If New Yorkers were asked to name the most important symbols of what has been widely celebrated as a glorious era for the city, they would probably start with the fact that the squeegee guys are off the streets. In years past, at certain intersections in Manhattan, menacing-looking characters used to approach cars at red lights and, without invitation, clean the windshield as well as a windshield could be cleaned with a filthy rag. For this they would expect money. They were called squeegee guys.

Everybody hated them. If you called in the board members of the American Civil Liberties Union...

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