The Bellmen of the Bowery Spill About Their Jobs: From Finding Prostitutes to Seeing Tara Reid Faceplant


We’ve long wondered about the dapper gentlemen we always see on our way to and from Voice Headquarters, standing outside the gentrified hotels of the Bowery. What must they think? What must they see? We took to the streets to ask a few questions of the bellmen of the Cooper Square Hotel and the Bowery Hotel. Due to some job security related issues, they decided to keep it anonymous.

On celebrities:
Cooper Square: Yeah, I see some celebrities. I only got really starstruck when I saw Derek Jeter. In general they’re nice. Some of them do have a little attitude, because they’re famous and all, but in general they’re pretty nice. One weird thing I saw was that girl who used to date Carson Daly —
Runnin’ Scared: Tara Reid?
Cooper Square: Yeah Tara Reid! I saw her totally wipe out while she was getting a cab, like face first in the streets.
Bowery Hotel: It is my official position that celebrities don’t stay here.

(Note: Approximately 20 minutes before that statement, this blogger witnessed said bellman open the door for a very friendly-looking Jonah Hill.)

On job duties:
CS: It’s nothing too weird. Just managing the front area, getting guests cabs, getting and storing luggage, dealing with faxes and stuff. Nothing out of the ordinary.
BH: Yeah, all the regular stuff. And my favorite thing is going on runs for guests. Like going out to buy them stuff. I’ve learned a lot about shopping that way, and also a lot about the city. I’ve become a good direction-giver. I probably know a lot more about the city than I would if I still worked at American Apparel.
Runnin’ Scared: Where do you like working more, here or at American Apparel?
BH: Here. Definitely here.

On the craziest things that have happened to them at work:
CS: Probably the weirdest stuff I’ve been asked to do is to find, you know, prostitutes. Like a guest will ask me where to get a girl. I’ve referred a few people to where they could find girls.
BH: The craziest day was when a big biker gang had clogged up like the entire Bowery. We had to run around all day, telling bikers to move. That was a weird thing to do for the job.
BH #2: Yeah, the last thing you want is some crazy aggro biker telling you to fuck off.

On the uniform:
CS: I like it. It’s definitely a lot better than those crazy ones with the big hats and shoulder tassels and stuff. The only thing I don’t really like is the vest.
Runnin’ Scared: It is a little teddy bear-ish.
CS: Yeah, and it gets pretty hot in the summer.
BH: I like the uniform. Except shades in the summer would make it a lot cooler.

On getting cabs:
CS: This location makes it pretty hard to get a cab. A lot of times I have to run a few blocks downtown and ride the cab back up for a guest. The furthest I’ve had to go to get one is Houston.
BH: Wearing a red vest helps.