1255 Second Avenue
There are millions of horror stories in the naked city, and far too many of them involve dry cleaners (civil-court deputy chief clerk Joseph Gebbia says that not a day goes by in small-claims court without a case against cleaners somewhere in the five boroughs). Chanel, Gucci, Valentino, and Bergdorf take no chances. They send their garments to Madame Paulette, a family-run business where all work is done in the shop. Well, with a few exceptions, like the time Norma Kamali spilled something on an upholstered couch at a restaurant and Madame Paulette owner John Mahdessian rushed to the scene with an armory of solutions. Prices can be a bit steep (shirts, hand washed, start at $12; pants, at $14; sweaters, at $16), but Madame Paulette goes that extra mile, literally, rushing a suit to the airport for a regular client who mistakenly left it behind or restoring the lace on the train of a wedding dress tripped on by a guest. Garments arrive on paper mannequins or in garment bags, and are picked up and delivered anywhere in Manhattan.