Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Laundromats Going By The Wayside?

That's not quite what they're talking about here. In this case they're talking about laundry facilities in apartment complexes. As a result of vandalism, some are considering no longer offering laundry facilities to tenants.

Will more and more property owners stop providing laundry facilities? Might happen.

Driving around town, I've wondered lately if those old laundromats we all know and hate are slowly going by the wayside? Some certainly are. I know all the ones I used to frequent before moving up to owning my own washer and dryer have disappeared, with the exception of maybe one.

When I first moved up here and lived out on Pigeon Point Road, out Old Arcata Road, I used to use the laundromat at Glenwood Center, corner of Glenwood and Myrtle in Eureka. That went by the wayside I don't know how many years ago. I haven't noticed just what sits in that spot now.

After that, when I lived on West Del Norte Street, there used to be a laundromat on B Street, right near Wabash. I don't think that place lasted very long. Now it's a paint shop- the one right next to Rainbow Auto Body.

When I finally moved up to a half way decent place out in Cutten, I used the laundromat where the Cutten Inn currently is. Seems to me Cutten Inn replaced that laundromat quite some time ago. I think it wasn't much after I moved away from Beechwood.

I imagine quite a few other laundromats I'm not aware of have gone by the wayside as well. Have any new ones started up anywhere? None that I can think of off the top of my head.

There's still a few old timers around, having been here since I moved up here. The one at Burre Center in Eureka, across from Long's Drugs, comes to mind. I believe I used that one once or twice for some reason. The one next to the old Bonomini's Market, on Little Fairfield Street is still there as well.

The trend seems to be for more and more people to own their own washers and dryers. After all, laundromats are a pain in the neck. You'd think I wouldn't think much of it back when I had no other way to do my laundry, but I hated it even then, although I suppose I accepted it as one of life's miserable duties.

I used to hate that: Getting all my clothes together, driving to the laundromat and sometimes having to wait for an open machine. And let's hope you didn't forget to buy detergent at the store beforehand so you didn't have to mess with those coin- operated laundry detergent machines.

Then you'd sit and wait...and wait...and wait. Really sucked if you didn't have anything to read. Seems to me it would take up at least half of one day a week to do your laundry in the laundromat and it wasn't fun at all. I hated that.

One of the better step- ups in life I had was back in the early 80s when I moved from Beechwood Drive in Cutten to Trinity Street in Myrtletown, Eureka. First place I ever had with, not only wall to wall carpeting, but a washer and dryer. I LOVED that washer and dryer. Free at last, free at last, thank god I'm free from laundromats at last.

I told myself back then I will never be without a washer and dryer again. If I end up homeless in the streets my washer goes with me. My shopping cart will be used to push around my washing machine (no room for the dryer, but I can air dry).

So far I've kept that promise to myself and have always had a washer and dryer. I hope my good luck in that regard continues, but life isn't over yet.


At 12:15 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Did you not ever make any friends at the laundromat?

At 12:28 PM, Anonymous mresquan said...

I always take my blankets and sheets to that one over on E.st in Henderson Center,right near Hunan's restaurant.The one next to Bonomini's is always too crowded for my liking,plus it allows me to meander around Fin and Feather for a little bit.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Oh that's right. How could I forget about the Henderson Center Laundromat. I see that place just about every day. They've been there forever, too. That place does seem to stay pretty busy.

Lisa asks, "Did you not ever make any friends at the laundromat?".

Seems to me, there were usually different people there whenever I'd do laundry, despite usually doing laundry on the same day each week.

If not, they were probably just as irritated at doing laundry as I was and not in a social mood.

At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, I too was a frequenter of the Cutten Laundromat, The Myrtletowne Laundromat and the Burre Center Laundromat. Along with the 6th & E street Laundromat, The one on Spring Street down by the Clark Street Post Office, and the Eureka Mall Laundromat.

When I was washerless & dryerless, I liked to travel around from place to place. Sort of like bar hopping. Each one had it's own personality. Does anyone remember the one on 5th and Myrtle in Eureka? If you make the turn onto Myrtle, it is now a storage facility for Pro Sport Center. I went there in the late '70's.

The Arcata Laundomat's are pretty cool. Filled with young people. Probably the nicest place is the Emerald City Laundry next to Figueiredo's up on the hill across from Wildberries in Arcata. That's a classy joint.

A laundromat is not my idea of a good time. You can only read Parenting and Field & Stream and Saturday Evening Post for so long. Although The Watchtower and Awake were a nice diversion from mainstream magazines.

At 6:27 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Ekovox wrote, "The one on Spring Street down by the Clark Street Post Office,".

I forgot about that one, as well. Is it still there? I believe there's still a dry cleaning business there. That used to be part of the same business.

Eko also wrote, "the Eureka Mall Laundromat.".

I just vaguely remember that one. Wasn't it where Subway is now?

Also "Does anyone remember the one on 5th and Myrtle in Eureka? If you make the turn onto Myrtle, it is now a storage facility for Pro Sport Center.".

I don't remember that one at all.

"A laundromat is not my idea of a good time.".


I remember reading, or seeing something on TV, about laundromats that were combined with bars, or some such. That might make it a little more fun.

Thing is, it's still a hassle. I like it the way it is now where I can do it at home (and the way it was when I rented that place in Myrtletown) where I can wash my clothes without hardly thinking about it.

I'll often put the clothes in the washer now, and might not throw them in the dryer until the next day- whenever I get around to it.

I think there will always be a need for laundromats, but having to use them sucks.

As an aside, I remember some years ago when, I believe, it was our washer that went on the fritz. I was slow in taking care of the problem.

The wifey comes to me trying to up the speed on fixing it. She said "I'M NOT GOING TO GO TO A LAUNDROMAT...".

I don't know if she'd ever been to one, or not, but enough was said. I was sympathetic.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger hucktunes said...

We can all give a heartfelt thanks to the laundromats that have sprung up since the 1920'-30's for the good health and comfort that we enjoy today. As far back as the days of the ancient Greeks folks would have to take a hot iron to their clothing in order to kill the knits and lice that love to suck our blood. But thanks to the invention of the hot cloths dryer, lice are a thing of the past. And so is ironing cloths. I like to use the laundromat on 7th and E. I'll browse Picky Picky Picky while my cloths dry.

At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, despite everything else, at least you appear to make an effort towards clean laundry. Now, if only we could put your thought process on 'heavy duty' cycle...

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Carol said...

They closed the laundromat in Loleta, because someone kept vandalizing the machines by putting dirt in them.

I am here in Chatham, MA and the laundry (I mean a big professional laundry) was torn down and now there is a fancy subdivison.

At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many years ago I went to a laundromat when we had a small child. Not in in Humboldt County though - L.A. Dangerous place even though it was quite a public place. After we moved into our house, got a washer and dryer.

I have to agree with Fred about sometimes washing clothes and putting them in the dryer next day. Still do that. Night time if cold and foggy is not the time to dry. I think it costs more than if the sun is out and no fog, Anyone know if this is true??

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, like you I get lots of blood on my clothes and without a good washing machine in ones own home it is simply best to put the bloodied clothes in a plastic bag, drive said clothes to somewhere far from anyone and burn it to ash, then bury it.

At 5:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Burre Center laundromat used to have a drop off service. I would take bed spreads and comforters there and pick them up later in the day. We just bought Maytag's top of the line set and they are worth the bucks!


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