Pre-Oscar potty: A photo dump of area facilities

Using public restrooms can certainly be a crapshoot. In my quest to quickly distinguish men’s from ladies’ lounges — or spotlight the creativity behind lavatory door design — here’s more signage I found clogging my phone.

Unfortunately, I forget where I shot this first pair. Based on the embedded info, it was around the time I reviewed “Forever Plaid” at Olney Theatre Center. So let’s call it that. (If my theater dates recall where we went out drinking afterward, that may provide a clue.)

Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz … why? (2013 Photo by Terry Byrne)

Penelope Cruz  is instantly recognizable … but who’s the guy (below)? Anybody? Looks like a young Paul Newman. Please let me know your theories in the comments.

If you had to choose someone emblematic to mark a restroom male or female, who would you choose?  Also curious: How is a user supposed to know that the guy isn’t intended to lure in the females, and vice versa?

Am I missing a joke here? So many questions … so few readers … so unlikely to get a response. (Is there an echo in here? That’s why I like bathrooms.)

Mystery guy at Olney Theatre Center

Mystery guy … who? This signage MAY be on the Olney Theatre Center’s men’s room door. I can’t remember. (2013 Photo by Terry Byrne)

Meanwhile, this sign in the stall at Smashburger in Fairfax, Va., earns a rave review.

photo (9)

(2013 Photo by Terry Byrne)

And given this is Oscar nominations week, let’s shine the spotlight on the bathrooms at Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston, Va. Simple branding, symmetrical aesthetic … if they gave out Academy Awards for bathroom doors, this coulda been a contender.

photo (7)photo (8)


Donde esta el bano, por favor?

The lady or the tiger? Still wrestling with restroom doors

How about you? Seen any gems to share?

Somewhere deep in Fairfax County, Va.


Ya think maybe at least someone could BUY an apostrophe? (2013 photo by Terry Byrne)

Spied this cozy neighborhood near the intersection of Reston Parkway and Lawyers — yes, lawyers — Road. It’s no wonder our county taxes are so high.


Weirdly, the houses on this street weren’t nearly as obnoxious as the McMansions lining Reston Parkway. (2013 photo by Terry Byrne)

UPDATE: Since writing this post, I now live in Reston, not far from this spot. It was a sign. (OK, so I rash-judged it a little …)

9 signs (and co-signs) of our times

I’ve noticed that common street signs have undergone a reflective upgrade, from Cheez-It yellow …


… to NEON CHARTREUSE YELLOW (paint chip, below).


 While we’re at it, why not update the signage art to be more reflective of our times? For instance:

1. School crossing.

Gone are the days kids carried books and eagerly darted to class.

Nowadays, they are plugged-in, tuned-out and let their fingers do the walking on touch-screens. 

2. Pedestrian crossing.

 Yesteryear’s jaywalker.

Today, we’re talking WIDE TURNS and possible Hitchcock sightings.

3. HOV lanes.

Haven’t seen this yet, but give it time.

4. Four-way intersection.

Pretty straightforward? Well, in Northern Virginia, some intersections are so terrifying, we all could use a little dashboard Jesus. (That’s “dashboard cheeses,” for pals Treva and Patty.)

 5. Deer crossing.

Artist’s rendering evokes merry ol’ Rudolph, plump and ready to roast. 

As development encroaches on their space, they look like a new species, perhaps something out of Somalia.

6. Here are signs I simply find puzzling:


How do they know there isn’t anyone crossing?!?!

7. HUH? “Inherently”? Is that really a “traffic-sign” word?

8. I thought the phrase was “Share the ROAD,” bikers. Must be backlash for the 51,000 bikers injured yearly in traffic (2009 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data).

(This photo courtesy of this website; happy browsing!)

9. And finally, a cause I can get behind. Don’t know about, you, but I am sick of it and soon might be seen on the streets carrying this protest sign.

Bonus feature: Here is a shot I took in the woods behind our home in Fairfax, Va., of an actual hungry deer, foraging around high noon, perhaps posing for a new sign. Poor thing.

(Photo by Terry Byrne; all rights reserved.)