Trump heads for new life in Florida, marking end of an era in New York

Victoria Bekiempis
·5 min read
<span>Photograph: Marty Lederhandler/AP</span>
Photograph: Marty Lederhandler/AP

When Donald Trump leaves the White House on 20 January, reports indicate that he will not return to his home town of New York City but rather, reside at his Mar-a-Lago home in south Florida. Indeed, Trump formally changed his residency to the so-called Sunshine State in fall 2019.

Related: Washington and state capitols brace for violence from armed Trump supporters

Trump’s seemingly permanent departure to a state known for its large population of elderly retirees marks the end of an era in New York, the city where he grew up and moved from its suburbs of Queens to become an icon of brash Manhattan style and wealth in the 1970s and 1980s.

“He made his presence known on the island of Manhattan in the mid 70s, a brash Adonis from the outer boroughs bent on placing his imprint on the golden rock,” the New York Times reported in 1983. “Donald John Trump exhibited a flair for self-promotion, grandiose schemes – and, perhaps not surprisingly, for provoking fury along the way.”

Trump’s flashiness arguably encapsulated the unapologetic financial excesses of the 1980s and beyond with him sticking his family name on seemingly everything he got his hands on. There have been 17 properties in New York City that bore Trump’s name over time, NBC News reported.

Trump became a tabloid fixture, feeding the papers stories about himself, according to the Hollywood Reporter and other outlets. One of them was the famed New York Post cover about his relationship with Marla Maples, who became his second wife. The headline read: “Marla boasts to her pals about Donald: ‘BEST SEX I’VE EVER HAD.’”

Trump even had a cameo in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Macaulay Culkin, as the star Kevin, asks him for directions to the lobby of the Plaza hotel, which Trump owned at that time.

While Trump’s cultural cachet was bizarre, it had power. Director Chris Columbus said in a December interview with Insider that Trump “did bully his way into the movie” by demanding that he get a role in return for allowing shooting to take place at the Plaza.

The majority of New Yorkers are not mourning Trump’s departure. They long seemed ready for it.

When news emerged that Trump was changing his residency, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in as statement: “Good riddance. It’s not like Mr Trump paid taxes here anyway. He’s all yours, Florida.”

Cuomo’s reaction encapsulated the feelings of many residents. New York is a blue state, and the city still more liberal; since Trump took office, there have routinely been demonstrations against White House policies outside his eponymous properties.

New Yorkers’ dislike of Trump hit new highs last spring. His administration’s mishandling of coronavirus was felt especially deeply in New York City, an early US center of the pandemic. City and state officials begged a seemingly uninterested Trump for help.

“How on earth do you think that New York City can get back on its feet without federal support?” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Mr President, are you going to save New York City, or are you telling New York City to drop dead?”

Cuomo, speaking of the coronavirus-spurred financial crisis in September, remarked: “Trump is actively trying to kill New York City. It is personal. I think it’s psychological. He is trying to kill New York City.”

Since many New Yorkers feel this way, it’s not surprising that Trump and his clan have nothing left for them here, except for a sea of legal problems.

De Blasio announced this week that New York City was cutting its contracts with Trump’s companies for his involvement in spurring a deadly attack on the Capitol. That means Trump will lose $17m in deals to run the Central Park Carousel, Wollman and Lasker skating rinks, and Ferry Point golf course in the Bronx, according to ABC News.

Trump’s cronies speculate that Trump’s departure from New York City could also include his business interests, given his dislike of local and state officials, ABC News reported. Meanwhile, the Manhattan district attorney and state attorney general are investigating Trump’s financial dealings.

Trump’s departure from the White House also means that civil litigation against him here might finally proceed, as he can no longer cite presidential duties in efforts to delay proceedings.

Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, are not expected to be welcomed in New York City’s elite circles when they leave Washington, according to reports. They purchased a $30m property in Miami’s luxe Indian Creek village.

Donald Trump Jr and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle are also relocating to Florida and are eyeing homes in Jupiter. “There is no way they can stay in New York. They’d be tortured in the streets,” a source told the New York Post of Junior’s impending move.

As Trump and his family try building a new life, and potential Maga capital, in south Florida, the ostracism they faced in New York might follow them to some degree. Ivanka and Kushner might struggle with the south Florida social scene.

The New York Post quoted a source saying: “The Indian Creek country club members are very picky and the word is that Javanka need not apply.”

Even Trump’s appearance in Home Alone 2 has come into question, with Culkin supporting social media commentary in favor of removing Trump from the movie.