The art of ironing is lost on most millennials, many of whom grew up with parents doing their laundry in spiffy machines and are just learning to “adult” themselves. But much like the sobriquet of “Papa” that Brooklyn dads are newly embracing, ironing is having a renaissance in Brooklyn.
The North Brooklyn Ironers’ Union, est. 2016, is an organization of “journeyman-level ironers” with their own boards and bags which “seeks to promote the act of ironing as a public service provided for free to the people of North Brooklyn.” The description’s whimsy smacks of Brooklyn Pogs, but the union is real — they hosted weekly free ironing events at Pete’s Candy store in October.
Now, the NBIU (assuming that’s their acronym) is inviting all you budding ironers to join up with the union, which spans the “Local 278” district of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. And just to be clear, don’t confuse this for the irony union, another mainstay of self-organized BK activism.
As a union-member, you’ll be “helping to grow a civic ironing movement,” i.e. provide free ironing to anyone who wants it. To what end? Who knows, since you’re definitely not getting paid for it. But if mindless housework has always been your go-to zen garden and you’re looking for a way to help your neighbors, smoothing out the wrinkles in their clothing is certainly one way to go about it.
Want to learn more? Check out one of the union’s open meetings, held on the second Sunday of the month in the basement of The Diamond (43 Franklin St.) from 7-9pm. The next one is this weekend, Dec. 11. Or email brooklynironingunion[at]gmail.com for more info.
And if you just need your shit ironed, you might have to wait until the next “Public Ironing” event surfaces at a bar near you. But gauging on how visibly disheveled we’ve all been the election, that shouldn’t be too long from now.