Urban Visions: Lou’s Laundromat


Lou’s Laundromat:  It was a very hot summer’s night, my top floor apartment did not have any air conditioning, and I couldn’t sleep; so I loaded up my film holders, grabbed my view camera and wandered the  streets around where I lived for some images.  From what I remember, and what my negative files prove; I didn’t achieve many good exposures at all, except this one:  “Lou’s Laundromat.” part of my growing series Urban Visions.

I’m pleased to announce this image is now available at Crated.com as a fine art print and printed on metal at Displate.com.  Visit the sites, like the image, and better yet buy the image for your walls.

Lou’s Laundromat was located in a old 1940’s or 1950’s strip mall which had seen better days.  As run down as Lou’s seemed, it was far better then the alternatives provided by the landlords of the apartment buildings surrounding the plaza.  No one ever saw the owner’s, knew who they were, but Lou’s was always open and served a important function for the neighborhood.

Although the area I lived in at that time was not the most affluent, it was safe.  This hard to find  suburb of Toronto was populated with old run down flat roofed low rises from the 40’s and if they had elevators they hardly ever worked.  The only “major” crime I can remember ever happening there was when the parents of newly immigrated families marched on the plaza to soundly beat up the newly arrived drug dealers to “protect” their children to give them a clean start in Canada.  The drug dealers never returned.

My apartment was located nearby,  on the top floor of a old building, which retained the heat of a hot summer’s day throughout the night.  Many of us would escape the heat by wandering to the nearby pretty lakeside parks for the night to escape it.  The walls in the bathroom were rotting and there was always small pieces of ceiling falling due to the condition of the roof.  I’m sure there was black mold everywhere.

I didn’t help matters in regards to my apartment.  Where there is a will there is a way and with the help of my friend Mark; one door, 5 or 6 pieces of plywood, two by fours, Tapcons for the brick walls, and many tubes of expanding foam I built a darkroom out of a open concept kitchen. It wasn’t pretty, but I was able to work in it any time of the day with very few if any light leaks.  I didn’t have many apartment guests, but I could print and process my film!

I was just into my second year of sobriety, for the first time in my life I was living alone in my own apartment, I was working in the profession of my dreams, and I have many fond memories of my neighbors.  It was a great time.  Feel free to leave a comment, like this post and share it across the social media universe.  Enjoy the image.