From nowhere

A Seinfeld writer points out that Trump has never been a real New Yorker.

In his 70 years as a resident, his feet barely touched pavement. He probably still thinks the subway takes tokens. He probably never waited in line for a movie, got sick on street-fair Belgian waffles, or felt the thrill of beating everyone to a cab in the rain. He never had a vicious landlord or a predatory boss, and he sure as hell never had the ultimate New York experience of suffering in silence.

Peter Mehlman doesn’t say this, but I’m betting Trump also never got to know the city by walking around in it. That’s the only way to do it, as far as I’m concerned – because it’s the only way to see and absorb the details. If you’re just whisked around in a car all the time – even a car that’s mostly stuck in traffic – you get nothing but a car window view.

I grew up in Queens, just two miles and a few hundred income-tax brackets from Trump. As kids, both of us dreamed of living in Manhattan and being real New Yorkers. In the ’60s, one of us had parents who got us tickets for Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts. In the ’70s, one of us took the Q17 bus and the F train to Madison Square Garden and paid off ushers to get into sold-out Knicks games. In the ’80s, one of us lived in a studio apartment, barely making rent while somehow going out to dinner every night, then hanging out at dive bars.

It’s as if Trump’s city isn’t New York but Richburg, a gold-plated emptiness that might as well be on the Moon.

And it won’t be any different in Florida.

Trump will hole up at Mar-a-Lago—what are the odds he can translate the words Mar-a-Lago into English? Ten to one against?—where he’ll be sequestered from almost all things Floridian. The Category 5 hurricanes and rising ocean floods on perfectly sunny days won’t touch him. He won’t sit by the pool chatting about his grandkids; he won’t reconnect with people he knew in high school 60 years ago; and he won’t rush to make the early bird at the best burger joint in town only to see an elderly diner hike down his pants and give himself an injection before the appetizers arrive.

His only true Floridian experience will be golf with a small ring of devoted right-wing entertainers/athletes/televangelists only too happy to look away as Secret Service agents dutifully kick the president’s ball on the green.

If he happens to venture out in public, he’ll realize that he’s almost as despised in southern Florida as in New York, because hordes of his neighbors will be ex–New Yorkers. Even worse, they’ll be old ex–New Yorkers well beyond the point of keeping their opinions to themselves.

It will be all Frank Costanza all day long.

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