This was my seventh visit to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York since its owner was elected 45th President of the United States. My visits are not a pilgrimage, but reporting trips into the cave of the enemy.
First, there is curiosity. Until what moment and to what extent will the tower stay open and accessible to the public? In my previous visits, things looked pretty bad. There was a growing number of metal barriers around the building, occasionally closing parts of 5th Avenue to traffic and pedestrians (demonstrators). Worst of all was the huge sanitation trucks loaded with sand that is supposed to block any terrorist car bombers. On these occasions, I did not try to enter the building. The huge trucks gave me a sense of claustrophobia I normally do not experience. Besides, those trucks were nonsense, since a potential car bomber would never have a chance to approach the building by driving through the narrow and trafficked streets of Manhattan. Normally, a terrorist attack of that kind would require great momentum before its explosion, and would, therefore, be stopped well before reaching Trump’s doorstep.
All this garbage on Fifth is slowly disappearing. The light metal barriers remain, while security is becoming somehow more sophisticated. At the main entrance on Fifth, there are still two pairs of secret service agents in a complete battle gear, including machine guns. They are impressive but chat pleasantly amongst themselves while ignoring the NYPD policemen who hang around in numbers. The biggest change from my last visit are the metal detectors at every entrance leading to the lobby of Trump Tower. For the first time, I also noticed a special security entrance at the south side of the tower that obviously serves when the President comes home. There are a lot of agents in uniforms in the lobby and access to the elevators is strictly controlled. The presence of massive security reduced the number of curious tourists who were coming into the lobby to take selfies in front of the souvenir shop or cascading fountain on the back wall of the lobby.
Old Trump Tower, which exhibited the tacky taste of the 45th, his thirst for gold and glitter, now looks like a train station expecting the visit of some dignitary. The train schedule is unknown and all the lights are dimmed, the waterfall turned off. The only more lively place is a new Starbucks on the first floor, as even Ivanka’s Jewelry shop is closed for business, with the sign, “Coming soon.” The impression is that Trump no longer cares about the little income coming from the restaurants and souvenir shops in the lobby of his tower. The Secret Service pays better. If you are President, of course. It is my final impression that my seventh visit was my last to this dark and overrated New York City building.