Howdy readers! In this month’s column, I have tried to highlight cozy spaces in an attempt to bring a little warmth into your life now that winter is here to ruin everything. Yes, you read the title right, we’ve got a DOUBLE LATRINE edition today. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s jump right in.

A COZY BUILDING
Altgeld Hall

So, while I was trying to think of cozy buildings to write about, I realized that only the insides of buildings can be cozy, the outsides can, at best, only hint at cozy interiors. This is something of an issue since I only review the exteriors of buildings (usually). Also, obviously the coziest buildings around town are private residences, and I try not to review people’s homes, because that seems suuuuuper creepy. Thus, I’ve settled on Altgeld Hall (that one on campus that looks like Hogwarts). Altgeld is a pretty big (bad for coziness), however, it is quite whimsical and old, and those are good starting qualities for a cozy building.

Bad news: the front entrance says not only LAW, but also MATHEMATICS. These are two very un-cozy words. In fact, if I were to choose five of the least-cozy words I could think of off the top of my head, I’d probably say, in no particular order:

 

  • MATHEMATICS
  • SYRINGE
  • ASPHALT
  • LAW
  • HOMICIDE

Luckily, these labels don’t detract too much from Altgeld’s overall feel. Look! There are books inside! Books are cozy! (even if they’re about math)

And look at all these towers! Towers are cozy. I mean, I’d certainly rather be inside this little tower than inside either of these dumpsters.

The biggest tower of course is the bell tower. Bells are certainly whimsical, but I don’t think they’re very cozy, since they’re always cold and loud. Bells will interrupt your reading and your naps. If I were making Altgeld into a truly cozy space, the bells would have to go.

I do love all the rough-hewn stonework. However, the window air conditioner units really hamper Altgeld’s stately old-world aesthetic. Window A/C units = NOT COZY.

One final thought: I’m usually immune to the charms of the campus squirrels. Only tourists and freshmen pay attention to those mooching little pirates. While taking pics of Altgeld though, I met several very inquisitive and fluffy squirrels climbing about on the stones. I wanted to be their friends.

VERDICT: Altgeld Hall is more whimsical than it is cozy, and from a distance, in the fog, is somewhat ominous. Still, it’s one of my favorite buildings on campus.

 

TWO COZY LATRINES
The Bathrooms at Red Herring Vegetarian Restaurant

If you were trying to make the coziest room possible, what would you include? Here’s my short list:

  • Multiple plush rugs in warm colors
  • BLANKETS GALORE
  • Big ole’ cushy chairs
  • 2-5 extra-sleepy cats/dogs/infants/chinchillas or other fuzzy companions of your choice
  • Windows so you can see how cold and shitty it is outside
  • A fireplace

Turns out NONE of these things are items I’d like to find in a public restroom. Okay, I take that back, if I could be in a restroom with a fireplace or even a potbelly stove, that would be awesome. If you know of one, hit me up.

Basically if you’re looking for a cozy communal restroom, the best you can hope for is one that is:

  • Small, but not cramped
  • Warm (physically and aesthetically)
  • Clean (but not too clean)

With that in mind, I’ve chosen the bathrooms at Red Herring as my cozy latrines.

If you’ve not been, there are two restrooms at the Red Herring. They’re almost identical in layout, but very different in um… content. Also they’re both unisex restrooms which is great!

These bathrooms have too much character for me to just refer to them as “bathroom A” and “bathroom B,” or “the one on the left,” so I’ve given them catchy names.

Anti-Capitalist Super Science

This bathroom is so dubbed because, well, most of the stuff on the walls seems to be anti-capitalist or anti-military-industrial-complex.

Heady stuff! Which I agree with, but also am not usually thinking about when taking a pee.

Oh, and the super science comes in because of these helpful labels for the portal and the hyper-space controls.

Interestingly, the lever doesn’t make you enter hyper-space, it’s just to regulate hyper-space. Maybe the portal goes to hyper-space? It’s a little unclear. I didn’t touch either of these delicate controls while I was in this bathroom.

 

Hindu Wisdom Auras
This next bathroom has a lot of Hindu imagery...

and um... spiritual/existential affirmations.

Looks like most of this informational stuff is legit. At least I Googled “Kali Yuga” and confirmed that it is indeed the age of darkness. I enjoy restrooms that help me learn a little.

So which of these bathrooms is more cozy? Well, I’d say it’s up to personal preference. I find Hindu Wisdom Auras to be more inviting generally, however its bare white walls in the back are a turn-off. Anti-Capitalist Super Science has heavier message, but also warmer colors. I urge you to use whichever of these restrooms strikes your fancy on the day you’re visiting.

That’s all for this column folks. Did I use the word “cozy” enough? I really feel like I did. I hope everyone is able to spend some cozy time with loved-ones of all sorts in the coming weeks, and I’ll see you in 2019!