Wash and Go – Laundromat Tales


Posted 2 months ago in More

NCH – 25 sep-3 oct-22 Desktop

Laundromats are most often idealised through the lens of American culture, from Nick Kamen’s iconic Levis advert to a current incarnation in the Daniels movie Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Here in the city, we have an ever dwindling number of them where you can go in yourself, insert the coin, laundry powder and sit it out or drop back later. We decided to drop by a few and say hello to some of the folk using them who were happy enough to have a word with us and have their photo taken.

We didn’t care to impinge upon their lives too much, allowing them to share as much or as little as they chose to.

There’s no real moral to this story, it’s just a slice of several lives in the city served up against the backdrop of a spin cycle and tumble dry.

 

Barbara Thompson

is on her holidays from Calgary, Canada, and dropped by Supreme Clean

“You can’t just rinse something out and hang it in the bathroom. Every once in a while we just find a laundromat.”

“We’re here because the hotel we’re staying in doesn’t have a laundry service. We’re on holidays and travelling as light as we possibly can. The humidity is so high here that you can’t just rinse something out and hang it in the bathroom. Every once in a while we just find a laundromat.

“I was a business journalist with the Western Producer. I retired a week before lockdown started and we were going to take this trip two years ago… I’m pleasantly surprised by the city, it’s cleaned up a lot since the last time I was here. It seems like prosperity has returned. I see a lot of improvements – the transportation is better.

On the laundromat: “They usually don’t have much staff and at times they feel a little bit sketchy. They’ve gone up in price.”

 

Talita Nossol & Murilo Miranda

are from Brazil and live across the road from Supreme Clean

“I worked as an au pair, minder, cleaner, housekeeper…”

M: ”We met here and are flatmates. We came as English students and then decided to stay. I came here just before the pandemic and work in a nursing home in DL. Most Brazilians spend time here. It is so hard for us back home. Here you have the power to go to the supermarket and buy what you want.

T: “I did two years of an English course and then decided to stay and do a masters in Dispute Resolution. After all of this I got a job in my area and work for logistics in a large company. I worked as an au pair, minder, cleaner, housekeeper – everything before that. You have a great quality of life here, the salary is good. The violence in Brazil is really hard. Here it is a paradise, I can go to the pub and come back at 3am and not have problems.”

 

Davy Little

has been dropping into Mr Tubs in Phibsborough for 18 years.

 

“It’s a habit,” says Davy, a quiet and unassuming gent of a man in his biker gear. He drops by Mr Tubs, drops in a wash and has a pint in The Bohemian before collecting his cleans. Originally from Ayr, he came to Ireland because “the taxman was chasing him” and he was “running away from an ex”. Davy ended up being a cellar man in the Four Seasons pub on North King Street and Capel Street corner back when it was a trad bar and that’s where he met Colm Bodkin (from Bodkins pub across the road).

Davy lives in sheltered housing in Cabra and feels “secure and safe” there. He’s had a speech impediment all his life, it comes from his fathers’ side, but Davy accepts it graciously and says, “it never held me back.”

He’s someone who happily keeps to himself reading the likes of James Patterson and Lee Childs or listening to Zepplin and Hendrix. However, his Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Drifter is his pride and joy. It’s “amazing” the number of people who come up to him to admire it. It’s his own thing though, he’s not part of any larger biker scene or community.

 

Diarmuid Breatnach

is at Supreme Clean because his washing machine is broken and may not get it repaired because he faces the threat of eviction.

“It’s there at the back of the mind, the axe waiting to fall and what it is going to be like trying to find another place.”

“I defaulted on my mortgage. There’s a lot of people in this situation. The country is run for speculators and bankers.

“I was a couple of years away from retirement in a permanent job. I wasn’t happy there. I got released to go on a temporary contract. I needed another three months but then couldn’t get another job or reference. If you can’t get a reference, you can’t get a job at my age. I did a bit of freelance health and safety assessment to get myself in the door. I wasn’t qualified enough though to get more regular paid work.

“It’s there at the back of the mind, the axe waiting to fall and what it is going to be like trying to find another place. A lot of people are in this situation and some with kids.”

On laundromats: “It’s a fairly quick service. They have lost a few odd pairs of socks but it’s cheap and closeby.”

 

Rosa Scarptatta

is from Italy and has been here since October. Her laundry is broken and the apartment owner doesn’t give a fuck about it.

“To be honest, I don’t like Dublin.”

“I graduated in July last year in marketing and communications and decided to take a gap year to study English. I came here with my boyfriend, he’s a chef. In the meantime, I have done a food sustainability course and now I am applying for a masters degree in Turin in September. I have found out the food system is totally broken everywhere so I would like to share my food values and make people understand the system is broken.

“To be honest, I don’t like Dublin. I like Irish people because you are very friendly. Maybe it is because of the weather and your kind of life. In my personal opinion, people work and drink in pubs. That’s it. One thing I miss here is a vibrant cultural environment.”

 

Lucas Nascimento

is from Rio Di Janeiro Brazil and has been here six months.

“The weather, the weather”

“The weather, the weather…it is secure here and a quieter life. My brother lives here, I had been here before in 2019 to visit him. Food is not as expensive here but rent and school is expensive.

In Rio I studied marketing. In November, I will go back to Brazil. I don’t know if I will come back here.

I have been to Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands but not other parts of Ireland.”

 

Nina Howden

is from Inchicore and works in Grove Road Cafe beside the The Laundry and Dry Cleaning Shop. She’s off to Naples on her holidays the next day.

 “I feel a little bit trapped.”

“I’m a student who lives at home with my parents. I think most students are affected by the cost of living. I’m studying sustainability in UCD. I feel a little bit trapped, but I don’t have the necessity to move out or those who have to travel up here who are struggling with the costs.

I feel for young people, there are a lack of social spaces where we can hang out and meet. A lot of public spaces have been taken away.

On the laundromat: We do the laundry here once a week so drop in all our towels, kitchen cloths and aprons. It’s very practical and makes my job easier.

 

Suchanya Gough

runs Dapahnee Thai Massage in Ranelagh

“At the beginning, the culture of Irish jokes confused me when I had conversations. I was just, ‘what? what? I don’t understand.’ Now I get it and don’t get angry.”

“I am from Bangkok in Thailand, I have been here around 11 years, my husband is Irish. At the beginning, the culture of Irish jokes confused me when I had conversations. I was just, ‘what? what? I don’t understand.’ Now I get it and don’t get angry.

“I like the countryside, I try to go out there when I have time. I dislike the rent which is very high. If I could change something, I think the people need to be less selfish throwing things on the street and clean up.”

“Oh, you know what when I come here, I like this magazine (Totally Dublin).”

On the laundromat: “It’s handy, everything is quick, I don’t have to hang out the clothes all over my house and not worry about my ESB bills.”

With thanks to all at:

Supreme Clean, 2 Belvedere Road, Dublin 7

Mr Tubs, 351 N Circular Rd, Phibsborough & 37 Arran Quay

All American Laundrette, 40 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2

The Laundry and Dry Cleaning Shop, 118 Rathmines Rd Lower, Rathmines, Dublin 6

Words: Michael McDermott

Photos: Malcolm McGettigan

Our Beautiful Laundromats – our editor shares some thoughts on this month’s cover story.

NEWSLETTER

The key to the city. Straight to your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter.

SEARCH

DTF 22 – MPU sep 24-okt 16
National Museum Exhibitions MPU #1

NEWSLETTER

The key to the city. Straight to your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter.