Laundromat. By Cody Madison
Instead of stepping out of my apartment to greet the warm morning sun, I step into a lonely Laundromat, with concrete floors and walls littered with Bellingham’s best amateur graffiti art. At night when I sleep, the noise of conversations between acquaintances, and the low drones of the dryers hum through the paper-thin walls separating me from the eerie, compelling vibes of the North Forest Hill Apartment’s Laundromat. Exploring this lifestyle eventually became an obsession of mine. The people I would run into and the stories that would unfold in my Laundromat inspired me to do a series of three short video vignettes of strangers utilizing the Laundromats of Bellingham, Wash.
The first vignette takes place at the Alamo Apartments on the corner of North Garden and Maple Streets. There I met Sean Cass. In an interview, Sean, 31, talked about his life and why he finds himself in the Alamo’s Laundromat. Sean takes pride in using the Laundromat, and finds charm and romance in the fluorescent lighting and the rickety machines in the Alamo’s basement.
Sean is popular among the Alamo’s residents. In Sean’s opinion, the social benefits of the Laundromat are worth more than the convenience of owning a washing machine. While I was filming Sean washing his clothes, friends and acquaintances started to surround him one by one, until the whole room was filled. With Sean’s presence, the Laundromat became a gathering place and a party started.