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Porcelain New York

The Only Good Place in Albany Is the Women’s Bathroom on the Second Floor

The politics stink, but at least the bathrooms are nice.

11:40 AM EDT on April 24, 2023

The exterior of the Women's Bathroom in the Capitol Building

(Hell Gate)

Here's some life advice for the non-legislators among us: Do not ever go to the state capitol building in Albany, unless you want to feel a soul-sucking sense of despair.

But if for some reason you disregard my advice and find yourself at the capitol, may I suggest that you skip all of the politicking and lobbying (it won't do much good unless you're REBNY) and instead spend all of your time in the women's bathroom on the second floor? It's the perfect place to take care of all of your mental, emotional, and physical needs, of which you will have many in Albany.

There, in the women's bathroom on the second floor, you can weep, nap, vape, rage against the anti-democratic nature of our state governance, and yes, even pee and defecate, as well as vomit.

The first thing one notices upon entering the women's bathroom on the second floor is the sheer capaciousness of the space and its many rooms—as you enter, there is a sitting room complete with a small couch, perfect for someone on the shorter side of life to curl up and take a nap or have a good cry (because again, you will cry in Albany, guaranteed). There is also, oddly but whimsically, a large wicker basket perched on a side table, which was empty on the day this reporter visited the capitol.

(Hell Gate)

Off to the left, there is yet another room, filled with what appears to be discarded office furniture, that is officially a "pumping room," but can be repurposed to suit a wide spectrum of bodily needs. (This reporter, for example, turned it into her "vape cave.") 

For those looking to pump, capitol staff have kindly left packets of a fenugreek and blessed thistle breastfeeding supplement on a side table in the pumping room, as well as a somewhat outdated variety of magazines (a 2018 copy of Money magazine, a 2020 edition of CITY & STATE with—haha—Julie Menin on the cover, with the headline "MAKING THE RESISTANCE COUNT"). 

(Hell Gate)

If, during your time in the women's bathroom on the second floor, you find yourself having to use the toilet, you're in luck, for what you will find is a sparkling palace of white and gray marble.

A pristine white toilet in the second floor women's bathroom in New York's state capitol building.
(Hell Gate)

The stall dividers are marble, the ledge in front of the mirror is marble, and everything is pristine. There are not one but TWO Renuzit Natural Elements Pure Ocean Breeze air fresheners perched atop the tampon dispenser, as if whoever stocked the bathroom knew that banishing the toxic waft of Albany sausage-making would require extra effort. 

(Hell Gate)

Here, in the women's bathroom on the second floor, you will feel a sense of calm entirely at odds with the ominous vibes outside of its hallowed, marble walls. You will feel peace. You will marvel at your tax dollars at work. You will sob, but it'll be okay, because the air smells of Renuzit Natural Elements Pure Ocean Breeze.

Porcelain New York rating for the capitol women's bathroom on the second floor: 7 (docked two points for being in the capitol)

(Hell Gate)
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