The stairwell closet

When I moved into my apartment in the Town and Village three years ago, one of the advertised perks of the apartment was that it had a small washer-dryer in a stairwell closet.  Now it was great to have my own washer and dryer that came with the apartment – well, when I say it “came with the apartment,” it was because the previous tenants left it there – my joy turned to dismay when that tiny washer-dryer took forever to wash and dry my clothes.  And its timers weren’t 100% functional – sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t.  In other words, my clothes could go through the agitation cycle on the washer for two hours, or cook in the dryer for three hours, if I didn’t monitor everything.

Eventually I gave up on the washer-dryer, and instead took my clothes to the laundromat.  After a few months of washing my own clothes – yes, bachelors do know how to wash their own clothes – I found a wash-and-fold place that took care of my clothes at a reasonable price and with amazing cleanliness and speed.

But I still had this old bulky semi-functional washer-dryer in my apartment.  After some discussion with the landlord, he agreed to remove it.

Now I have a small closeted area in my apartment.  Perfect for storage or for –

Man, there’s no light switch in here.  It’s plenty dark in this room…

Dark room… Holy Eadweard Muybridge, I could use this dark room as a darkroom!  All I need to do is put a thick towel at the bottom of the door, and this room is light-tight.  Perfect for switching old film into new canisters, or taking my 35mm film and wrapping it in 120 or 127 or 616 rolls.  Heck, I could even start loading bulk film!  Nice like spice!

See, in order to prep my film rolls, I would previously get up at 5:00 a.m., and do all my darkroom film transfers in the bathroom. But bathrooms are for bathrooming, and darkrooms are for film.

Now this doesn’t mean that I’m going to start developing my own film.   Why do all that when I can have McGreevy Pro Lab take care of all that for me?

So now it’s time to organize.  I’ve gotten a few of those wooden shelves from Huck Finn’s Warehouse, those are perfect for storing unopened packages of film.  One shelf for 120 film, one shelf for 35mm, another shelf for vintage film.

I’ll need a place for my rollfilm spools and my rollfilm wrapping paper.  This shelf will do quite nicely.  And look, here’s a spot for some of the cameras and lenses that I don’t use that often.  Sort of a new “retirement shelf.”  A spot for the Agfa Chief camera.  A spot for the Holga.  A spot for the Kodak Vest Pocket Autographic “Modern-Day Warrior” who I’m still trying to make work.

And the more I spend time on this project, the more I feel like what I’m doing right now is another chapter in organizing my life.

Another chapter, another step.

Creativity is a wonderful thing.

And as much as Virginia Woolf once said that in order to be successful, a person needs a room of one’s own…

You know me.  I’m not afraid of Virginia Woolf.  But it is truly nice to have a room of one’s own.

Now I just need to put things where they belong… less clutter, more determination.  Let’s make this work.