Do we really need creative bathrooms?

We can sometimes be a slave to trends, but we loved yesterday’s New York Times story jabbing at restaurants that make their bathrooms as inscrutable as possible. You may be familiar with the bogs at Manhattan’s Royalton Hotel, which, as you enter, appear to have no doors of any sort, bathroom stall or no. But the trend appears to have gone way way beyond that to include what writer Frank Bruni says are new symbols on bathroom doors—arrows for men, crosses for women—a “scavenger hunt” at Prem-on-Thai in the Village to work the sinks, and a peephole looking out at the room from the central stall at Peep in SoHo, where the goer “must reassure himself or herself that the people on the other side do not have the same, um, privilege.” One restaurateur describes the trend in the context of engagement—a buzzword we hear a lot these days as an antidote to a cluttered world. But let’s face it: At certain times, despite ever-improving multitasking skills, we want to focus on one thing and one thing alone.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor

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