Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Laundromat of my dreams!

A while back fellow blogger EL CHAVO! posted about a Laundromat he goes to near his house. I grew up going to them so I immediately took interest in the post and remembered all the long boring times I spent forcefully at the Laundromat. My mom and dad used to make me go every weekend up until I was like 12 or 13 years old. It was the worst thing ever, even though I never really helped wash the clothes I still had to go for some reason. Sometimes I would help fold socks or a blankets that was fun but aside that I had to make the Laundromat an adventure. When I was younger I would run around with the clothes carts, dash in and around the tables and washing machines, find the lint in the dryers or maybe put quarters in the soap machine. I went there so much I had a dream to open up my own Laundromat and make it a fun place to be. We visited all the Laundromats in San Pedro depending on the street we lived on at the time. They where all similar some better then others but they all had their creepy moments especially at night. It was the normal though you just had to keep a look out at some places and make sure nobody jacked your clothes.

I guess I gave up that dream sometime around 1997 when we moved to a new house we said good-by to the Laundromat days. We finally got our first pair of washer and dryer and that was the end to that. Laundromats are still interesting though I mean the new ones they are building look classy and hip like this Laundromat in San Pedro had air conditioning, flat screen TV’s brand new video game machines, steel tables and furniture, it is totally a “cool” modern Laundromat.

fancy laundromat (womp womp)

There is a built in washer and dryer where I live now so I do not have worries about going to the Laundromat but….when I walked into this magical place on Ave 19th and Broadway I fell in love! I wanted to be able to go to the Laundromat again and relive my childhood ha ha! I found a place that stands still in time, what a trip! It is grimy and old but it has so much character and it looks like it survived many wars. There was no cleaning lady around, the change machine did not work (that is why I went in there in the first place) but it was a dream, it was an art installation with out even trying to be . I think we went back a couple of decades in that place but it was worth it. Laundromat gentrification has not set foot in this joint it was totally amazing! At least in my crazy imagination lol….

I loved the studio lighting and the bars very nice!

Maytag washers in a mustard yellow color, they had to have been at least twenty years old.

You can't have an original laundromat with out the wood paneling

The coin machine was so discreet it had not sign or nothing. I tried to put my dollar in it but it was out of order. There was a nice paisa guy that ended up giving me change for a dollar so that was coo, I guess you got to get quarters elsewhere.

There was a very nice dim cutty area in the back. I loved it it was like a private VIP only area.

The table to fold your clothes.

The clothing carts where pretty gangster, the edges where binded in duck tape! that was a nice touch you can't hate on that.

These machines where my favorite as a kid.

I don't think these ones work anymore, but they have decade old scribes on them which where pretty interesting.

It looks like they do try to scrub off the graffiti that gets accumulated which is a sign they care a little. You can't help but love the orange, yellow and avocado green colors. Those colors totally back in style when it comes to decor. There are no video games or T.V's here so the place is pretty lonesome and quiet except for the rumbling of the machines but I guess the place lived a long life. It just wants to be left alone already but it still manages to keep it's door open for those that care to come here and wash their memories away.

My friend said he wants to play a show there a quick laundromat punk rock session, he said he has played spontaneous shows in laundromats around town. They just plug in their equipment and rock out till they get booted, I will keep everyone updated!.


El Random Hero said...

hahah WTF !?!? that laundry mat is freakin' old !!! Straight out of my child hood memories. Damn I remember those days and they're just like you described them. I still hate going to the laundry mat to this day. But damn that's a gem you found on this place hahah.

Tonan said...

V.I.P area! lol!!

Dona Junta said...

Yeah I was like whoa when I walked in b/c it was so old school. I did not expect it lol, it was great! most people would not understand unless they used to go to the laundromat back in the days lol

EL CHAVO! said...

Those carts are pretty neat, all duct taped y todo. My local recently upgraded a few things but they still have that same orange bench and the same "your money will be refunded" sign. Your find is a classic though, a little worn out but still kicking.

jen said...

OMG I love this blog.. I too use to go to laundrymats as a child and my favorite thing was to play in the carts, my brothers and I would play bumper carts lol. I still go 1x a month to wash my spreads because they have the industrial washers. And I also dye my jeans in there lol....well this is a great blog and I love the colors of that laundrymat very retro old school..jsut like me

cindylu said...

I once earned "white points" from some friends when I admitted that I'd never been to a laundromat. I finally went a few years ago. My apartment has a washer & dryer, but I end up getting my laundry done a whole lot quicker if I go to the laundromat.

And damn. That place is OLD. I didn't know such washing machines still existed.