‘A Building Employee Greeted Us With a Broad Smile Every Day’

2 weeks ago

My first job in Manhattan was downtown. The building, on Rector Street, dated to the early 20th century. I had to use my entire body to pry open the heavy brass door. My father could do it with one arm.

A building employee greeted us with a broad smile every day. He wore dark pants, a dark tie, dark shoes, dark socks and a white shirt. We always said hello.

The lobby was narrow and dark. The floor was marble. The ceilings were high. The walls were unadorned. If we looked at the lights, we saw spots. The sound of the click-click-click of my father’s shoes echoed through the lobby.

We tapped an elevator button to go up. The buttons were off-white with the letters U or D in black. We stood quietly as we waited to go up to the 12th floor.…Read more by The New York Times


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