Unprecedented times call for unprecedented attention to the minutia of our lives. And, if the COVID-induced toilet-paper fiasco has taught us anything, it’s that we consider the ability to take a well-situated, well-cleaned dump a human right. When I applied to Yale with an interest in undergraduate research, this is exactly what I envisioned. After 30,000 steps and eight instances of jaywalking, I have narrowed down the best three bathrooms at Yale.
Third Place: Morse College Basement
Anyone that’s ever been to Morse knows the vibe—only achieved when your residential college is the summation of a treadmilled “Lipstick”, overly angular characteristics, and dorms that look like they were built to house the Unabomber & Co. You know the one. Morse knows its vibe. It accepts its vibe. And its vibe is no less prominent in its lavatorial facilities. Let’s start with its avant garde color scheme: pine green, complemented by bronze brown. Bold, yet gentle enough to comfort you into only wiping the toilet seat once. Simple, yet elegant enough to convince you to push the toilet lever with your hand instead of your foot.
The unobtrusive lighting panels bordering the edges of the ceiling add a divine glow to your excretion experience. Furthermore, the basket-weave pattern of the wall advocates for a sense of modernity that is often lacking in Yale bathrooms. The cubic sinks are a personal favorite of mine—a tasteful ode to Morse’s modernism.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking to satisfy your lust for modern art while relieving yourself of the relics of Yale Dining, 304 York Street may possess the experience you are looking for.
Second Place: Irving S. Gilmore Music Library
Warmth. Heart. Relaxation. Comforting traits we seek from our second home at Yale. Who would’ve guessed that such a refuge would be hidden in plain sight? The welcoming atmosphere is heavily promoted by the Pueblo-esque aesthetics of the bathroom; its edible alter ego would be a slice of warm pumpkin pie. While it doesn’t boast remarkable amenities, the abundance of warm colors—from the floor tiles to the soft lighting—will make you want to melt into the warm embrace of the bathroom. I expect its value to be more widely recognized as the growing hostility of Connecticut’s cold nurtures a greater yearning for home among students.
Bottom Line: Looking for an escape from the monotonous drab of your studies? Now you can do so from the homey comfort of the Music Library’s water closet.
First Place: Sterling Reading Rooms, Second Floor
If you ever find yourself trapped in the musty aura of the Stacks, trying to ignore the likelihood that if you died here your body wouldn’t be found for weeks, the fresh citrus of the second-floor bathrooms provides a refreshing change of atmosphere. While the bathrooms within the Stacks (located in the corner of “M” floors of level three to seven) will always be known for their volumetric efficiency, the Reading Room bathroom is representative of what a bathroom could be. Encompassing a sleek modern style with an accent of colonial, this powder room oozes a refinement that justifies the longer commute. Combined with this sense of dignity, the soft glow of the bulbous lights might even remind one of Yale’s motto: Lux et Veritas. You have now found the light, now search for the truth—is there a better place for introspection than this porcelain throne?
Bottom Line: Lavatorial intimacy does not have to be independent of stylistic dignity. Enjoy both in the Reading Room bathroom!