Moose Tracks & Bear Tracks
words and photos by Marissa Marangoni and Emily Dressler
Chill Ice Cream by Marissa Marangoni
HELLO! (Hello, hello, hello…) Is there an echo in here, or is it just me? My kid is a fan of Chill Ice Cream in downtown Akron. He loves ice cream, but he particularly loves that his voice is echo-y in this cool, basement establishment. “But, UL, does he love the bathrooms?” I’m sure you’re asking. Unfortunately–maybe fortunately for him?–he is still busy pooping in his pants, so bathrooms aren’t his thing. Just ice cream and echoes. But URINE LUCK! because *I* don’t poop my pants, though there have been some close calls. (Eventually, I will write about the Acme visit. I’m still getting my courage up for that one.)
The women’s bathroom at Chill ice cream is located, like the rest of the place, in the basement. What’s cool (heh heh) about this location is that the bathroom appears before the ice cream. This is convenient for a number of reasons–you can wash your hands before and after you eat and if you fall down the challenging set of basement stairs on your way in, you can clean up the blood before you
enjoy America’s finest dessert!
This single stall john is one I recommend. Once you’re past the arduous descent, you have earned your rest. It’s private, it’s functional, it has a toilet and running water and all the things a good bathroom needs. One weird thing about this spot,however, is the art. Now, maybe you all think it’s weird to put food art by a toilet, but really, which would you expect more in an ice cream parlor bathroom: a photo of mountain cliffs or ice cream? I’m going with ice cream, and you should, too. But all we get are ocean cliffs here at Chill. Chill, let’s get ice cream on the wall in the bathroom. That’s my only complaint, if it even counts as one.
Go for the A+ (and affordable AND artisan–those things don’t usually go together!) ice cream and the toilets when you visit Chill. I’d really love to say, “the ice cream is cold, and the bathroom’s not so hot,” but I can’t because this place gets 4.5/5 toilets from me.
Chill Ice Cream
12 Maiden Lane
Akron, OH 44308
MON – THURS: 12-9 PM
FRI & SAT: 12-10 PM
SUN: 1-7 PM
Marissa loves ice cream of all kinds and is busy tasting a lot of it this summer. Not many ice cream places have public bathrooms.
Akron Zoo by Emily Dressler
I visit the Akron Zoo a lot and I have a lot to tell you about animals and bathrooms. You have your pick of four different restroom locations at the zoo: The Welcome Center, Komodo Kingdom, Zoo Gardens, and Wild Prairie. I am most familiar with the Komodo Kingdom restrooms (an aside: the chicken frog in Komodo Kingdom is my favorite gross thing at the zoo, and that’s even with the new gross animals in Curious Creatures). I have never used the Zoo Gardens bathrooms. I bet those are swank.
Like most people, you probably have a better sense of direction than I do. I can easily lose my way at the Akron Zoo. I get that the curvy, sloping pathways allow for better landscaping and animal habitats, but I operate better with basic grids. I’ve got the first half of the zoo down, but once I leave Komodo Kingdom, I rely on my 3 year old to find the way.
By the time you get to Komodo Kingdom, chances are that someone in your party needs to use the restroom. You should go now because the next one is in the Wild Prairie, and you don’t want to be stuck walking up the hill to Grizzly Ridge and then rushing through exhibits just so you can get to those avocado green bathrooms in the Wild Prairie.
Komodo Kingdom has swell bathrooms that are easy to find from the main entrance. A men’s room, a women’s room, and two family rooms. The women’s room is usually decently clean. The men’s room probably looks like bears have rampaged it, but men will be bears, as they say. We last visited on a nice weekend, so the family restrooms were not as clean as I would have liked. You can hang your bag on the door, but not if it’s bulky because you constantly carry a bunch of crap. Put it on the floor or maybe even the diaper changing table? I’m not even sure why I felt compelled to use the family room. I guess because the door was open.
The signs in and around the bathrooms are my favorite. I like when places force/encourage me to explore topics. For instance, the zoo wants to teach you about water conservation and you should pay attention. To do their part, they have installed low-flow water faucets and other features that promote conservation.
This bathroom is basic and could stand to have some colorful decorations or more informative signs at least. The Toro brand hand dryer is impressive and even has a drip tray. The family rooms tend to be warm (or maybe I’m prone to sweating), so watch out for that.
I rate the entire bathroom situation at the Akron Zoo a 4.5/5, but I rate this specific room a ⅗.
500 Edgewood Ave.
Akron, OH 44307
Sun – Sat: 10 am – 5 pm
Emily Dressler has animal-like instincts. She is slow like a sloth and cuddly like a cat.