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Life at the Top

The world above the fortieth floor is an almost silent one, isolated and exhilarating.

Illustration by Guy Billout

Shortly after dawn one December morning, Bob Menzer rode the freight elevator to the forty-fifth floor of the Hearst Tower, on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan, and opened the door to the roof. The weather was clear and cold; five hundred feet above the street, the rooftop was silent except for the hum of giant air-conditioning fans. Menzer, a soft-spoken, bearded fifty-four-year-old with a nervous laugh, narrow blue eyes, and a thick shock of brown hair, was the rigging foreman of the tower’s window-cleaning crew. He had risen at 3 a.m. to travel to Hearst from his home in Queens, and clocked in at five. He wore dark-blue overalls, a yellow fall-protection harness, and heavy gloves. Carrying a checklist on a clipboard, he was joined by Ron Brown, fifty-eight, and Janusz Kasparek, fifty-five. Together they prepared to go “over the side” in the basket of the most complex window-washing rig in New York. Menzer chuckled as he showed me the machine for the first time. “It’s a little monster,” he said.

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Since 1986

 

Chelsea Window Cleaning

 

215 East 5th Street

New York - 10003

Phone : ( 212 ) 598 - 5939

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Chelsea Window Cleaning

Commercial Window Cleaning, High Rise Window Cleaning, Professional Window Cleaning, Fully Insured - Free Estimates Chelsea Window Cleaning is a full-service window washing company servicing all of New York City and the outer boroughs since 1986. We are New York City’s upper story window cleaning specialists ...

 

 

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