Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Laundry blues

If I don’t find a few hours get to the launderette tomorrow, I’m going to be going to the gym in a leather pencil skirt, and hanging out in a floor length evening dress in my local dive bar.

One of the most curious things about living in Manhattan is the lack of washing machines in the apartments. And I don’t just mean in Village walks up either. Even the ritziest buildings have laundry rooms in the basements - BA’s classy UES apartment is washer-less – although she does have a completely unnecessary dishwasher.

I do get that laundry rooms in buildings are quite social, and a good way to meet your neighbours but, frankly, I don’t want to bond whilst I’m sorting through a basket of dirty knickers. And I can promise you that there are no Nick Kamen lookalikes in my local laundry.

Whilst it’s true that many apartments are based on the shoe box principle, there’s no reason why a washing machine couldn’t be squeezed in somewhere. Hell, considering the woeful number of single women in this city who can’t even turn an oven on, I can’t understand why they don’t just ditch the cooker for a washer/dryer.

Lots of people rely on the cheap as chips service washes in the launderettes on every block but I’m not a big fan of getting my clothes shrunk to fit. Some women just send everything to be dry cleaned but, apart from the fact that most of my clothes aren’t tailored, the savage environmental and fiscal costs are a barrier for me.

So, I have to block off an afternoon every fortnight or so to go to sit in the launderama on First and wash everything. It takes at least four machines: two for my sheets, towels & whites, one for darks, & one cool wash for tights, wool and bras. It’s such a waste of time but my clothes are precious to me, and I can’t stand seeing them abused by bleach and boiling.