'The end of a totally insignificant era': Seinfeld writer lays out why ‘Trump was never a New Yorker — he was a tourist’ in biting Atlantic article
It’s official: President Donald Trump, according to the New York Times, is moving his primary residence from New York City to Palm Beach, Florida. But former “Seinfeld” writer/producer Peter Mehlman, in a humorous article for The Atlantic, asserts that the 73-year-old Trump was always an outsider in New York City.
“It’s important to acknowledge that Trump’s change of address marks the end of a totally insignificant era,” Mehlman asserts. “Clearing up the chaos of traffic and protests on Fifth Avenue that his presidency has caused will be the only impact his move has on the city. It’s not like he’s been paying much in the way of taxes. And the truth is, Trump, the lifelong New Yorker, was never a New Yorker. He was a tourist.”
Mehlman spent almost a decade on “Seinfeld,” which debuted in 1989 and was one of the top television sitcoms of the 1990s before its conclusion in 1998. The show affectionately laughed at all things New York City, a subject Mehlman has first-hand knowledge of: like Trump, he grew up in Queens — where Trump was born on June 14, 1946. And after all these years, Trump still speaks with a heavy Queens accent.
But Mehlman contends that Trump never fully embraced his home town.
“In his 70 years as a resident,” Mehlman writes, “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."
Trump, according to Mehlman, “lived in the greatest city in the world and missed out on everything” — and in Florida, similarly, he will “be sequestered from almost all things Floridian.”
“The Category 5 hurricanes and rising ocean floods on perfectly sunny days won’t touch him,” Mehlman predicts. “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.”
Mehlman wraps up his article by stressing that in South Florida, Trump will be surrounded by a group that holds him in very low regard: former New York City residents.
“If he happens to venture out in public,” Mehlman explains, “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. Their attitude upon seeing him will be: to err is human — to forgive, asinine.”