This might seem like an odd entry. But really, let's think about how often we've had to relieve ourselves in manky and urine-scented stalls, hovering over a dubious-looking seat whilst trying to simultaneously keep your trousers from hitting the floor and stretching towards the just-out-of-reach loo roll (which happens to need to coaxing out of the dispenser). Nothing beautiful about that except maybe your superhuman balance.
I was bursting for the loo as I left a meeting with the amazingly cool Lafco New York and scampered into McNally & Robinson Bookstore (which has free Wifi, a blessing in a city that's overrun with Starbuck's and their $10-a-day Wifi). I wandered down the stairs of the cafe/bookstore past a little table scattered with both Luxe and Wallpaper guides (great for browsing whilst queuing for das loo) and eventually through a door behind the stairs. When I found the switch and flicked it, I suddenly seemed to be in a forest rather than a neglected loo. The walls are wallpapered, floor-to-ceiling, in the great outdoors, nice birdsong is piped in through speakers, the few surfaces are immaculate and the sink and counter countrified (basins and granite not formica). It was cool and so strangely relaxing to use their loo (and actually come out the other end of a bathroom experience without worrying that I might have contracted something from accidentally touching anything).
If you ever find yourself at the corner of Mulberry St. and Prince St. and in desperate need of a loo, you'll be happy to know there's one just a step away where you don't need to use your foot to flush the toilet.