Laundromats are a quintessential part of the New York City landscape: an indispensible element to many city dwellers’ lives, they’re an ersatz utility room shared with dozens of strangers at any given time, a moist environment of humming machines and strange clothes. No other public facility gathers so many people under one roof to engage in one of the most intimate rituals in which the modern human routinely performs, that of making clean again one’s outer and under garments. What New Yorker has never experienced the dread of removing another’s…stuff…from a dryer having completed its cycle in order to get on with it and be released from the temporary prison of chore….
Laundromats are as varied as the people inside. They often reflect the social, cultural, and economic fabric of the neighborhood they reside in (announcements, flags, and symbols displayed often reveal something about their mainly mom-and-pop owners), yet they additionally possess a story of commercial storefront design, inspired and mundane: the trend date of awning design and lettering; the poster advertising for cleaning; the refreshment options for adults and their charges. Neighborhood laundromats are one of the last holdouts of the disappearing storefronts of New York City as small shops are driven out of business by chains and venture-capital initiatives. Like the beloved Korean green grocer/bodega/Arab deli, someday soon there could be far fewer of these ugly ducklings, and another genuine element of New York’s street life will be…washed away.
Laundromat was photographed from 2008 to 2012 and represents all five New York boroughs and most of its neighborhoods.
Hardcover | $40.00
Published by powerHouse Books Mar 12, 2013| 160 Pages| 11 x 9-1/2| ISBN 9781576876237
“There’s a deadpan brilliance to this volume…This book makes you want to, even if you are lucky enough to have a washer and dryer at home, pull the lint from your eyes and pop into your local laundromat to do a load.” –Dwight Garner, New York Times
“The Snorri Bros…decided to focus their lens on these almost ubiquitous storefronts in their new book, Laundromat before more of the small, mom-and-pop shops begin to disappear from the city’s blocks.” -Huffington Post