Renee Zellweger’s Favorite Laundry Lady

This piece was first published on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.

blog-mimi-052113Not everyone has Zack Galifianakis renting an apartment for them, or Renee Zellweger paying to furnish it. But then again, not everyone is Mimi.

Mimi is an 88-year-old woman who, until very recently, lived in a laundromat on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, Calif. She is the subject of a film being made by Israeli actor and director Yaniv Rokah. Now entering post-production thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, “Queen Mimi” tells the story of how this feisty octogenarian, who was once a San Fernando Valley housewife, ended up living on the streets of Los Angeles for almost a decade before taking up permanent residence at Fox Laundry 18 years ago.

“When I first came to L.A. seven years ago, I would be heading every morning to work at Caffe Luxxe on Santa Monica Avenue. It was 5 a.m. and the street would be dark and empty, but I would always notice Mimi waking up in the laundromat,” Rokah recalled in a phone conversation with The Arty Semite.

“I started talking to her, and we became friends. She is such an interesting person, and I decided I’d better capture this before she’s no longer with us.”

Click here to read more.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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