Selfie tower: Trump’s home be­comes city’s hottest back­drop

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - STATE NEWS - By Wil­liam Mathis

Out­side Don­ald Trump’s gilded sky­scraper, many in the slow-mov­ing side­walk throng come for the sole pur­pose of snap­ping self­ies, some to cap­ture a bit of his­tory and oth­ers to of­fer the new pres­i­dent their one-fin­gered salute.

Trump Tower, al­ways a pop­u­lar spot for visi­tors, has be­come even more of a spec­ta­cle since Elec­tion Day, with the selfie stick­tot­ing thatch of gawk­ers mix­ing with, and some­times pos­ing with, the heav­ily armed po­lice.

“OK, you’ve got your pic­ture, now move along,” one of­fi­cer re­peated as he stood guard along a Fifth Av­enue that has come to re­sem­ble its new nick­name: Fort Trump.

But new metal and con­crete bar­ri­cades, scores of po­lice, and pedes­trian check­points have done lit­tle this week to stop the crowds from gath­er­ing 26 floors be­low where Trump has been holed up in­ter­view­ing po­ten­tial cabi­net can­di­dates and plan­ning his new ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“It’s his­tory in the mak­ing,” said Steve O’Neill, a 54-year-old po­lice lieu­tenant from Tyn­gs­bor­ough, Mas­sachusetts, who made the pil­grim­age in part to drop off a photo he had taken with Trump dur­ing a cam­paign stop. “He told us if he be­came pres­i­dent, we could come and have it signed. So we left it with the guard.”

Con­nie Hunt, a 54-yearold real es­tate agent from Lon­don, Ken­tucky, said she came to New York to see her beloved Ken­tucky Wild­cats play bas­ket­ball at Madi­son Square Gar­den, but made time for a trip to her cho­sen can­di­date’s fa­mous home.

“I love ‘The Apprentice,’ the show. He’s just fa­mous. He’s more fa­mous than a politi­cian,” Hunt said. “He’s suc­cess­ful in ev­ery­thing he’s done and I just wanted to see what he’s built, what he’s ac­com­plished, in­stead of seeing it on TV.”

Twenty-year-old Leigh Sto­larz, of West Palm Beach, Florida, said she was out­raged by Trump’s vic­tory, find­ing it un­be­liev­able that some­one with his at­ti­tude to­ward women and im­mi­grants could be elected pres­i­dent.

But she said she came to the tower any­way, in part to see how peo­ple were re­act­ing. Her own re­ac­tion was sim­i­lar to the thou­sands of the Trump Tower self­ies that have pop­u­lated Twit­ter, Face­book and In­sta­gram since Elec­tion Day: a dis­gusted look, rolling eyes and an ex­tended mid­dle fin­ger.

“It seemed like a step back for us when we’d made so many pro­gres­sive steps,” Sto­larz said. “I feel like he doesn’t rep­re­sent our coun­try.” Such op­po­nents found a kin­dred spirt in Paul Rossen, who has stood out­side Trump Tower five hours a day, five days a week for the past six months sell­ing anti-Trump pins. He used to sell pins that said “Dump Trump,” but since the elec­tion he has switched to black pins with a white sil­hou­ette of Trump and the words “Not My Pres­i­dent.”

“The main thing about the protests and this is, it’s very good group ther­apy,” he said. “It’s a cathar­tic form of say­ing, ‘I will not sub­mit,’ even though we have no choice.”

Tourists from out­side the United States also stopped by to won­der how the new Amer­i­can pres­i­dent would af­fect them back home.

Stand­ing across the street from Trump Tower, 48-year-old busi­ness­woman Dorotea Bus­ta­mante, of Coahuila, Mex­ico, re­called Trump’s cam­paign rhetoric about her home coun­try.

“He can’t judge all of us as crim­i­nals be­cause we’re not,” Bus­ta­mante said in Span­ish. “He has to judge each per­son by their ac­tions.”

But she tried to stay op­ti­mistic that Pres­i­dent Trump might be dif­fer­ent than can­di­date Trump: “He just might sur­prise me.”


In this Nov. 15 photo, a passerby stops for a selfie with a heav­ily-armed New York City po­lice of­fi­cer at the main, Fifth Av­enue en­trance to Trump Tower in New York.

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