HolyCoast: The Squeegee Men Are Back

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Squeegee Men Are Back

One of the things Mayor Rudy Giuliani did during his years as New York Mayor is he stopped a lot of activities that were annoying to New Yorkers and contributed to the decline of the city.  One of those were the squeegee men who would wash people's windows as they were stuck in traffic and then demand payment.

Well, Nanny Bloomberg has brought the city full circle - the squeegee men are back:
Squeegee men, the aggressive panhandlers who wash your car windows whether you want them to or not, are back.

Armed with buckets and $5 squeegees, a squad of men waded into stalled Times Square traffic Sunday to lather up windshields, swipe them clean and beckon for tips from drivers - some annoyed by the intrusion.

A rare sight when the country's unemployment rate was a mere 5.7%, the reappearance of the crews is an in-your-windshield reminder of 9%-plus unemployment and the highest rate of poverty in 27 years.

For some, they're a powerful symbol that the busted economy is bringing back the bad old days.

"I'm walking and I see a man cleaning a car window. It took me back in time. I had to do a double take to make sure I was seeing right," said Reggie Thomas, 44.

The Daily News spotted a crew of five squeegee men at 42nd St. and Ninth Ave. Sunday, swarming cars like it was the late 1980s all over again.

"As a driver, I feel obligated," said Terry Harris, 56, of the upper West Side, whose car the men approached. "I say 'no' when they approach my car, but then you feel guilty. They are here because they need the money."
Only a liberal feels guilty enough to pay for a service he didn't order. How long until the peep shows and strip bars return to Times Square?

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