August 25, 2009

Laundry Day. Sigh...

In this picture we see beautiful trees, a building dating back to the late 1800s and a guy carrying his...laundry down 6th Avenue? That is correct.
In NYC you'll find three things on just about every block: a deli, a nail salon, and a laundromat. The last because most old apartment buildings aren't equipped to handle a washer's water pressure so sadly, it's a no-go on the washer. But do people still do it? Sometimes, yes. (Bad people, baaaaaaad.)
But for those who play by the rules, your nearest laundromat becomes your friend. Some people use bags with handles (see photo) others use a big drawstring bag and throw it over their shoulder and others use a push cart. Or, for a little extra money, you can either call a laundromat to pick up or you can drop it off and they'll have it ready for pick up at the end of the day. The key there is 1) making sure everything can go in the dryer and 2) picking it up before they close - easier said than done with busy New York schedules.
Now I'll paint you a picture of laundry day in August: walk down five flights of apartment stairs with 30 lbs of laundry; carry it across an avenue and up a block. Get to the laundromat to find four housekeepers filling up all the washers, grab your 30 lbs, head to the next one, three blocks away. Sit in the unairconditioned room with 15 dryers going and when yours is done, head back to your non-central air apartment and hope the window unit cools your room down fast enough to put away your warm laundry so you can take a nap from all the lugging and the heat. Yeah...laundry day.
This isn't a complaint, it's just the way it is here. There are many things that go on in New York that become "normal," but once you're elsewhere you realize "oh right, hamburgers aren't supposed to cost $15 and laundry's not supposed to be an ordeal."
So if by chance you're lucky enough to have a washer and dryer, please cherish them. Say thanks for being so convenient. And give them a little hug - for me, and the rest of laundry-slinging NYC.

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