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We recently chatted with a 52-year-old doorman who works in a Greenwich Village rental complex surrounded by some of the best restaurants and nightlife in the city. He's been a doorman for 30 years, having worked in Chelsea, on Central Park South and on Sutton Place before moving to the Village about four years ago.
Here’s what he had to tell us about his favorite (and less lavish) neighborhood staples, and what he once did to walk away with a $1,000 tip.
Best thing about the neighborhood: The people. It’s diverse, with a lot of different nationalities. It’s a great place to be.
Worst thing about the neighborhood: I don’t think there’s anything I would change.
Best quick bite: I like Tre Giovani (Laguardia Place between 3rd Street and Bleecker) – I really like Italian. I usually get pasta or chicken parmesan.
Best restaurant: Suzie’s Chinese Restaurant (on Bleecker Street between Thompson and Sullivan). I love their pork fried rice.
Most ordered-in: Also Suzie’s--it’s a neighborhood favorite.
Best deli: I usually go to Hans right here on Broadway (off Bleecker and Bond). They have great coffee -- it’s much better than Starbucks.
Best dry-cleaning: Bahman’s Cleaners (on Mercer off Bleecker)--they get it done on time.
What kinds of people do you see most on your shift?
Mostly NYU professors and students.
What’s your favorite holiday to work and why?
I guess it would be Halloween. You get to see all the kids dressed up, you get to give them candy. You get to see a lot of weird characters.
Would you live in this building if you could?
Sure. I know everybody here. It’s a nice place to live too, very friendly. Everybody who lives here doesn’t want to ever leave.
What’s the best tip you ever received for what?
I once got a $1,000 tip over in Chelsea. It was for painting an apartment, on top of my fee, for a job that took about three days.
What is the hardest thing you have to do at work?
For me it’s getting a cab, because I can’t leave my post and they think I can go out and get it, but I can’t.
Of all the neighborhoods you've worked in, which was your favorite?
Chelsea. I liked the area and the people. The tenants were very nice.
If you could make one change to your job what would it be?
I would install automatic doors.
Tips from a Doorman features interviews with assorted New York City doormen, in an effort to get the inside scoop on the best (sometimes hidden) gems in their work neighborhoods. 'Cuz who knows a neighborhood better than its doormen(women)?
See all Tips from a Doorman.