Plaza bids adieu to famed doorman

February 26, 2009 3:48:01 PM PST
The "Mayor of Central Park" hung up his hat and uniform for the last time Thursday. The beloved doorman at the Plaza retired after 46 years on the job. "Now that I'm getting a little older, I think it's time to stop," Ed Trinka said.

But not without first saying a thousand goodbyes to countless people who have come to respect and adore him.

It seems like it was what he was born to do. Trinka's been a fixture at the Plaza since 1963 and has manned both the glorious front entrance and, now, the Central Park side.

But on Thursday, the blue-eyed giant left his post for good, retiring. And his co-workers sent him off with a first-class party.

He remembers his first day on the job. He was 18, and another doormen pulled him aside and taught him the golden rule, one he still lives by today.

"He used to tell me the customer is frist," he said. "When someone comes out to get a cab, and you could be talking to somebody, no, first grab that."

He's crossed paths with countless celebrities, CEOs, royalty and the man on the horse drawn carriage. One of his toughest days was September 11th. He was working around 8:30 that morning and greeted a regular as he left the hotel.

"Used to come out every morning to go to the World Trade Center, and he says it's such a beautiful day, wasn't going to go in until later," he said.

The man went back inside, and moments later the first tower was attacked.

But this is about looking ahead. Ed plans to travel, spend time with his family and finally go by his real name, Edwin. So why does his name tag say Edward?

He says that when he started, it was on the uniform and just stuck, really stuck.

"My son is Edward," he said. "Grandson is Nicolas Edward, so everyone calls me Edward, so I left it like that."

But now, it's "see you later," rather than "goodbye," to a man who needs no introductions.


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