Are you relatively new to this bustling metropolis? Don't be shy about it, everyone was new to New York once upon a time, except, of course, those battle-hardened residents who've lived here their whole lives and Know It All. One of these lifers works among us at Gothamist—publisher Jake Dobkin grew up in Park Slope and still resides there. He is now fielding questions—ask him anything by sending an email here, but be advised that Dobkin is "not sure you guys will be able to handle my realness." We can keep you anonymous if you prefer; just let us know what neighborhood you live in.
This week's question comes from a New Yorker who is fed up with all the pee.
Dear Native New Yorker,
I wrote to you once before—you gave great advice about strangers sitting on my stoop.
Now I have a new question. It's about the bottle of pee next to my stoop. Car services often idle in front of my house, and now and then there's a bottle of pee left over when they're gone. There's a certain kind of wide-mouthed juice container that serves beautifully as a pissoir. Some very skilled practitioners can even urinate into small necked bottles. There's an uncapped bottle of pee in my neighbor's sidewalk area right now, in fact, which prompted this question.
How do you dispose of the ubiquitous bottle of pee? Is there a place rogue urinators should leave them, instead of just lying in a tree pit next to their parking place? Can I call 311 or should I just don my rubber gloves and deposit it in the corner trash can?
Pissy Old Broad
A native New Yorker responds:
Jesus Christ! I knew gentrification was bad for locals, but one angle I never considered was all the idling Uber drivers with full bladders. Maybe you should consider moving to a less hip neighborhood with fewer livery cabs?
Personal confession: I've never peed into a bottle. Native New Yorkers just whip it out between cars, as God intended. That seems better for the environment, because it doesn't contaminate the recyclable bottles with pee.
A safety-conscious Jake Dobkin prepares for a night of heavy public peeing. (Courtesy Jake Dobkin Private Collection)
I'm not even clear how you'd do that without a length of hose or contorting yourself or spilling pee all over. With the NYPD poised to take a less harsh stance on public micturation, why take that chance? The worst you'll get is a ticket.
But enough sympathy for the pissers! We can all agree that leaving bottles of pee for others to clean up is obviously a dick move. You need to show them the Brooklyn way: they bring a pee bottle, you put up a sign that says "no pee bottles on this block, please." They keep doing it, you install a camera, paste photos around the neighborhood, and then report them to their taxi companies. They continue after that, you wait, hiding in a garbage can, and as soon as they drop the newest bottle, you jump out, scream, "hey motherfucker, I think you forgot something!" and throw it at their car, along with the brick you picked out special for them.
If you don't want to go that far, we in the media will take your pee-shots and pee-videos and name and shame these guys for you on our websites, but I think that you'll really get more satisfaction taking the law into your own hands.
What you should definitely not take into your own hands is their bottles of pee; that's not sanitary. Call 311. If nothing happens, you need to suit up in some Ebola-style protective gear, get one of those long grabbers they use at bodegas to reach the high shelves, and deposit the bottles into two layers of heavy duty garbage bags, so the poor garbage guys don't get covered in pee when they pick up your cans.
Good luck! As the Bible says, "let judgement run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream!"
N.B. if you really need a place to pee on the go, Gothamist has done some research.
Ask a Native New Yorker anything via email. Anonymity is assured.