So since I moved to my adorable, quaint, “village-in-a-city” neighborhood of Del Ray in Alexandria, VA, I of course made the wise and farsighted decision to join the local citizen’s association listserv, a hotbed of thoughtful opinions and reasonable disagreement. Psych! It’s mostly friendly  requests for information about local services sprinkled with pointless flame wars about surprisingly petty topics. The latest such myopic two-minute hate was about the possible entry of Walgreen’s into the neighborhood (sample: “It would change the character of Del Ray tremendously.”). One interesting comment, though, complained that it would replace existing laundromats, saying “The laundry is critical to those in apartments in the area.”

Now, that might be so. Those apartments might rely on the laundromat. And look at all those apartments!

skyscrapers everywhere


Um…wait, no, they must be the other way, right?

practically manhattan


Hah! I know! They’re across the street!

welcome to coruscant


So…one last view…

long-time residents of del ray still tell their children myths of a giant light in the sky they call "sun"


As you can see, the apartments that rely on the laundromat are few and far-between. It may be that the apartments that do exist do indeed rely on the laundromat, but without a sufficient number of customers in a given space (there must be a word for that) the laundromat can’t, you know, pay employees, rent, that kind of thing that businesses need to do. So unless it re-incorporates as a 501(c)(3) (“The Del Ray Laundry Foundation…supporting a just, green, and verdant world with warm underwear since 2013”), you can’t just force it to remain open. Residents of Del Ray love the quaint, small-town, Main Street USA feel of the neighborhood (and I do, too!), but if you want to preserve that while clearly in the urban core of a super-rich major metropolitan area then you have to sacrifice something – and since business rents will soon become extremely high, business diversity will probably be what’s on the chopping block. But note that this doesn’t have to mean tall buildings.