Unwashed Masses Trapped in Hell’s Kitchen as Another Laundry Closes

Is it possible for gentrification to go too far?

In Hell’s Kitchen, that just could be the case, as one of the storied neighborhood’s last laundromats has been washed out of the neighborhood by skyrocketing rents, the Post reports. There is now a mile-long sudless swath in the city, from 51st Street to 67th Street between 8th and 10th avenues.

Locals are getting desperate, throwing champagne parties to wash skivvies in sinks and taking cabs and even airplanes to get their clothes clean.

Carl Bevelhymer, 31, said there was one upside to getting stranded in the Midwest during last week’s blizzard: it was easier for him to wash his clothes there.

“I brought my laundry home to Michigan because it was easier than washing it in my neighborhood,” said Bevelhymer, who has resorted to paying double to use a dry cleaner’s drop-off service. “A Laundromat is like a privately owned public utility. It’s like having running water or a grocery store. This is a deal-breaker for me with the neighborhood.”

A deal-breaker, folks. A deal-breaker.

So now it seems the cleaning up of the neighborhood, its rechristening as Clinton to broaden its appeal, has gone too far. Hell’s Kitchen has no fury like a thong spurned.

Perhaps this is why this Sunday’s Times declared the humble washer/dryer, that “staple of the suburbs,” the new Manhattan status symbol.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @mc_nyo Unwashed Masses Trapped in Hell’s Kitchen as Another Laundry Closes