This Sunday is World Toilet Day, created to raise awareness of the fact that 4.5 billion people on this planet still don't have access to safe toilets (or any sanitation at all). Yikes!
There are many ways you can get involved, starting with a visit to the World Toilet Day website, which is filled with useful information and links. (You can also donate directly to the World Toilet Organization, the non-profit that started it all. Or check out these two related charities, DefeatDD and Matt Damon's project, Water.org.)
I'm doing my part by sharing Harlem's extremely stylish bathrooms on social media with the hashtag #WorldToiletDay. Why not join me? It's easy–and super fun. All you have to do is have a beer at the bar (ok, this part is truly optional, but it's part of the fun), go to the bathroom, take a snap, and share it–don't forget the hashtag. And maybe you'll have more success than me in taking pictures of the actual toilets.
Here are the restrooms I recommend:
Chef Marcus Samuelsson's roast-chicken-and-global-street-food restaurant is one of the most stylish in all of Harlem. The space features a mix of vintage boom boxes and other Harlem throwbacks, like the large "Old Fashion' but Good" sign from a defunct local diner. And the designers didn't forget the bathroom, an amazing homage to Grace Jones, featuring magazine covers and other iconic images of the music legend. Don't ask me why, but it just feels so right.
The bathroom at this popular retro hamburger and shake joint (think smashed gourmet beef patties and mushy buns in the tradition of Shake Shack; organic shakes in flavors like Red Velvet) also has a single theme: Jet magazine covers from over the years. They are so fascinating to look at, you might find yourself in there way longer than you expected.
Maison Harlem has a cozy French bistro vibe with food to match. The decor includes clever details like menus tucked into vintage album covers. There are two bathrooms, and the one worth your pictures (bring a flash) is on your left: the walls are papered over in a collage of French signs and images of beautiful models in exotic places. So chic!