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A Divinely Inspired Laundry in the Bronx

  Selection from “A Divinely Inspired Laundry, Where Latin Rhythms Once Reigned,” by David Gonzalez, New York Times, August 5, 2008. The awning over the laundry at 671 Prospect Avenue may promote drop-off service, but its true specialty is a pick-me-up. Its name says it all, with a promise of stain removal of the highest […]

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Selection from "A Divinely Inspired Laundry, Where Latin Rhythms Once Reigned," by David Gonzalez, New York Times, August 5, 2008.

The awning over the laundry at 671 Prospect Avenue may promote drop-off service, but its true specialty is a pick-me-up. Its name says it all, with a promise of stain removal of the highest order.

Dios Restaura. God Restores.

“The owners are Christian,” explained Jacinto de la Cruz, the place’s manager. “At all times we have to give glory to Him. No matter where.”

In a South Bronx laundry?

“Obviously,” he said. “Wherever. Look at someone who was always drunk. He drank anywhere, no matter the cost. No matter what. How much more should we be praising a God who protects us? And with man acting the way he does, He still loves us!”…

The laundry may have an attention-grabbing name, but a half century ago its building was quite well-known. It was home to the Club Cubano Interamericano, a Cuban social club that was part mutual aid society and part legendary dance hall that helped birth Mambo and Salsa.

… “I heard there used to be a club here,” said Mr. de la Cruz. “It was among the most famous of its time.”

Not that he would be into that sort of thing. His weekends are taken up with church. But wait. Why is the laundry open on Sunday?

“We’re out preaching on Sunday,” Mr. de la Cruz admitted. “We have someone else working here that day. But we’re talking to him about the Word.”

His smile was, well, beatific.

[Since the Times article, the laundry has continued its dual work. Read the full article with more photos.]

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