I knew this day was coming. On Dec. 31, 2017, the Bloomfield Launderette closed after 38 years. I have been going there for over 30 years. This is a painful change for me, being only one block away from my home. I considered this laundromat at 10th and Bloomfield a luxury, easily walking home between loads and coming back to put the washed load into the dryer. This staggering of more than one load distributed the weight of clothing that I would have to lug back home. That works well when you have to do bedding which is heavier and takes more arm space. Plus I could carry an umbrella in inclement weather because I had just one block to travel and this short walk allowed my laundry to remain dry.
Did you know that Hoboken has only three self-service laundries left? That’s right, despite what real estate agents tell prospective renters when they say there are laundromats all over town when the apartment they are showing has no laundry facilities. (I know this because I was helping a friend look at apartments.) I have been keeping track of the laundromats as they each close. Giant Laundry and Wash On Wash, on Washington, closed within two years of each other, the latter closing just last January. The patrons have to move on to the next closest one so then the laundries become more crowded and you have to wait for a washer.
Believe it or not, not everyone owns a washing machine and dryer, including some homeowners. Many people, especially women, like to do their own laundry because they can control what soap is used and determine the washing settings and how long something is to be dried, so sending out my laundry is not an option I would ever consider. Many pieces of laundry are lost and not cleaned properly since they throw a bag of your laundry along with bags of other people’s laundry into a big machine to wash them all at the same time!! Besides, as a male friend of mine told me, who wants strangers handling your towels and underwear?
Many laundries have been around for decades so I understand when their owners want to retire. The problem is that there are no new laundromats opening in Hoboken. Our access to public laundromats is diminishing. I have heard that the laundromat at Garden and 3rd has only two more years on its lease. Will that one be next to close? That would really cause a serious deficit for people trying to do their laundry in town. Taking Uber in and out of town to Jersey City just to do laundry will increase the Hoboken traffic, trying to maneuver our already congested streets.
I now have to walk six blocks to do my laundry on Willow between 7th and 8th Streets, allocating a lot more time doing my laundry loads.
I actually cried because one of the luxuries in my life is now gone forever.