Who Knew a Clothes Line Could Be So Controversial?

Michelle Slatalla for the Wall Street Journal writes:

But these days, clotheslines lovers are fighting back, Mr. Lake said. At least 19 states (including California, where I live) protect a โ€œright to dryโ€ with laws that prevent municipalities and homeownersโ€™ associations from outlawing laundry lines.

Itโ€™s sad that clotheslines have become a cause of community disputes, because laundry used to connect neighbors, said museum curator Lissa Rivera. Digging through the archives of the Museum of the City of New York, Ms. Rivera recently discovered a trove of early 20th-century photos of clotheslines crisscrossed above courtyards. โ€œThose clotheslines were a way of knowing your neighbors, because you would have to make arrangements to share a line,โ€ she said.

Wow. Unbelievable. People in California are having to fight for a right to dry. That makes me so sad.

My grandmother continues to air-dry laundry on her clothesline. To this day. She rarely uses her actual machine dryer. I never really thought much about the clothesline culture until after reading this story. I figured many still do it, but I suppose it’s dwindling. I mean, hanging clothes up to dry outside is a seriously zen exercise. It’s good for the planet. But, the best part about it? Your clothes will last longer. They won’t fall apart as fast.

But, what a tragedy to see homeowners associations are wasting breadth, fighting over this. Of all the things they should be debating amongst themselves โ€” HOA’s are getting upset over clotheslines? What the fuck. Let people air-dry their clothes.

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