No announcement yet.

Login or Register London Terrace Diary: In The Elevator

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Login or Register London Terrace Diary: In The Elevator

    London Terrace Diary: In The Elevator

    by Dean Smith

    Quality of life during my ten-year stay in London Terrace Gardens (the ten-building brick behemoth spanning an entire square block at Ninth avenue and 23rd Street) was greatly enhanced by the presence of elevator men. These were resourceful men, mostly of Hispanic descent who grew up in Chelsea, who kept watch over the building, picked up your UPS packages, and engaged you in conversations about anything from the weather to politics to the Yankees to murder. They had families of their own and in many cases worked two jobs. They had an intimate perspective on everyone who lived in the buildings. For some elderly tenants, they served as their only connection to the outside world. They’ve recently been replaced by a modern surveillance system.
    If you wanted to know what was going on with management, where the exploding light bulbs in the courtyard came from last night, who was having the arguments on the higher floors, the elevator men knew the answer and would fill you in on the story. "A woman was stabbed by her lesbian lover a few years back," Ray told me. "Her window was open and tenants heard the dying scream across the courtyard."
    Whenever I noticed strange things, I would ask my elevator man. I was worried that a man was abusing his daughter in an apartment across the courtyard. On hot summer nights, the casement windows were open and he would unleash his anger on his family for everyone to hear. "The police came by last week," Ray told me. "The father drinks too much. The mother is going to take the baby away."
    Elevator men joined my extended family. I gave them good tips during the holidays or whenever it was called for and they always looked out for things. Many of them worked two jobs to raise their families. When Carlos announced to me that he was moving to Florida, I sent around a letter to all the units in my building. He received $4,000.00 in cash as a going away present. When Sandy’s son was murdered by drug dealers, we gave him a bereavement card. "I hope nothing bad ever happens to you and your wife," he told me. click here for the rest of the story

  • #2
    Re: Login or Register London Terrace Diary: In The Elevator

    Fun read. But, maybe, maybe, someone will spread your business everywhere.