This post is rather irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but since it gave me a bit of joy, I am sharing it anyway. Sometimes we just have to have a bit of fun, yes? It keeps us from slipping into the rabbit hole.
Imagine for a minute, if you can, going home from work at night … you live in a high-rise condo, and as you enter the building, every time you enter the building, you have to see this …I couldn’t do it … I would have had to have moved … no, wait … I never would have bought a condo in that building to start with! Especially given that prices range from $750,000 to $6 million!!! Anyway, Trump Place, at 200 Riverside Boulevard in Manhattan, is a condominium building where the residents have gotten tired of seeing Trump’s name on the front of their house every day, and they decided it needs to go. Trump does not own the building, by the way … the condo owners own it. So, they decided back in February 2017 to take the sign down, took an informal vote, and since more than 60% of the residents want the Trump name gone, it comes down, right?
Not quite so fast there …
In March 2017, the condo board received a letter from Alan Garten, chief legal officer for the Trump Organization, which read, in part …
“Please be advised that [removing the signs] would constitute a flagrant and material breach of the License Agreement,” Garten wrote in March 2017. He said that if the board made any effort to remove the sign, the Trump Organization “will have no choice but to commence appropriate legal proceedings.”
Turns out that back when the building was built, the condo board paid a grand total of $1 to Trump Organization for rights to the use of his name, and Trump and his attorneys believed that meant that his name had to stay there forever. The board didn’t wait around for Garten to file a suit, but instead took the bull by the horns and sued the Trump Organization. And won.
In May, Judge Eileen Bransten found that “The court does not find any of defendant’s arguments convincing.” She gave Trump Organization until October 1st to file an appeal, which they swore to do, but October 1st came and went more than two weeks ago, and no word of an appeal. The judge said that as long as a two-thirds majority of the condo owners voted to take the signage down, it could come down. Nearly 70% voted to remove it.
This isn’t the first time since his election that Trump’s name has been removed from buildings with similar agreements. Three neighboring Manhattan rental complexes have already removed the Trump name, as did hotels in Canada and Panama. When the other three Riverside Boulevard buildings dumped Trump, the concierges got new uniforms sans the word “Trump”, and the doormats were changed. Residents, who pay an average of $9,700 per month to live in those rental properties, were thrilled.
“It’s embarrassing to tell people where you live.”
“For me, watching Trump talk about groping women and then seeing his name above my home was the breaking point. It was time to declare that we don’t want to live in a building bearing his name, or a country suffering his presidency.”
“I haven’t had a single interaction with a neighbor or an employee who wasn’t interested in having the name removed. It used to be that we were embarrassed because he was tacky. Now he’s shown himself to be despicable on every level.”
As for the condos, perhaps the property values will come back up once the signage is gone. Between 2013 and Trump’s election in 2016, the average value per square foot of Trump-branded properties dropped from $3,000 to $2,000.
I’m left scratching my head, though … he keeps telling us that ‘everybody’ loves him and thinks he’s wonderful, right? Then … either I’m confused about the meaning of the word ‘everybody’, or the words ‘love’ and ‘wonderful’. Ahhhhh … that’s right … I forgot about that alternative vocabulary and ‘newspeak’.
Alright, I’ve had my fun and I promise to be back later today with something more substantial and relevant to what is going on in the nation and/or the rest of the world today. Yes, Joe … there really is a ‘rest of the world’.