Such Sweet Sorrow: Romeo Parting With West 22nd Street | chelseanow.com

We’re Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!


Such Sweet Sorrow: Romeo Parting With West 22nd Street

What a great “Guy.” Romeo has spent over two decades as a W. 22nd St. mail carrier, where he’s become a valued source of real estate advice, gossip, and jokes. Photo by Allen Oster.

What a great “Guy.” Romeo has spent over two decades as a W. 22nd St. mail carrier, where he’s become a valued source of real estate advice, gossip, and jokes. Photo by Allen Oster.

Romeo Guy is not just our mail carrier. He’s part of the fabric of our block, and has been for over 20 years. It is hard to imagine the neighborhood without him. Though he is not retiring, he has requested a change of route that doesn’t require stairs. His knees have not been happy.

Romeo would sign slips for us when packages required a signature, retrieve a package if we gave him a delivery slip, and hold our mail when we went away. His wonderful memory kept all of our schedules straight — and our personal stories as well. But what will be missed the most is his ready smile and ability to pick up the thread of a joke from years ago.

On a personal note, when my daughter (who is now 26) graduated high school, we had a party. Along with friends and family, we invited many people who had touched her life: [the late] Claude [Rolls], who lived in his car, Renata from the Empire Diner. Romeo was another one. He and his wife attended, and it was wonderful.

Karen Jacob

 

Since 1996, Romeo Guy has been delivering mail to the 400 block of W. 22nd St. Over the years, delivering mail became more than just a paycheck. Romeo always went the extra mile to assist the residents on his route. Over time, we became “family” to him. Romeo not only brought us the good news and the bad news — he delivered it with a wonderful spirit and enthusiasm. I wish him all the best and know that the residents on his new route will grow to admire and respect him as all of us do.

Allen Oster

 

When people ask me how I can live in New York City, I usually end up explaining that I live in a village called Chelsea, and it just happens to be in NYC. I point out that I know many people in the neighborhood, and usually start with our letter carrier, Romeo Guy. How long I have known Romeo is a mystery, though I know he has been our mailman for a long time. We often chat, about his family here and in the Philippines, about the origin of his name, and, because I am fascinated by languages, about his native language, Tagalog. When I saw him on W. 21st St. the other day, I was startled, and he stopped to explain the change. The substitute mail people that have been walking his beat are probably tired of me asking “Where’s Romeo?” Now I know. We all will miss him, and he won’t even be that far away — though sometimes in this city, a block is another world.

Zazel Loven

 

Having just learned about Romeo’s route change, I’m glad to know that it was at his request. I wish I could be there to wish him well. He used to deliver to my side of the block, and of course I knew him at Dupuys [Dupuys Landing Guest House, a Bed & Breakfast on W. 22nd St.]. He is a treasure.

Anne Hopkins

 

Bad knees accomplished what neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night could do: relocate Romeo Guy from his appointed W. 22nd St. rounds. Photo by Karen Jacob.

Bad knees accomplished what neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night could do: relocate Romeo Guy from his appointed W. 22nd St. rounds. Photo by Karen Jacob.

I am a lifelong New Yorker and a longtime resident of the 400 block of W. 22nd St. Romeo’s daily presence through harsh winters and beautiful springs, through blackouts and blizzards, through hot, steamy summer days and crisp autumn mornings, was the one constant in our changing Chelsea neighborhood. He was always cheerful, caring, involved, uncomplaining; he was truly a man who loved his job. I became so used to his making our street feel like a small town that I would be amazed when my friends in other parts of the city would tell me that they didn’t know the name of their postal carrier. I will never forget the small and large favors he did, nor the kindness he extended toward me throughout these many years. Now, on another block, Romeo is delivering the mail to some very lucky New Yorkers. I hope they know how fortunate they are. We miss you, Romeo, and thank you for everything.

Carla Fine

 

We have lived on W. 22nd St. since 1987. I don’t know exactly when Romeo Guy started delivering our mail, but we have no memory of any other Mail Carrier. Romeo is the best. He always greets us and knows our names, and seems to know everyone else on the block, too. I saw him one day the other week. When he told me the news, I was sad, but appreciated hearing it from Romeo himself. He’s an important part of the community and we’re really sad that he’s leaving us for fewer steps. We hope his knees appreciate the change.

Bob Salerno and Margie Skaggs

 

Romeo was the ultimate street politician: warm, honest, sincere, and a consummate gossip. It goes with being born Filipino, often; it goes with being a mail carrier, sometimes; it goes with being Romeo, always, I found. And we all loved him for his warmth, his “you are special” service, and the fabric that he added to the ever-eclectic human weave on the block.

I knew Romeo just shy of 20 years. I have him to blame (read: ceaselessly thank) for the reason I live here. He was the one to tell me what was going on, from his vantage point, in the buying and selling of apartments and buildings on the block and, eventually, the lowdown from the mailbox-eye-view on the place I happily call home.

Thanks, Romeo. Your fine, professional service and special joy made our lives easier, warmer, and friendlier. We will miss you sorely, though some lucky block will be happy to have their turn to enjoy your special services.

An adoring, anonymous W. 22nd St. resident

Comments

  1. […] Scott Stiffler won First Place for Headline Writing (a statewide category cutting across all divisions). “Chelsea Now said its headlines used […]