Been thinking about this one since the Holiday weekend, today's events make the timing more interesting:
We took a trip through Trump Country over the Memorial Day Weekend.
No, not Kentucky or even Alabama, the real Trump Country- Central Park South.
As always the flight to NYC gives you at least a few butterflies. Depending on the approach to JFK you may or may not be treated to the entire Manhattan skyline from the air. Wow. All my life and never, ever getting used to, or tired of, that one of a kind view.
Had a meeting on Friday and then it was funtime. What to do? so many favorites. Can we stand the lines at Katz's for corned beef? Place is all Food Network now, and who can blame them. They're killing it. The consensus is not worth the tourists and trouble so we settle on Ben's in the old Garment District instead. It's good, not as good but very good, and the Matzo Ball Soup makes up for it, big time. After the 4th refill on the pickle plate the waiter, who is really enjoying us, reminds us they come at no charge but you shouldn't eat a whole barrel. Yes, we should.
Saturday finally a free day and Washington Square is a joy, the ballet dancers seem to actually be from Russia, and, they are performing at a level so high we have to drop fives not ones in the jar when they finish to a YUGE applause.
We wander around, how can St. Mark's Place be clean now? But it is, Honolulu's gritty Chinatown has been gentrifying too but nothing close to the new version of the Lower East Side. Memories of CBGBs flash in my head as we wander around checking out all the junk, and some amazing stuff, that's always for sale on the street down there.
A fish dinner calls. Hawaiians hear the sound louder than most. We love the Atlantic, a change of pace yet as compelling as it gets for seafood. The consensus? The Oyster Bar at Grand Central, again! I will never tire of this place, ever. Dreams of Oyster Stew cooked only by steam cloud my eyes as we decide to walk a bit instead of cabbing, or Lyfting, screw Uber, damn fascists.
The weather is perfect, no chill at all, the evening is turning orange, (there had been rain and clouds in the city the days before) and what fun it all is, my favorite city in the whole world, and I once had work promoting Honolulu as the same thing ... it is magic, marvelous and anyone who's never been should go ... but it is not Manhattan! (oh, btw, we do not go to Brooklyn, anyone who wants to, well have fun, but, not us no way. Maybe for a steak at Lugers if the trip were longer ...)
Like thousands of others do every single day, we get to Grand Central and stream in with the crowds, and it is as crowded as ever, of course it is! We know where we're going, head down a level, and, NO WAY, Oyster Bar is closed for the whole three day weekend. I have seen the employees not change for decades, well, this is how the owner keeps them and I can't second guess him but our disappointment is deep. Turns out there's a new seafood place, at least to us, Blue on the West Side. We decide, why not just keep walking, everything is perfect, and like Hendrix sang:
All you do is slow me down
And I'm tryin' to get on the other side of town
Lets go by the park is the suggestion ... terrific idea is the response. Wow, Tesla used to live in the Waldorf? And some gangsters. Anyway ...
Up Park Avenue to 59th, a left, and here we go, I forgot for a minute, this is Trump's Home Turf.
This is perhaps the most international place on the planet. So many languages, every type of people, lots of Europeans of all stripes, everyone is here, as usual. But, this year is far from usual. This year sure is atypical.
And, we aren't the only ones to notice. It seems lots of people, many of the people milling about, sure are noticing something. Trump Tower is not far from here, we don't care for barricades, but we know the hotel biz, and here comes The Plaza due left. Trump has not owned The Plaza for a long time, it is a Fairmont now, like on Maui and in San Francisco. But, people remember, lots of people are noticing, all around us people are talking, nudging each other, some smiling and laughing at inside jokes, others near a scowl, some look pissed, I wonder if I do? Maybe.
Moving down Central Park South suddenly we see a crowd gathering outside a store front. It is the Trump Realty office. People are not buying condo units, many look disgusted, the chatter gets louder, people are gawking, at the name, at the tacky style of gold lame the whole thing looks, and reeks, of.
One can conclude this, people, and apparently especially people from Europe and many who may be Muslims, are not impressed. The looks they give each other tell the whole story, but, even if you don't speak Romanian or Gaelic, or whatever it is many are chattering on in, sometimes you can still instinctively tell what folks are saying to each other.
And it is not good, just a few blocks from Trump Central.