American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation

Reviewing the dry cleaners of Dutch Kills

Posted by Josh Friedlander | 3 Comments

I’ve lived in Dutch Kills, a subsection of Long Island City, for the past seven years and have never relied on the dry cleaners here. Mostly, that’s because I didn’t know we had any.

So I’ve been humping shirts back and forth from Irving Place in Manhattan near where I work. Nada mas! I locating the three closest dry cleaners a month ago and dropped off one semi-grungy dress shirt at each.

For my test, I didn’t actually dry clean the shirts, but had them washed and pressed. My somewhat superficial review was concerned with basic quality. I didn’t do measurements beforehand to determine shrinkage, nor am I going to be overly obsessed with the cleaning quality. All the cleaners did a good job.

What I was most concerned with is that I don’t have to take any staples out of my tags (I hate that!) and that the ironing left the shirt presentable. Here are the results of my test:

City Wide
30th Street (between 39th & 40th Avenues)
Shirts: $1/wash
Staples in tags or in fabric?
No (they use tags inserted through buttonholes. Oddly enough, they use two tags.)

Good cleaning, but problems with the ironing: the shirt looks generally decent from a foot away, but I found several very slight discolorations on the collar and cuffs which appear to be from ironing that caused big wrinkles on the inside of the fabric. This would probably be less noticeable on white shirts, but is clearly visible to me on the blue shirt I gave them.

This is where they send the shirts from all the places in the city that charge $2 or $2.50 a shirt. You have to find an open door and wander around until someone will help you. Pretty sketchy, but worth it for the price.

World Class
27-09 40th Ave (between 27th and 28th streets)
Shirts: $2/wash
Staples in tags or in fabric?
No, they use a tag inserted through a buttonhole.

They use a special cardboard collar protector. It’s not the flimsy type you might have encountered but actually the best I’ve ever seen anywhere. The shirt was as clean as could possibly be expected (it was an old shirt, so this is impressive). Impeccable ironing (no visible creases). Truly world class.

Nice storefront, even posh. They also do all kinds of alterations.

Crescent Cleaners
40-18 Crescent (between 40th and 41st streets)
Shirts: $1/wash. $3/dry clean
Staples in tags or in fabric?
No, they use a tag inserted through a buttonhole.

I’m not sure to what extent I can blame them, but this shirt was the worst of the three. Because they used a plastic clip to pin the arms together, the sleeves both had long diagonal creases. For some reason this was not a problem with the shirt from City Wide which used a similar clip on the arms. The cuffs of both arms had rounded pronounced curves from ironing (I’m guessing they flattened the cuffs when ironing them instead of spreading them out, which is always the better method). The cuffs also had dimpling, which I’ve never seen before anywhere. They buttoned the shirt’s top button and used no collar protection, so there was vertical creasing on the shirt front near the collar and the collar itself was somewhat out of whack. Even the back of the shirt had some diagonal creasing. I might go back here with cheaper shirts, but would be wary of bringing them any of my good stuff.

Not posh, but serviceable. Not sketchy. They also do alternations.

The winner
World Class, which lives up to its name. It might cost more, but the increased cost is an investment to protect the quality of your best shirts. I plan to bring my French cuffs and newer dress shirts here and to take my already half-ruined shirts (you know, the strictly under-a-sweater shirts) to City Wide. Or maybe I’ll bring them all to World Class. The extra dollar is more than worth not having to schlep 20 shirts home on the subway from Manhattan.


3 Responses to “Reviewing the dry cleaners of Dutch Kills”

  1. Matt Friedlander
    November 22nd, 2008 @

    Only you would conduct such an investigation. Next time on Hard Copy with Josh Friedlander: Which bodega near Josh’s apartment has the nicest employees?

  2. Amy
    November 23rd, 2008 @


    I don’t remember the last time I dry-cleaned anything. They seem kind of unnatural. Do you have any green dry cleaners in your area? I remember seeing this place advertising somewhere last I was in The City.

    And YES! you finally have followup comments via email! The site looks much fresher now.

  3. Aris Alpian
    July 20th, 2012 @

    You should try Packard Square Cleaners on Crescent street right before the bridge. They have fantastic service and dress shirts are only $1.35 if you pay in cash.

Leave a Reply

  • Trust us

    As with Anna Karina, we prefer to remember the U.S.A as she was in the 1960s.
  • Archives

  • RSS Matt Friedlander’s Tumblr Feed

  • RSS Josh Friedlander’s Twitter Feed