Photo Tour of Bathrooms of NYC’s Lower East Side


Have you been to the Lower East Side in New York City? A certain type of aesthetic graces the bathrooms of the LES. Venturing to the restroom in a large majority of bars below 14th Street; you’ll find yourself in a throwback to the last oasis of a Lower East Side – that is rapidly becoming no more. Let’s take a little photo tour and explore the art of Lower East Side bathrooms. Shall we? Okay. Let’s go…


Walk through the door of a LES bathroom – and it gives you a glimpse of what this neighborhood was like back in the days when The Ramones were playing at CBGB; and long before CVS drugstores and Starbucks graced every damn street corner.


Bathrooms in the Lower East Side are the last link that this neighborhood has to its once a rough-and-tumble roots. Basically, the LES used to be a scary place.


There’s a distinct look to the art of LES bathrooms. It usually involves layer-upon-layer of spray-painted graffiti and band stickers.


I met a musician who played at CBGB back in the day, and long before the neighborhood was gentrified – he said the only way he would walk to the subway in the LES after a gig was with a broken beer bottle for protection. And, I’m sure that a bathroom he used looked a lot like this…


…or this.


So next time you’re in the Lower East Side of New York, venture to some throwback bars such as Cherry Tavern or Library Bar and get a true sample taste of what NYC was like pre-Giuliani and gentrification. Take time and close your eyes for a moment – and just imagine the Talking Heads are playing around the corner.


Yes, this sums up how you’ll find the experience.

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