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In Praise of the Iron Gym

One of the greatest joys in the world is the iron gym.

What's an iron gym? It's hard to describe. It's easier to say what it's not.

An iron gym isn't a fancy fitness club. An iron gym doesn't offer jazzercise. An iron gym doesn't have wooden panelling and beautiful adornment. An iron gym doesn't have awesome, clean bathrooms. An iron gym's locker room is spartan, at best. An iron gym has mostly free weights, with very few machines. An iron gym isn't a place to mingle with the opposite sex. An iron gym doesn't offer yoga or other classes. An iron gym has no amenities, niceties, or anything like. An iron gym is usually obscure, with nothing special in real estate. It's often in a basement. An iron gym doesn't have a salesman to give you a tour of the place and show you around, doesn't ask for a one year commitment to join, or anything like that. An iron gym doesn't have fancy membership cards, swipe-in/swipe-out, or anything like that. You just show up and nobody hassles you.

So what's an iron gym? It's a spartan, bare bones place with free weights and a few very basic machines. It's often dirty and disorganized. There's no classes offered there. There's almost never women in an iron gym, if you go every day for an hour you'll maybe see a woman once a week. Maybe.

And I fucking love it. I love being at an iron gym. It's just a place to push iron. There's no posturing, no showing off, nothing like that. If you need a spot, someone will give you a spot. Everybody's cool. People don't talk too much, don't socialize too much. Nobody's doing business or trying to get a date or trying to move up the social hierarchy. There's just one thing there. Iron. And you lift and it's good.

Workspace of the Week: Spin Laundry Lounge

On The High Tech Hobo

WoW! I don't know what to say about this place, other than it is the coolest place I have ever done laundry, not only in Portland but anywhere! (And I've hit up quite a few laundromats since I obviously don't have a washer and dryer in my RV)

Not only does this place have the most up-to-date and efficient washing & drying machines (so you don't have to worry about frying your clothes) — it also has a coffee & tea shop, cafe, bar with wine and local beers on tap, and a 2 story lounge with plenty of sofas and tables, complete with ample outlets for charging all your gear (I have 4 outlets right now hiding under my legs, charging up my iPad, iPhone, and MacBook)!

What a great place to post up and get some work done while handling your laundry needs — every other customer here is a working professional hacking away on their laptop like me; this seriously rivals any coffee shop I've worked at, and has a ton of space so isn't likely to be crowded at any time of the day.

In the end, all I have to say is this is surely one of the most "Portland" venues I have been to (coffee/tea/cafe/bar/lounge/laundry all in one space), and I mean that in the absolute best of ways! I'll definitely be coming back here to do my laundry every time I'm in Portland =)

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