Door to Door

An uptown doorman doles out advice for other future gatekeepers

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Doormen—and increasingly, doorwomen—are arguably the most iconic personalities in New York City real estate, often playing a role that's midway between building security and therapist. They see us at our best and worst (and most shopping-addicted and takeout-dependent), as we venture out on our first dates and first days of school and work (and, too, the last), and are the first people we see when we get home and begin to finally shed the armor we don everyday to do battle out there in this big, brash city. 

In our ongoing series, columnist Gabriel Falcon, who's been chronicling his meetups with doormen on Facebook, introduces us to the men and women who are the gatekeepers of many of the city's rental buildings and co-ops. 

Today’s Doorman: Hector 
Building: 465 West End Avenue
Shift: Day 
Years: 15
Age: 37
Home: The Bronx
Favorite Team: The Yankees

The residence:
465 West End Avenue is a white brick bastion of the old-world west end avenue buildings. Built in 1910, this Italian renaissance-inspired building is 12-stories high and full of very large apartments – there are just 41 units, many stretching beyond 2,000 square feet.

By the way, the architect behind 465 West End Avenue, D. Everett Waid, designed the iconic Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower on 23rd street.

West side rules:
"It's more laid back, and people are friendly and it's like one big family."

The upside:
“It’s getting all the positive feedback from the tenants and they appreciate what you do.”

Advice for future doormen: 
“You have to be able to multi-task, and be nice at the same time. And be able to run the elevator and deal with the door, all at the same time. It can be fun."

More tricks of the trade:
“You have to be polite and always have a good attitude, and always have a smile, and be positive. A smile is part of job. If you have a frown, nobody wants to ask why you have a frown. It’s all about a smile.”

“Family stuff. I have a 3-year-old, and wife. I also love sports, especially the Yankees. And I like to do carpentry.”

On retirement:
“I’ve said I won’t do this until I reture, but now I’m not saying it—I’m not saying I’m getting comfortable, but when you are working at one place for a long time, it’s good and you can’t complain about what you’re doing in life.”

Before the door:
“I was working at a supermarket. It was fun, I stocked up all the juices. It was like one big family.”

The tenants:
“They are great. The people here are down-to-earth and understand. They ask about your family life and it’s nice to be part of their life and it’s nice that they are part of my life. One big community.”


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