Long time Upper East Side doorman Carlos Monteiro retires after 20 years making residents feel at home
It seems like everyone at 445 East 86th Street has a Carlos story.
Carlos Monteiro, 70, has been the doorman at the Upper East Side co-op for the past 28 years, and this past Friday was his last day on the job. Residents gathered in the lobby and swapped their favorite Carlos tales as his final shift wound down.
There was the time he brought packages to a resident who was recovering from surgery in the hospital, or the time they had to force him to take a vacation. One year during a transit strike, Monteiro was able to use his car-service contacts to secure a ride to the airport for one resident and his family, saving their vacation. Then there was the time he helped deliver a baby in the lobby, the same one that he recently saw off to college.
But mostly, residents were appreciative of his day in and day out commitment to the job. Monteiro worked the 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift, but would show up an hour and a half early to make sure everyone had the morning paper. One resident said that he could always tell when she was having a bad day, and would never hesitate to offer a kind word or a comforting embrace. Monteiro was so good at his job, residents said, that the entire building came to think of him as a member of their family.
"I don't feel like this is going to be home anymore," said resident Linda Goldsmith. "He's just comforting, when you come home and see Carlos and get a big hug."
"It's the dedication and the great attitude he has for shareholders," said board treasurer Joseph Allen. "I mean he held my kids when they were little and took care of them as if they were his own."
Resident Ann Maurer will remember the way Monteiro lifted her spirits when she was recovering from surgery. He would greet her at the door, singing a Spanish love song while dancing in time, telling Maurer that she needs to dance too to get better.
"He's a true gentleman," said Maurer.
Allen said he knows that Monteiro is sad to go, and feels the same way about the residents as they do about him. "He's very emotional," said Allen. "It's like leaving 150 family members."
Monterio told Our Town that his retirement plans include taking care of his house in Brooklyn, and visiting his daughter and grandkids in North Carolina. Though he's looking forward to retirement, Monterio said, he's sad to being saying goodbye after 28 years.
"They don't treat me like a doorman," said Monteiro, who plans on visiting from time to time. "I'm like their family."