Thursday, April 20, 2006

Two words that strike fear into the hearts of New Yorkers: Doorman Strike!

Originally uploaded by minusbaby.

Just kidding!

But seriously, everyone seems to be focusing on the doormen who work in the “white glove” buildings on Park Avenue, like this strike is a big class issue. I live in a middle class building and we have doormen. Heck, there’s buildings in the farthest reaches of deep uncharted Yorkville that have doormen. They’re not all eavesdropping, mistress-glimpsing, rich-kid-eye-keepers-on know-it-alls.

The doormen in my building are not like that anyway; they don’t stand out on the sidewalk with umbrellas and get cabs for you when the weather’s bad, they don’t help you with packages or luggage as a rule, though if they see you struggling, (as I have been lately) they pitch in and hold the door and offer to help. They don't wear white gloves, though they have been known to sport a scarf or extra sweater in the winter when the stations are lacking in heat. They mostly provide security, or a sense of it anyway, sitting at their station and screening people who want to enter the building, monitoring the surveillance cameras and sending deliveries to the package room. They always say hello; they wish you a nice day in the morning and they welcome you home at night.

Without them, yes, we'll have to meet the Fresh Direct delivery in the lobby, as well as the kid who brings our usual Friday night dose of Bangladeshi cuisine, and tote our own trash to the curb instead of just tossing it down the chute in the hallway (it's not just the doormen, you see, it's the porters too!). We'll also have to do without the hallways being mopped and cleaned, and the laudnry rooms actually having working dryers. Then there’s how they keep bags of dog biscuits on hand (that they buy with their own money) to tempt all the dogs in the building over to them whenever they pass by (gotta be a dog lover in London Terrace).

Our doormen may not have white gloves, but they always have a warm hello and that's enough for me.

Monday, April 17, 2006

This gem, courtesy of Tim Blair.

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