On The Final Day Of The Barnes & Noble's Existence, Chaos

The above photo was snapped on the final day in the life of the Astor Place Barnes & Noble in New York City.

The photographer suggests, “For the new year, fellow bibliophiles, let’s resolve not to defile our remaining bookstores in this way.”

Indeed. If you’ve never lived or worked New York City trust me when I say that rather than move here out of curiosity, you can simply look at this photo and know exactly what it is like.

B&N: A Sorid Epitath [BlogChelsea via Racked]


Edit Your Comment

  1. DrGirlfriend says:

    Back in the day, that B&N had a rollicking singles scene going on. Weekend nights would be hopping with people “looking at books” and “having coffee”. I guess they were pooping in urinals too.

  2. jbl-az says:

    I wonder if the mom-and-pop book dealers that B&N, Waldenbooks, Borders and the rest drove out of business ever had poop-in-the-pisser problems.

  3. goodkitty says:

    Depending on where you’re from, you could actually say that the area was refined because they didn’t just drop one on the floor *next* to the toilet. The urinal poo’ers are overachievers.

  4. MercuryPDX says:

    The “Urinal Deuce” is only second in nasty to the “Upper Deck”.

  5. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    @Mercurypdx: With all the strange people I know, I’m surprised I’ve never heard of an “Upper Deck!”

  6. cmdr.sass says:

    @jbl-az: this problem exists wherever there are public restrooms. people are disgusting animals.

  7. arirang says:

    This is so sad. My 20s are being dismantled.

  8. arirang says:

    I meant B & N, not the poopy urinal

  9. rdm24 says:

    The gloves come off. Sometimes, the customer is just wrong.

  10. forgottenpassword says:

    Be thankfull they are only pooping in the urinal.

    At one Office i worked at …. we had a turd-terrorist amongst us. There would be turds popping up in desk drawers, in potted plants, in the elevator….. ON TOP OF THE WATER COOLER!

    It made for some seriously hilarious office memos. LOL!

    They even started putting cameras in , but they never caught the phantom shitter!

  11. comopuedeser says:

    Not very noble. :)

  12. MercuryPDX says:

    @forgottenpassword: Sweet mother of Pearl! That beats my “Office chair of mystery” in the iPod article.

  13. MudMt says:

    Stop bitching. I worked in a bar, and at least the punks at that B&N could actually get it in _something_. Our drunks couldn’t even hit the target. Have you ever experienced the horror and frustration of cleaning up a liquidly beer shit on the floor, mere inches from the throne?
    No? How about cleaning up the aftermath of a creative drunk who got the brilliant idea to stand on a wash-sink counter so he could attempt to piss on the ceiling?
    Did I mention The lesbian nights? *Neverever* be out of papertowels on lesbian night. They wouldn’t do something petty like urinate everywhere, they’d tear the dispenser out of the wall and proceed to smash the hell out of all the toilets/urinals with it.
    Oh yes, the stories I could tell…

  14. JollyJumjuck says:

    I would think it would be easier to read the book on the toilet than on the urinal. Oh well, maybe New Yorkers do it differently.

  15. Skeptic says:

    BY JBL-AZ AT 01/03/08 11:50 PM
    I wonder if the mom-and-pop book dealers that B&N, Waldenbooks, Borders and the rest drove out of business ever had poop-in-the-pisser problems.

    Er, except that most mom and pop book stores don’t have bathrooms for the public…that’s just one reason that B&N and Borders are attractive to customers (well, that and being clean, well lit and having a huge selection–even if the huge selection is corporate driven…)

  16. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @Skeptic: a ‘huge selection’ of Harry Potter, Star Wars, self-help, ‘for dummies’, crappy calendars, ‘teen romance’, how-to-make-millions-by-buying-this books, and the shit that passes for manga here.
    Oh, and every mainstream and semi-mainstream magazine known to man.
    And overpriced coffee/muffins/etc.

    I hate to sound like a shill, but since Amazon linked with all these used book dealers, there’s almost nothing you can’t find there in the way of books (and several times their system has stopped me from ordering one I already had).

    If I’m terminally bored and can’t wait a few days for something, I’ll wander down to our local chain, but I don’t have high expectations when I go in, which saves me disappointment on the way out.

    Oh, and I thought Upper Deck was a kind of baseball/trading card :)

  17. azgirl says:

    My pet peeve is the folks that use the pooper and then put the tp in the trash. It happens alot here in Phoenix. I had a guy doing tile in my house, and he used the toilet… I kept smelling a smell. A poo smell- and tracked it to a trash can full of pood tp .. eww.

  18. bilge says:

    [www.urinalpoop.org] How I miss you.

  19. quail says:

    “This American Life” posted a show last week were David Sedaris talks about this very thing. Apparently it’s a wide spread retailer phenomenon. Put up a play castle in a toy store? Then the next day you’ll find a turd laying majestically at the draw bridge entrance. The stories go on and on…[thisamericanlife.org]

  20. Electroqueen says:

    I don’t even like B&N. Rarely a discount and you have to pay for a membership so you can get them.
    I’ll stick with either Borders or Strand.

    Let’s just hope no one hires the Hardly Boys to find out who defiled that restroom.

  21. cashmerewhore says:


    Be thankful he didn’t flush the massive wads to clean his industrial shit and clog your residential toliet?

    I’m still amazed how my co-irkers can clog the industrial toliets. And not scream in agony when that poo comes out.

  22. PassionateConsumer says:

    Re: Quail

    Safe to say this is the first time in human history the line “you’ll find a turd laying majestically at the draw bridge entrance” has been penned.

  23. Joe_Bloe says:

    @azgirl: Apparently that’s common practice in other parts of the world. I was on vacation in Chilé a few years ago, and we went on a hiking trip in the Andes. The mountaintop hostel we stayed at had little trashcans with lids parked next to each throne, and my guide told in in no uncertain terms not to flush TP, put it in the can. Without going into too much detail on what would otherwise be a perfectly pleasant Friday morning (why the hell are we talking about this?), I had a hard time discarding the makeshift TP glove I fashioned for myself just so I could open the poop trashcan.

  24. What The Geek says:

    As I’ve mentioned in previous comments on this site, I was with a major retailer when they went through liquidation. During the last two weeks of operation, we were lucky if the poop made it into the urinal, or (heaven forbid) the actual toilet. The sink, walls, and let’s not forget the trusty floor were all solid candidates though. I can’t honestly imagine what goes through some people’s heads when they go into a store that’s closing – it’s like a sign that says “closing soon” or anything to that effect disables the logic center of some people’s brain.

    On a related note, during the previously mentioned liquidation, I also found urine in a trash can. Not one of the store use ones, one that was for sale. This was made even more frustrating by the fact that the trashcan aisle was approximately 30 ft from the bathroom.

  25. suburbancowboy says:

    If you have a public bathroom in NYC homeless people are going to use it.

    “If you’ve never lived or worked New York City trust me when I say that rather than move here out of curiosity, you can simply look at this photo and know exactly what it is like.”

    I work in NYC, and for the most part, I love it. Fortunately though, I almost never need to use a public restroom.

  26. alice_bunnie says:

    @azgirl: @Joe_Bloe:

    Yes, this is a common practice. The septic systems where they’re originally from aren’t able to handle the paper waste as well, so they throw it in the basket rather than flush it.

  27. m.ravian says:

    i had no idea that any B&Ns were closing.

    i always find it highly entertaining and amusing to go to the last day of any store….most notably was about five years ago when they closed the IKEA in Plymouth Meeting, PA to open the new one in Conshohocken. i went there to see if i could get some bargains and was amazed at the retail carnage.

  28. floydianslip6 says:

    In a B&N in mass I found the ol brown dodger sitting right on the toilet seat, I couldn’t believe it… it’s a book store?!

  29. Instigator says:

    I thought it was just the B&N in my town that attracted the toilet-desecrating slobs. Maybe there’s something about B&N overall that draws customers who can’t manage to pee and poo in the appropriate place.

  30. B says:

    It’s better than pooping in the dressing rooms. Or in the middle of the circular clothes racks.

  31. 92BuickLeSabre says:

    @lookatmissohio: The best part about this one closing is that the independent Shakespeare & Co. around the corner is still there!

    Of course the world’s 5 Trillionth Walgreen’s just opened right next to the closing B&N so the massification of NY does continue on unimpeded.

  32. Damn asshole B&N ruining my favorite barber shop – Astor Hair Place.

  33. thepassenger says:

    Reading these comments is causing me to laugh too loudly, my coworkers are giving me looks…

    Also, why is B&N closing that store?

  34. Jon Parker says:

    @drgirlfriend: Borders used to have a singles scene too. Once I was checking out a lady and she was checking me out. We both kept looking up and smiling at each other, so I could tell there was some interest. Meanwhile I kept walking down the shelf checking out the titles, pulling a few down and leafing through them.

    At one point, edging ever closer to her, I leafed through a couple of books and looked up and smiled at her. She gave me a huge smile in return, but I could tell just by looking at her that she’d completely lost interest. She got up from her chair and headed for the front counter, leaving me wondering what the problem was. Did I smell bad and finally get close enough to her? Was there a giant booger hanging out of my nose?

    I turned around and started to reshelve my book when I realized that I was standing directly under a sign reading “Gay and Lesbian Fiction.”


  35. Dervish says:

    @Electroqueen: I’ve got a raging clue right now.

    This is pretty gross, but I think if I ever saw that sign in person I’d never stop laughing.

  36. 92BuickLeSabre says:

    @OMG!!! Ponies!!!: I thought the LL just decided to raise the rent on the first floor so much that only Cold Stone Creamery could afford it (now CS & Soup Man). Was B&N the landlord?

    (Just another reason to hate on B&N if so.)

    But it’s not ruined! It’s still the best barber shop in the city!

  37. unklegwar says:

    Yay for illiterates with Blogs.

    could Sorid Epitath really mean Sordid Epitaph?

    Maybe the bowl in that bathroom was occupied or busted and someone had to go. I’ve been to NYC, and you never know what you’ll encounter in a public bathroom. Dumping in the urinal may have been the only sane choice.

  38. zibby says:

    @Mercurypdx: True, but you generally can’t go top shelf in a B&N due to lack of tank…

  39. Myron says:

    Poop? You’re not 7 years old anymore. You can say “shit”. Go ahead, try it. I won’t tell your mama.

  40. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @Myron: Watch your language, doody-head :)

  41. n/a says:

    I do believe the term is “Upper Decker” not Upper Deck.

  42. XTC46 says:

    People crap on our floors all the time…I just don’t get it. I don’t think I could bring my self to shit on a floor, but these guys shit then spread it all over, even out of the stalls. Humans are disgusting at times.

  43. drjayphd says:

    @quail: I was just going to link that… then figure out how much practice it would entail to pull off the toilet paper dispenser trick.

  44. drjayphd says:

    @drjayphd: And by “figure out”, I mean “ask who would have the time to put in”.

  45. Mustang Paul says:

    I used to work in a video store. One night, I had a customer fill the entire bowl with toilet paper and then take a huge dump right on top, like a cherry on a sundae. It was horrible as the paper soaked up most of the water and expanded geometrically. Fortunately, I wasn’t “the new guy” so I didn’t have to clean it up.

    My sister in law used to work in a bar and her stories make mine look tame.