Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dry and clean

As I've said (here or elsewhere, who can remember), when you move 5 blocks in NYC you find a new dry cleaner. It wouldn't matter if the old one were between me and the subway stop, but since it's in the other direction, it means 10 blocks out of my way each time I want to drop something off or pick something up. There are at least 4 others in between my new apartment and the old dry cleaners, (and even one or two more between me and the subway), and since I have no loyalty to the old one (after 14 years they still ask me my name for the ticket), it's time to experiment.

Attempt one: failure. It seemed promising: signs that boldly announced "Eco-friendly" and the winner of many dry cleaner association awards (although to be fair, not having done my homework to know which dry cleaner associations might be the more respected, awards are meaningless.) A clean but empty (begin to wonder) storefront. An attendant who wore latex gloves even as he worked the register. (Does that seem odd, or is it me?) An inordinately long time for him to type in information on my clothes, which I later discovered to be detailed descriptions of each garment. Finally, a ticket with a total price so much higher than what I'm used to that I almost laughed.

I should have just taken my dirty clothes and left, but I didn't. A week later, I can vouch that the clothes feel no different than when I used to take them to the far cheaper non-eco-friendly place. I'm no idiot, I know that making purchase decisions based on sustainability is almost always more costly, but I just can't go there again. I will bury my head in the sand and go for the harsh chemicals.


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