Clean and discrete
The laundromat is more than a place to clean clothes, it’s also community center. No, not another example of how products and services have odd meanings in that wacky third world, this story takes place just outside of Chicago.
It was a haven for Hispanic families who cannot afford cable to watch Spanish-language soap operas. It was a Saturday-afternoon carnival with magicians, jugglers, face painters, even a unicyclist. There was Santa Claus posing for pictures at Christmas, the Easter Bunny handing out chocolate in April, cartoon characters on Halloween and, in summer, a read-athon raffle with bicycles for prizes…..
There will be diner-style booths by the vending machines – not just candy and chips but White Castle hamburgers and other microwaveable meals – and the play area, all under a circular dropped ceiling adorned with neon signs blaring “Welcome” in 20 languages. And it will still be open 24 hours, every day of the year.