Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
Perched on the window ledge of a New York City skyscraper with only a few straps preventing him from plummeting to his death, Ivor Hanson must have the saying “the higher you climb, the harder you fall” constantly running through the back of his mind. Luckily for Hanson, window-washing is just his day job, and the artistic heights to which he once aspired—those of rock stardom—were never fully achieved. Chances are that few of the 9-to-5 office drones staring at the squeegee-wielding Hanson from the comfy side of the glass know that he once played drums alongside Henry Rollins in S.O.A. and Ian MacKaye in Embrace; fewer still probably understand the frustration of accepting the fact that what was once simply a gig to pay the bills has somehow evolved into a full-time career. In his memoir, Life on the Ledge: Reflections of a New York City Window Cleaner, Hanson chronicles his experiences washing the windows of celebrities, offering his thoughts on the meaning of life, New York, and everything from a perspective one can achieve only while strapped to the side of a building. Hanson’s dreams of mainstream rock success might have never left the ground, but, from over 100 feet above the city’s streets, he’s acquired an understanding of something no less lofty and far more fascinating—what it’s like to “stand out on the ledge and feel the wind’s tug; to look out and survey the city, to see it as the skyscraper does; to sense the quiet calm a silent high-rise offers once I’ve shut the window that connects me to everyday occurrences.” Hanson discusses his work at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1307 19th St. NW. Free. (202) 785-1133.