Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Sunday morning, 8:30am-- 3 people and I stand outside the Laundromat on Montague waiting for the owner to open the door. Normally friendly neighbors shoot stares that say, “Don’t even think about grabbing an empty washer before I have selected the ones I want to use.” Social etiquette tells everyone that running for the washers like women do for gowns during Filene’s Basement wedding dress sale would not be appropriate, but you know it has crossed everyone’s mind.

The doors open and people file in in an orderly fashion, but the race doesn’t end there. Oh no my friends, the race has just begun. Sort the clothes, load them into the washers, select the cycle, add soap and eight quarters, start! The winner of this challenge gains the right of first refusal to get her clothes into the dryers first (of course there are fewer dryers than washers.) But the race does not even end there! An advanced Laundromat user will be able to calculate whether she can get through the line at Starbucks and read a couple sections of the NYT before having to be back for the oh so critical switch between the washer and dryer.

What a bizarre and probably uniquely New York experience! I haven’t felt that much tension since I waited in line for the last Harry Potter book to be released.

There are other laundry options: you can pay to have your clothes washed for you for 80 cents/pound. Who the heck knows how much their clothing weighs! I admit that I do this occasionally, but I feel guilty every time I do… I am capable of washing my own clothes, but it is a wonderful feeling to wheel in a bag of dirty laundry and pick up a nicely folded bag of clothes after work. Decisions, decisions!


Anonymous jp said...

I'll take doing laundry next to "normally friendly" neighbors over sharing suds with the scary characters inhabiting my local laudromat any day!

Fortunately, I just became the proud owner of a "classic" stackable w/d, circa 1987. It's not energy efficient, but it was only $75 bucks. Gone are the days of hoping the remants of other people's laundry don't get too cozy with mine.

Happy washing!

12:41 AM  
Blogger kelly said...

yes, instead of giving in to the 3.80 euro (!!!) prices per washer load (of course not including drying) at the laundromat here in Tübingen, Daniel and I also purchased a used dryer for 70 euros. It has probably almost paid for itself already.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Lexy said...

i am sad i will not see you in sacramento...

9:28 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

WHY WON'T WE SEE YOU IN SACRAMENTO!!?? Are you around this weekend? Let's talk on the phone

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Lexy said...

no, i mean, aren't you going to russia? or is that orientation at a different time? of course i'm going to be there! very excited too.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous JP said...

This is totally off the "Laundry" subject... but are any of you Buka blog writers/readers coming to Sac early or staying longer? If so, I have a futon with your name on it, if you so desire.

Email me and let me know. I'm trying to get hip to my 'hood so I can take you guys out while you're here... hope you're up for great sushi and cheap Pabst BR!! ;-)

11:20 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I'll be in Sacramento! Heck Yeah! Russia is May 9-14, so I'll be doing lots of traveling in May, but I will def be in Cali. I am so excited to everyone...especially my 3 dedicated blog readers;-)

JP, thanks for the invite to Sacramento but because I'm also taking time off of work for Russia, I've got to cut Sacramento down to just the days of the conference. Are you staying at the hotel? I am hoping that we can finish dinner early one night and go out in the city-- for a drink or second dinner. Guess who I nominate as the tour guide:-)

I've been in touch with Lena and Sergej. Lena is coming a bit early but I think she's heading to SanFran first. Sergej is just coming in for the conference (long flight!!)

Happy Easter to Everyone!

6:03 AM  

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