Today I was in Times Square and, unsurprisingly, was approached on the street by a young huckster attempting to get me to check out his establishment. However, I was floored to see what was in the building. In an attempt to meet a strong public need (the city of New York has been debating the lack of public restrooms for years to no effect) and to gain some marketing exposure, P&G has leased out storefront space in Times Square to open a Charmin-branded public restroom. It is truly an odd experience, a cross between a bathroom and a Disney attraction. There are games and entertainers and a gift shop, and, of course, twenty very nice private bathrooms that are cleaned by the staff after each use. All my son and I could think to say when we were done was "We love America."
Here is more on the bathrooms and the promotion, open just for the holidays.
Someone has also posted a Youtube video of the entire experience:
Update: After visiting again, I can't shake the parallel (despite the fact that these bathrooms are free) to the public restroom company in Snow Crash. I know there are a lot of folks who rebel against the cyberpunk genre, and I have always been more of a space-opera traditionalist (Foundation, Mote in Gods Eye, Louis McMaster Bujold, Hyperion, etc.) but over time Snow Crash may well become my favorite Sci-fi book.