Unwelcome Retro Trends: The Squeegee Men Are Back

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Photo: Stephen Ferry/Liason

Before you complain about how annoying they are, how uncomfortable they make you feel as you sit in your car pretending not to notice that they just cleaned your windshield and are now asking you for money, how they clog up the streets already full of cars and trucks and pedestrians and bikes and strollers and dogs and horses, consider why they've returned, after being banished from our lives for so many years. The Daily News, which found a crew of squeegee men working in Times Square yesterday, reports:


A member of the squeegee brigade, James, of Harlem, said desperate times call for desperate measures.

"We are out here making a living," said James, a father of three. "It's hard to get a job," he added as he hustled from car to car, accepting $1 to $2 for his work....

Sheila, 38, said her husband was slinging a squeegee because it's better than selling drugs.

"I have uterus cancer. He's here because welfare and Medicaid don't cover everything," she said. "He doesn't come here every day. But he needs to get extra money."

There, you see? Okay, now go ahead and complain.

Squeegees return as New York City is awash in windshield swipers in sign of (desperate) times [NYDN]