Urine Luck | Hive Mind and Kaleidoscope Park
words and photos by Marissa Marangoni and Emily Dressler
by Emily Dressler
Hive Mind, located on West Exchange Street, is not a bar and it is not trying to sell you stuff (except for the merchandise table with records and stickers, homemade jams/jellies and maybe some La Croix). A refreshing DIY venue, the Hive Mind lacks a lot of the noise and branded nonsense you deal with at a bar. Going to the Hive Mind feels like walking into a friend’s house, or maybe just a friend of a friend’s house, to listen to loud music. Don’t worry, they provide ear plugs.
The place is one big room, with a performance area up front and a bathroom in the back. Business in front, party in back. There’s also a bathroom tucked away in the corner of a storage room, but I think it might be a secret because the toilet bowl had a ring of gunk/waste inside it, there was no soap, and it felt forgotten about.
The main bathroom is better than expected considering there’s no paid staff to service it. The normcore vibe–laziness fueled in part by the fear of trying and failing anyway– seems to have carried over here. It’s a basic room with beige and cream tones, a toilet, a sink and a ledge for some knick knacks. The glass block window is obviously the best part. The door locks but I bet it is not long for this world.
The toilet is fine for pee or blood, but you would be pressing your luck with anything else. It has a very slow flush. There might have been some hand soap, but I wasn’t sure. I could have investigated the crumpled-up thick plastic wad on the window ledge to see if it held soap, but I’ve learned not to pick up old-looking bags in bathrooms. After you wet your hands with water, you can use Akron’s version of the Terrible Towel to dry your hands. It is kind of stiff and looks like it sat in the rain while cars drove over it. Instead of drying your hands, just tell everyone your hands are wet because you were crying.
Speaking of, I feel bad poking fun at a bathroom that has a suicide hotline card and also a condom. Suicide prevention and safe sex are good things. The clown figure on the ledge, however, is not such a good thing, but it looks like someone’s grandma made him and I know how attached we all get to heirlooms. The foil-covered fly trap next to the clown did not surprise me. If I had dreamt of this bathroom before using it, the fly trap would have been in my dream.
I appreciate that the most luxurious aspects of this bathroom are the glass blocks and the LED light string on the mirror. The Hive Mind earns a 4/4 toilets, but those points are mostly for effort and sincerity.
375 West Exchange Street
Emily Dressler is probably too surly to be a member of any movement.
by Marissa Marangoni
Well, we decided to mix it up this month, and instead of Dressler the dedicated park reviewer, you get me. On a crisp what-felt-to-be fall day in early September, I took the little guy for a playdate with one of his cousins at the exciting kid part of Memorial Park in Wadsworth. Kaleidoscope Park is pretty cool—I can’t say that I’d recommend adults go down the tube slides with their kids because there really isn’t much room for that.
Luckily, I didn’t get stuck, though it was only by the skin of my teeth that I made it out alive and with an uninjured child who immediately wanted to go down the slide again. Sorry, kid, Mama only gets nearly stuck in a slide once before she calls it quits. Go play in the mulch.
He did play in the mulch, happily flinging it onto the bottom of the slide while I journeyed to the bathroom. DON’T CALL CPS ON ME. He was being supervised.
Once I opened the door, I thought, perhaps, being stuck in the tube slide would have been a better alternative to this experience.
Remember those terrible scary games you played at sleepovers where you went into your friend’s bathroom, shut off the lights and stared in the mirror while chanting, “Bloody Mary” or “Candy Man” three times, wondering if those dumbass words would be your last? Well, even the bravest little soul probably wouldn’t dare to say that stuff in this shitter.
This bathroom is the kind of bathroom that appears in the first “SAW” movie. You know the one where the guy cuts his own leg off because that little clown on a tricycle tricks him? This is the most murder-y bathroom I’ve seen lately. And I did not really want to pee in it, but I had to. There are no discrete bush options at this park, dear reader. You have to use this terrifying toilet whether you want to or not, and during the process, you can imagine what it would look like bathed in blood. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
This dreadful dumper is right off the back left edge of Kaleidescope Park. It looks like your standard brown park bathroom structure until you open the door marked by the man/woman stick figures. Anyone can use this bathroom. Including a murderer.
When I walked inside this dungeon, I was shocked at the amount of light. All its digs and details scream “GET OUT!” even more than usual because the brightness hides little. There’s a sink, a waist-high partition that houses a toilet that I would never, ever like to pee in and a handicapped-accessible toilet sort of blocked by a wall. No stall doors for you, murderers, you use that first crazy toilet. It’s okay, though, you CAN lock the entry door so when you do your dirty work, no one can barge in and interrupt. AND! There is a convenient rusty floor drain for whatever your needs may be.
I had to sort of psych myself up to continue past the sink, but I did it, and I can report to you that it was functional, as was the toilet (I used the one behind the wall, I KNOW, WRONG, but I could NOT go in that first one), and I imagine that scary other toilet was as well. I must note that despite its appearance, this space is clean. It’s just the atmosphere that is scary.
I think Wadsworth maybe better take a look at this kiddie park restroom and reconsider it. Maybe knock the whole thing down and try again. I wouldn’t want to take my kid in this thing ever. No changing table that I saw, not that I’d ever set his butt on it in this horror movie masterpiece. Speaking of horror movies, it’s October. If you like scary stuff in real life, you ought to take a tour of this turd. One out of 5 toilets for this one, guys. Perfect location for playing Bloody Mary, poor place for pooping.
274 Grandview Ave.
Marissa Marangoni once attempted to TP a house in middle school. Everyone involved was too afraid to do anything more than drop a single square of paper in the middle of the road and then run away.