Monday, November 20, 2006

New York Steps Up Even Higher

Latest attraction in New York's Times Square: a proper public restroom
Published: Monday, November 20, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) - Clean public restrooms are scarce in New York. Clean public anything is especially scarce in Times Square.
But this holiday season, toilet paper company Charmin has built pristine public restrooms, set to open Monday at a formerly empty warehouse in the middle of one the busiest intersections in the world. And they're free. "We wanted to get our product into the hands of consumers, and we figured this was an innovative way of doing it," said Adam Lisook, assistant brand manager for Charmin.
Even amid the flashing lights and dizzying colours of Times Square, the bathrooms are hard to miss - there's a huge glowing blue sign with the word "Restrooms" and an arrow pointing down. Take the escalators upstairs to the lavish royal blue waiting room with flat-screen TVs tacked to the walls, a fireplace, a mini-dance floor for children, oversize teddy bears to play with and plush white couches.
There's a photo station with the Charmin teddy bear from the commercials. Parents can take pictures as they wait to use one of the 20 stalls.
The bathrooms are complete with white porcelain sinks and toilets, and a light overhead that tells visitors when a stall is open.
There are even theme rooms: Times Square, Wall Street, and one devoted to "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Doris Roberts, the celebrity spokeswoman for the event.

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