Laundromat Tranquility

There’s something kinda wonderful about public laundromats. I can’t think of any other public place where you congregate with neighbors not for fun or enjoyment, but just to accomplish some tedious regular chore. And you have to deal with all types; the friendly lady that offers you her dryer with a few minutes remaining, the inconsiderate guy that’s trying to hog up all the folding tables even though his stuff isn’t ready, and the noisy mocosos that keep bumping into you as they run by. It’s not a fun experience, not by a long shot, but it does have it’s value as a sort of impromptu public plaza, and if a tamalera happens to come by, then those few wasted hours start looking like a mini-accomplishment.

But somedays are different. You just want to get this shit over with and not have to think about who’s claiming this cart and how come somebody is leaving their dry clothes in the dryer, when everyone else is clearly waiting for them to free up? Those exasperating days, when patience is at a minimum, you wish for a day like the one pictured above: EMPTY! All the washers and dryers for me! No hassles, no bumping, no constant “permiso” and “disculpe.” That occasional moment of laundromat tranquility, when you can zone out to the hum of your own spin cycle, is a sure sign of good things to come. Yes, I am a simple man.

Bonus! Click ahead for some more pics, including a super ending!

I mean nobody! Well actually, there were a few other people there, including a teenager that told her friend “we have the place to ourselves.” Little did she know the place was all for me!

All the carts I wanted, plus a Ms. Pacman with no line. (Umm, not that there’s ever a line, but still.)

Dryers, dryers, dryers! Okay, maybe I’m getting carried away. But you want to know what was the absolute best part of this washing experience?

I got to sit next to Spider-Man! I guess even super heroes have to wash their super suits.

All done. Carry on.

This entry was posted in Fotos, Lincoln Heights, This Chicano Life. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Laundromat Tranquility

  1. cwm says:

    Spidey looks scared, like his mom just told him that he’s going to guantanamo if he acts up again. Or maybe its you, El Chavo. Were you wearing those bloody overalls again?

  2. Wow, I wish I had the balls to go out in public like that! Oh to be young again!

  3. Kevin says:

    Before I moved to LA my local laundromat had Simpsons pinball for .25. I almost looked forward to having to hang out. Needless to say, I got pretty good at that game.

  4. Dona Junta says:

    This is a trip great post
    I been to almost all the launder mats in my town when I was younger. it was a such a hard chore to do and I did not like going most of the time unless we went to the one next to the Thrifty this way I got ice cream but we be there for hours! It is a trippy place at times just like you described it. When I was younger I actually dreamt of owning a launder mat hahaha but I would imagine it being fun and exciting to go to.
    Once we got a washer and dryer my lavanderia dreams disappeared
    I did also love the Phantom Sightings photo exhibit they had on launder mats that was cool as well.

  5. fx says:

    Holy Cow Batman, SpiderMan doesn’t own a washer and dryer!!!

  6. Dona Junta and I seem to have shared similar lavanderia experiences. I of course didn’t really do anything because my mom and sisters did all the washing and folding. Now adays that a whole different story. I HATE having to go to the lavanderia every week to wash my work clothes. It really is a freaking hassle dragging a bag full of clothes down the street on my skateboard. I never liked it back then and I still don’t like it now. Sometimes I wish I was back in the rancho when wearing dirty clothes was the least of your problems.

  7. Chino says:

    Dude! Longtime lurker here; just wanted to say que me encanta esta pagina. From the photos to the restaurant reviews, neta que esta pagina esta chingona. Keep it up.

  8. Bob says:

    I too am a simple man! I actually enjoy going to the laundry. Well, okay, not really, but there are some good things about it. I try to dwell on the time while you are waiting for things to go to the next “action item”. During that time you are forced (if you choose to do so) to relax. I’m usually up to way too much stuff during my non-laundering life, so being forced to chill out for 20 minutes during the wash cycle and then another 30 minutes during the dry cycle is actually a welcome event. I go alone with no children to attend to so it is indeed relaxing for me. I always go to all the different locations near where I’m living to find the one that’s the best match for me, the one that has the most accommodating facilities for relaxation (or at least the least amount of frustration caused by the equipment). The best was when I lived in Albuquerque. The place was down the street and I simply slung the laundry bag over my back and I sauntered over. Inside, the attendant was one of the mellowest people I’ve encountered at a laundromat. He usually had a friend there talking his ear off and him doing nothing but exchanging bills for coins (they had no coin machine). I had a little ritual where I purchased a Dr. Pepper and a candy bar from the vending machine and read the local Pennysaver flyer for entertainment purposes. The patrons were always polite and respectful and mellow. The machines were old but well maintained and if one malfunctioned the attendant didn’t hassle you about a refund. All in all, it was as blissful an experience as you could hope for in a laundromat. I miss it!

  9. EL CHAVO! says:

    cwm,
    Actually, I wasn’t wearing my bloody overalls, I was washing them! 😉

    punk rock mom,
    Once a punk, always a punk: who cares what they think, do your thing!

    Kevin,
    Man, my favorite arcade game (aside from Mario Bros.) is the Funhouse pinball game, they used to have one at the now gone Toe’s Tavern in Pasadena. I’d go to anyplace that had this awesome game just to hear “Howza ’bout a hotdog?” again!

    Dona Junta,
    Those laundromat pictures at Phantom Sightings were pretty awesome, I think they were taken in El Sereno?

    fx,
    Maybe Spidey just wanted to hang out with his peeps.

    El Random Hero,
    Trust me, if I had my own set of washing equipment, I’d give up on the laundromat for good! It’s literally a chore! 😉

    Chino,
    Thanks for your words! I’m glad my stupid crap is appreciated by a few. All you other lurkers our there, chime in sometime. I don’t bite. Well, not that hard. 😉

    Bob,
    Yeah, I kinda appreciate the forced “time out” that you have to take while doing the wash. But even then, I sometimes manage to cram stuff in: at the Spin Cycle on Broadway is usually start the washing machine and go get my mail, get some groceries from the Big Saver, and I’ve even had breakfast at El Huarachito. But usually, a book will do just fine to fill the time.

    BTW, today while I was walking around Lincoln Heights, some kid yelled out to me from behind a gate “hey, remember me?”
    “From where?” I asked.
    “From the laundry.”
    “Oh yeah, you were the one with the Spider-Man costume.” It was kinda cool to meet a lil’ neighbor in such a surreal way.

  10. aye p says:

    hey that’s my laundromat too..hail the shared laundry experience, it was closed for many months when i first moved here now i can run across the street to get the dirty deed done! i would love to help get a mural going since the whole corner gets tagged up pretty regularly, something good for the kids to do while waiting for others.

  11. Dona Junta says:

    Dang now that I compare this laundromat and the one I just posted about the one I posted about it ghetto as fuck lol….this one is really nice. I do see the orange bench your talking about this one has a T.V too wow lol.

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