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Laundry in NYC
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/npatterson

Why is doing laundry in New York always awful?

Written by
Heather Corcoran

A famous gossip columnist once told me he knew he’d made it in New York the day he bought an apartment with a washer and dryer. If you’re one of those insufferable New Yorkers who has a washing machine in your apartment—stop reading now. We hate those people, right? That’s because everybody knows doing laundry in the city is a hellish experience, every time. Our collective avoidance of laundry day is why so many of us go to work in clothes that are “clean” (we already wore this shirt one-and-a-half times, hope no one notices!) or pair an evening gown with a hoodie and call it an outfit (it’s all we have left in the closet).

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I’d kill for the luxury of having in-building laundry amenities, which usually means scrounging for loose quarters before schlepping your giant bag down to a dank basement that the super might lock while your wet clothes are still in the wash, giving them that mildew-fresh scent hours later.

For those of us without even that, it’s all about finding your spot. Every laundromat has its quirks. Maybe yours is conveniently located next to a bar. Or maybe it has one broken TV that only plays staticky foreign music videos. Fortunately my laundromat is right across the street from my place, which would be great if last wash weren’t 10 minutes before I get home from work. But what makes my place special is the fact that it has twice the number of washers as dryers, turning Sunday afternoon laundry runs into a hand-to-hand contact sport on my block.

Still, New Yorkers are luckier than most. Here everything is possible for a price: You can always throw in the towel—literally—and use a drop-off service.

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