Photo Essay

Venetian Clotheslines

Bra and Panties

I was in Venice recently and I was struck by the beauty of laundry on clotheslines These scenes are normal for Italy but much less common in other developed parts of the world. Why?

One reason is that many parts of North America and Europe have laws that forbid the use of lines to dry clothes. Many consider the sight of drying laundry an eyesore. This means people use electric dryers rather than let nature take its course. Dryers are certainly more convenient but a recent New York Times article likened them to a sport utility vehicle in terms of eco-friendliness. In my own neighborhood, it is now more common to see clothelines in the yards of people trying to reduce their carbon footprint.

I don't mind my neighbors line drying clothes where I can see it...as long as they don't mind my pictures!

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4 responses

  • Karen Zimmerman

    Karen Zimmerman gave props (27 Sep 2008):

    I love this! We hang our laundry, and though I used to hate doing laundry, there is a zen feeling I get hanging it out in the fresh air. I love it!

  • Liz A######

    Liz A###### (Deleted) gave props (27 Sep 2008):

    Just lovely. I did not know there were laws against hanging laundry in some countries! That is crazy. It is very common here in Austria but mostly people hang their washing in their backyards or on their back balconies, so it is less visible than in Italy...:)

  • helaine alon

    helaine alon gave props (29 Sep 2008):

    beautiful! i am planning on doing a story on laundry around the world as well :) your shots are really great - they convey the freshness and positive energy that you get when hanging laundry, the scents and the creativity behind it. it still baffles me how communities in the united states have made it illegal to hang laundry, even on private property. thanks so much for this...

  • James Walker

    James Walker said (13 May 2009):

    Great idea!

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