His name was plastered on the tabloids of this city, affixed to its buildings, and entwined with a distinctive New York type of confidence. Now, with Donald Trump about to return to the place that put him on the map, the city he loves is poised to make his appearance.
Rejected by voters, ostracized by protesters and now rebuked by juries, New Yorkers have one more thing to sensationalize Trump’s name: Indictment No. 71543-23.
“He wants to be in Manhattan. He loves Manhattan. He has connections to Manhattan,” said Barbara Res, a longtime employee of the former president who served as vice president of the Trump Organization. “I don’t know that he accepted it and I don’t know if he believed it, but New York turned him down.”
None of Trump’s romances lasted longer than his courtship in New York. Nowhere else can match his blend of ostentatious and exotic. His unrequited love for the city was Shakespearean enough, but Trump went a step further, rising to the presidency only to become a hometown villain.
Trump was born and raised in Queens to his father, a real estate developer with projects mainly in Queens and Brooklyn. But younger Trump aspires to cross the East River and make his name in Manhattan. He gained a foothold by turning the rundown Commodore into a glittering Grand Hyatt and secured attention for himself by appearing alongside politicians and celebrities, appearing at the Studio 54 and other hotspots and attract near-constant media coverage.
In the 1980s greedy as well, he was a fixture in New York. And in a city that prides itself on being the center of the world, Trump considers himself king.
David Greenberg, a Rutgers University professor who wrote the book “Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency,” said: “Trump grew up with a lot of resentment towards people he considers famous. famous, rich or famous. “Doing it in Manhattan — building Trump Tower and becoming a permanent part of the Manhattan social scene in the 1980s — meant a lot to him.”
However, the feelings were never really mutual. Trump left a trail of unpaid bills, abandoned workers and everyday New Yorkers who saw through his shameless self-promotion.
He may be a single character, but in a city of 8 million stories, he’s just another character.
So for years, Trump’s life here continued as the city raced around him. Marriages come and go. Skyscrapers rise. Bankruptcies have been filed. Trump flickers in and out of the upper echelons of popularity.
He may never have been the average New Yorker, packed in the subway on his morning commute or buying a hot dog from a street vendor, but to many, he was a benign, if slightly exaggerated, presence.
That’s starting to change after years of bizarre, racist lies about Barack Obama’s birthplace, and by the time he descends the golden escalator at Trump Tower on June 16, 2015. announced his presidential bidMany people in his hometown have little patience with the vitriol he spits out.
The Rockefeller Center hosted the weekly “Saturday Night Live” that made him the laughing stock, and at the Waldorf-Astoria gala he caused groans. In large swaths of the city, distaste for Trump has turned into hatred.
Even among Republicans, many consider him as trustworthy as a Gucci bag on Canal Street. Trump won the state’s Republican primaries, but couldn’t convince GOP voters in Manhattan.
“He is no longer just a charlatan in this TV show. Christina Greer, a political scientist at Fordham University, said people saw this man as really going to lead the country and the world in the wrong direction.
On Election Night 2016, tears were shed at the Javits Center, where Hillary Clinton’s victory party never came to fruition, while rabid Trump supporters reveled in the unexpected victory. his suspicions all over town in an election. Hilton Hotel dancing hall. The New Yorkers’ reprimands for their native son made no sense. His face was projected onto the face of the Empire State Building as locals came to grips with the fact that he would be president.
In the days that followed, a curious parade of politicians and celebrities traveled to Trump Tower to meet the president-elect, and in the weeks that followed, predictions about his presidency spread. to spill.
Among the thoughts of observers is speculation about a president commuting by shuttle between New York and Washington. When it became known that his wife and young son would not be moving to the White House immediately, it was believed that Trump could never completely part with the city that made him.
But Trump continued to be Trump, his presidency gave way to controversy after controversy and broken rules, and New York became the capital of protest, spawning protests. persistent public love.
The city of his dreams is no longer a place he can call home.
“New York has turned to hell,” he said as Election Day 2020 approached.
When the ballots were counted, Manhattan had seven times more Joe Biden supporters than Trump, and this time the Electoral College followed. When Trump’s presidency ends and he leaves Washington after the violent uprising he incited, it becomes clear that New York will not be hospitable.
Like a bunch of New Yorkers before him, he’s retired to Florida.
Now that he’s back north, he spends most of his time at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The man who has long tried to hide from his tunnel-bridge past is once again separated from Manhattan by a river.
On his first return to Manhattan after leaving office, the New York Post reported that someone was waiting outside Trump Tower for a glimpse. Even the protesters couldn’t bother him anymore.
His rebuke comes from New Yorkers engaging in city-dweller privilege, jury duty, and if it fits the pattern of previous grand juries, it gathered a quintessential cross-section of Manhattan, from different neighborhoods, incomes, and backgrounds. enough to make sure the cast of characters fits the TV.
With the news of Trump’s indictment now out, the story of his deteriorating romance with New York is drawing to a close. Even the Post, part of the Rupert Murdoch media empire that helped Trump win the White House in the first place, dumped him. The newspaper that documented his affair with headlines screaming “Best Sex I’ve Ever Had” alongside Trump’s smirking face, last week called him “deranged.” on a front page where he was labeled “Bat Hit Crazy” in large letters.
Trump once boasted that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and still be popular. Today, he can hit fifty in New York and still not win the support of most locals.
He has dismissed the grand jury’s actions as a “fraud” and a “mistreatment” and denied he had done anything wrong. He said Democrats were lying and cheating to hurt his return to the White House campaign.
Outside the courthouse that awaited him, the spectacle was largely confined to the media. Among the few New Yorkers who regularly make the trip is Marni Halasa, a figure skater who appears dressed in a jaguar outfit, cat ears, and stacks of fake money strung into a “hash” tip. “. She stood alone outside Friday to celebrate the indictment of one of her city’s most famous sons.
“New Yorkers are here in that spirit, and I feel like I represent most of them,” she said.
Associated Press writer Bobby Caina Calvan contributed to this report.