The machine agent

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William Leeds is cleaning up in the travel industry...cleaning up clothes, that is. He is the proud proprietor of the Concord Travel Agency and Laundromat, a Manhattan duplex where clients come to get fluffed, folded and flown away.

Why the washer-flier combo? "Are you familiar with rents in Manhattan?" Leeds asked, as draining rinse water provided a vaguely oceanic background music. "The laundry affords me the opportunity to have the travel agency I've always wanted. It's given me a positive cash flow within six months. With the travel business alone, that could take years."

Endlessly entrepreneurial, Leeds' also offers his largely Russian and Polish clientele mailbox rentals, fax services, photocopying, document translation and notarization, and until recently, an employment service. "Ethnic agencies, which this is, do lots of different things. I'd find people housekeepers, sometimes babysitters."

Everybody's heard the scary tales about making it in New York versus making it anyplace else. Something tells me William Leeds is gonna do just fine.

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