by Emily Dressler and Marissa Marangoni
Green, the People’s Bathroom Color
by Emily Dressler
As they (should) say, “You can tell a lot about a person by their favorite bathroom color.” Mine is green. Any shade or hue, it doesn’t matter. Green seems to be a favorite for Akron-area bathroom decision-makers, too. This tells me that Akron is cool.
R. Shea Brewing on Merriman Road in the valley has a lot of beer. Luckily, they also have easy-to-find bathrooms, neatly tucked away in a corner by the bar, which adhere to socially constructed gender norms.
The women’s room, as you have probably guessed, is green with varying other shades and hues of green. I love it. There is no actual artwork hanging on the walls, but who needs it when you can pretend you’re standing in thick swathes of seaweed? Rest assured, there was no seaweed smell. There was not even the “Valley Bathroom Smell” that sometimes plagues businesses located so close to the compost facility and sewage treatment/water reclamation facility.
Instead, this single-person bathroom offers the basics: a toilet, a sink, some soap, paper towels, and a trash receptacle. The room is longer than it is wide and has a fluorescent light fixture that is probably sturdy enough on that ceiling panel tile. Toilet paper rolls in various stages of un-roll are stored in a small niche above the toilet. I am not sure what prompts someone to remove a mostly full roll of toilet paper and replace it with another mostly full roll. Maybe this is a form of power cycling.
The high point, aside from all the green and the trio of partially used toilet paper rolls, is the presence of the outside main disconnect electrical panel. The panel door is set off from the rest of the wall by a thick layer of pale green paint. A tiny padlock holds the panel door closed. Oh, the power this electrical panel represents for women! I have grown out of/repressed most of my destructive traits, thank goodness. My powers of restraint prevailed and I did not try to break a padlock just to see how many lights I could turn out. You’re welcome. I know that electrical panels are perfectly ordinary things, but I don’t often see them in public bathrooms, so I was delighted.
I used the purse hook on the wall, even though I honestly questioned its staying power. It looked like a Command brand hook that could be brought down by a heavy purse.
I really did like this bathroom, mostly because of the slightly odd elements and its potential. R. Shea brewing, you get a 3.5 out of 5 toilets.
R. Shea Brewing
1662 Merriman Rd.
Akron, OH 44313
In Russia, if you need to use a public bathroom, ask where the tualet is, which is the room containing the toilet and TP if you’re lucky. The bathroom is usually a separate room with a sink. Might come in handy.
Lowlight in the Nightlight Bathrooms
by Marissa Marangoni
Hello, neighbor. I assume at this point in our relationship, I can call you that. This month I took a long overdue visit to the Nightlight. If you haven’t been, you should go. And by that I mean to the bathroom, of course. Sort of.
The positives at the Nightlight are aplenty. It has air conditioning. There is popcorn and booze. You can drink the booze during the movie. “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is still showing. A nice human introduces the movie in person, and the trailers don’t take up as much of your life (this also means that you have to show up nearly on time) as they do at Regal Cinemas.
The small theater space in the Nightlight provides an intimate atmosphere unmatched by other theaters I’ve been to…which leads to the reason you’ll need to go to the bathroom. In such a small space, people would totally notice if you peed on the floor (or did any other bathroom activities in the non-bathroom area). Now, fine, I have not witnessed bathroom activities in a movie theater, but I’m just saying this is the situation. And if you’re drinking your booze and watching a movie, you’re probably going to have to go to the bathroom.
There are two bathrooms down the hall to the right if you walk straight inside the Nightlight, past the concession counter on the left. Neither is marked gender-specific, so either throne is yours. There are no differences in the spaces or porcelain quality. Each bathroom is a clean and functional one-staller. One toilet, one sink, one trash can, one soap dispenser. On the surface, there isn’t much here to talk about. That’s the problem.
For such a unique establishment in such a cool space–an old dark warehouse, showing non-mainstream movies and offering non-standard refreshments–the bathrooms are pretty lackluster. The bathrooms and everything in them are off-white, and there is nothing going on aesthetically to make you think, “Hey, this is a real indie movie bathroom right here.” There’s no lushness in these lavatories; they’re just empty spaces begging to be filled.
Don’t be gross.
There is a lot to capitalize on with the decor of the Nightlight bathrooms. Luckily, someone has already given them a great starting point. You know those little three-tiered beverage carts that came back courtesy of the Pinterest phenomenon few years ago? You couldn’t find them anywhere, had to upcycle ones from the olden days and all that, and now they are a dime a dozen except they’re more like $50? Well, there are two of those things here in a delightful shade of dusty red–one in each bathroom–holding several rolls of toilet paper. What could you do to make those TP carts proud, Nightlight? Imagine the possibilities. Three out of five toilets.
30 N. High St.
Akron, OH 44308
Marissa’s bathroom is probably worthy of a 1.5 of 5 toilets right now. Blame the toddler.