His job can be scary, but Gaspar Amorim says “you develop yourself and build your skills”
by MADELEINE THOMPSON
Gaspar Amorim is a modern Renaissance man. A lover of history and politics and an active member of his Catholic church, Amorim brings a sense of gratitude and optimism to everything he does. For the past 17 years that has been cleaning windows at 3 Times Square. “Pretty much since the building was new,” he says. He has been a member of 32BJ for 33 years, mostly at office buildings like 1 Chase Plaza and 395 Wall Street. So far, 3 Times Square is his favorite. Home to large companies like Thomson-Reuters, the global mass media corporation that owns the building, Amorim’s workplace is surrounded by glowing neon signs and awe-struck tourists day and night. “It’s a privilege to work for these people,” he says.
Amorim’s job requires a high level of responsibility because of all the machinery and risk involved. He has to operate scaffolding and three rigs, and he says to a degree it can be scary. But, over time, “you develop yourself and build your skills.” “Being a window washer’s got its own charms,” he says.
Amorim first came to New York City in 1965 from Portugal, following in his father’s footsteps. “My father was always in New York when he was a young man,” he says. Amorim now lives in Queens with his wife of 30 years. Their son works right around the corner from him at 5 Times Square, though they don’t cross paths as often as you might think. “Young people have really a good opportunity — politically, socially and even spiritually,” he says.
In his free time, Amorim loves watching sports, especially rooting for Portugal’s Benfica soccer team. He got into baseball upon coming to New York and became a Yankees fan after reading about their powerful legacy. He and his wife have also played on a local bowling team in his community.
“I like to do something where I live,” he says. “That’s what makes this country great, to be part of it. You could have your disagreements, but be involved.”