Public restrooms are a problem in big cities. The answer is not always obvious. Many restaurants post signs: “Restrooms for patrons only.” Starbucks employees have complained about cleaning the restrooms. In San Francisco there was a public restroom. I happened to hang around long enough to find out that this turned out to be a good idea gone bad. It didn’t seem amiss when I noticed a woman pounding on the door. In an instance I noted she was probably homeless. The door swung open and inside I could see several people one of whom had a shopping cart. I realized that this room was probably in use as a homeless shelter. I idly wondered what a single woman … lest you wonder why I was idling, it turned out there was a fountain and I was resting my weary feet. Across the street was a street graphic which provided a convenient backdrop for my camera.
I watched as people came up and pressed the buttons to use the restroom. The door never opened. City workers were around and about but never entered nor attempted to clean the facility. A crazy homeless man appeared and persistently banged on the door. Finally the door swung open again to admit him. The single woman emerged and the homeless crazy entered. I confirmed that there were at least three other occupants in the shadows inside. Life goes on. My advice: McD or Burger King is an easy one. Any large hotel will never be able to distinguish if you are a guest or an itinerant passerby. Either way there is some assurance that you will be successful and not harassed.