07/09/2018

Stan Hywet: A Bathroom Trifecta

by Emily Dressler

I love my May-December romance with Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. Up until just now, I thought the phrase “May-December romance” literally meant a relationship that starts in the spring/summer and ends after the December holidays. Thanks to an article on WebMD (it’s weird that this is the first Google result), I have learned that “May-December romance” refers to a relationship in which there is a large age gap between the partners. In the case of my romance with Stan Hywet, either definition applies.

There are three public restrooms at Stan Hywet that I know of. The first one is between the parking lot and the main entrance. It is nice enough and very convenient, but it is not my favorite. The layout feels cramped, but it is in a Carriage House/Fancy Garage that was retrofitted to house a public restroom. Likely, no one cared about some weirdo bathroom reviewer having opinions about layout. This bathroom is usually clean and well-stocked. You should use this one before you start exploring the grounds.

Back in the day when I played on the women’s vintage softball team (I’m talking early 2000s, not late 1800s), I used this restroom while contending with the unbecoming long black skirt required of (lady) ballplayers. Someone please tell me what monster invented thick, drapey skirts coupled with cramped bathroom stalls on a hot day. To hell with that person. That person can suck on the hem of a wet skirt that has been dragged around the floor of a public bathroom.

Your next bathroom adventure is in the basement of the Manor House. You should ask the tour guides at the front door for help finding this one because I don’t listen to directions and I get lost in big houses. But I do remember quaint details: the women’s bathroom in the Manor House is next to the Flower Arranging Room. We have the exact setup at home. For a basement bathroom, this is luxurious. There is even a full-length mirror.

Take some time to go on a tour and ooh and ahh over the splendid and numerous bathrooms in the Manor House. Yes, that is an historic bidet in Mrs. Seiberling’s bathroom suite.

The final leg of our toilet tour takes us to the wonderfully soothing Corbin Conservatory and Greenhouse. These bathrooms seem to be more easily accessible.

If you’re anything like me, you daydream about greenhouse bathrooms. Yes, they are everything you thought they would be. There’s even white noise and a brick wall. The other luxuries in this lush wonderland are a skylight, the perfect amount of humidity and spider plants on the sink. This is why people get married at Stan Hywet.

The bathroom situation at Stan Hywet earns a 5/5 cabinets de toilettes.

 

Emily always wants to quote the part in “Tender is the Night” where Dick Diver says he wants to give a bad party, “where there’s a brawl and seductions and people going home with their feelings hurt and women passed out in the cabinet de toilette.”

 

Canal Place

by Marissa Marangoni

You can’t get much more Akron than Canal Place. The rubber factory turned office space, gym, eatery, roller derby practice rink and even a brewery offers everyone a little something. Including your friendly UL representatives.

I’ve been sitting here trying to explain where this bathroom is, but if you’ve ever walked through this place, you know it’s not that easy. I walked in one building, went to the bathroom in another and was none the wiser until I exited out a door that did not lead me to my car. If you’re in the area, you should look for this bathroom. You’ll probably get stuck in a freight elevator and you might end up on some closed-off staircase, unable to find your original destination and slightly terrified you may never see the light of day again, but the bathroom, oh, the bathroom will be worth your trouble. I’m sorry I can’t direct you to it.

Some of you may follow the Urine Luck instagram (@urin3luck if you don’t), and if so, you may be able to conjure up an image of this pink poo palace right now. If not, let me introduce you to this House of Lords (oh yes, that’s real bathroom slang). The entry door features a keypad on its exterior. I was slightly afraid that someone might come by and lock me in the loo once I left my exit to fate, but I was okay, and I’m going to fashion a guess that you would be, too. My fear quickly abated as I walked into the very pink, cinder block-walled room.

The walls are floor-to-ceiling baby pink. And as if that wasn’t enough spice for a public bathroom, whoever did this design and painting must have thought, “You know, let’s just do it big.” And they did. There’s a single dark pink stripe running all the way around the bathroom walls at sink-level. It’s my favorite feature about this bathroom. It says, “This was no mistake.” And if we want to dig deeper, which we clearly should, by extension, it says, “You are meant to be here.”

My other favorite feature is the ceiling height, but I can’t attribute that to the bathroom painter designer person, as I doubt it’s the same person, considering the building’s history. High ceilings make a small space seem bigger than it is, and these ceilings certainly give the illusion that this hidden hole is quite expansive. I can’t help but think this would be helpful if you ever did get locked in this Canal Place commode. You could fool yourself into thinking you had room for your hopes and dreams in here. And you could try to climb the plumbing to the ceiling for entertainment purposes while attempting to forget about the vending machine directly across from the locked door.

The toilets work here and so do the sinks. They’re your very basic, industrial-type bathroom fixtures, and I wouldn’t expect anything else in this place. The mirrors exist, and the whole place is generally clean. It’s old, but it wears its age well.

You know, this might not be the worst place to be trapped. There’s color, a certain factory aesthetic many would find pleasing, running water and there are mirrors. What more does a person need? This bathroom also seems water tight. I think that’s probably a weird thing to think about, but you know who you’re talking with here, so you shouldn’t be surprised. If ever there is a time to test whether or not a portion of Canal Place could be used as a holding tank for sharks or poisonous jellyfish, this would be the room I would suggest.

I’ve visited this bathroom more than once. I’ve had the same opinion of it each time: it’s solid. And tries to be sweet at the same time. The definition of a modern lady. Four out of five toilets.

 

Marissa’s new goal in life is to find a bathroom door marked “House of Lords.”

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