City Paper is not for tourists
Yeah, cheesy headline. But here’s a cheesy story to go with:
If you live in the city, you have to get used to your favorite places closing. Who isn’t still mourning A.V. shutting its doors? Behind the coats of fresh paint, shiny bright neon, and all those condos, lay the ghosts of once-favorite hotspots. Of course there are things people will never mourn. No one will ever shed a tear if a CVS closed. No one will devote ink to a shuttered Chinese carryout. So it’s not unreasonable that no one really noticed the closing of the MotoPhoto in Dupont Circle.
In the age of digital and Snapfish, who really cares about a MotoPhoto?
Well I had to care. Its licensed and trained photo technicians still had my prints.
Right before New Year’s, I paid $9 to get some prints made at that MotoPhoto franchise. The prints were nothing special just photos I took along my walk to work and some leftover things from a summer trip to South Africa. The photos would take a day.
But when I returned to pick up my pics, I found the shop a mere shell. There was nothing but bare drywall. There were no novelty frames, no advertisements for jumbo prints in vivid color, or bored looking licensed photo technicians in sight. The doors were locked. A sign had been made directing people to Embassy up the street.
I knew my photos were lost. But I still called around to other MotoPhotos. They all were ignorant of my brilliant black-and-whites (with borders). They all directed me to the MotoPhoto Mothership online. I wrote an e-mail to their help desk.
After getting bounced around, this came into my inbox from a “Jim Murphy Franchise Service Manager“:
Good evening Mr. Cherkis,
I apologize that you were not properly notified of the DuPont location’s intention to close. The owner of that location does not have any other locations open, and to the best of our knowledge did not leave the remaining pictures at any of the other area MotoPhoto locations.
I will attempt to contact the owner, and share with you any information gained.
Again, on behalf of the other MotoPhoto Franchisees, I would like to apologize for this situation.
The apology was nice and all. But I wanted a discount at the very least. That discount finally came today. I told my sad story to the MotoPhoto in Cleveland Park. The clerk called his boss. The boss agreed to just make a new set prints for free. So thank you MotoPhoto Cleveland Park branch!