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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Doing laundry in New York City

Do you remember the episode of Sex and the City when Miranda is doing Steve's laundry? While folding his underwear, Miranda quickly discovers Steve's dirty little secret-- he is "skid marks guy."

To me, the shocking part of this scene is not that Steve isn't properly wiping, it's the fact that Miranda has a full-size washer and dryer. In Manhattan. 

Ironically enough, in another episode when Miranda's ordering Chinese food from her favorite local spot with delicious cold noodles, she gives her address, which is only seven blocks away from ours on the Upper West Side. And honey, let me tell you, their ain't no full-size in-unit washer and dryers anywhere near us.

Before we moved to New York City, I was talking on the phone with our broker. I told him our "must-haves" which included a dishwasher, outdoor space, direct sunlight and a washer and dryer. He laughed and said, "Um yeah, we're probably not going to find you a washer and dryer." He explained that they are a rare gem in the city, saved only for those with a lot of money. In fact, I read somewhere that only 7% of Manhattan apartments have an in-unit washing machine. That means there are people with a whole lot of money who still have to schlep their unmentionables to the nearest laundromat.

The weekend before last, Mike and I decided our pile of laundry was simply out of control. Literally, our laundry basket broke from the sheer weight of a month's worth of towels, jeans and undies. So we packed up all the quarters we could find, and hauled our dirties to the local laundromat. And when I say "we," I mean that Mike carried the Santa Clause looking bag of crusty clothes down floor flights of stairs while I carried the laundry detergent. It took two trips to get all of our stuff there.

The nice thing about our local laundromat is that there are many different sizes of machines. So if you're willing to fork over 16 quarters at once, you can stuff most everything into one (Sorry Mom, sorting our darks and lights is not really a priority anymore.) The machines are pretty clean too. I noticed most people wash their clothes on "hot"--I'm guessing that's so they don't share fluids with the person before them.

While people are waiting, some leave to go eat or run other errands, and others just hang around and read a magazine or talk on their cell phones. The dryers are also super large, so once again you can stuff just about everything into one.

Then when everything is done, you dump your clothes out onto a large table and fold it. I realized just how embarrassing this can be when a large, sweaty man walked right by me as I was folding my underwear with cute little angel wings on the butt. Luckily in NYC, no one really makes eye contact, so we were able to both pretend that nothing happened.  

After we had spent about two hours there, we finally looked up and read a sign on the wall that said, "Free pick-up and delivery." We discovered that the laundromat offers a service where they do all your laundry for just about the same price as doing it yourself.


Looks like somewhere else is going to be washing my angel wing panties after all.


  1. Laundrymat(s) are never fun....would you really let a stranger wash your stuff?
    .....really? no way, man...