Live uptown? Sometimes you might go a little crazy — Catalyst pool parties, anyone? You let loose in your own space. You especially let loose when visiting a friend’s complex.
Someone’s been there, watching it all unfold — your marriage proposals, and that time when you got drunk and lost your keys so you ended up sleeping in your building’s stairwell. He’s been there to see love and loss, to see the blood and guts of your life.
Who is he?
Your friendly neighborhood concierge.
I sat down with Johnny Wright, an uptown concierge who has spent the past decade in hotels, condominiums and apartment complexes. He dished on everything from the funniest to the creepiest experiences he’s encountered in the industry.
(1) Famous people
In short: “Panthers are party people,” Wright said. “There’s been several parties. We had an event in the club room … it was just VIPs and folks from all around whose names that won’t escape my lips. … Party lasted from sundown to sun up.”
— Jonathan Stewart (@Jonathanstewar1) June 12, 2015
“I’ve worked overnights, people come in all the time. One night, I was doing rounds and I saw random clothes strewn about the … very long hallway. As I got closer to the end of the hallway, I saw a wallet with no ID in it. When I opened the (stairwell) door, I look over the balcony and I just see a foot hanging over it. And there’s blood on the concrete.
“I was really young at the time; I just panicked. I was like, ‘I don’t know what happened, there’s a dead guy in the stairwell …’ What it turned out to be was a really drunk man who had fallen down in the hallway and hurt himself. He locked himself out and couldn’t get into his place … as he was trying to find his keys, he just stripped for no reason (laughs) and bleeding all over the hallway. …
“The next day, he said get ready to see a lot more of that, as if he had done it before!”
(3) Circle of life
“I’ve seen babies being born … people going into labor. I’ve seen it all before, it happens all the time. Sometimes they’re weirded out that I’m not panicking and they are (laughs).”
“The Democratic National Convention came to town and the whole building was completely different people. All the residents moved out of the building and new strangers moved in (for the week). … They were all famous people, politicians stopping by. … I met Rosario Dawson … I sat at a table with half of the cast of “Seinfeld.” …
— Rosario Dawson (@rosariodawson) April 30, 2015
“Having a staff and working 18 hour shifts, going home, taking a nap, and coming back … it was an amazing, crazy experience. Parties every night, new people every day and it was basically we turned a whole condo tower into a hotel for the week. I was right at the head of it.”
“New Years one year. (One woman) had to be pushing 80. She literally kissed me smack on the mouth. … At the time it was just like, what can you do? I just said, ‘Happy New Year!’ (laughs) At that point, she kind of earned it!”
(6) “Sleepwalkers are the best.”
“We had a guy once who was in the elevator, he was just in it. The elevator would move, then it would stop. When it stops, the lights go out. (Looking at the camera) I was just like, what’s going on? He was sleeping. In the elevator. Standing up. Pressing buttons, trying to go somewhere. … And he had vomited and wet himself.”
Photos: Diedra Laird/Charlotte Observer; David T. Foster/Charlotte Observer
Madysan Foltz is the Northeast transplant to the CharlotteFive team interested in social issues, (inter)national travel, live music, and Oxford commas. Follow her on Twitter @MadysanFoltz.