Posts Tagged ‘washeterias’

Laundromats are for lovers

This weekend I paid a visit to the laundromat – or washeteria to you Texans – in my North Portland neighborhood. This is an old school joint with machines that are no less than 10 years. I’m pretty sure they all have the funk. The toothless owner, a dear man who shuffles around in slippers and spends much of his time filling out crossword puzzles, keeps a broken down dryer full of snack size bags of potatoe chips and baggies of laundry detergent for idiots like myself who go to a laundromat without their own. Usually, I try to get in out of out of laundromats as fast as possible but on this particular day I was in no hurry so sat down to take in the ambiance. I scanned the room and took note of the three men standing in front of their dryers, methodically pulling clothes out and dropping them in their baskets. Aside from one other woman at the far end of the row of dryers, I realized that everyone else was male and late middle-age. It got me thinking about the various laundromats I’d visit when I lived in L.A. The type of patrons varied from neighborhood to neighborhood. Say I wanted to meet someone for reasons other than sharing spot removal secrets, I might visit the laundromat where the ratio of men to women was in my favor. It also required a neighborhood that was less family friendly and close to bars. Laundromats near Trader Joe’s were always a good call, as were the mats in Hollywood – on weekdays, no earlier than 11:00 am.
I remember the laundromat/cafe/bar craze. Does anyone else?
So Portland, I’m curious to know if there is a laundromat culture here. What are the most popular mats for socializing? Where are they? And of course, if anyone has made a love connection during the spin cycle, let’s hear about it.

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