Friday, February 26, 2010

LIVE from Chris Flyer's bathroom. Grade: F-. What is with the fish shower curtain? jklolchaosreigns

Sunday, February 21, 2010

LIVE AMC Waterfront 22 Theater. Grade: B. Large, bathroom-related movie quotes above mirrors, auto sinks, urinals & hand dryers, not as clean as it should be.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fitness Factory

Fitness Factory
212 South Highland Avenue
Grade: B

A combo restroom/locker room is a hard thing to grade, due mostly to the additional filth factor of sweat to compliment the usual bodily wastes one expects to encounter in an ordinary restroom. It almost seems unfair to apply the same standards of cleanliness to a gym's restroom as one would to, say, a restaurant's. On the other hand, you could argue that an gym's restroom/locker room should be even more closely attended than another establishment's, and that therefore the gym's should always be cleaner.

So I'll start by saying that the Fitness Factory's men's room is, above all else, clean. I frequently see employees moving about the place with mops, rags and spray bottles, and the results really do show. There is even a sign on the mirror above the sink asking gym members to wipe standing water from the counter after using the sink.

That said, the restroom is a little on the small side. There is a single stall, urinal, sink, curtained shower stall, bench and row of lockers. The sink and soap dispenser are both manually operated. Even with the size, I've never felt cramped, crowded or rushed in the restroom. Like the Fitness Factory itself, the men's room does plenty with a small space.

Probably my favorite part of this particular lavatory is the open ceiling. That's right; the walls of the restrooms don't extend fully to the ceiling of the gym itself. That means that when you hear a man grunting loudly, it is sometimes hard to tell whether he's doing lat pulldown supersets on the other side of the wall or struggling with the bad tacos he ate on the toilet.

(Note: While this blog as a rule only reviews men's restrooms, it's worth mentioning that there is a clean, comfortable unisex restroom with a lockable door and single toilet in the back of the gym for those who require more privacy or who have done one too many squats and can't make it all the way across the place before puking.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Plum Asian Kitchen

Plum Asian Kitchen
5996 Penn Cir S
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Grade: A+

Let me start by saying that Plum's restroom was the inspiration for this blog in the first place. I can't remember the last time I visited a public restroom that evoked such strong emotions.

Amanda and I went for Valentine's Day dinner, and the men's room exceeded expectations even for such a romantic evening. The walls are covered in a hip brown, beige and gray tiling. General lighting is low and soft. The sink and soap dispenser are both automatic, and there are some extremely durable yet soft paper towels lined up in a decorative basket along the counter. The toilets, floor and sink are impeccably clean. There are two urinals - one high and one low, so as to accommodate all clientele - and the door to the stall runs almost completely floor-to-ceiling, which is great for privacy when one feels as though he is dangerously near to barfing (this is, fortunately, not a restaurant review site). It really says a lot about an establishment's restroom when you can be both doubled over in pain on your knees in front of the toilet and sublimely comfortable at the same time.

What really seals the deal, though, is the lighting at the sink. There are two rows of soft lights lining either side of the mirror that manage to achieve the flattering effect of the best dressing rooms. I had not shaved my head or beard in a week and, as I said, had recently been fighting for my life on the stall floor not four paces away. Still, in that mirror, I looked like one of the most handsome men in the world.

Consensus: Clean, comfortable, great ambiance, and no matter what you actually look like, your reflection in Plum's men's room mirror will look something like this (complete with little halos of light in your eyes, I swear):