I S S U E 4

 

(PHOTO: courtesy of Ivor Hanson)


indow cleaning is Ivor Hansonís day job.

Hanson, 36, washes windows part time while he pursues his real passion: writing. Like other blue-collar professions, window washing allows artists to support themselves as they strive for recognition.

Yet Hanson doesnít quite fit the "Iím not a waiter, Iím really an actor stereotype." He admits that washing windows offers thrills besides its ability to "just pay the bills."

In his January 23, 2000, New York Times article, titled "The Allure of the Ledge," Hanson depicts the many perils and perks that come ith his profession. "I am poised on a narrow ledge that angles downward to the street below," he writes. "Still, I... admire the view of the Chrysler Building a few blocks north."

But writing wasnít Hansonís first love. He originally wanted to play the drums, and was in several bands during and after college. He supported himself through odd jobs, including scooping ice cream and posing for art classes at Vassar College (his alma matter).

Hanson took up window washing when his musical pursuits landed him penniless in New York City. "A friend of my brotherís got me into the window business," he says. "I really needed money."

These days Hanson says he still does it primarily for the cash. He switched direction from music to writing when he decided to attend Columbiaís Graduate School of Journalism three years ago, but heís still washing windows to pay the bills.

But as the saying goes: "write what you know." Hanson is writing a book about window washing, which he hopes will be received as warmly as his New York Times article.

But even if his writing career takes off, Hanson says heíll never be able to shake the habits heís picked up cleaning windows. "Even after I stop doing this, I'll always notice the dirty windows when I walk down the street," he says.

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