RIP Washo-Blocko


I’ve been photographing the changing fortunes of our cartoon laundry friends Washo and Blocko for some time now, since at least 2006. When I noticed something new in their lives I tried to snap a photo as a keepsake. Here I share with you more than a few years of paying attention to this improvised laundromat mural.

It ends terribly.


Fucking Launderland. So many hours spent there. Even when it wasn’t a functioning laundromat. Countless battles with seƱoras for a damn dryer. And the site where I was robbed a whole dollar by an incompetent attendant that shall forever be a despised enemy.


Still, there were some small moments of joy to be had. Occasional instances of rest and contemplation. Free delivery of $1 tamales and champurrado. And of course, that little perk of always seeing Washo and Blocko struggling to get their laundry done, just like all us other sad proles! Life is a struggle, don’t we all know it.


Even during the holidays they kept up the fight against dirt.


All good things must fade away.


The dirt could never leave them alone. Eventually Blocko’s buddy got painted over and erased from history. I am pretty sure the culprits here are those with the heavy hand with that damned anti-graffiti gun that causes more damage than it repairs.


This is not a good option. At some point Blocko got named as Ms. Tide. I like my given names better.


I have to hand it to Launderland, they did try to bring back the characters as much as they could.


One ghost cart almost made a full apparition.


Sadly, this is how it looks today. Pour one for the homies.

This is what happens when people get bent out of shape due to a bit of graffiti. Now we have to live with the dullness of beige paint on glass.

Washo & Blocko
Forever Laundered

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3 Responses to RIP Washo-Blocko

  1. mitch durette says:

    Sorry man, as much as I agree that Washo & Blocko were a comforting couple on that corner and in the Launderland, I think you’re pointing the finger of shame at the wrong people. Gang graffiti is part of a larger problem, and gets removed for a reason. Gangs have no respect for their own neighborhoods, and having that tag up there invites the pattern of it getting lined out, tagged over, and the possibility of someone getting shot. It’s happened in our neighborhood time after time. Art is good, tags are the problem. Offer to paint it back. See how you feel when some set decides to claim a corner, a block or a business where you live and work.

  2. EL CHAVO! says:

    Aww man, do you take me for some new chicken that doesn’t know things? I stand by my pointing fingers.

  3. mitch durette says:

    Not at all, man. I get it.

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