Don't Call Him a Dry Cleaner

Today, the final installment of Spencer Morgan's long-running series of profiles of the abrasive men of New York City. Spencer Morgan was laid off in the latest wave of Observer cutbacks. His subject today, a superstar dry cleaner: still rich.

John Mahdessian prefers not to be called a dry cleaner.

"That's a fuckin' insult," he said, between pulls off a Marlboro Light on a recently Sunday morning. "That's like calling a world-renowned surgeon a doctor."

That tells you all you need to know about John Mahdessian (pictured), president of the "world's leading custom couture cleaner," the man responsible for rescuing Barbara Walters' black and white sequinned Armani jacket from the ravages of red wine.

Spencer, the assholes—but in shades of grey—of Manhattan (and those who gawk at them) will be poorer without you.
[NYO. Pic via]