This Bronx-born window washer has a one-of-a-kind view of Manhattan from the top of some of the highest buildings in the city.
Edward Nieves, 43, dropped out of Theodore Roosevelt High School during his sophomore year and never had plans to go to college. His family situation forced him to look for work immediately and to start supporting the family.
“My mother had six kids, and of course I was the one helping with the bills,” Nieves said. He himself is now a father of two daughters.
A friend of his found him work as a window cleaner, something Nieves has stuck with ever since.
“It started out as a summer job,” Nieves said.
“Then I went back to school, and things were not going good and I decided to keep working. I waited until I was 18 years old and I got into the union.”
Nieves began working at different stores and shops, doing minor work around town. Since then he has moved on to work at Palladium Window Solutions, a New York-based window cleaning company specializing in high-rise buildings.
But Nieves’ schedule isn’t a typical one. Sometimes he finds himself on the job deep into the night or right when the sun rises.
“Sometimes you got to start at 12 in the morning, 3 in the morning, depends on what we got to do,” Nieves said.
And after working as a window cleaner for more than 25 years, Nieves has no plans of changing anything.
“I’m happy,” Nieves said. “I’m very happy. Right now, everything is going the right way.”
Aside from work, Nieves doesn’t really indulge in any hobbies or activities and instead opts to spend more time with his family. They moved to Pennsylvania five years ago.
“Just be with my family, go to the movies, shop with my wife,” Nieves said. “When I lived in the Bronx, I used to go hang out, play dominoes, but now I dedicate time to my family and do what I can.”
Nieves doesn’t see any change in his future, either. Working and keeping a steady job and supporting his family in the best way he can is what’s most important to him.
“It’s just work and just keep on,” Nieves said. “And then, who knows?”
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