I usually get around the city in a limousine, for both convenience and security reasons. But on occasion, I’ll walk a few blocks, and I’ll hear people call out “Hi, Donald!” and I’ll wave back. I would urge you, as a visitor, to walk as much as possible, because that’s how I initially got the feel and the personality of Manhattan when I moved here from Queens in 1971. You can really pick up on the neighborhoods that way and see details you might otherwise miss. Another great way to get to know the city is to take a bus tour, such as the Gray Line, to get an overview. Then you should go back on foot to the areas that most intrigued you.
Getting around … by water
As Manhattan is an island, another way to see it is on a boat tour. There are many of them now: daytime, nighttime, and dinner-and-dancing tours. Not too long ago, I was treated to an impromptu boat trip around Manhattan. I was scheduled to appear briefly at a party on a boat before it was to depart down the Hudson River. It was a very nice cocktail party, and I was busy talking to people when suddenly I noticed the boat wasn’t at the dock anymore. We were going down the river! I hadn’t planned on taking a three-hour cruise around Manhattan, but there wasn’t much I could do at that point except go with the flow. The people on board seemed happy to have me around, so I joined in, told some stories, enjoyed the beautiful scenery, and we all had a great time. I would plan your trip more accordingly, but bottom line, it’s a wonderful way to see the city.
It’s also easy to get off this island and go places. Many people go to the Hamptons or to the Jersey Shore — or to the airport. New York City is a hub city, and there are many destinations that are easily accessed by car, train or plane. American Airlines has an international hub at John F. Kennedy International Airport and is an important presence at LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports, so you can get out of town (or back home) with the greatest of ease.
Taxis are a part of the city landscape. So are traffic jams. I was recently with the crew of The Apprentice in my limousine when we got stuck in a major traffic jam. We hadn’t moved an inch in 20 minutes. The horns and honking became intolerable. I finally opened the door, stepped out and just stood in the middle of the street. Suddenly the horns stopped and everyone got quiet. Then they started waving and saying hello. It did nothing to help with the traffic, but at least the horns stopped honking for a few minutes. Thankfully, the city’s subway system is sophisticated, vast, easy to figure out — and not subject to New York City traffic.
I love sports, so you’ll see me as a regular at the U.S. Open and cheering on the home teams, like the Yankees, Mets, Jets and Giants.
I have some beautiful golf courses nearby that I can drive to when I have a free afternoon. Trump National Golf Club Westchester is north of the city, and Trump National Golf Club Bedminster is in New Jersey, to name just two within easy reach.
When it comes to food, New York has it all — every cuisine imaginable. My favorite restaurants tend to be very good for both food and business, such as Jean Georges, 21, Le Cirque and Trump Grill in Trump Tower.
Now one of the most visited sites in the city, Trump Tower opened in 1983. In order to build it, I had to persuade Tiffany & Co. to let me buy their air rights. (They are right next door.) Trump Tower is known for its waterfall, which graces the five-story atrium, but also for the pink marble that is used throughout the building. That marble, Breccia Pernice, is rare and very beautiful but also very irregular. When we constructed the tower, I went to the quarry in Italy myself and marked off the slabs that were the best. The rest had to be scrapped — probably about 60 percent. The detail work is still apparent, and Trump Tower will be worth your visit.
While I’m not an ice skater, Wollman Rink in Central Park is an absolute must for skating. With the incredible Manhattan skyline in the background, it’s a sensational way to enjoy New York City in the winter. My apartment looks down on it, and I always enjoy seeing everyone having winter fun. I renovated Wollman Rink after watching it lie dormant for too many years, and now it’s wonderful to see it as a thriving, joyful place.
The Apprentice and NYC
When The Apprentice premiered in 2004 and became a hit, I was pleased on several levels, one being that it brought New York City into prominence on a weekly basis. The city got great coverage — from the side streets to the skyscrapers to Central Park — and the show is very much linked to the energy of the city. The locations and sites matter to me, and we have shown — and continue to show — the many aspects and dynamics of this great city. The show has been on for seven years, and we’ve yet to run out of places to shoot for effective footage. The Apprentice has become very much identified with New York, and I’m proud of that.
Spirit of the City
New Yorkers are resilient, and they’ve shown bravery and tenacity time and time again, which is simply remarkable. There is no event that would cause New Yorkers to become anything other than what they already are — intelligent and strong people who focus on the future and move forward. Whenever New York City meets adversity, it comes back stronger than ever. Don’t believe me? Then come and see it for yourself.