car wash

Lollipops at the Car Wash

Stumbled onto this old car wash place just off Sukhumvit Boulevard the other day. Not entirely convinced it’s been totally abandoned, but probably. It’s hard to know for sure in this ever-changing and evolving megatropolis.

On a few occasions, I rode my fire engine red Schwinn home from Saint Victor’s – the elementary school in West Hollywood I attended between first and fifth grade. The school was just below Sunset Boulevard, so fairly near the Hollywood Hills. I’d first ride down a insanely steep street and turn left on Santa Monica Boulevard and then bike eastward on the sidewalk all the way to La Cienega Boulevard. There I hung a right and two blocks later turned left on Willoughby Avenue and arrived at 849 N. Alfred Street, where we lived at the time, one block later.

I never took that way to school, as I would have had to walk my bike up that steep-ass hill to get there. I mention this since on the route home, there was one of those old school car washes. It might still be there, but I doubt it. Anyway, there was a big basket full of multicolored, flat lollipops that they gave to customers waiting for their clean and shiny vehicles to arrive after the wash team (which consisted mostly of African Americans and Mexican Americans all dressed in bright blue overalls). At the time, I was short enough to sneak just below the cashier’s counter and grab a couple of those tasty lollipops as an after school treat for myself.