
You'll find none of those amenities at the facilities at the Whole Foods in Union Square, so subpar in Maksynowicz's opinion that he recently steered a man and his son waiting in line toward the restrooms at the Burlington Coat Factory nearby.
"I felt like I had done my duty," he said. "What’s the point of having this knowledge if you can’t use it?”
Opined an Instagram user on one review, "You're doing God's work, friend."