Porter Near Penn Station Is Always on the Go

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It’s all in the little details for Salvador Toro

By Tierney McAfee

For 16 years, Salvador Toro has worked as a porter at apartment buildings all over Manhattan—Tribeca Tower, the Westminster, the Sierra, the Tate, the Westport and the Victory—but when he started as head porter for the Epic four years ago, he knew he had found a home near Penn Station.

Salvador Toro is a porter in the Epic, a residential building on West 31st Street. The building’s manager says you can get tired just watching him. Photo by Andrew Schwartz

“I love it here,” Toro said. “It’s a nice building and nice people.”

He said not only does he like the residents and coworkers in the building at 125 W. 31st St., but his commute is much more convenient than his previous jobs.

Toro spends his days at the Epic cleaning and readying apartments for new tenants to move in. He usually cleans at least two apartments during his 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. shift, but his work is never done. Once he’s finished with his responsibilities, he looks for what needs to be done next, whether it’s cleaning up water from a leak or filling in as a handyman when the building is understaffed.

Christopher Roberts, the building’s resident manager, said Toro consistently goes above and beyond his daily duties.

“You can get tired watching him,” Roberts said. “He’s just constantly in motion.”

No matter how focused Toro is on his work, he is always considerate of the residents, Roberts said. If Toro is vacuuming in the hallway and a resident passes by, he will turn off the vacuum cleaner, greet the resident and wait until he or she is on the elevator before he resumes vacuuming.

“We don’t require everybody to do those types of things, but it’s those little things that make a huge difference to the resident,” Roberts said. “He rarely looks for any type of special praise. It’s just his natural way.”

For Toro, the most rewarding part of his job is making sure an apartment is ready for a tenant to move in on time.

“When you finish something and it’s 100 percent done, 100 percent complete, you know that the tenant will like it when they move into the apartment. It’s a good feeling,” he said.

Toro, who relocated to New York from Puerto Rico 20 years ago, lives in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx with his wife, Naomi, and his sons, Edgar and Ryan.

“On my days off, I dedicate my life to my boys and my wife,” he said.

Toro does find some time for himself early Saturday and Sunday mornings. He wakes up at 6 a.m. to work out at the gym. He also enjoys going shopping and going to the movies with his family—although he sometimes dozes off during the flick.

“After a long week, it’s hard to stay awake,” he said, laughing.

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