…an armed camp, on blocks and blocks radiating out from Trump Tower, fortress New York, with metal barriers, flashback-inducing 9/11-style police presence, vehicles, dogs, too many cops with NYPD Counterterrorism* on their jacket backs and bullet-proof vests, large weapons totally open carried.
On Monday I was in midtown for dental surgery. Until then, I’d thought that nothing could be worse than a periodontal encounter. But the president-elect and the intense danger he poses to our country is worse.
At the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and 56th Street, home of Harry Winston (a place for lovely baubles for billionaires), I asked a sergeant (who looked “Blue Bloods” castable), what he’d heard about NYC getting paid back the $30 million I’d read was draining out of our coffers to protect the president-elect (and family), at home since election day, through January 20. He confirmed that the Feds have only offered $7 million, but the cost was now up to $35 million, and said, “As to what the city will eventually receive, your guess is as good as mine.”
I added that I hadn’t been in midtown since the election–even in normal years, I steer clear during the Christmas craziness–and that the president-elect’s building was as ugly as ever, big league gaudy (and thought, if only it were Gaudí, but no Sagrada Família here). He nodded and laughed.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, recently wrote about the “tremendous job the NYPD has done. They have taken on this unprecedented challenge and done a remarkable job–all while crime throughout the entire city has gone down 10 percent from the previous November…I know Congress and the president-elect understand the challenges being presented to the NYPD and to our city. I believe they’ll all do the right thing and reimburse our city soon. But it can only help if we all make our voices heard.”
To demand that the federal government fully reimburse NYC taxpayers (who resoundingly rejected the president-elect, both in the Republican primary and the general election), sign Mayor de Blasio’s petition.
I always notice a small but intimidating group of cops outside a big, not unattractive building on Maiden Lane, as I walk east to the Voice’s current offices to meet Jesus for lunch. New normal, post-9/11, they hardly register. But last week, surrounded by the block’s Christmas lights, the armed men (maybe sometimes women are on duty, I haven’t seen them), looked incongruous. I googled: NY Fed (real gold, unlike at Trump Tower).
* Or sometimes, NYPD Counter Terrorism. Even without the big guns, the inconsistent usage is enough to make a stickler for style anxious.