Working at a beer store on St. Mark’s Place, Brittany Spano, 27, has seen the Big Apple’s robust social life return, albeit in an abridged form.
Drink windows selling to-go cocktails and beers have sprung up throughout the city, drawing in socially starved New Yorkers who have been in quarantine for three months. But this re-emergence has come with a stream of issues — mainly a steady flow of revelers freely peeing in public since most bathrooms remain closed. And now, with thousands of protesters taking to the streets each day, more people than ever are contributing to NYC’s No. 1 problem by whizzing in the wild.
“Last night, my co-worker saw some guy just coming down the street and pulling down his pants [to urinate],” Spano tells The Post. “She was like, ‘Nah, not here, man.’
“There’s definitely been an uptick on this street, from what I’ve seen. But most people at least go in a corner or have friends cover them up,” says Spano.
A lack of restrooms has left New Yorkers in a bind. They want to go out but then they are left holding it in. Restaurants, bars and coffee shops where New Yorkers could always find relief in the past have closed their restrooms to the public. Plus, with fears over the coronavirus still very present, many don’t feel safe going into germ-infested public restrooms. And hey, peeing in public isn’t even a crime anymore. In 2017, New York City introduced the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which decriminalized low-level offenses.
“My friends and I talk about [public urination] all of the time now,” Sophia, a 23-year-old who lives in Park Slope and asked that her last name not be used, tells The Post. “It’s a big topic. Since the pandemic, I have done it myself in Prospect Park, behind a dumpster in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. All of the public restrooms like McDonald’s and Starbucks are closed. If you are far away from your home, what are you supposed to do?”