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Editor’s note: Tessa Abrahams will profile the Upper West Side’s doormen for the West Side Rag. This is the first in her series. If you’re a doorman who would like to be profiled, or if you know a doorman who might have fun with this, let us know!

By Tessa Abrahams

Name: Robert

Age: 34

Hometown: Serbia

Robert decided to move to the U.S. 12 years ago from Serbia for “many reasons.” Most importantly, however, he claims to have made the decision to move because he wanted a better quality of life. To Robert, a high quality of life is defined by freedom, not finances: “here [the U.S.], you have the freedom to express yourself in any way you want to. That is very important to me, much more than money is.” Robert has been working as a doorman for 333 West End Ave for the past 8 years.

Shortly after I began asking questions, my one-on-one interview with Robert quickly escalated into a semi-large social gathering in the lobby of his building; with each and every resident insisting to me that he was the “best, most helpful doorman ever.” When I asked if there was anything in particular about Robert that I should know, one resident responded, “If you give him a Long Island Iced Tea, he’ll tell you anything.” I then asked Robert if there was something most people do not know about him. His answer: “No way! I talk so much, so everyone here knows everything about me… as you can see, I have no secrets.” Oh, also Robert wants everyone to know that he has some pretty fancy new shoes, which he did not hesitate to whip out of his cupboard once someone mentioned them in mid-conversation.

Robert’s motto is “no matter how hard things get, never give up. The harder you work, the better the outcome will be.” This outlook on life really has proven to serve this UWS doorman quite well: it is my pleasure to announce that after waiting patiently for the past 12 years, Robert is officially an American Citizen as of Monday April 21. In addition, judging by the incredible amount of love and support he received by the residents in the building, I think it is safe to say that this accomplishment is one that is truly well deserved.

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Photos by Tessa Abraham.

COLUMNS, REAL ESTATE | 23 comments | permalink
    1. Erica says:

      Welcome, Robert!

    2. jake says:

      Congratulations, Robert — wish you worked for my bldg.!

    3. Roseann says:

      CONGRATULATIONS to Robert! The citizenship test is not an easy one and he should be very, VERY proud. He is a great addition to our NYC melting pot.

    4. LylaHarbor says:

      What a lovely idea for a series! Wonderful.
      Thank you for sharing with us, Robert!

    5. Bruce Bernstein says:

      congratulations Robert!

      is the bottom picture his family? or tenants in the building?

    6. Mary says:

      Fabulous series! Looking forward to more profiles. What better testament to Robert than his legions of adoring fans in his building? Kudos to him.

    7. Tasha says:

      Is Robert single? Kidding, sort of:)


    8. webot says:

      Great story. love the first pic. it looks like West End Avenue 1949!

      Glad to see the American dream is alive and well.

      Congrats Robert.

    9. Erica says:

      How do we get in touch with Tessa? I know someone who would be perfect for this, and definitely deserves to be featured!

    10. Marko says:

      Great job Robert I very proud of you buddy;) keep working hard and many opportunitys will open up for you. 😉

    11. Jeremy says:

      We have a celebrity in our building!
      And yes, he really is that handsome but, more importantly, he is sunshine when you come home…

    12. Jeremy says:

      What a beautiful story of strength and bravery.

    13. Alex says:

      Great idea for a story!

    14. Teresa says:

      Love this series! Please profile Modesto or Rafi at 697 West End!

    15. Michael says:

      I am from Dallas and visit family in the building a couple times a year, and Robert’s kindness and energy are always a highlight. I’m so happy for him that he has become a citizen. Happy for us, too.

    16. Roger Cumming says:

      Best wishes and congratulations to Robert. He really is as good as everyone says!

    17. JJ says:

      Great man

    18. Ally says:

      Robert works in my Aunt’s building. And everything they say is totally true. He is a great welcome every time i visit!

    19. Monica Verona says:

      Thanks for sharing this Robert – You ROCK!!!
      I’m so happy for you. Kudos!

    20. Victor says:

      Robert and any other featured Doorman should have tihe dignity of a surname..

    21. Randall David Cook says:

      I know a lot of doormen on the UWS, and Robert’s one of the best and most personable to be found. Congrats on your citizenship, Robert!