A Long, Dark Night of the Soul at Donald Trump’s Childhood Home

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The house in eastern Queens where Donald Trump spent his first four years of life is now an Airbnb, but a night costs more than a bed at the Trump-owned Plaza Hotel, and the $816 doesn’t get you a fraction of that lavish experience. For Newsweek,  Alexander Nazaryan spent a night at the house, exploring the land of Trump’s birth and searching the environment for insights into what shaped him. He finds decor that’s the “raison d’être of Donald Trump, which is the endless veneration of Donald Trump.” Nazaryan shows how Trump likes to frame himself as an outsider from Queens who made his money in Manhattan — but how he is in fact a provincial creature with daddy’s money, born into the genteel suburbs of Long Island.

You can’t pin the sins of the father on the son, unless the son seems intent on replicating those sins. In 1927, Fred may have been arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Queens. Trump wasn’t alive then, obviously, but he stood defiantly by his father in 1973, when the two of them were accused by the Justice Department of refusing to rent apartments to African-Americans.

The floorboards above me creak as, on the television, Sean Hannity issues a fiery denunciation of what he calls the “destroy-Trump media.” I move the cut-out of Donald Trump next to the television, so that he is watching me as I watch Fox News. Later in the evening, I will return from the kitchen with a Diet Coke (Ari: I assumed these were free) and, having momentarily forgotten about the cut-out, will be frightened by Trump standing in the living room, confronting me in my boxer shorts.

“What are you doing in my house?” he will ask.

And I will tell him, “Paying $816 to take a cold shower.”

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