The Doorman Has the Dirt: NYC Real Estate's X-Factor

Doormen: a crucial role in the makeup of our metropolis for many, many people, not just the rich assholes! Many people in New York City spanning the lower-middle to the upper-upper classes of this city have doormen, whose influence is profound on both the residents, the management, and the real estate. How profound? They have the power to change everything, reports the New York Times.

Yeah, the guys at the front? They see everything. Like, everything.

Doormen are instructed to limit their duties to announcing guests, signing out packages and chatting with wide-eyed children wishing they could be doormen. Meddling in building-wide gossip, especially its real estate dramas, is dangerous territory. But, like most New Yorkers, doormen find that in this real-estate-obsessed city, avoiding these conversations is as easy as swimming away from an undertow.

And yet, besides being important even before you move in -- they'll tell you if the management in the swank pad you're about to occupy is ambivalent towards the mutant rat problems the current tenants have -- they're also, once you do move in, like Santa Claus:

  • They know when you've been sleeping.
  • They know when you're awake.
  • They know whether or not you're have blow delivered on a weekly or fortnightly basis, so tip them well for goodness sake.

They are also potential bachelors, in one lucky lady's case. Remember this famous NYT Vows episode from last year?

Precocious and never shy, Ms. Rosen strolled up to introduce herself, but the meeting was brief. "Somebody yelled at him to go back to work," she said. "He was supposed to be working, not chit-chatting." In her diary that night, she stated her intentions. "I met the man I'm going to marry," she wrote. Few people marry their first crush. Fewer still marry their doorman.

Yes, these guys are some of the most powerful in the city. Never forget: Respect the doorman. Respect the doorman. Respect. The. Doorman. No one doorman should have all that power. But he does. Oh yes. He does.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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