Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hit by Laundry Van

I read that Roland Barthes died on 26 March 1980, having been knocked over by a laundry van (reports suggest that the driver was drunk).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pedal-Powered Washer

This cycle powered washing machine comes from the website inhabitat. It was built by a man named Gadsden, like this flag. Much easier to avoid being trod upon once you go off grid.

It seems to me someone came up with the idea of the foot powered washer way back in the day, but I'm not sure about that. Am I thinking of an episode of Green Acres?

Sunday, August 31, 2008


The first thing that occured to me when I saw this image sent to me by Lisanne MCT of the Found in Brooklyn blog was how well dressed that woman with the washboard is. She makes bending over the wash pail look like fun city. I think I'd enjoy doing the laundry much more if I could look that sexy while cycling the threads, but I'm glad I don't have to use a washboard. Around here, most people only use those for making honky tonk music at places like Barbes or Jalopy.

Lisanne came across this for sale somewhere in Long Island. It's called Roma, who knows why, but it seems all roads lead to Rome, or at least did at one point in time, so why should I be surprised?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Washboard Launder Center

This place on 7th Avenue is now for rent, emptied of all its washers and dryers. Wouldn't it be nice if who ever rents it could just keep the Launder Center sign up? I for one find contradiction compelling.

9th Street Laundrette

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Thursday, December 13, 2007

5th Ave and Park Place Laundromat

Maybe it's called Superior Suds, as I see painted on the wall on the left. The outside sign says Laundromat.

Most fetching, the soap vending machines and the blue and yellow shingles mounted over the dryer stacks. I am drooling. But why the shingles, why? The alpine coziness? A cottage of cleansing? A humble bathhouse? Mikvah of clothes? Blue and yellow...Brooklyn colors?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

491 7th Avenue

Primary colors and a nicely proportioned wave motif make this laundromat seem as fun as a carnival. Where's the guy who falls in the drink when you hit the target?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

20 Mule Team Before Many Redesigns

Laundromat on 6 Ave and 5th St. in South Slope. I would describe the lettering as squat and extremely appealing.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Crisp Finish

It is very exciting to find a package on the shelves these days that uses only one color, chunky slab serif fonts and which bears the name of a mythological sailing vessel. Also terribly exciting is the fact that this makes a good adhesive for papier maché. Will it lead me to the Golden Fleece? One can dream...

I visited and couldn't find much on this product. They feature the cornstarch for cooking. I enjoyed the craft suggestions they list greatly.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Congratulations, you have somehow found your way here and you now get to view this rare creature, this clothes pin butterfly, coming to us by the hand of my capable and crafty friend Cindy. Ready? Let it in, yes, just in viewing this you have accomplished enough today, so rest, kick around, take the day off, stay in your pajamas. Like John Donne, you're done, you're off the hook.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Wash Dry on 8th and 13th is a little run down. Still, people take advantage of those broken plastic seats in front. The diamond framed letters are big winners in my design book. For some reason this run down place survives, with its faux stone siding and filthy awnings. I'm so glad. It looks like a plywood stage set, and I wonder what dramas have played out in it and in front of it. Ones I can easily imagine: the mystery of the lost sock and the vaudeville of the breaking seats. The damn spot comes out or not. As for romance, who knows. Perhaps it was "Gee, that's a lot of socks. Need help matching them?"

Friday, November 16, 2007

Those Soapy Saponins

Hey, they're not just poison. According to the website Plants for a Future, a number of plants contain this substance that makes a gentle but effective cleanser. Saponins are found in:

Soapwort (saponaria officinalis)
Ragged Robin (Lynchis flos-cuculi)
Campion (Silene spp)
Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)
Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
Soap Lily (Chlorogalum pomeridianum)
Ceanothus cuneatus
Yucca (Y. baccata, Y. filamentosa, Y. glauca, Y.gloriosa, Y whipplei)

Around here you can find Horse Chestnuts in October, even though the treees are endemic to Asia. Apparently you can peel the seeds and rub them between your hands to make a lather. And if you know what you're doing you can make a tincture to help arthritis and hemoirhoids! But don't eat them!

Crystal Clean is very very clean kind of clean. Hmmm, shiny pink balloon letters. On 8th Avenue in South Slope. While the laundry lathers, you can go get coffee at Ladybird or drop in Pumpkins Organic Market and get an organic lollipop. You can peruse the film selection at The Reel Life South and hopefully they are more congenial than they used to be.

Here in the 5 boroughs of NYC these places are part of our lives, a place we visit regularly, hangover or no. Another kind of watering hole. Things happen there: socks disappear, we prepare for another week, cel phones get ruined and once in a while, maybe, people hook up. And these places often photograph very well.

The laudercenter on Prospect Park West between 16th and Windsor works the red and white combo. Photographed on Halloween 2007, a beautiful evening. I love the way the e's look like backwards 3. They also look like sideways butts or boobs depending on your preference. I enjoy the ultra clean way the white chair looks against the orange/red panels. I am quite sure it really wasn't that clean. My son went in to trick or treat but couldn't find anyone. A few minutes later a man came out with candy but it seemed like my son had lost interest by then. The drama of the missed connection plays out once again.