something about laundromats. They tend to be sad, lonely places; purgatories for those unfortunate souls that don't have washers and driers in their homes or apartment buildings. We go there and sit listlessly for twenty or thirty minute stretches—like being in a doctor's waiting room, but without any sort of climax at the end. No nurse to call us over and check our blood pressure, just a pile of slightly damp, mostly clean clothes that we have to trudge back home with. We ignore our fellow patrons, silently leafing through several-day-old newspaper sections under dying fluorescents. Acknowledging them would be to acknowledge ourselves.
appears that laundromat proprietors are well aware of our situations. They know that we don't want to parade our dirty underwear through the streets; we'll go to whichever laundromat is closest. They don't worry about such passè business ideas as advertisement, decoration, or cleanliness. Many of them hardly even bother with having a name. They're not expecting a lot of phone-book business. No, not all of them. But for every Brain Wash
or Wishy Washy
, there's a score of Coin-Operated Laundromats
and Wash and Drys
. A change machine full of quarters and a handful of washers and driers are about all that we've come to expect.
is a collection of photos of laundromats from various corners of the world, most taken by me, a few contributed by others. If you'd like to contribute a photo of your local laundromat, please send it to
and I will add it to this site.
Clicking on images will switch to an alternate image when available. Clicking anywhere in the window will move the bubbles around.