Cleaning Up New York - The 1970s Cult Classic
Cleaning Up New York has been a word-of-mouth 1970s cult classic since it was first published in 1976 in a limited edition. The East Village, NYC, 1976. A 26-year-old starving poet needs $60. What else to do but register with a temp agency as a house cleaner? The excitement never wanes as he is catapulted into the everyday yet unimaginable worlds behind closed (apartment) doors. Bob knows one thing: dirt will always win. Clients are a bit more unpredictable, he discovers, as he comes to terms with eccentric domestic habits and intimate dramas; weird vibes and strange discoveries; appreciation, dependency, dismissal...and seduction. Even if he's asked to clean up a loft the size of the Strand - and he is, and it's above the legendary bookstore - he coffees up with a donut, fortifies himself with some (pocketed) weed, and sets out anew, with disarming insight, originality, and humor. With alternate chapters devoted to practical cleaning tips, Cleaning Up New York is a quirky reinvention in the tradition of George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London, Studs Terkel's chronicles of the working class, and Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management; its narrator a spiritual descendent of Candide, Ida Tarbell, and Holden Caulfield.