Monday, April 25, 2011

White Gloves

When we were apartment hunting in New York, TLOML and I scoffed at ads which made a point of stating a 'white glove building.' Having lived all my life with no white gloved doorman, I was pretty sure I could survive a little longer without.

Apparently I am not alone in this. According to this dude, quoted in the NY Observer, "Tenants are sacrificing living conditions. They are leaving doorman buildings and going into elevator buildings." Oh, the horror!

Well, having given up a place on stilts over the Pacific, where it was sunny 350 days a year, I think we're the embodiment of 'sacrificing living conditions'. An elevator building? Heck, we'd take a walk-up.  (Walk-ups, i.e. buildings without elevators where you actually have to walk up stairs to get to your apartment, are the lowest of the low here. Although, again, having lived without an elevator in my home till now, I could definitely struggle on without one).

So TLOML and I looked at walk-ups, elevator buildings and white glove buildings alike, without prejudice. We took our place in Rabbit Hutch Towers because of the brilliant location, the absence of a broker's fee, and the fact that panic had set in, frankly.

So the doormen are a bonus - but I'm already enjoying them.

They don't wear white gloves, but they do wear a rather smart khaki that chimes nicely with the lobby's autumnal decor. They are all named something-beginning-with J, which is convenient as it makes it easier to remember their names. And if you forget you can just mumble 'Jer-um-ahem-son' and it will work. They are unfailing smiley and cheery and of average, or above average, attractiveness. They have the kind of faces you are happy to see.

The Js email us when a package arrives - no more coming home to find a box has been sitting on the doormat all day getting damp with Malibu sea mist. They send our drycleaning and our mail out. And when we have cardboard boxes to dispose of, we call them and they send a janitor up to take them away. Actually, even if we don't call, a recent experiment confirmed that if we leave the boxes outside for more than 4 hours, they get taken away. This for me is the height of luxury.

Frankly I'm starting to wonder how we will ever cope without them when we move to London, a city devoid of white gloves.

Yesterday they had a basket with little Easter bunny chocolates in on the front desk. In order to justify our exorbitant rent, we took down a couple each.  As TLOML said, 'If you imagine these are worth $100 each, our rent starts to look almost reasonable'.

I suppose the key to living in a white glove building is to make the very most of those white gloves, or else you'll just resent them. I might give Jerry, Jason or Julio a call and see if they wouldn't mind popping up and helping me finish the crossword.

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