We moved (back) to New York July 2008. We drove, though I only made it half way across the country before I had to have Jasmine drop me off at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport because I suddenly had to get back to work.
That first year we were living in a traditional Williamsburg apartment: a zoned light industrial, lightly converted for human habitation loft space (above the Roebling Tea Room in that big brick building). And it was a hot, and sticky Summer. Not like this last Summer. It was a lie awake at night sweating, slightly fevered thoughts blending with the sounds of a city that wasn’t sleeping coming through the open windows. It wasn’t an easy transition that Summer. It was amazing, but not easy. And in circumstances like that you find comfort in odd places.
And one of those places was my laundromat. Really. You see it felt like New York. It was big. It was full of a people who weren’t like me. It was open 24 hours. This was a laundromat for New York. And sitting in the laundromat, at 3am, in shorts and sandals, watching a world swirl by I felt like a New Yorker. I felt like I’d broken free from the normal rules, and I was living a new negotiated existence in a city of possibility.
So odd as it is, I’m going to miss my laundromat. We don’t live around the corner anymore. And the wave of gentrification of which we’re a part has swept us along and left us with our own washer/dryer. The bagel store on the corner is gone as well, rumored to be a Starbucks, so there was never going to be another hot sticky night of laundry and bialy anyway. And I’ll miss it.