Tuesday, September 25, 2007

NEXT coolest thing we saw in NYC: a bathroom?

While walking around SoHo on Saturday afternoon, we were looking for a place to escape the brief rainshower. We walked past a little restaurant and loved the name, "Peep." It looked trendy/funky and the $8.50 three-course price-fix lunch seemed like a typo, so we were intrigued and checked it out.

As if the super-chic interior design and uber-tasty food weren't enough to make us extremely pleased with our choice, the post-lunch visit to the bathroom sealed Peep's place in my heart forever.

The restaurant is very long and narrow. Sort of feels like a bowling alley/lane, with banquette tables all along one side and miscellaneous things on the other side. Half of one whole wall was solid mirror, and the kitchen is at the very back. So it wasn't obvious where the ladies room was, and I had to ask the waiter. "Behind the mirrored door." OK, so there's no "women's" sign and the mirrored door just blends in with the mirrored wall. Nothing too crazy, right?

But open that mirrored door and you will never be the same again. The bathroom is basically a box of 2-way glass/mirror that sits in the middle restaurant. It's really dark inside the bathroom, which is apparently necessary because otherwise the diners on the outside- who are like 2 feet away- could theoretically see right in! I fumbled around for a light switch, not knowing that I wasn't supposed to find one, or that, if I had, the bathroom would become an exposed light box for the whole restaurant to see!

You have no idea how strange it is to be - excuse the details here- sitting on a toilet, doing your business, staring at some lady two feet away who is chomping her pad thai noodles and chatting happily with her boyfriend, oblivious to the horrors that might be transpiring on the other side of the glass!

I emerged from that bathroom a different person. I couldn't even talk for a minute, the impact was so deep. I returned from the loo, mouth agape, with a look of shock on my face. "What is it?" John asked, curious. "Go to the bathroom." "But . . ." Me: "Just go. Trust me. It is a life-altering experience."

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