Closing the Door on Wall Street for a Better Job

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Torres has developed personal relationships with East Side residents

By Martin Leung

The residents at the Yorkshire Towers can always count on Dominic Torres for a smile. Torres, 51, is the doorman for this residential building at 305 E. 86th St., and he has been there for over 28 years.

Torres grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He wanted to pursue a career in dancing, but his parents wanted him to have a more concrete profession. He ended up majoring in accounting.

“I worked in Wall Street for three years for Chemical Bank and it wasn’t for me. I’m a people person,” he said.

Dominic Torres says he knows all the 4,000 or so residents of Yorkshire Towers. “It’s a city in itself.” Photo by Andrew Schwartz

Torres left the Financial District almost three decades ago and found a part-time summer job at Yorkshire Towers. After working all types of shifts, he made his way into the full-time staff and into the hearts of the residents.

“I don’t look at him as a doorman. I see him as an individual who has developed a relationship with most of the tenants in the building,” said Michael Trock, a tenant for 30 years.

Trock is one of many residents in the Yorkshire Towers who considers Torres a friend. Getting to know tenants on a personal level can be difficult at the Yorkshire Towers. “This building has 689 apartments. Around 4,000 people live here and I know everyone. It’s a city in itself,” said Torres.

Torres credits his interest in art for his ability to recognize people’s faces. Trock is more impressed by Torres’ professionalism and warm affection towards people. He said to Torres, “I don’t know how you come in every day with a smile.” Trock gave Torres a light slap on the back and the two shared a laugh.

Residents, visitors and delivery workers are some of the many people who routinely pass by Torres during his eight-hour shifts. He works from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays through Thursdays. He always drives from his home in New Jersey in order to arrive a few minutes early. This way he has time to settle down and prepare for the day. Everyone is greeted in the same cheerful manner that residents have grown to love. Tenants often stop by his desk for a quick chat.

“He talks to everybody. He makes it his business to know everybody,” said Rosalind Burd, a tenant for over 30 years.

The relationship between Torres and the residents of Yorkshire Towers is full of love and dedication. Torres has watched many children grow up into young adults. Some even have kids of their own now. The residents have seen Torres mature from a young man to an affectionate father. He can still remember the time when his daughter was just born and the residents showered him with presents. His daughter is now 20 years old.

“I love the people. It makes me feel like home. The people have me feel like a part of their families,” said Torres.

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