Time Tripping

I’m not saying where this is because I’m afraid of getting in trouble. I know it’s very weird taking pictures in a public bathroom, but I just love the 19th century back-in-time feel of this room, and I swear that at the time no one was in there besides myself. Look at these wood doors, all the marble, the brass. And scroll down and check out the fire hose.

Maybe some of you see things like this all the time, but it looks like something we don’t even use anymore to me. Very steam punk.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

3 thoughts on “Time Tripping

  1. Mens rooms of that era have these magnificent porcelain floor standing urinals, too, all lined up in a row. They look like something the Romans would have built. Some of them have glaze with a crackled patina. Very cool.
    Nothing weird about us, uh uh. Nope.
    My bet is that this is at the Municipal Archives, right? AKA Stacy’s second home?

  2. Hi Stacy,
    I love these old bathrooms. And I appreciate Dan alerting you to the more dignified and distinguished urinals that one finds in the men’s room.

    One of the things I regret is the replacement of a lot of old buildings that had tons of atmosphere with new, modernistic displays.

    I’m specifically thinking of some old movie theaters in Dallas ad Houston that have virtually been torn down. Back in the old day, going to the movies was really something. Huge, vaulted ceilings, columns with carvings, mahogany statues of female ingenues holding up platters of mahogany fruit, mahogany gargoyles. And then when the movie starts, an evocative purple curtain parts followed by a red curtain, both with gold tassels. I mean, it was really something.

    And of course the bathrooms were distinguished in the way they are portrayed here, and a person would not want to miss the opportunity to use the facility if they paid the price of the ticket. A Roman senator as his toilet…

    Now in Houston and Dallas as elsewhere, these old temples to cinema have been replaced by plastic multiplexes, 6 or 8 theater screens. No deep velvet cushions in the seats, just a bunch of fast-food type seating and sometimes you can hear the sound from the movie next pew over.

    Pathetic. If I come to New York, in addition to inviting you to dinner, I will have to go to this building simply to use the facility.

  3. Haha. There are some old theatres that are still like that, and they are restoring one out in Brooklyn (or was it Queens). But yeah. Oh, Radio City is still like that, but I don’t think they show movies anymore.

    I’m so out of it in my own city.

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