words and photos by Emily Dressler and Marissa Marangoni
Toilet Eclipse at Howe Meadow by Emily Dressler
Shortly after experiencing the solar eclipse of 2017 at Howe Meadow in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, I used the restroom. I thought I would find a bathroom that had been magically transformed by our partially eclipsed sun: maybe some flowers on the wall, a smattering of glitter and an overall feeling of peace.
I was wrong.
The light was dim in the outhouse-like structure and I thought Is there an eclipse in here or what? If you missed the partial eclipse in Ohio, go stand in a park bathroom and bask in the dull glow or wait until 2024 when Ohio will experience a full solar eclipse. Your decision. There were no flowers or glitter, but you know I always feel oddly peaceful in a public restroom. I think this is a partial lie?
The women’s bathroom boasts a “toilet,” sign warning visitors not to put any trash in the toilet and a sign instructing visitors how to dispose of pads or tampons. There is a coat/purse hook on the wall–a luxury compared to the bare bones aesthetic. This is not a horrible porta pot and the smell was not overwhelming. Of course, it’s no Devil Strip VIP porta pot, a la Signal Tree Fest, but that is beyond compare.
The pads and tampons sign could use some work. First of all, SORRY THAT WOMEN HAVE PERIODS BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO YELL ABOUT IT. Also: Why do so many sign makers ignore punctuation? Second, what even is this graphic? It looks like a robotic pair of underwear drawn on an etch a sketch. Presumably, it’s supposed to be a plastic bag to reinforce the disposal bag mentioned in the sign. Thanks? I think the point is that you are not to throw your pads or tampons in the chemical toilet. Instead, grab a bag from the cozy looking metal box and toss your messy woman burden in the trashcan outside. Because that’s not embarrassing.
Before I left, I used the purell hand sanitizer station inside the bathroom. Here’s my trick, folks: I put a glob in my left hand so i can open the door with my right hand, and then I rub in the hand sanitizer once I am outside. Genius!
I was at the Silver Lake MetroParks porta pots recently and was quite taken with the sink station. The dual-sided sink, located outside the porta pots, provides water flow via an attached footpedal, and even has soap and paper towels. It was refreshing to have access to actual soap and water after using a porta pot. The bathroom situation at Howe Meadow could benefit from a similar feature, especially considering the Farmer’s Market and associated exchanges of food and money.
I wish there were a way to invite graffiti into our park bathrooms without having a bunch of offensive and dumb slop. Maybe a group of park-appointed artists could add nice pictures to some select bathrooms? Man, this solar eclipse has really inspired me. Thanks, sun & moon.
This bathroom earns a partial eclipse rating of 2.5 / 5 toilets.
4040 Riverview Road
Peninsula, Ohio 44264
Emily doesn’t even like glitter, honest. But if it were edible and on pizza, then I bet it would be great.
Mini Moon at Tear-Ez by Marissa Marangoni
I didn’t watch the eclipse at Tear-Ez. I don’t think I could have if I wanted to, but I’m pretty sure no one goes to a bar to watch an eclipse. But, if you’re in search of a fine mixed drink or beer and want to hear a talented drag queen sing a solid cover of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler, this is the place to go.
For all of you out there intimidated by the name “Tear-Ez,” know you are not in danger of bodily harm. Pronounced “Terry’s,” this is one of those great hole-in-the-wall bars you won’t want to leave. It’s no Barley House, and thank God for that. The atmosphere is dim and has few frills. The bathrooms are just the same.
Two small single stall johns with locking doors, old odd wallpaper and a functional toilet and sink are what you’ll find at Tear-Ez. These bathrooms are dark and older and exactly what they should be. And this, like I believe I mentioned in my review of the Lockview a while back, is what I expect at a bar. I don’t want fancy. I just need stuff that works and is interesting and mostly cleanish.
This bathroom is clean and its interest factor is high. I have to say that when I pulled open the door, I fully expected graffiti, but there wasn’t any. Maybe that’s a testament to the gay community, this respect for the blue and shiny gold wallpaper. At least, I think it was blue and shiny gold? It was hard to tell with the lighting.
Everything is slightly off in the women’s room. The lighting is bright but tinged yellow. I wouldn’t exactly want to see myself in a bikini in the mirror of this bathroom, but it was too dim to see how badly my eyeliner had smudged. Maybe that’s a bad thing. Don’t judge me. I don’t go out much.
The toilet is small. As in, I took a picture of my face by this toilet to try and give you an idea of size, but then I thought that might look gross and weird so I’m not using that picture. I’d put it on the Urine Luck Instagram, but for some reason, my part of the account doesn’t work. Maybe a better picture for scale would be several butts aligned with the toilet. I’m not sharing that one on the Urine Luck Instagram either.
The toilet paper holder is too high on the wall. I always wonder how this happens. Is someone with really long arms installing toilet paper holders and that’s why they occasionally end up in weird locations that short people can’t reach? Are there people out there who like to stand up and then get their toilet paper? Are you supposed to get your toilet paper before you sit down? I never do that. Are there people out there who do this? Overachieving much? Toilet paper access at Tear-Ez doesn’t require standing, but I’m just saying there’s a thing that could be improved, though it does add to the character.
Tear-Ez is across the street from Brubaker’s. Brubaker’s is a shiny newish penny, while Tear-Ez is an old green quarter you can’t read the year on. Of the two places, however, it’s definitely the coin you want in your pocket. Don’t skip this place. Go for a charity event, a drag show, or a cozy evening at a laid back locale. Tear-Ez gets a ⅘ toilets for character and being what it should.
360 S Main St
Open EVERY DAY! 11 AM – 2:30 AM
Marissa once did burpees on the floor of this bar. It wasn’t as sticky as you’d think it might be.
TearEz.Marangoni.jpg cutline: You can’t see the smeared eyeliner either. // The Devil Strip / Marissa Marangoni