Three full days have passed since the announcement of the Trump presidency, and In New York the topic still very much dominates conversation in the context of the media and on the streets.
The rallies in New York are reportedly ongoing, and though I’ve not personally seen these going on what I saw on Wednesday that’s hardly surprising.
I decided since my last post took perspective from an anti-Trump rally to explore the other side of the discussion. With this in mind I ventured again to Trump Tower.
Trump Tower on late Friday afternoon was a very different experience to Trump Tower on Wednesday night. Parts of Fifth Avenue were blocked – not by protesters as they were two nights before but by barricades set in anticipation. The police presence was strong as you’d expect, and curious passers-by congregated across the street to snap a photo or two.
At this stage of the evening – around 5pm – there was no yelling, no protesting and if you had reason to you could enter the tower itself. In this spirit I was feeling a little run down. There’s a Starbucks in Trump Tower.
Once past security – understandably stringent given the circumstances – being in Trump Tower felt like entering the ‘Upside Down’ in Stranger Things.
The building is unlike any other I’ve visited – floor to ceiling decked out in tones of bronze, with an internal waterfall flowing from an alfresco garden down several levels to a pond on its lowest level.
Past a solid media contingent who looked as though they’d been there for days was Trump Bar, exactly as it sounds, and down a corridor from this was the makeshift Trump Store.
Trump Store was bustling– hats and T-shirts were walking out the door on the heads and backs of the president-elect’s supporters.
The mixed aged demographics probably shouldn’t have surprised me given the results of the election, but they did. There was plenty of younger people sporting Trump merch in the tower, along with some middle aged and older couples. Being Veteran’s Day it was easy to tell who of the building’s visitors had served, and clear that plenty had.
In that moment, and I can only speak for that moment, there was far less diversity in terms of race.
I talked to a couple visiting town for Veteran’s Day, who asked me to take their photo in front of the waterfall with their brand new Make America Great Again caps. I obliged, and asked how they were feeling post-election. They said it was one of the greatest things to have happened to the US. A passer-by nodded in agreement – few people there would have disagreed.
Aside from coffee and drinking there’s not that much else to do at Trump Tower, so in the hope Trump would emerge from an elevator and do a flip or something I went and stood by the media contingent for a while, and we watched as people came in and out.
A lady walked past with four immaculately dressed kids, including three small girls with matching velvet bows and dresses. They were having a discussion about how cute ten-year-old Barron Trump is. From what I could gather one of the kids wanted to marry Barron, but another wasn’t interested at all. Groundbreaking.
I wish I had more excitement to share, but this is the gist of the whole experience. Conversation was civil, polite and Trump-centric. People came in and out of the lifts with a smile. Three of the building’s four lifts were decked in reflective bronze and indulgent marble. The fourth was a service lift –sterile and silver with a Trump campaign poster tacked to its back wall.
I bought my coffee and returned to the dimension I knew.